Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Hell Freezes Over - Senate Democrats Grow a Pair

Well, I'll be damned. Looks like Scooter Libby left behind in his indicted wake a gift for the Democratic Party: the lost (wo)manhood they've been looking for since January, 2001.

Yesterday's rules coup by Harry Reid, to force the Republican majority to finally issue its Phase II investigation report on the disconnect between actual Iraq intelligence and the lies we were told to induce the country to war, both in rhetoric and execution. For those who might have missed it (don't see how anyone could have!), yesterday, during a business as usual moment in the Senate, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid from Nevada stood up and let go with both barrels to prevent the Republithugs from, yet again, pretending that yet another reminder of how much WHIG had manipulated both the Congress and the American people vis a vis Iraq using both affirmative misrepresentation of intelligence data and using gutter-level retaliation tactics --such as those used against Ambassador Joseph Wilson in the Valerie Plame matter -- against anyone who dared to stand up and challenge the hype. From Harry Reid's post-shutdown speech:

Unfortunately, the unwillingness of the Republican-controlled Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities is not is not limited to just Iraq. We see it with respect to the prison abuse scandal. We see it with respect to Katrina, and we see it with respect to the cronyism and corruption that permeates this Administration. Time and time again, this Republican-controlled Congress has consistently chosen to put its political interests ahead of our national security. They have repeatedly chosen to protect the Republican Administration rather than to get to the bottom of what happened and why it happened.

There's also another disturbing pattern, namely, about how this Administration responded to those who challenged its assertions. Often this Administration has actively sought to attack and undercut those who dared to raise questions about its preferred course. For example, when General Shinseki indicated several hundred thousand troops would be needed in Iraq, his military career was ended -- fired, relieved of duty when he out its inspectors. When Nobel prize winner and head of the IAEA raised questions about the Administration's claims of Saddam's nuclear capabilities, the Administration attempted to remove him from his post. When ambassador Joe Wilson stated that there was an attempt by Saddam -- no attempt by Saddam to acquire weapons from Niger, the Administration not only went after him to discredit him, they launched a vicious and coordinated campaign, going so far as to expose the fact that his wife worked as a C.I.A. spy.

These people are now having 24-hour protection fearing for their own safety.

Given this Administration's pattern of squashing those who challenge its misstatements, and I've only mentioned a few, what has been the response of the Republican-controlled Congress?

Absolutely nothing.

He then moved for the body go into closed session to discuss the matter, and, with a well-timed assist from Dick Durban, got his way.

There is particular joy in watching the right wing blogger response. They know that yesterday's event was masterful. Since their default response is, and will always be, to toss aside anyone who is no longer useful, you can guess what came next:

They started calling for Bill Frist's head on a platter, to varying degrees depending on which Republican blog den of iniquity you're looking at. Fortunately for me, intrepid bloggers like PamInDurham regularly wade into the rancid waters of places like Free Republic, so I don't have to. Her post yesterday confirms that the freepers reaction is....well, over the top freeperish (advocating retaliation by writing "I say blow it....Fire in the Hole"????? Where do they *find* these nutcases?)

Now, admittedly, a person like myself should be ashamed at the level of vicious glee that I felt hearing a grown man, Dr. "Video Diagnosis" Frist, whinge like a preschooler about the fact that *Tom Daschle* didn't "behave this way" the cards on him and that it was so "unfair" and a "slap in the face" that he could "no longer trust Harry Reid".

But I don't. The Republican majority's hubris deserved the bitch slapping that Harry Reid gave it yesterday, Bill Frist's hubris as Senate Majority Leader at the top of the list of slappees.

The video of Senator Reid's speech, kicking off yesterday's historic event is here. A typewritten, complete transcript, is here.

Somebody slap me before I get too hopeful.........


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