With the Senate shut-down engineered by Harry Reid today, Senate Democrats have all but conceded their rout over the past five days. The indictment of Lewis Libby brought them only confused looks and scratched heads from America at large, and Rove had escaped. Then the president nominated an extraordinarily qualified jurist and rolled out a comprehensive strategy on avian flu preparedness. Oh, the economy grew by 3.8% GDP in the third (hurricane) quarter.
On top of it, Chuck Schumer’s outrageous attack on Judge Alito and the DNC’s scurrilous anti-Italian-American insinuation (so raw that even Chris Matthews could not swallow it) had opened the window into the Democratic destruction machine too wide. See Michael Barone’s analysis on why an attack on a grandson of Italy was stupid and then consider how that is playing in New Jersey and Virginia, where elections are looking for those statehouses in a week. Then Barbara Boxer attempted to make an argument against Alito on the nets, and the Gang of 14’s Lindsey Graham and Michael DeWine preemptively announced support for the constitutional option if Dems resurrected their extra-constitutional filibuster.
In the blink of an eye, all of last Thursday’s promise was gone and Dems were reeling, and Judicary Committee Democrats in particular are looking at another round of hearings where the nominee stands relative to his opponents as a teacher does her first graders.
So what did the Reid-led Democrats do? Panic, and pull the Rule 21 stunt, which does nothing except to telegraph to the country that the obstructionist Democrats of Tom Daschle’s era haven’t changed a bit. No social security reform, no exploration in ANWR despite gas prices, Democratic opposition in the House to new refineries, and now personal and repugnant attacks on the extraordinarily accomplished son of an Italian immigrant.
And complaints that Senate Republicans want to move too fast to hearings for Judge Alito.
The Dems don’t like to work, and they don’t like to debate, and they don’t like to win elections.