If we are in such peril, and need the FISA overhall so fucking bad , like the shrieking chimp on my teevee right now is insisting, then take the telecom immunity out of the bill and it will pass overwhelmingly.
Present the telecom immunity as a separate bill and let it stand or fall on it's own merits or lack thereof.
But it isn't about protecting Americans, it is about giving the craven fascist fuckers who didn't even hesitate to spy on you and me, by listening to our calls and reading our emails, a petticoat to hide behind.
UPDATE - 10:00 a.m., by Blue Girl
It just gets better...GOP lawmakers are pissed off that the telecoms aren't showering them with donations as they fight the mean old Democrats who want to wreck their businesses over that "god damned piece of paper."
UPDATE II - PALE RIDER
Great minds! I was just bringing this over to post here:
Roll Call reports that congressional conservatives are “grumbling” and “griping” that their efforts to protect telecoms haven’t yielded more contributions from the industry:
With the House Democrats’ refusal to grant retroactive immunity to phone companies — stalling the rewrite of the warrantless wiretapping program — GOP leadership aides are grumbling that their party isn’t getting more political money from the telecommunications industry. […]
In a reflection of the sensitivity of the subject matter, and an apparent recognition that they would undermine their own messaging by appearing to be motivated by fundraising concerns, Republicans on and off Capitol Hill declined to comment on the record. […]
“There’s no question that from time to time staff, and maybe some Members, say to fellow travelers: ‘Are you giving us some air cover? Are you helping us help you?’”
COVER? That's what we're calling extortion money now? Cover??? And that's ALL this is about--ramping up the donations to support a collapsing party that is on the wrong side of the issue. They are using the fear of terrorist attack to try to ram through legislation on behalf on an industry that is EXPECTED to shell out campaign money to the Republicans--it's a shakedown and a scheme, and that's all it ever was from the start. Someone in the NRCC sat down and said, how do we get telecom companies to pay out? What do we give them? Immunity! Holy fucking shit. And it gets leaked on Roll Call??? How could anyone be so stupid as to reveal what this is actuall all about? These bastards are now caught, and expect the rats to flee from THAT sinking ship.
These shameful fucking crooks can't get out of town fast enough with that roll of bills in their pants, can they?
In case anyone hasn't figured it out, the GOP is facing a wave of retirements from the House, a corrupt fundraising apparatus that is mired in corruption, and a losing brand that is tied to a hundred years of war in Iraq, more fiscal disaster, and a nominee in John McCain who gets less and less appealing by the nanosecond.