COURAGE….Glenn Greenwald on statements from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton about filibustering a bill that would retroactively provide immunity to telecom companies that cooperated with the NSA’s domestic spying program:
Obama said only that “if the bill comes to the Senate floor in its current form, he would support a filibuster of it” — a transparent hedge given that it is virtually certain that the bill (being marked up this week by the Senate Judiciary Committee) will not come to the floor in its “current form.”
….Clinton’s statement was just incoherent — claiming first that she hasn’t seen the bill (which has been available for many days now) and thus “can’t express an opinion about it,” then vowing (so inspirationally) that she is “going to study it very hard.”
Jonathan Turley on the statement from George Bush’s nominee for attorney general that he couldn’t say whether waterboarding was torture or not because he really didn’t know what waterboarding was:
There are only two explanations for this answer, either of which should compel the senators to vote against confirmation. The first is that Mukasey is the most ill-informed nominee in the history of this republic….The second possibility is, unfortunately, the more likely explanation: Mukasey is lying.
….What is truly astonishing is that the Democrats on the committee are apparently willing to look beyond the nominee’s evasive, misleading testimony….Democrats hope to win the World Series without ever leaving the dugout: They want to denounce torture but won’t expend the political capital it would take to fight a time-consuming and risky confirmation battle.
Matt Yglesias on the general phenomenon at work within the high councils of the Democratic Party:
Talk to people on the Hill or people involved in messaging, and there’s just no confidence that they could win a big high-profile standoff with Bush on pretty much any issue related to terrorism. There’s a critical margin of members who just won’t back any position that can’t also attract substantial Republican backing to provide “cover.”
See also Paul Krugman about ending the war in Iraq.
UPDATE: Obama clears up his earlier ambiguity. Good for him.