I normally don't do this kind of thing, but I strongly urge you to give money to Senator Dodd's presidential campaign for the work he did opposing the telecom immunity deal. I just gave money today, and would like to give more after I've finished all my Christmas shopping (I always end up spending too much). I don't know if my meager contribution will help Dodd win the nomination, but it will certainly send a strong signal that we support what he did with his FISA filibuster.
While I haven't blogged about it, I strongly believe that this bill was absolutely nuts. Sure, it's bad policy to grant blanket amnesty for civil liberty violations that you aren't even fully aware of, but it was bad politics too. The Bush Admin's destruction of civil liberties was a horrible thing, and the best thing any Democrat can do is to call attention to what happened and to denounce it loudly. Not only will this protect civil liberties, but it will help us sink the Bushies, the Republicans who aided them, and the entire conservative movement
But...we lose all that if we give them immunity. We send a signal that we approve of what happened. We tell the telecoms that they can hand over our liberty with impunity, and that all it takes is for the government to ask, and they will give them everything they want. And that's just wrong. If the telecoms didn't do anything wrong, then they don't need immunity. But if they did something wrong, Americans have a right to know. This is our government, and those phone records were our records. Immunity is nothing but explicit acknowledgement that we don't own either.
Dodd for President
And so I strongly support Dodd's actions in filibustering that horrible bill. And now that we've had a temporary reprieve, there could be no better thing we can do to make this permanent than to show our support for what he did by giving him some green.
Money talks, and we need Washington to listen. I have no doubts that the Dems in Congress are afraid of the telecom's money. But we need to show them that we have money too. I've only given money to two political campaigns before (last one being John Kerry's general election campaign), and this is the one I think is the most important. For Dodd to receive a strong show of support will certainly help more Democrats get onto the right side of this issue by the time this comes back in January.
And beyond that, I really, really like Dodd for President. I already liked the guy, but after this issue (and before I gave him money), I started reading more about him on his website and watched some of his YouTube clips. And I liked what I saw. Right now while I'm typing this, I'm listening to a townhall meeting he gave in August, and he's really quite good. Is he perfect? No. But I really like what I hear, and think he's about 99.99% right about what he's saying. In fact, one reason I don't think his performance was perfect was because he said too much, and didn't give enough empty bumpersticker rhetoric. And while that's exactly what I like to hear, I suspect that most people prefer quickie zingers, instead of the full-bodied stuff he said.
I even agree with his Cuban policy. He mentioned how he's spoken to Castro...in Spanish(?!), and how they talked about the travel embargo we still have against Cuba. He said that Castro told him that lifting the travel ban would hurt Castro more than it hurt us, and how he agreed with that and insisted that the travel ban has helped keep Castro in office all these years. And that's exactly what I've been saying, yet is rare to hear from a presidential candidate (though Obama has said something similar).
His other answers were quite good too. I've posted the clip below. If you're not sure about Dodd, check it out. Again, it's not rockstar stuff, but it's a solid townhall meeting.
Dodd for President
Before now, I've basically stayed out of the nomination battle. I'm quite certain that any Democrat will whoop any Republican in the general election, and that any of them would be better than a Republican. Having heard enough from Dodd, I now give him my full endorsement.
I not only believe that he's the best choice out of several good choices, I think he'll be the best in the general election. I don't know why he's not polling better than he is, though I suspect that it's because the Kewl Kids in Washington don't like what he has to say. Or perhaps they don't think he gives them enough respect, I don't know. All I know is that this guy is good, he'll be a good president, he'll do well in the general election, and he'll be tough for Republicans to oppose as president. And having studied how things went in 2004, I see no reason why he can't win the nomination.
Plus, he was the only candidate who really stood up for this FISA bill; and he didn't have to. But it was a very smart move, he did it well, and I like that he had the confidence to go through with it. This guy is good. If you don't agree, go to his site and you'll see what I mean. I don't think he's the perfect candidate, but he's the best we've got out of a fairly good group.
And if you already agree, give him some money. It doesn't have to be much. $5 will help. It will send a message. And best of all, it will give him positive buzz that will show people that Dodd is a real candidate and has our support. I won't cry if he doesn't get the nomination, but I think it'll be for the best if he did.