Interesting perspective on motivation for invoking Rule 21, especially at this stage in the political game .
The purpose of the closed-door session was to berate the Republicans for failure to come up with evidence that Bush lied to get us into Iraq. I’m making them sound like spoiled children, but we must be honest about this. If the Democrats had real evidence that had to be discussed in secrecy, they could have done that in a closed meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee, a group that routinely operates with the cameras off.
Closing the whole Senate without prior warning is a publicity stunt. Perhaps they are hoping that the public will be outraged and will demand a more thorough investigation. On the other hand, Dick Durbin says they are going to do this every day until tRepublicans “face the reality”. That seems to imply this is a way to keep the Senate inoperative until the Republicans send Karl Rove to jail.
I know how you think, and you’re thinking that this is a trumped-up publicity stunt and the whole Bush-lied routine is a mass of falsehoods and distortions the Democrats are using to cover up the fact they have no meaningful proposals for defeating terrorism or improving the economy. This may be true, but it really doesn’t matter. You have to look at the problem not in terms of right and wrong, but in terms of what the Democrats are trying to accomplish.
Like the Filibuster, the Closed Session is a technique Democrats can use to force the Republicans into a corner without a majority vote. There is nothing wrong with this normally, but right now we have a judge to confirm. Therefore, we need a plan for getting Judge Alito an up-or-down vote.
This maneuver by Reid certainly did blow the Alito nomination discussion off the table and promises to significantly delay the process, as well as any other issues that will need the Senate’s attention.
Here’s my proposal: the Justice Department offers to indict Karl Rove for obstruction of justice in exchange for an up-or-down vote on Alito. After the indictment is thrown out for lack of evidence, the Democrats can go back to disrupting the Senate.
Sure does appear as if there won’t be much progress made in getting both sides focused on providing leadership and effective resource management until the Democrats see a sacrificial offering being made.
Timing is everything and this move, at this time, screams of political opportunism and grandstanding.