If you held an election, and one faction threatened the other with death for daring to vote at all, and this had the effect of suppressing the turnout of the threatened group to the point where, in at least one major province, only 8 percent of its voters got to the polls, would the election be valid?
Late this afternoon, the Senate passed a stimulus bill that adds tax rebates for 20 million elderly people excluded from the House version, as well as 250,000 handicapped veterans. Senate Democrats failed by one vote to get a stronger bill, with extended unemployment benefits, more money for food stamps, and emergency energy assistance for the poor.
Basically, the Democrats played a potentially strong hand badly. They began with a package too small and too feeble, so when it came time to split the differences with the Republicans they were vulnerable to the usual salami tactics. See my full analysis here.
Speaking in a high school gym in Virginia, Hillary Clinton asks an audience of students, folks who work nearby, and yes, a whole lot of women, if they're ready for change. (They are.) She follows up with a good seven or nine sentences about the kind of America that's possible.
"I offer a very different vision about what we can be in America," she concludes. "I think we can be whatever we set our minds to be."
If imitation is the best form of flattery, somewhere Barack Obama is blushing.