(8th post in a series on the House GOP's attempt to legalize "Extraordinary Rendition". Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.)
I noted in my last post that if Congressman Markey's amendment fails, and the language legalizing extraordinary rendition make into the final version of the 9/11 Commission bill, Congressional Democrats will face a similar dilemma to the one they faced over the Homeland Security Department bill in 2002. It occurred to me that this might be a deliberate strategy on DeLay's and Hastert's part.
In this AP story, such raving conspiracy theorists as Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, and Republicans Susan Collins and Christopher Shays, suggest that's exactly what's happening:
"There is anxiety -- you will not be surprised to hear -- among some of my Democratic colleagues in Congress, based on the 2002 experience with the Department of Homeland Security, that this will happen again," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn....
"There is no confusion about the timing of this bill," said House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland. Republican leaders expect "Democrats to either vote for it or to be attacked about being against protecting the American people if they vote against it."
Even some Republicans are worried that some of the political maneuvering could doom bills addressing the Sept. 11 commission's report. "I have concerns that some on my side of the aisle want there to be some poison pills," said Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn.
"If we can't put partisan politics and presidential campaigning aside when we're trying to strengthen our nation's ability to deter and respond to a terrorism attack, we might as well go home," added Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. "This is just too important to allow partisan politics to interfere with the progress of this bill." ....
Democrats say the GOP is hoping the same thing will happen with the Sept. 11 recommendations if they put in provisions that Democrats don't like. "One House member even referred to having Democrats over a barrel in a description of this strategy," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Tom DeLay innocently bats his eyelashes and said it would never occur to him to do such a thing. Dennis Hastert's spokesman is less cautious:
"The Democrats got spanked hard on homeland security," said John Feehery, spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. "I don't think they want to get spanked again."
I'll leave the commentary to others. I couldn't possibly convey what I think about this.