Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Note on the Frist v. Reid hullabaloo

Yes, I am ecstatic that I got to use "hullabaloo" in a headline.

I don't know who won, though a cursory glance through the blogosphere shows both sides smiling. The Note is not sure either:

Looking at the coverage, we have no clue who won yesterday. And we have no clue what happens next. We know the White House can't be happy about the Frist-Reid breakdown. And we know that at least the Democratic base seems pretty happy about it.

Beyond that — we don't know much of anything.

Check out the parallel universe recaps of two key players:

Says a Republican leadership aide, when asked if Frist and Reid had talked about all this:

"I don't know if they've spoken — I think not — except for on the floor during the closed session&. We're agreeing to do what we're already doing — but Democrats needed to spin a victory. . . . The comity in the Senate is severely strained — because of these stunts. It also blows a hole through their argument about the nuclear option and comity/traditions of the Senate. If/when they are in the majority in the future all of this will come back to haunt them. Also lots of people wondering about the Democrat leadership control of their caucus…. Did they need to change the subject because they can't decide what to do on Alito? Are they ever going to move past base politics?"

A Democratic aide says:

"Frist can't take a punch. Republicans prove [they have a] glass jaw. Republicans cave quickly and agree to time certain for long-awaited intelligence investigation. No one knows Senate rules better than Reid. Frist not honest when he says he and Reid hadn't discussed phase 2 of promised investigation. [There's a] paper trail today documenting repeated requests and in-person meetings. They stiff-armed us. Dr. Frist and Senator Reid spoke on floor since, but not at length. That'll come today."

The reason why I lead today's morning post with the ledes from major dailies was to see how this would be shaped in the MSM. Based on my viewing of CNN and those dailies, it seems that this Rule 21 stunt is tilting left. That could change, of course.


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