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.