Tempest in a Teacup...
Another reason why people who run for office should be surgically sterilized before they enter politics. I give you the following article from the Washington Times:
Here's the really important stuff the American public needs to know about how Washington works:
1. the press has nothing else to do and very often creates a story where none exists. It's not as if there isn't a war going on in the Middle East or that a Pope hasn't recently died, and therefore, there isn't anything to report. No, our guardians of truth are so bored that they have to start a schoolyard fight between the political parties by asking if someone passed a memo to someone else. Gee, I'm sure two million memos and a bunch of diry pictures get passed between members of the Senate on a daily basis, and no one looks into them.
2. Democrats are still clueless. I love this quote:
"Those who would attempt to influence debate in the United States Senate should not hide behind anonymous pieces of paper," he said in his March 23 letter asking for the inquiry.
Those immortal words were uttered by Sen. Frank Lautenburg (Communist- New Jersey). Let's deconstruct that quote for a second, before we deconstruct the august Senator from the ToxicWaste State.
The people of the United States influence the debate in the United States Senate every day. They do so with pieces of paper, with phone calls, with money, and ultimately, with votes. That's one of the beauties of republican government: the electors, rather than the elected, get to influence the behavior of the elected. Democrats, of course, would like to see that work in reverse, but that's another essay. Second point, since the purpose of debate is, in fact, to influence others so that they see your point of view, I don't understand what the Senator is complaining about. That's what the Senate is supposed to be for --- a place where debate on important issues takes place, and where a consensus on what the right course of action is, is reached. Why the Senator has a problem with this is beyond me. It's his, and every other Senator's job.
If his objection is that the initial (if it even exists) memo came from a republican, then his argument gets even more lame by the minute. Contrary to popular democrat belief, republicans can read and write and make logical arguments.
If his objection is that someone dared to interject themselves into the business of the Senate by presenting a point of view that he does not agree with, then let's be fair. I wonder what the Senator would say if I told him that I don't want the affirmative action lobby, the gay rights lobby or the pro-abortion lobby to have their chance to circulate memos in the Senate either. Why do we only have to blackball the right-to-life lobby? Or do we only have to exclude lobies the Senator doesn't receive payola from?
Senator Lautenburg is one to talk about people using undue influence for dubious purposes; He owes his Senate seat to it since the loser the dems originally tapped for it was such a bad candidate, they had to sue to get Lautenburg on the ballot way after they had actually been printed, forcing a special Senate election in New Jersey. I wonder if there were mysterious memos circulating around then, Frank?
The good Senator then goes on to say, through his staff, that he never saw the memo, but they did lift a copy off the Internet. He never saw it, so what's his beef? Could it be that if said memo is still in circulation it might actually change someone's mind about the whole Schiavo case? To a democrat, independant thinking is a disease.
3. And if there was a memo floating around, and if it was given to a democrat or two, what's the big freakin' deal? Someone was trying to make his/her point with it, and I doubt rather much that the memo in question said "You must agree with me and believe everything in this memo or your family will die a gruesome death." If a mind or two was changed, no problem, the system of reasoned argument worked. If no one changed their vote because of it, what's so bad about that?
4. The article then intimates that the republicans spread the memo in order to pressure democrats to change a vote or vote in their favor, in order to avoid looking bad in the eyes of the public. Naw, would never happen -- I mean, the very notion of someone using an issue to make their political opponents look bad would never, EVER happen, right? Perhaps in this case, the democrats just didn't like the smell of fait accompli that accompanied this issue. Still, somehow the Senate voted 100-0 for the Schiavo bill, and I have grave reservations that a simple memo made that happen. More like a display of enlightened self-interest by 44 democratic senators who did not want to have their names associated with a no-win situation and took the easy way out. God forbid politics gets played by anyone in Washington, right?
5. There's a maturity problem in the hallowed halls of the Senate, and an even bigger one at the Washington Post. This whole thing smells of schoolboys, hopping up and down on one leg like they're bursting for a pee, pointing fingers in order to implicate their rivals in the eyes of the Headmaster. Grow up, all of you.