Friday, January 27, 2006

JPod's question

Before heading out to lunch today, I caught this question from John Podhoretz in the Corner:
Harry Reid says a filibuster against Samuel Alito can't succeed but that he'll support it anyway. This is peculiar. One of the classic rules in Washington politics is that it weakens a party and its leadership to go down to defeat on a high-profile vote. Traditionally, parties and their leaders seek to minimize conflict and reduce friction when the endgame isn't going their way so that they can limit the perception that they are losers. Either we are living in a new time with entirely new rules -- in which it's better to lose big because it looks like you're standing on principle and can raise money that way -- or Reid and those few quixotic Democrats who want to filibuster have completely lost their political bearings and no longer know what is best for them or their party. I honestly don't know which. Anybody have any theories?
Hmmm. Interesting question. So I grabbed my IPod (mini) and headed out to lunch. I grabbed a slice and a stomboli and chowed down as the Ramones and Nirvana blared on my shuffle play. Then I went out and tried to hit the ATM, but the machine wasn't taking cards for some reason, so I just went straight to the cigar store to see if they had any electric hygrometers. No such luck, but I did purchase a El Rico Habana (maduro), and had the kindly clerk light it up. So I walked from DuPont to Georgetown enjoying the very heavy cigar. My IPod shuffled from Sinatra to Korn to Radiohead as I walked through the "back roads" of Georgetown. There are some really nice townhomes in the 20's around O and P Streets that I had never seen before. It was really an enjoyable walk as the weathermen got the forecast waaay wrong. It was quite sunny and warm today - I'm glad I did not take my down winter coat. The Ipod shuffled to Sponge, and I mused over the rather disturbing lyric "I'm wasted and I'm naked." No wonder they never had another big album. Finally I took an extra lap around the block as I approached the office because I was not quite done with the cigar, and I also wanted to let the last song play out. It was "Hell Awaits" by Slayer, a rather ominous song to hear before going back to work.

Fortunately no hell awaited me at the office. Just an afternoon of looking at the trade press as well as the Economist - hey, you never know if they might have an article on energy policy. I did come accross as article that repeal had e-mailed to me on the impending Catholic majority of the Supreme Court. They also had a piece on the encyclical which happened to be less obtuse than some of the major media reports I had seen, such as this one from the New York Times, featuring the idiotic title "Benedict's First Encyclical Shuns Strictures of Orthodoxy" - an odd choice considering the encyclical was nothing but pure orthodoxy, but I guess if the Pope isn't writing about abortion or euthansia it must not be orthodox. Unreal.

And then I mulled over that question from JPod, and this is what I think . . .I don't fucking know. It's Harry Reid. Who can figure this guy out? We're not exactly talking about someone who is going to go down in Senate history alongside Webster, Clay and Calhoun. The guy probably wakes up every day and says, "Man, do I really have to keep being the minority leader? I can't do this job. I don't know anything about politics. This sucks. I wish I could have been a baseball player. Oh hell, where are my pants?" Or something like that.

Let 'em go down in flames. It will give me something to light my cigar with.


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