Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Democrats Grow a Backbone!

I know, I know, I said I wasn't going to talk about politics anymore, but this is just too big to ignore. The Dems really, truly, found their spines today; who knew they still had them? I was beginning to think they had completely devolved into invertebrates. It's almost creepy...
Democrats forced the Republican-controlled Senate into an unusual closed session on Tuesday over the Bush administration's use of intelligence to justify the Iraq war and the Senate's willingness to examine it.

The move provoked a sharp public confrontation between the two parties as the Republicans lost control of the chamber for two hours and were left to complain bitterly about what they called an unnecessary "stunt." The confrontation demonstrated an escalation of partisan tensions in the wake of last week's indictment of the White House aide I. Lewis Libby Jr. in the C.I.A. leak case.

Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, and other senior Republicans said that Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, had blindsided them by invoking a seldom-used rule and that the maneuver had seriously damaged relations in the Senate, where partisan tension was already high.

But Democrats said last week's indictment of Mr. Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, highlighted anew the need for the Senate to examine the administration's handling of intelligence. They said the unusual demand for a closed session was made out of frustration with the refusal of the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, to make good on his February 2004 pledge to pursue such an investigation.

"We see the lengths they've gone to," said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat, referring to the disclosure of a C.I.A. officer's identity. "And now the question is, Will this Senate meet its responsibility under the Constitution to hold this administration, as every administration should be held, accountable?"

After Mr. Reid invoked Senate Rule 21 allowing senators to request a closed session, the galleries were cleared, C-Span coverage was terminated and the chamber's doors were closed for about two hours. In the end, lawmakers agreed to name three members from each party to assess the state of the Intelligence Committee's inquiry into prewar intelligence and report back by Nov. 14.
See? Creepy. It's like they've all been replaced by pod people. Perhaps it's a post-Halloween prank...