The Donna Edwards Effect?

So, within 48 hours after Donna Edwards trounces Al Wynn, the House decides to flip off the administration on the "Protect America Act" FISA bill with telecom immunity. OpenLeft cites Canadian broadcasting reporting, of Edwards’ win:

I can tell you one thing, on Capitol Hill following the Maryland primary, the elected officials and their staff members that I spoke with spent more time talking about Wynn and Gilchrist, than they did about Obama and McCain.

Donna campaigned against Al Wynn and his corporate financing and corruption, including his being in the tank for the telecoms.

Donna’s win represented a new model of progressive primary challenges against the corporate agenda including the netroots, progressive activists, labor (SEIU), MoveOn, EMILY’s List, environmental groups and others. This is something new: there has not previously been sufficient power or a playbook in place to break the incumbency protection racket. That’s enough to give House Dems pause, to say the least.

What’s more, all of this happened right in the backyard of the Majority Leader, who put serious chips on the table to back Wynn with street money just before election day. Right after all this, said Majority Leader offers stirring words to stand up to Bush on FISA, against the will of the telecom lobbyists.

Coincidence, or not?

Mind you, I don’t think we can ever know. I’m not even predicting the House will do right on FISA in the end once this fight comes back up again, though I certainly was surprised by this week’s unexpected simulacrum of spine calculation by the House.

What I am saying is that it’s at least plausible that the Edwards’ win may be blowing some new air on all those fingers in the wind, and House Dems (and their leadership) may collectively have decided to take a bit of a stand this week while giving themselves some time to regroup and think about what to do next.

(Sign the petition to tell the House to stand firm and reject telecom immunity here.)

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