This line from The Washington Post‘s account of the Democrats’ impending FISA surrender really brings it all home:
Democrats are wary of being called weak on national security. That concern is exacerbated by the government’s withholding of details on its surveillance activities that would enable Congress to gauge whether expanded powers are needed, said Mark Agrast, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
Yes, indeed, the fact that the government is withholding details on its surveillance activities that would enable Congress to gauge whether expanded powers are needed certainly makes me more inclined to give the executive branch more discretionary power. What a nightmare. I guess the silver lining (of sorts) is that the administration has given every indication over the years that it doesn’t consider itself bound by the law anyway, so in practice even a better law probably wouldn’t accomplish anything.