There seems to be some debate about whether Clinton’s laudable vote against the FISA bill was politically motivated or not. Obviously, this is unknowable, although I suspect that she would have voted differently had she won the nomination. Josh Patashnik, however, makes the more important point: it doesn’t matter. Trying to figure out whether Clinton’s FISA vote was sincere or not is as irrelevant as figuring out what John McCain really thinks about abortion rights. Responding strategically within a given environment is what politicians do. And if Clinton responds to the fact that her political power base will be in the Senate rather than the White House to be a leader in checking the growth in executive power, great. It’s not as if there aren’t plenty of member of Congress who have remained supine against assertions of executive power.