Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It's On.

The U.S. Senate prepared to go into closed session Tuesday after Democrats enacted a rare parliamentary rule forcing the shut down of the Senate so senators could speak in a classified session about the lead-up to the war in Iraq.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid demanded the chamber be closed so they could hold a secret session that they say was prompted by "misinformation and disinformation" given by President Bush and his administration prior to entry into the war in Iraq.

What an idiotic move by Reid. What he has effectively done is open the door for unilateral actions within the Senate. Did he have the right to do so? Absolutely. Will it come back to bite him in the ass? You betcha.

If Bush has been accused of bowing to his base in nominating Alito, will Reid also be called to task for such a partisan ploy meant to serve as a sop to the far-left and a prelude to the parliamentary tactics he might use in the Alito confirmation process? Unlikely.

What Reid has done is now made it a little easier for moderate Republicans, like Snowe, Collins, and Chafee, to oppose not only the Democrats' tactics but positions as well. Also, it seems pretty clear that Harry can't count to 51, because with the G.O.P. in control of the Senate, and Vice-President Cheney there to break ties, this is a battle he can't win.

The text of Rule 21:

1. On a motion made and seconded to close the doors of the Senate, on the discussion of any business which may, in the opinion of a Senator, require secrecy, the Presiding Officer shall direct the galleries to be cleared; and during the discussion of such motion the doors shall remain closed.

2. When the Senate meets in closed session, any applicable provisions of rules XXIX and XXXI, including the confidentiality of information shall apply to any information and to the conduct of any debate transacted.

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