Gosh, just like in the movies, good guy Chris Dodd's filibuster of a vote on a FISA authorization bill that would have provided immunity from lawsuits for telecoms who turn over customer data to the federal government actually worked tonight. Wired reports that majority leader Harry Reid opted to delay a vote on the measure until after Congress returns from its winter break.
Dodd showed his moxie and determination all day, as he held the floor for long stretches, railing against an administration-backed bill that would have freed telecoms from 40-odd lawsuits pending against them in federal court.
The presidential candidate threatened to filibuster and hold the Senate floor if the Senate shot down his amendment to strip immunity from the bill. That threat moved Reid to postpone a vote on the bill, so that the Senate could take up war funding bills, a massive domestic spending bill and changes to the Alternative Minimum Tax before the winter break.
Perhaps the move, which drew him back from Iowa to Washington, will improve his way beneath the radar presidential campaign. On his campaign blog, Dodd is quoted:
"Today we have scored a victory for American civil liberties and sent a message to President Bush that we will not tolerate his abuse of power and veil of secrecy. The President should not be above the rule of law, nor should the telecom companies who supported his quest to spy on American citizens. I want to thank the thousands of Americans throughout the country that stood with me to get this done for our country."
C-SPAN video of some of the speech is here.