Spontaneous Regeneration

Pat Ryan

Our wandering in the wilderness ended yesterday almost five years to the day after the Great Florida Election Theft. That old Pro-Lifer, senate minority leader Harry Reid suddenly showed some cojones and pretty much put the blocks to Frist and the kids in the Senate with one of those obscure parliamentary moves worthy of the likes of DeLay, Rove, and Luntz.

The Big White House Plan for the week had been as predictable and repetitive as it was depressing. Bad news were coming at the White House from a DA so squeaky clean that his character couldn't be easily assassinated, so the only other option was the tried and true (and carefully scripted) Change of Subject.

Monday was the nomination of a Supreme Court justice with the proper Federalist Society credentials.
Tuesday was supposed to be Bird Flu Day, but for some unknown reason Mr. Reid decided that it was finally time to dust off the old Senate Rulebook, and use it to demand that the investigation of the Big Stack of Steaming Lies that led our sleepy politicians to give the White House gang a blank check for the Big Adventure in Iraq.

From now on, our elected progressives (or whatever) will be in full cry. Yes, mistakes will be made. Betrayals will occur. Prominent Democrats will say some Really Stupid Things, but from here on in, they will be looking to the '06 election, followed immediately by the presidential campaign for '08.

Members of the Fourth Estate, having noticed the poll numbers as well, are now sticking up their little furry heads and making semi-coherent squeaks about malfeance in high places. CNN is running hour long retrospectives on the deceptions leading up to the Big Adventure. Papers from the NYT to The Oregonian are beginning to address issues that they should have been covering in the spring of '03.

It's all pretty sucky in the short run. The Supreme Court is lost for a generation at least. Roe will probably be overturned. We now officially live in a nation where corporations will have more rights than women, treason is a technicality, but oh the battles that will be joined.

There will be abortion rights battles in all of the 50 states. Democratic senators that voted to give the president carte blanche for Endless War, the trashing of The Geneva Convention, and the evisceration of the Bill of Rights, will be running for president as Populists. Someone may actually take the time to get on the whole corruption thing, as DeLay and his band of Merry Pranksters have made it so hard for Democrats to get at the K Street trough, that a lot of them currently have relatively clean faces.

Here in Oregon, national level Progressive politicians who have been backing administration fiscal policies that are well to the Right of that old Librul Richard Nixon, have suddenly come out as........er........progressives. Whatever on that one.

We in the grassroots, will still have plenty to whine about but inaction on the part of the Elected won't be nearly as high on our list as it has been.

Thank you Harry. We love your reactionary old hide, and we all appreciate your attentiveness to the calendar. Even though you're five years too late, you're still setting an example for other, more allegedly progressive colleagues. May they all redevelop certain........er........traits.......that have long atrophied.

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    Sorry about the lonely (and ambiguous) link to Newsday. It's supposed to lead to one of the many polls showing widespread disenchantment with Bush.

  • Ruth Adkins (unverified)

    Great post, Pat!

    I just posted a Rapid Response alert on this over at Blog for Oregon. Let's give the D's some props for this great action.

    Just heard Wyden on Al Franken talking about yesterday's victory--bravo!

    May the spinal infusion continue and take hold....

    Unfortunately, the O. chose to place this story in the World/Science section with the terrible headline "Senate Democrats force closed session".

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    i was thinking that perhaps Reid was having a bit of a chin wag with Byrd, when the Oldest Codger said, "ya know Harry, there's this wee little rule...."

    of course there will be cut-throat backlash, but how much worse can it get for the Dems in congress? if a few moderate Rs had any guts, they'd hold the line against Frist and his lackeys, but they are wets in the British Tory tradition, and can be counted on only to cower in fear and do what they are told. so Reid and his people might as well dive into the deep end. not much left to lose, is there?

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    The Democrats finally find their BACKBONE, shut down the Senate and demand answers for the Bushies sodden lies.

    So, where does the Oregonian play the story in a city that went 75% for Kerry?

    They BURIED the story on Page A37. Or A42. Something like that.

    And those poor ink-stained schmucks wonder why the NY Times or Washington Post never calls offering a job.


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    Ain't Harry great? After maybe Joe Lieberman, Harry's politics are probably more different from mine of any senator, and yet I can't imagine who could do half the job he's doing. I don't think I've ever seen a republican as furious as Frist was in the post-maneuver press conference. He was white and shaking.

    (Do you think the GOP missed the payback's-a-bitch irony? Frist, who helped oust Tom Daschle by traveling to SD to flog the woeful John Thune, probably regrets that more than even the Schiavo diagnosis. Oh, how he'd love to have Tom back to kick around!)

    As to the Supreme Court, I think it's premature to project. Abortion is not lost--it never will be. It is, despite all the histrionics, a matter of settled law. There may be encroachment, but it will stand for all time. Sadly, the Dems have kept their eye ONLY on that ball, meanwhile the commerce clause is getting one hell of a workout. Who knows what damage can be done there. But Alito isn't on the court yet, and Roberts may not be as conservative as we fear. (He may, in fact, be an improvement over Rehnquist.)

    I will say this: politics is far more pleasant to watch in 2005 than it was in 2001.

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