The Freshmen vs. the Varsity

War on the Floor: Senators spar over tradition, and with one another, in a largely generational row over the filibuster

The U.S. Senate is a chamber split in two--two parties, two ideologies and, at times last week, two different centuries. There was majority leader Bill Frist accusing the Democrats of trying "to kill, to defeat, to assassinate" President Bush's judicial nominees, and Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania comparing the Democrats' audacity to Hitler's--a charge so harsh he later had to apologize. To show what he thought of Frist, New Jersey's Frank Lautenberg carted in a poster of actor Ian McDiarmid playing the diabolical Supreme Chancellor Palpatine of Star Wars: Episode III--Revenge of the Sith. "In a far-off universe, in this film,...

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