The Reid Maneuver
Over the past few years, as my disgust with Democratic inaction festered, I encountered many a liberal who offered this: "They can't do anything; they're in the minority." This is exactly what the GOP think, and the docile and servile Dems have given them no reason to think otherwise. Until yesterday.
Democrats forced the Senate into a rare closed-door session yesterday, infuriating Republicans but extracting from them a promise to speed up an inquiry into the Bush administration's handling of intelligence about Iraq's weapons in the run-up to the war. With no warning in the mid-afternoon, the Senate's top Democrat invoked the little-used Rule 21, which forced aides to turn off the chamber's cameras and close its massive doors after evicting all visitors, reporters and most staffers.It's a relatively minor thing, but it nevertheless reduced Bill Frist to such fury that his voice quivered. (Said he: "They have no convictions, they have no principles, they have no ideas. Never before have I been slapped in the face with such an affront. For the next year and a half, I can't trust Senator Reid." Video.) Rick Santorum, citing the obvious, declared that the Dems were playing politics (and in the US Senate, no less!). The reaction itself helped put the story on the front page, displacing Bush's absurd avian flu proposal, and took some of the wind out of the Alito sails. It also forced media covering the story to recount how Bush lied us into war.
Dems can keep doing this kind of thing for the next three years. It's called politics. You don't actually have to bow and scrape and defer to your opponents. There are plenty of tactics available to keep turning the attention back to the crimes of the White House. Bush and the GOP have sowed much incompetence and woe, and the Dems' simple task is to keep those facts in the news.
I'm betting Bill Frist is starting to regret that he ever campaigned in South Dakota for Jim Thune. He'd have loved to have Tom Daschle to kick around right about now.