Thursday, February 13, 2003

Much of the debate over Estrada has followed the same repetitive script on both sides. The Republicans make, time after time, every single point that is made in the White House's letter that Howard Bashman kindly posts here. (I.e., Estrada's qualifications are outstanding, he's waited far too long already, the Democrats are way out of line to be asking for work product from the Solicitor General's office, etc.). And the Democrats make, time after time, all the points that appear in a letter from the People for the American Way.

But occasionally, for whatever reason, a Senator attempts to say something original, and goes off the pre-scripted lines carefully prepared by his staffers. And because extemporaneous speaking is so difficult, that's when things really get interesting. Check out this "argument" from Senator Harry Reid's statement:
Mr. REID. Mr. President, my father-in-law, may he rest in peace, was a chiropractor, but he knew a lot about people's illnesses and how people handled sickness. One thing he always said--he died as a young man--one thing he always said was, when somebody says they are sick, you believe they are sick. We have all said ``they are not really sick.'' When someone says they are sick, they are sick.

This debate here reminds me of my father-in-law's statement. My friend, no matter how many times the distinguished chairman of the committee says there is not a problem with Estrada, there is a problem with Estrada. You can say there is not. You can have pictures of him. You can do all kinds of things, say all kinds of things that there is not a problem. There is a problem.

First of all, aren't there any chiropractic hypochondriacs?

Second of all, don't the indices of reliability go way down when it's not the patient himself claiming to be sick, but his mortal enemies claiming that he is sick in order to explain why they think he should be euthanized?

And this: "You can have pictures of him." Huh???


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