Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Reid's Closed Door Session
Harry Reid today forced the Senate into closed session evicting nearly everyone not a Senator, including most staffers, closing the doors, and turning off the TV cameras. The reason? To force the Senate to move the intelligence committee into phase 2 of the investigation of intelligence failures of the Iraq war. Phase 2 being an inquiry into how the Administration used or misused the intelligence that it had. The tactic worked, forcing the creation of a bipartison panel to oversee the actions of the intelligence committee. The panel will consist of three Democrats and three Republicans. Not only did this force the Republican majority to listen to the minority Party, but it sent a warning shot accross the bow of the Senate Republican Caucus that Democrats are willing to no longer abide by the gentlemen's agreement that these tactics will not be used if the minority Party is not listened to. If Republicans succeed with the nuclear option, this is what we can expect from Democrats all the way up to the midterm elections. They will refuse to allow bills to be assigned by committee through unamimous consent and will force the full Senate to consider every single bill. This will demonstrate a lesson in the strongest possible way to Republicans that they must listen to the minority party, and if they don't the minority will force them to listen. Mr. Frist, we're now playing hardball, and the fate of the Senate is in your hands, you can restore the traditions of oversight and bipartison cooperation or you can watch business slow to a near standstill, it's up to you, but I would recommend you start caring a little bit about the opinion of the minority party.