The House FISA bill, introduced today, . . . is a strong bill that protects civil liberties and provides for oversight. What the NYT article suggests is that certain Democrats believe that they will ultimately have to give up on that bill because Bush will demand capitulation. This is worrisome, but we are not there yet.
Interestingly, pontificator wrote the same type of comments to me last March when I railed about the Iraq Supplemental. Unlike pontificator, Chris Bowers has learned from the Iraq Supplemental experience in March:
This pre-legislative negotiation “compromise” is a real habit for Democrats. We have seen it on immigration reform, Iraq, FISA, the minimum wage, health care, and a whole host of other issues. Democrats present compromised legislation, and then after actual legislative negotiations occur, those compromises are watered down even further. By the end of the process, the proposed legislation typically ends up weighted far more toward the conservative end of the spectrum on the issue than the progressive side. While I don’t doubt that Clinton, Edwards and Obama would all like to see their proposed legislation enacted as it is proposed, it strikes me that in order to achieve their proposed legislation, they should start out by asking for even more than they want.
I’ll go even further. I think the House Democrats should, like Bush does, draw lines in the sand. This far and no further. Like Iraq, FISA extension requires action by the Congress. Doing nothing is very much an option. But since the Democratic leadership does not perceive it as such, come the inevitable Senate “compromise” or Bush veto, the House Dems, based on the history we have seen, will capitulate. Let them prove us wrong. The important thing is to protest, not protect the poor ears of the Democratic leadership.
[UPDATE] ACLU unhappy with House proposal.