Did I miss anything? Oh, Right

I went to a funeral yesterday and then to a dentist's appointment and I was away from my computer most of the day. So, naturally, Washington decided yesterday to go completely berserk. If someone can explain the logic to me in yesterday's political whirlwind I would be forever grateful. Right now, from where I sit, it makes absolutely no sense at all.

There is widely popular support for the Pledge of Allegience even though it is arguable that the words "under God" in the hymn violate the Establishment Clause. So the House of Representatives naturally decides overwhelmingly to try to take the issue away from the Supreme Court with a "jurisdiction-stripping" bill that ought to chill the spine of every supporter of the Bill of Rights. The legislation, which may or may not pass in the Senate, would preclude judicial review by federal courts asked to look at the constitutionality of the Pledge. Of course, if it were perfectly clear that the words do not violate the first amendment, there would be no need to change the rules to block judicial review, right? Right.

But there is also widely popular support for ending the federal ban on funding for certain kinds of stem cell research. So what happens? The President naturally vetoes the effort and Congress cannot muster up the two-thirds majority necessary to override the veto. Some majorities are enough to sway the party in power. Others? Not so much. If anyone can explain that to me, I'm all ears. In the meantime, my head is spinning and it's not just from the novocaine I got at the dentist's office.

By Andrew Cohen |  July 20, 2006; 9:30 AM ET
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