Saturday, March 04, 2006
Gall (and Desperation): How Low Can Frist Stoop?
The White House must be really desperate to avoid any congressional investigation into whether the NSA's domestic spying program violates the law. How else to explain this remarkable letter? (Senator Frist demonstrates here that he is entirely a puppet of the Republican Party has absolutely no interest in preserving the Senate's institutional interests -- not that there's anything wrong with that, right?)
I've got complete contact info for the key players in this fiasco -- Frist, Reid, Roberts, Rockefeller, Snowe, Hagel -- plus talking points and a "game plan", at Vichy Dems.
That's just the specific post; surf to the main site for updates, a link to what Rockefeller's motion for a hearing actually says, etc.
Part of the multi-blogger Roots Project. Come join the fun, make some calls, send some emails, save the world!
Anyone know whether the executive replied to House Judiciary Committee Chair Sensenbrenner's 51 interrogatories regarding wiretap oversight. In Chairman Sensenbrenner's February 8 letter of transmittal to Attorney General Gonzales, it was requested the administration to respond by March 2, 2006.
On the senate side I would be surprised to see Roberts' committee be restructured; or, if restructured, that it would remain so reconfigured for much longer than it takes to vote a new majority to the Senate.
I take a less apocalyptic view than most observers regarding the shifting hegemonies in the Senate, though multiple unusual short shriftings of traditional procedures have raised doubts in many quarters; indeed, I share the view that processes appear to have leapt out of control in structural constitutional ways which, if these had been addressed, say, in the form of a congressionally passed straightforward proposal to amend the constitution, would have nil chance of approval by 3/4 of the states.
Nevertheless, there are elections. We tell ourselves that. Votes are counted. Elections are decided at the polls. The Gingrichization of the Senate may be the product of worry on the part of the Republicans that their total dominion has a brief halflife, and the Gingrich model was efficacious, during its brief scintilla of existence before the two-party political system normalized its excesses over subsequent elections. Frist's latest suggestion (there were others such as the cloture dissolution by simple majority theory which he declared) is a quick adaptation of the Gingrich cookiecutter approach to how to wield power in congress; it is curious that Frist has overseen several efforts at restructuring the way that chamber operates. I suspect the desired effect is longterm in addition to the instantaneous objective of reining in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Roberts certainly must be enjoying Frist's support once again, as Roberts incrementally has molded that committee to conform to his strikingly reserved views.
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