October 3, 2002
DUMB & DUMBER (via Ed Driscoll):Bush cuts deal by leaving Daschle out (Dave Boyer, 10/3/2002, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)
The White House engaged in a divide-and-conquer strategy with congressional Democrats that isolated Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and won support for a resolution authorizing military force against Iraq.
The plan resulted in President Bush being surrounded in the Rose Garden yesterday by prominent Democrats who pledged support for the resolution. Mr. Daschle, meanwhile, was left to issue a one-page statement at the Capitol saying he expected the Senate to give Mr. Bush his way. [...]
Senate sources close to the negotiations say the political power play unfolded three days ago, when administration officials were to meet on the resolution with the chiefs of staff of Mr. Daschle, South Dakota Democrat; Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican; House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican; and House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, Missouri Democrat.
The White House canceled that meeting because administration officials were not sure of the position of Mr. Daschle, who said last week that Mr. Bush was politicizing national security and the war on terrorism. Instead, congressional sources said, the White House began negotiating directly with Mr. Gephardt.
At the same time, Mr. Lott and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, were sounding out Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, about co-sponsoring the White House resolution in the Senate.
There's a great scene in The Princess Bride, where Vizzini (Wallace Shawn) keeps saying that it's "inconceivable" that anyone can be following his little band of kidnappers. Finally, when it becomes obvious they are indeed being followed, yet Vizzini once more terms it "inconceivable", Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) says: "I don't think that word means what you think it means."
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 3, 2002 10:35 AM