In an even bigger insult to the body politic than any attempted by Senate Democrat hoodlums yesterday, Sen. Joe Biden spoke in Manchester, New Hampshire last night. He appeared before 125 Granite Staters, which is more hostages than Reid's gang terrorized. The Union Leader reports that Biden delivered "a rousing, fist-clenching political speech," and promised to vote against Samuel Alito if the nominee fails to answer questions in his confirmation hearings. As if expecting Alito himself to pull the plug on Biden's presidential ambitions, Sen. Joe said, according to the U.L., that a "nominee should have to answer whether a medical patient hooked up to a life-sustaining machine has the ability to demand he be disconnected."
The Spectacle Blog
...comes denial. David Broder briefly stops at denial today with the headline "President Pushover." Rebuked and even chastened from the Miers fiasco? Sure. "But the message that has been sent is that this president is surprisingly easy to roll"? If by surprisingly easy you mean it takes a month to convince him of a bad move. I wonder if Mr. Broder was walled up writing his column while the Dems stormed the Senate yesterday. That, my friends, is a stunt from the position of weakness.
Well, to take a brief moment out from the Senate hijacking story, I’d like to note the passing of Reggie “the Crusher” Lisowski, who died at 79 on October 22. His passing transports me back to my
Anyway, the Crusher was famous for his “bolo” punch, which I imagine he stole from Kid Gavilan, but never mind. As the Washington Post obit relates:
The thing to remember about yesterday's Senate Democrat coup is that the Republicans were routed. Senator Frist can fume and fulminate all he wants, but the gang of Reid, Durbin, and Schumer got what they wanted. It was Republicans who caved. "Republicans Bristle but Agree to Speed Probe Of Prewar Intelligence," the Washington Post subhead reads. Last night on the excellent John Batchelor radio program, Lawrence Kudlow lit into Frist. So much for conservative solidarity. To add insult to injury, the Post's Senate sketch writer Dana Milbank captures Frist saying, "I've got to go figure out what we need to do." The embarrassment and humiliation may all be short term. Just how short we'll find out today at 12:06 p.m., when Rush comes on.
In another sign that the Episcopal Church is just another branch of mainstream Protestantism (yes, some still think it can be saved for orthodoxy), the American church of the via media has co-sponsored a full page color ad in the Washington Post today (A9) bleating about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. They join the Sierra Club, Friends of Animals, the National Resources Defense Council, and others. It's not that the Episcopalians don't take stands. It's that they only take stands for liberalism.
Major newspaper coverage of yesterday's Democratic fit in the Senate barely allows their readers a full picture.
The New York Times headline, "Partisan Quarrel Forces Senators to Bar the Doors," captures Democratic decorum, but the story provides little context.
The Post treats the stunt with undeserved dignity but squeezes in the bigger picture just after the jump:
Friday's indictment of top White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on perjury and obstruction charges gave Democrats a new opening to demand that more light be shed on these issues, including administration efforts to discredit a key critic of the prewar claims of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
One revealing facet of the Democrats' Senate shutdown Tuesday afternoon was the emergence of "Phase 2" (sometimes spelled "Phase II" or "Phase Two") as a key talking point, with Democrats complaining that Senate Republicans with Intelligence Committee chairman Pat Roberts in the lead had failed to deliver on their promise upon completion of phase one in July 2004 to conduct and complete a follow-up inquiry after the fall elections into intelligence before the Iraq war. But who knew that was such a sore spot?
Surely if Democrats were unhappy with the pace of Phase II, there would have been stories about it in the press. But a Nexis search of the Washington Post and New York Times turns up next to nothing on that score. Last August 2, for instance, Intelligence Committee member Dianne Feinstein released her letter of July 31 to Chairman Roberts complaining about the committee's failure to complete Phase II, but her unhappiness failed to generate any coverage or Democratic momentum.
In the end, it is impossible to understate the importance of what went on in the Senate today. The fanfare, the rumors, and all the nonsensical puffery came down to this: the Dems are clinically depressed that Patrick Fitzgerald didn't deliver for them an indictment -- not only of Karl Rove -- but of the Iraq war itself.
If you watched Jay Rockefeller -- he being one of the three under criminal investigation for leaking details of a top-secret satellite program -- huffing and puffing about what the Senate Intelligence Committee wasn't doing but should, you heard every whine the liberals have about the war. Not only should they be investigating former DoD Undersecretary for Policy Doug Feith, but they should also be investigating: detainee abuse, interrogation methods, rendition of terrorist prisoners to other nations and -- yes -- the whole issue of whether intelligence was manipulated by the Bush administration to lie America into war.
The Heritage Foundation hosted a book forum today for Richard Miniter, author of Disinformation: 22 Media Myths that Undermine the War on Terror. You can watch it (or listen to it) here. At about 26 minutes in, you'll hear me ask a question that prompts Miniter to quip, "You guys at the Spectator really like to stir up trouble, don't you?"