by skeptic06, Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 05:13:02 AM EDT
I've had occasion to be critical of Harry Reid in the past.
But this from Matt seems to me to stray far from the facts:
The torture bill could have been stopped fairly easily by the Democratic Senate leadership, but they didn't care enough to stop it.
The technicalities here are vital, as I explained earlier
The choice that Reid made to agree to the UCA meant that, on the Specter amendment on habeas corpus (the bill's opponents' strongest card), Frist was challenged as hard as he could have been.
In the past, Frist's counting has not exactly been stellar - and it's as plain as a pikestaff that a vote in favor of the Specter amendment was the best hope of stymieing the bill.
If Reid had not gone this way, his only choice would have been to try to keep Frist from getting 60 votes on the Mexican fence bill - which would have been to piss away the chance of putting Frist on the spot.
There has been a whole slew of counterfactuality in the lefty sphere (not too much of it over here, thank God!) over the torture bill, which only goes to provide corroboration to the charge from those hostile to the influence of the sphere that it is essentially a bunch of amateurs with loud voices and small understanding.
I wonder how much of this ululation has been an attempt to distract attention from the fact that, if the sphere had been on the case a good deal earlier, it might conceivably have persuaded one or two Dem senators to switch votes on habeas corpus, and have thus inflicted a stinging blow against the GOP.
by skeptic06, Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:41:31 PM EDT
Since my piece yesterday, my little grey cells (such as they are) have been beavering away.
The following is, I believe, the thinking informing the rather strange antics of the Video Doctor (as described in yesterday's piece):
Once the text of a torture/detainee bill had been settled between the WH and Congressional GOP leaders, the imperative was to get it enacted this week.
by skeptic06, Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 02:39:56 PM EDT
There are some sports where, for a spectator, not knowing the rules is no impediment to the enjoyment of the game.
Beach volleyball is a prime example.
But, in most other sports - not so much.
Such are the sports played in the Capitol. There is no way to - enjoy isn't quite the word - the goings on there without an intimate understanding of the rules.
by Matt Stoller, Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 10:45:47 AM EDT
There are two debates going on, one internal and one in public. In public, the Democrats are rolling over, hence the anger at moral scolds like Obama. In private, it looks like the Democrats are not rolling over on this. They are furious about this compromise, which eviscerates Habeas Corpus. Here's video of Ike Skelton, the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee. Skelton is objecting to this bill, though a few days ago Skelton was saying "I will need to look at the final bill carefully, but elements of the compromise I have seen are promising." He's angry that the Democratic amendments were turned down.
The Senate is where this bill can be stopped. The key Senators to move are the Maine Republican Senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. If we can shift them, we can stop this bill from being passed.
461 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2523
Fax: (202) 224-2693
154 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5344
Toll Free: (800) 432-1599
Fax: (202) 224-1946
by skeptic06, Tue Sep 26, 2006 at 06:14:04 PM EDT
For all the brave words from the lefty sphere (the spasm of which seems to have abated), HR 3901 seems to be making its way to the Senate exit without being greatly impeded.
According to this piece (from 1837 ET today),
Democrats do not seem inclined to go all-out to block passage of the detainee bill, but they are negotiating with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on offering amendments to the bill.
That's typical of what I've read of the mood in the Senate on the bill.
And from the horse's mouth:
"We can't stop a vote on it this week," said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid Tuesday. He said a Senate vote to curtail debate on the detainee bill would take place Wednesday morning and he added, "we can't stop that."