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I have no inside information, nor do I have any familiarity with how the Brooks column is playing in Washington, but it struck me as win/win for Reid, as long as the offer was completely disingenuous. I think we are past the point where making dishonest promises would poison the atmosphere in the Senate, and in my opinion Senator Reid would be justified in offering this promise with no intention of following through, but as a way to make Frist befuddled.


I don't have any inside information either, but I do have this news article from Friday that reads exactly the opposite - Frist proposed that compromise and Reid rejected it.

I'm finding it somewhat odd that no mainstream bloggers have picked up on this - am I misreading the story or is Brooks such an incompetent sower of misinformation he can't even read his own paper?

Electoral Math

My tinfoil hat reading of the situation was that some non-Frist Senator who has presidential ambitions (probably either Allen or Brownback) would want to leak that Frist compromised in order to damage Frist.

But, no one realy knows.

I to am skeptical that Reid would ever take such a deal. It's possible that he made a deal and promised to "try" to corral enough Dem Senators to end the filibuster. Of course, he could always "try" and fail ...


My take on Reid, is that he was probably trying to feel out the contours that may be deemed acceptable, but without committing to anything, as would seem to be backed up by not having anything in writing. It would also be in Reid's interest, I would think, to go fishing for answers to what exactly Frist was willing to do without ever really intending to follow through.
Is this news playing out badly for Reid or for Frist (all my news comes from the Decembrist and a handful of firendly sites)? If so what where is the trouble coming from?


I finger Hagel as the leaker, myself. His comments on CBS were quite similar to Brooks' comments about the Senate regaining its prerogatives vis-a-vis the groups.

Michael J.W. Stickings

I'm sure that Reid is looking for a deal, but there's no way Democrats, who have been surprisingly united since the election, would go for a deal like the one Brooks describes. Right now, Democrats have all (or most) of the political momentum. Social security privatization is going nowhere, the Republicans looked extreme on the Schiavo case, and the silent majority of moderate Americans are recoiling from the moral absolutism that seems to have taken hold of the GOP mainstream (not least because the evangelical base is seeking compensation for Bush's victory). So why would they cave in on this? Answer: they wouldn't. And Brooks was, intentionally or not, spreading disinformation.

This shouldn't surprise us. I generally find Brooks to be one of the more thoughtful conservative pundits out there. To my liberal sensibilities, he's much more palatable than die-hard Red Staters or the loudmouths who pollute the conservative airwaves. What I think we forget, though, is that Brooks is a partisan Republican, not an independent. Consider this quote from a 2003 piece in The Weekly Standard:

When conservatives look at the newspapers, they see liberal columnists who pick out every tiny piece of evidence or pseudo-evidence of Republican vileness, and then dwell on it and obsess over it until they have lost all perspective and succumbed to fevers of incoherent rage." Oh, really? Is this just a "liberal" problem?

And consider this gem from yesterday's column:

"If you are leading one of the greatest democratic institutions in history, it's irresponsible to lead it into this bloody unknown if a deal on the table will give you much of what you want. As one senator who supports changing the filibuster rules says, 'Is this what you want on your obit?'"

Brooks's framing of the debate is astonishingly partisan. It's designed to make the Democrats look bad, no matter what. If they cave in, they lose. If they don't, they look like destroyers of "one of the greatest democratic institutions in history".

I've often given Brooks the benefit of the doubt, but this effort to discredit the Democrats is unpardonable.


Steady Eddie

Mark, you're still giving Brooks too much credit. "Chose not to" see through it? How about "was delighted to have the chance to advance" such a smear, and his own standing in the mighty Wurlitzer at the same time?


Right on, Steady Eddie, but where's Armando when we need him.

Ahmad Chalabi

Got oil?


The Heretik

Nice job. Added you to the blogroll. More on the fright that is Janice Brown here.


Come on ... connect the dots.

NYT comes out with a "Frist Offers Compromise on Judicial Posts" (thanks for the link Ryan) on April 29th. Brooks pens column published May 1st citing "reliable sources" that Reid wants to compromise.

Hmmm, think someone thought that first article didn't look so good, so they used Brooks to muddy the waters?


Erm...is it too much to ask you moonbats to substantiate, to counter with facts, your clain that Brooks is "lying" about this and that?

For example, If the future ratio of workers-to-retirees under SS is not approaching 2 to 1, then what is it, and what is the source for your number?

Bottom line: All I see is one empty assertion after another, passed off as withering riposte.

Unfortunately this is what passes for discourse and argumentation among Kossites.

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