Down for the Count?

A defeat on the crime bill shakes Clinton. Could gridlock return to a Congress dominated by Democrats?

One day after the House voted to block the omnibus crime bill from coming to the floor, Senator Phil Gramm was only too happy to boil down the larger meaning. "Winning is a habit," said the Texas Republican, who relishes Bill Clinton's weaknesses the way Hannibal Lecter liked a nice Chianti. "And so is losing." You don't have to tell that to the Democratic leadership, which was a trauma unit after the 225-to-210 defeat, in which 58 House Democrats jumped ship. Or to the White House officials who use terms like "devastating" to describe their loss on a measure that was...

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