FISA: Money Talks
Complaints by citizens concerned about losing their constitutional rights? Not so much:
Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint gave PAC contributions averaging:
$8,359 to each Democrat who changed their position to support immunity for Telcos (94 Dems)
$4,987 to each Democrat who remained opposed to immunity for Telcos (116 Dems)
The article duly notes that money isn't the only reason legislators vote the way they do, but it really doesn't get any more stark than this.
Digby is right, as always, but this reminds me of sense of puzzlement I perceive by some progressive bloggers as to why the Dems seem to be working so hard to grant the TelCo's and the Bushies retroactive immunity.
I think this confusion is based on an assumption that Democratic politicians act out of a sense of morality and values that they share with their voters and activists.
Based on their recent (past 8 years?) actions this is obviously a very mistaken assumption. A more reasonable explanation is that politicians are just people doing a job.
Part of their job is to persuade voters that they share their concerns (whether they really do or not) in order to get elected.
The other (primary) part of their job is to find ways of complying with pressure from groups that have the power to keep them in or remove them from their job.
Leverage, not ethics or values or character or morality, is what determines how politicians act.