Ready To Mix It Up

By the end of last year, dispirited Democrats in the Senate "were ready to drink hemlock," as a top aide put it. Republicans had given President Bush a major boost by passing his Medicare-reform and prescription-drug bill. Minority leader Tom Daschle was under fire for caving in to the hardball parliamentary tactics used by the Republicans to steamroller Democratic objections.

But Bush's slipping poll numbers, combined with large turnouts of angry Democratic voters in the presidential primaries, seem to have emboldened and united the Senate Democrats. In a private meeting with Senators on Jan. 20, Daschle warned it was time...

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