Did Frist Just Blow Up Rove's Plans - Or Signal Retreat?
As I noted in the piece below, Congress has made a mess of the domestic surveillance issue. But it’s hard to see at this moment how the White House will run against Democrats this fall as being obstructionist and weak on terrorists when the Senate Majority Leader threatens his own caucus members with a filibuster for being too weak on terrorists in their detainee bill, and then he himself buries any chance of the domestic surveillance issue being resolved by the midterms by sending the Specter bill to purgatory.
In his usual efforts to leave no space between him and Bush’s butt cheeks, Bill Frist has just tried to force John McCain, John Warner, and Lindsey Graham back into White House lockstep without having the leverage to do so. Frist is undermining any hope Rove had of pinning the failures upon Democrats, and now he is highlighting the dissensions within the GOP’s own caucus on the competing domestic surveillance bills by making it nearly impossible for Congress to tackle either issue with due diligence between now and the midterms.
Perhaps that is by design, as it may very well be that Frist and Rove have decided to push these bills off the table until the lame duck session after the election before a new Congress is seated that may be more opposed to an Executive Branch smashing of the Constitution. But it does mean that Rove has no Democrats to blame for the mess, and Reid can now ask “what the hell did the GOP congress really accomplish these last two years?”
Heckuva job, lil’ Billy.