Our newest Member of Congress, Bill Foster, was sworn in this afternoon. Bill Foster won Hastert's seat in spite of FISA fearmongering by the NRCC and his opponent. Foster ran against telco amnesty, and the attacks against him didn't work.
This is not going to be a winning political issue for the Republicans, however much they try to make it that. Even in swing states like New Mexico, the over-the-top tactics of the Republicans on the issue are failing. Consider the latest fundraising letter from Republican Darren White running to replace Heather Wilson:
My likely Democrat opponent...is opposed to the Terrorist Surveillance Program and has used the issue to drum up support for his candidacy among extreme left-wing groups. He believes that we should not immediately intercept calls from known terrorists and has even gone so far as to attack middle-of-the-road Democrats who support this bipartisan bill. I believe his position on the Terrorist Surveillance Program clearly demonstrates that his views are out-of-step with common-sense New Mexico values.
That likely Democratic opponent, Martin Heinrich responds:
"...I stand with the American people who say fear mongering is not acceptable. Not acceptable from George Bush, not acceptable from Karl Rove and not acceptable from Darren White. I agree with Bill Richardson that we can keep our country safe without resorting to unconstitutional, warrantless wiretaps. I support a strong FISA that authorizes our intelligence community to intercept the communications of foreign terrorists, not American citizens minding their own business.
He gets back up in that statement from Tom Udall, New Mexico's Democratic Senate candidate.
Udall pointed out that current law allows intelligence officials to eavesdrop on foreign communications routed through the United States without a warrant in an emergency situation, as long as court approval is sought within 72 hours of the phone tap.
"This charge that our intelligence will go dark and our national security will be threatened is a phony issue," Udall said.
The issue does not intimidate our Democratic challengers and even incumbents like John Salazar recognize that. So do the House Democratic freshman who are taking the most heat from the ridiculous Defense of Democracies ads and robocalls (you can send along your support to them at that link).
So why should it intimidate any Democrat?