In Obamaworld, apparently wrecking the Fourth Amendment is roughly equivalent to ridiculing some obscure rapper. The only thing more depressing than the conceit that supporting unconstitutional measures is a way to “signal” to swing voters that you are not a radical loon bent on “ideological purity,” which is basically to make defending the Constitution a position held only by radicals and extremists, is the dishonest representation of support for the compromise legislation as being a pro-civil liberties position. Ellsberg wrote at Antiwar’s blog the other day:
What the administration seeks, and this bill provides, is permanent warrantless surveillance.
Update: John Nichols traces the history of Obama’s position on the FISA bill. Inasmuch as his opposition to this bill powered him to victory in Wisconsin, which was, as most of us acknowledged at the time, the beginning of the end for Clinton, he owes his nomination to the stand that he has now repudiated.