Slapped In The Face

Yesterday’s invocation of Senate Rule 21, while rare, is by no means unprecedented and certainly should not have freaked out the Republicans in the way it did. What Harry Reid was doing by invoking this rule was using a bit of stage craft to try, successfully I might add, to shift the debate back to the Libby indictment and the underlying story of the WMD deception used to get us into the Iraq war.

If you pay any attention to the news cycles you know that the White House was doing everything in it’s power to change the topic of national debate by immediately nominating Alito to the Supreme Court at 8 AM sharp Monday morning. They followed up this move with another doosy on Tuesday, marching Dubbya out to talk about the Federal governments newest initiative, pandemicflu.gov, a web portal with little to no substance supposedly geared to help all of us avoid the horror that “does not respect geographic or political borders.” Now I am not trying to downplay the significance of a possible pandemic but the timing of this speech and the White House’s official statement is certainly suspect, particularly because they really are saying/doing nothing new.

In my opinion this move by Reid was not only brilliant but also extremely necessary. Unlike the print media, the cable news channels have absolutely no capacity to do their own investigating or to determine what is or is not news. They simply follow the lead of spin machines like a pack of six years olds chasing a soccer ball. Reid realized that several key questions surrounding the Libby indictment were not being asked, most importantly what was the role of Vice President Cheney.

The National Journal late last week broke a story that by all logic should have lead every newscast but it was being completely ignored.

Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, overruling advice from some White House political staffers and lawyers, decided to withhold crucial documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004 when the panel was investigating the use of pre-war intelligence that erroneously concluded Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, according to Bush administration and congressional sources.

This story has everything to do with the Libby indictment and was exactly the kind of information that a real investigation like the one promised but never delivered upon by Senator Pat Roberts should have uncovered. Reid realized this and proved to all of us that he was not prepared to lay down and let the GOP pull another one over on the American public. I tell you this much, Bill Frist and all of his Republican counterparts should not have “felt slapped in the face” they should have been LITERALLY slapped in the face for doing absolutely nothing for the American public they claim to serve.

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