Credit Due

When the only thing to be grateful for is small blessings, it only makes sense to be grateful in spite of that. Funny how far civic affairs have deteriorated, isn’t it?

The House was quiet as a mouse the day after Christmas. But across the Capitol, the Senate was operating in an unusually efficient manner in its ongoing power struggle with President Bush.

A nine-second session gaveled in and out by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., prevented Bush from appointing as an assistant attorney general a nominee roundly rejected by majority Democrats. Without the pro forma session, the Senate would be technically adjourned, allowing the president to install officials without Senate confirmation.

The business of blocking Bush’s recess appointments was serious. It represents an institutional standoff between Congress and the president that could repeat itself during Congress’ vacations for the remainder of Bush’s presidency.

Really, the untold story here is that we don’t know, and now need not discover, just to what extent GWB would have deteriorated conditions had this funky, but eminently reasonable course of action been overlooked.

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