Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Harry gives 'em hell: special closed session of Congress called

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) called a special closed session of Congress today to investigate why congressional Republicans are more interested in protecting the White House rather than investigating the intelligence failures in the run-up to the Iraq War.

"'The United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership,' said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee). 'They have no convictions, they have no principles, they have no ideas.'" Senator (and Doctor) Frist is currently being investigated for insider trading of stocks in a private hospital chain that his family owns, which serve his home state of Tennessee. Say what you want about Senator Frist's principles, but as far as the insider trading goes, he's got no convictions yet, either.

Senator Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) has complained that Senator Reid's move violates the Senate's tradition of courtesy and consent. This is a curious thing to hear from someone whose party wants to hear nothing about the discussion of Supreme Court nominees, who doesn't want to run potential nominees by the loyal opposition first, and who wants to eliminate the filibuster option altogether. So much for tradition, huh?

Is this a stunt? Well, it sure has some of the markings of one, but on the other hand, the Republicans in Congress did run roughshod over Senator Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) and others who wanted to investigate whether the Niger papers and their ominous talk about yellowcake uranium were justifications of war with Iraq or B-grade forgeries. Now that it's been proven that they're forgeries, and considering that they were the United States' cassus belli in the first place, wouldn't an investigation be called for? Better late than never, anyway. Kos has a good timeline of the events that Senator Reid is concerned about.

Tom Daschle would never have done this, someone has pointed out. To that I say, "Damn straight! We got a party chief with some balls now!" It wouldn't surprise me at all if the Republican leadership is bashing their heads against the wall right now for having worked so hard to help John Thune defeat Senator Daschle last year. I think I'll start referring to Thune as Senator Pyrrhus. It seems to fit, doesn't it?


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