The partisan fight over Karl Rove exploded onto the Senate floor yesterday, with Democrats trying to strip him of his security clearance and Republicans retaliating by trying to strip the chamber’s two top Democrats of theirs.
The moves, which came as amendments to a spending bill, both failed, but not before each side blamed the other for “juvenile” behavior and for poisoning a well of good feelings they said had existed in the past few weeks.
As Captain Ed notes, “At least 20 Republicans had the good sense to oppose the latter measure. The Democrats’ amendment failed on a strictly partisan vote. The competing measures not only make the entire chamber look like a gaggle of childish and petulant fools..” The rest of his analysis is more pointedly anti-Democrat, and you can read on your own.
Ed, however, does miss one thing about the Republican measure, if David Sirota is to be believed:
The amendment is clearly targeted at Senator Dick Durbin’s (D) controversial comments about Guantanamo Bay, in which he cited FBI files. But what’s funny is that, according to one top Democrat’s office, the amendment also strips Orin Hatch of his security clearance because he has in the past referenced judicial nominees’ FBI files.
In fact, every Senator who participated in an Armed Services Committee hearing on Gitmo yesterday might lose their clearance because the FBI agents comments were discussed. Those Republicans who participated in that hearing were Sens. John Warner (R-VA), John McCain (R-AZ), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), and John Cornyn (R-TX). Will they vote to strip themselves of their own security clearance.
Sirota then goes on to provide the same sort of pointed analysis that Ed provided, but in his version, it is the Republicans who are ‘juvenile.’
I can offer you a no more telling portrait of the current state of politics in DC than these two versions of the same event.