Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Pretty Much Sums It Up

From The Carpetbagger:

I don't want to belabor yesterday's closed session controversy, but there's one part of the Republicans' response that warrants follow-up.

As GOP senators rushed to microphones yesterday, most of them purple with rage, the buzz word was "unprecedented." Harry Reid was closing the Senate without having notified Republicans in advance, which as they explained it, is not the norm.

Republicans condemned the Democrats' maneuver, which marked the first time in more than 25 years that one party had insisted on a closed session without consulting the other party.

True? As far as I can tell, yes. Relevant? I can't see how. As Reid told reporters, "I'm sorry [Frist is] disappointed in my following Senate procedures. It was our way of getting to the bottom of something that was long overdue."

If I understand the point Republicans were trying to make, Reid did something unusual by calling for a closed session without telling his friends on the other side of the aisle first. As they tell it, this undermines trust, strains inter-party relations, and ignores certain traditions that Congress is supposed to respect.

It's more than a little amusing to hear congressional Republicans worrying about such niceties. Which party likes to hold open five-minute votes indefinitely until the get the results they want? Which party prevents the minority from offering amendments (.pdf) to legislation? Which party forbids the minority from participating in conference committees? Which party shuts down committee hearings went they start to become politically inconvenient? Which party decided that the Senate leader of one party could campaign against the Senate leader of the other party for the first time in American political history?

Republicans want to lecture Dems about decorum and polite floor tactics? Are they kidding?

Bill Frist likes to brag about his breaking Senate precedent in front of GOP crowds, so his complaints here are just whining. I would just add that the idea of Bill Frist ever becoming President become more laughable every day.