All throughout the day, Judiciary Democrats such as Dodd, Edward Kennedy, and Russ Feingold took aim at the bill, even as Reid professed his hope that the Senate would pass the FISA bill today, in advance of its holiday adjournment. Dodd, a margin-of-error presidential candidate, vowed to filibuster the FISA bill on the floor if it granted large telecom companies such as Verizon and AT&T immunity from civil lawsuits for allegedly cooperating with the government. The Intel Committee bill did just that.
But early this evening, Reid surrendered, saying the FISA legislation would be taken up again in January, after the recess.
Watch Dodd's video thanking 500,000 of us for pressuring Harry Reid into pulling the FISA bill from the floor until next year:
The most important value of victories of this sort is that they ought to serve as a potent tonic against defeatism, regardless of the ultimate outcome. And successes like this can and should provide a template for how to continue to strengthen these efforts. Yesterday's victory, temporary as it is, shouldn't be over-stated, but it also shouldn't be minimized. All of it stemmed from the spontaneous passion and anger of hundreds of thousands of individuals demanding that telecoms be subject to the rule of law like everyone else. And this effort could have been -- and, with this additional time, still can be -- much bigger and stronger still.[h/t Glenn Greenwald]