Paul Kiel at TPM Muckraker has an excellent catch today. So about that immunity thing for telecom companies that complied President Bush’s warrantless surveillance programs? The thing that the White House is demanding Congress bless? It turns out the reason why the GOP is going to the mat on it is pretty simple: campaign cash.
That is money the GOP needs needs needs. In December, House GOP leader John Boehner said his party’s fundraising “sucks.” And that would be about when the party raised retroactive legal approval of the telecoms and the government’s flagrantly illegal behavior to the level of a first principle.
Only thing is, the telecoms just aren’t letting the GOP wet its beak! From a subscription-only Roll Call story that Paul excerpts:
It’s quite discouraging,” said one GOP leadership aide, referring to the disparity in giving from the telecommunications industry in light of the FISA debate, but also the broader lack of support for Republicans from the business community in general.
“These companies just won’t do anything,” the aide said. “Even when you have the Democrats working against their bottom line.
So it’s all about campaign contributions and not at all about national security. Good to know.