Liz Rose from the ACLU offered up an interesting theory while we were at Take Back America about why the House Democrats stuck it to the Republicans on FISA. Basically, it was her sense that they were so pissed off about what the Republicans did during the Tom Lantos memorial that it gave them both the motivation and the cohesiveness to do what they wanted to do anyway, which was collectively say "no" to retroactive telecom immunity.
As someone who was involved in these discussions on a day-to-day basis, Liz’s guess is probably a pretty good one.
(TBA was, by the way, great — kudos to Bob Borasage, Roger Hickey, Rick Perlstein, Bill Scher, Emily Barson, Toby Chaudhuri and a ton of people I’m leaving out. It was really informative, I met a lot of amazing people and it was a fantastic place for progressives to where we’re at and how we work together to get where we need to be. A lot of the things you’ll be seeing on the site in the future grew out of what happened there.)