Thursday, February 03, 2005

Sitting on fence, hands

Dana Priest provides a brilliant piece of reporting on the political theatrics of the State of the Union address, reading the physical behavior of the audience for clues to the political challenges facing Bush as he tries to psuh through his reactionary agenda. Money:
When Bush told the crowd that personal Social Security accounts are the best way to improve the retirement system, most Republican lawmakers leapt to their feet. But a small band of moderates -- including Sens. Olympia J. Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine), George V. Voinovich (Ohio) and Mike DeWine (Ohio) -- were slow to join the applause. As others felt the pressure to come to their feet, Snowe, who has said she would 'certainly not' support Bush's proposal, remained seated without applauding. She smiled uncomfortably and re-crossed her legs.
Along with Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania), these four senators form the core of what Josh Marshall refers to as the "conscience caucus" of the Republican Party.

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