It’s been a spirited discussion so far on whether or not Get FISA Right should endorse the Bob Fertik’s idea Appoint a Special Prosecutor for the Crimes of the Bush Administration in the change.org Ideas for Change in America competition. Currently, our Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties is in 7th with a little over 6000 votes, and Bob’s is in 21st at 2136, so the decision could have a big impact on which ideas make it into the top 10. We’ll be voting on this starting on Monday (details TBD) and so I wanted to continue the discussion in a fresh thread.
Something to keep in mind from a strategy perspective is that an effort spearheaded by Ari Melber propelled Bob’s special prosecutor question to the top of change.gov’s recent Open for Questions; we should expect something similar here. Wiretapping had significant support as well (#2, #9, and #10 in National Security) without any promotion … but nobody seems to have covered it. For whatever reason the “special prosecutor” angle seems to be hotter right now than “policy and legislative changes”. So right now, despite the relative difference in our votes, the special prosecutor idea probably has as good a chance to make it into the top 10 as ours.
There were a lot of good opinions on both sides about whether or not we should endorse the special prosecutor idea. I’ve also had discussions with various people in email, on the phone, and in-person, and overall it seems to me that opinions continue to be split: roughly 1/3 “we should endorse”, 1/3 “I personally support a special prosecutor but Get FISA Right shouldn’t endorse”, and 1/3 “I don’t support a special prosecutor at this time”. The discussions are changing minds in all directions, though, and a lot of people haven’t weighted in yet, so that’s not necessarily an indication of how the vote will come out. I’ve invited Bob to do a guest-post here to present his case.
So now’s a great time to reread the earlier thread. Which points do you think are especially compelling? Has your opinion changed? Are there aspects we’ve overlooked so far? Please let others know what you’re thinking!
And if you haven’t already voted for our idea, please do!
* The comments in Once again Open for Questions: the pilot continues have more details on this. Ideally we will benefit from these effects in the change.org competition as well: the progressive bloggers like digby, Open Left, and Daily Kos who support a special prosecutor care about FISA and the PATRIOT Act as well. We shall see …