The Corner

I’m Back, But For a Moment

I think the Democratic move today in the Senate is politically canny. In the past

five days, Democrats have seen the political momentum shifting the

president’s way with shocking speed. They don’t know what to do about

the inspired Alito nomination, which they almost certainly can’t

filibuster. And with the president’s announcement of a war against

bird flu this morning — which strikes me as ridiculous policy but

inspired Clintonian politics — Democrats were on the verge of having

the Fitzgerald probe consigned to the ash-heap of history. And what

do they have going for them right now but Scooter-gate? So by pulling

this unprecedented maneuver with Section 21, they’re staging a

counterassault against the president’s effort to change the political

story of the moment. This is the sort of thing to make the Huffington

Puffington people shriek with happiness and the Kossians to chortle

with joy — almost as much as Bush pulling Miers’s nomination did for

us (I know, we’re not supposed to gloat, but come on). And

unfortunately, what the GOP has to respond to the maneuver is Bill

Frist, who’s a great and noble human being but a stinko political

leader. It may not work, but there’s no sense pretending this is a

dumb thing to do. It isn’t.

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