FISA is bad law, even if (big IF at the moment) the telecom amnesty provision gets gutted.
As Greenwald and others note, what's so frustrating about this is not just that it's an example of Democrats caving to the right, but that it's Obama doing it. He's shown in spades that he can vigorously reject Republican framing when the need arises, and turn the tables on his opponents. (Cf. his evisceration of Giuliani et. al. over 9/11.) But when it came to defending our constitutional rights, Obama not only chose not to reject the framing, he embraced it. Greenwald:
Obama has embraced a bill that is not only redolent of many of the excesses of
Bush's executive power theories and surveillance state expansions, but worse,
has done so by embracing the underlying rationale of "Be-scared-and-give-up-your-rights." Note that the very first line of Obama's statement warns us that we face what he calls "grave threats," and that therefore, we must accept that our Leader needs more unlimited power, and the best we can do is trust that he will use it for our Good.