Can't say I'm surprised, though it is a sad statement in and of itself that anticipating that our Congress will not do the morally right thing for the citizens is unsurprising, but hey, welcome to BushWorld.
Let there be no doubt: a majority of senators, and a large number of Democrats, think the telecoms should not suffer the hazard of accountability for cooperating with the administration's warrantless wiretapping program. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) took to the floor last night to give a speech asking, "This is our defining question, the question that confronts every generation: The rule of law, or the rule of men?" The resounding answer: the rule of men.
The Senate voted on the Dodd/Feingold amendment, which would have stripped retroactive immunity from the surveillance bill just now. The final tally was 31-67; crossing over to vote nay were Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Evan Bayh (D-IA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Tom Carper (D-DE), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jim Webb (D-VA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). Update: Here's the official tally.
Of the three presidential candidates in the Senate, Obama voted against immunity; McCain voted for it and Clinton was not present to vote. Jason Rosenbaum at The Seminal:
I just got off a conference call with Chris Dodd. Not surprisingly, he said he was "disappointed" by the outcome of the votes today. He said, "We’ve just sanctioned the single largest invasion of privacy in American history."
***We're not done yet. FireDogLake has a petition to pressure the House to stand firm behind the RESTORE act. (link fixed)
Glenn Greenwald has a good wrap up of the day's events.