DELINEATING DISSENT….Andrew Sullivan is right to point with dismay to the final paragraph of Fred Barnes’s recent diatribe in the Weekly Standard:
Senate Democrats have enough votes to block major Bush initiatives like Social Security reform and to reject Bush appointees, including Supreme Court nominees. They may be suicidal, but they could undermine the president’s entire second term agenda. At his news conference last week, Bush reacted calmly to their vitriolic attacks, suggesting only a few Democrats are involved. Stronger countermeasures will be needed, including an unequivocal White House response to obstructionism, curbs on filibusters, and a clear delineation of what’s permissible and what’s out of bounds in dissent on Iraq.
Say what? The White House should tell us what kind of dissent on Iraq is permissible and what isn’t? Is that really how these guys think?
As for curbs on filibusters, it’s worth noting that Barnes is skating very lightly indeed over the story of why Democrats have been forced to filibuster a few of Bush’s judicial nominees. I explain in more detail in the Washington Post today.