Here’s the portion of his statement relevant to telecom immunity:
It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses.
One sentence, twenty-eight words. There’s not a lot to go on there in terms of the level of his opposition. The tone of the entire statement, to me, is largely apologetic and pleading. That doesn’t bode well.
I haven’t had a chance to read the 114-page bill (H.R. 6304), but every criticism I’ve seen so far on the left side of the blogosphere has been limited to the immunity provisions (which are utterly and completely toothless; they’re pretty much rubber stamps to the telecoms). If — and this is a mighty big if, given this statement in its entirety — Obama utilizes his excess political capital by leading the fight on stripping telecom immunity — and, to be clear, I don’t mean a symbolic and perfunctory Yea vote on the first version Reid brings to the floor that inevitably fails and then a Yea vote on the House version including immunity — I mean being on MTP this Sunday, with surrogates on every other morning show, giving a show-stopping floor speech on Monday morning, and joining Dodd in filibustering if he’s unsuccessful — Obama, and Obama alone, can set the media narrative for this, and he needs to do it – if he does that, he will come out of this smelling like a rose.
Otherwise, chicken liver would be a more apt comparison, and I would say that Obama will find his fundraising numbers off their targets, and get a little concerned about his decision to opt out of public financing (more on that later). If he doesn’t do this, he will let down every single progressive that propelled his campaign and led the charge as precinct captains, caucus chairs, tireless organizers. We own this campaign, and we need to show it. Write him, call him, make your voice heard.
Disclaimer: The author of this blog is a contributor to Sen. Barack Obama, and an Obama delegate from Austin, TX. He is also not responsible for the excessive hyphenation found in the writing above.