Friday, July 25, 2008

One Year Ago...

Last July was a busy month.

Senate Democrats threatened Republicans with all-night sessions:
Forcing his Republican colleagues to put up or shut up on the notion of an up-or-down vote, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) just moments ago announced that he will immediately file a cloture motion on the Reed-Levin troop redeployment bill and, if Republicans follow through with a filibuster, will place the Senate in a prolonged all-night session Tuesday to force a true continuation of debate.
Boy, that worked out well. Almost as well as when Reid put the Senate into a closed-door session to demand that the Senate Intel Committee follow through on its promise to fully investigate pre-war intel failures. One surge and a couple of Petraeus sessions later, I think the tires are still spinning in the mud on that one. (Perhaps one of the main reasons why it's getting harder and harder to maintain even a small level of emotional investment in the sort of entertainment Congress provides is because it's getting harder and harder to convince yourself that the hero is any better than the villain.)

Hot off her thrilling 2005 performance in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Harriet Miers spent her July of 2007 literally telling Congress to go screw themselves. One year later, House Democrats are still calling for her to appear in front of a congressional committee. They should consider all-night sessions. Those things work every time.

JK Rowling's last Harry Potter book came out last July.

The NBA reffing scandal broke during July of 2007.

Last July, the Washington Post reported that Alberto Gonzalez lied to Congress. At least he had the decency to show up. We should be thankful for that.

Arlen Specter spent last July going from this:
Today, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) noted that under Bush’s broad claim of executive privilege, “the president’s word stands and the constitutional authority and responsibility for congressional oversight is gone.”

He added that one alternative he has been “exploring” is the appointment of a special prosecutor. “The attorney general has the authority to appoint a special prosecutor,” said Specter.

To this:
Mr. Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, wandered back into the press cabin as the plane sat on the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base before the president arrived from the White House.

According to a pool report of the encounter, Mr. Specter expressed anew his criticism of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales but said he saw no signs that Mr. Gonzales would be forced to resign. Mr. Specter attributed Mr. Gonzales’s job security to Mr. Bush’s “personal loyalty” to him.

Mr. Specter spoke derisively of Mr. Gonzales’s appearance Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he faced accusations that he misled Congress last year when he said there had been no disagreement within the administration over the National Security Administration’s domestic surveillance program.

To this:
Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, the top GOP member of the Judiciary Committee and a Gonzales critic, said he disagreed with the call for a special prosecutor.

"Sen. Schumer's not interested in looking at the record, he's interested in throwing down the gauntlet and making a story in tomorrow's newspapers," Specter said.

Bush and Specter met aboard Air Force One on Thursday as the president headed to Philadelphia for a speech. The White House and Specter declined to provide details on the discussion.

That's a busy 4 days (July 24th-27th).

What else do you remember from one year ago?

Looking back at last July's news, the thing that strikes me the most is how the entire 2008 Democratic electoral platform has been encased in amber for quite a while now. While I get the idea that you can't build an electoral strategy on the shifting sands of Iraq, I also get that it's morally bankrupt to build an electoral strategy on a false promise of withdrawal while people are dying. It's been a long, long time since Jack Murtha first made his call for an organized withdrawal (November of 2005 in case you are wondering). In the mean time, Democrats have managed to gain control of Congress while doing very little to stop their biggest electoral cash cow: Bush's War.

They now find themselves in a position where they may win the White House with a President that is on record as calling for more troops to be sent to the first of our two wars...which just happens to be in a country that is larger and more populous than Iraq (as well as having a population with experience fighting against super powers).

It's pretty easy to find yourself in places like this when you can hardly remember what happened only a year ago. How much unfinished business can pass under the bridge before it breaks the dam?

I fully expect that the 2010 election season will be filled to the brim with lovely Democratic talking points about what it will take to win in Iraq and/or Afghanistan and why they should be trusted with 2 more years of leading us all to victory.

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