July 20, 2007


Senate erases Libby vote (Ken Strickland, 7/20/07, NBC: First Read)

Last night, the US Senate erased a page of history -- literally. The body agreed to permanently remove from the constitutionally mandated Congressional Record a vote they'd taken earlier in the evening on a measure saying the president should not pardon Scooter Libby. The vote failed 47-49, but any reference to the vote itself was expunged as though it never happened.

The Senate was in the process of finishing up an education bill, when various Republican senators called for votes on measures having nothing to do with education, like Gitmo and the Fairness Doctrine. After apparently getting annoyed, Democrats countered with the Libby amendment. "If you are going to shoot this way, we have to shoot that way," said Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) on the floor.

Republicans were besides themselves. "Until this last amendment, I haven't seen politically inspired amendments before this body," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said in opposition. There was so much audible grumbling from senators in reaction (and disbelief), that Kyl had to pause for it to subside. After the Libby vote failed, Republicans struck back hard, offering a amendment condemning about a dozen previous pardons by President Clinton. As one GOP aide put it, "we brought our gun to the knife fight." But cooler heads prevailed when both party leaders decided not to have the Clinton vote, and the Majority Leader Harry Reid simply asked that the Libby vote "be vitiated and stricken from the record."

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 20, 2007 1:01 PM

Vitiate So that's what lawyers call shoving something deep down the Memory Hole.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 20, 2007 2:39 PM

While this may be the first time a recorded vote was stricken from the 'record', there have been many times when Senatorial speeches have been dumped from the Congressional Record. I'll bet Kerry wishes his searing memory fantasy could have gone down the black hole - but he surely wanted it heard far and wide in 1986.

Posted by: ratbert at July 20, 2007 5:56 PM

Yeah, he unvitiated it.

Posted by: Mike Beversluis at July 20, 2007 10:33 PM
« FETCH REWRITE... (via Brian Boys): | Main | FINAL COUNTDOWN: »