This might be a moment when Democratic supporters wonder what all the “changing of the guard” fuss was about when Dems took control of Congress in 2006: On Tuesday, the Senate effectively voted in favor of granting telecommunication companies retroactive immunity for their cooperation in the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program.

Talking Points Memo’s Muckraker has a breakdown of how senators voted on the proposed Dodd/Feingold amendment, designed to challenge the Bush administration’s creative reinterpretations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — in particular, the so-called Protect America Act of 2007. And for all you Campaign ’08 enthusiasts out there, Sen. John McCain voted against the Dodd/Feingold amendment, Sen. Barack Obama voted for it, and Sen. Hillary Clinton was not present for the vote.


Let there be no doubt: a majority of senators, and a large number of Democrats, think the telecoms should not suffer the hazard of accountability for cooperating with the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) took to the floor last night to give a speech asking, “This is our defining question, the question that confronts every generation: The rule of law, or the rule of men?” The resounding answer: the rule of men.

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