Jennifer, couldn’t the Democratic senators’ votes have reflected their own ideological predilections? Mark Pryor, Ben Nelson, and Ken Salazar are generally to the right of their party on national security issues. Ditto Jim Webb, who may be against the Iraq war but isn’t exactly Dennis Kucinich when it comes to defense. Tom Carper of Delaware is a DLC-style Democrat.
A fair number of safe liberal Democrats also voted for the FISA legislation — Barbara Mikulski in Maryland, Dianne Feinstein in California, Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. None of these senators would have endangered their seats by voting the other way. I’m not sure the politics are so clear cut.
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