In Brian's post today he talked about the White House State of the Union briefing, and mentioned that Democrats held one of their own today. I attended that briefing -- and make no mistake about it: the Democratic leaders in Congress don't like ANYTHING about this President. They've relentlessly pounded him all week, in advance of his big speech tonight -- they call it the "pre-buttal."
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and House Leader Nancy Pelosi didn't let up at all today, painting a picture of a Republican Party, led by President Bush, completely mired in cronyism and corruption (the Abramoff scandal), a party that answers only to corporate lobbyists and favors policies that benefit only the super-rich. Not only that, Democrats argue, but Republicans are solely responsible for the bitter, partisan tone of Washington debate.
Some reporters in the room questioned that assertion -- after all, the Republicans contend it's the Democrats who already poisoned this session of Congress by lambasting the President's speech days before he uttered a word. The back and forth over who set the bitter tone reminds me a bit of a mother breaking up a fight among children only to be treated to a chorus of, "He started it!!" Now, I'm not comparing Congress to children. But let's just say it's going to be a long, bitter and noisy election year. Get your earplugs out.