it was great to take part in the blog event yesterday in the Senate (see below). It’s not every day you get to visit with and ask questions of a bunch of US Senators. Might’ve even been a few Presidential candidates in there, too, who knows? In any event, we were joined by Sens. Allen (Va), Thune (SD), Chambliss(GA), Thomas (WY), Allard (CO) and Brownback (KS) and the big cheese himself, Senate Majority Leader Frist (TN).
It was clear that the war in Iraq was foremost on everyone’s minds, given the events of the week. They all decried the efforts to mandate a firm pullout date, seeing it as playing into the hands of Al Qaeda. Almost all made that point. Closer to home, on domestic issues, they all were hammering on energy (it’s great that this is clearly on everyone’s screens, thanks to the efforts of manufacturers and blog readers, among others) and fiscal and spending issues. We were also encouraged by Sen. Frist’s affirmation of his statements from Wednesday that asbestos legislation will be first up in 2006. There were lots of comments on Judge Alito as well. They’ve all met him and seem pretty favorably impressed. And, to a person, they all emphasized that his role is to interpret the law, not to inject his own opinion about what the law should be into the Court’s deliberations.
On an issue like the Congo, this was an opportunity for Sen. Brownback to talk about something that eludes most people and to put the crisis there in stark terms, when he said that every four months as many people die in the Congo as were killed in the tsunami. The beauty of blogging (some may say the curse ) is that there is no filter. You get it streaming, just the way we heard it. You can judge for yourselves from there, form your own opinions.
All in all, it was a well-run event, where each Senator stopped by for about 15 minutes and gave a brief opening statement then took questions from the assembled bloggers. We hope you enjoyed it, we expect there will be more opportunities like this and we celebrate democracy, where common bloggers can thrust and parry with Senators and leave it all out there for you to see.
Mary Katherine Ham, Hugh Hewitt
William Beutler, Hotline
Justin Hart, Right Side Redux
Bill McCarthy, Defend Democracy
Orin Kerr, Volokh Conspiracy
TigerHawk, TigerHawk Blog
Tim Chapman, Townhall.com Capitol Report
Gerard Vanderleun, American Digest
Ed Driscoll, Open Source Media
Flip Pidot, Suitably Flip
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