Still, theadvantage had to go to the Republicans. They wanted two things out of last weekand they got them. First, an agreement that three more witnesses could be called.While the witnesses were only supposed to be able to testify on videotape, Republicanswangled it so they could excerpt the tape for use in their final arguments.So if Monica were to burst into tears and accuse the President of being a hypocriticalbrute, or if Sidney Blumenthal were to say two irreconcilable things, we'dall get to hear it. As Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith noted, what Republicans hadbeen offering the public was "sex, lies but no videotape." Videotapechanges everything. What fills me with the most glee is that having Monica talkagain should send the audience appeal of Barbara Walters' scheduled interviewplummeting.
In a pressbriefing last Thursday that must have had Democrats all over Washington yelling,"Shaddap! Shaddap!" presidential press spokesman Joe Lockhart woundup doing all sorts of damage. Lockhart had been protesting that, if Republicanspersisted in their partisanship, the White House might demand to call more witnesses."And we're not bluffing!" One thing about an impeachment, obviously,is that the Senate, not the White House, makes up the rules. And one thing aboutthis impeachment is that the White House is the side that does notwant witnesses. So badly do the Dems not want witnesses that they succeededin ensuring that the testimony of the three they got stuck with will be closedto the public (again, barring any later video release). This, after demandingthat the jury deliberations?traditionally the most private part of anytrial?be open to the public. So Lockhart was threatening to bendthe rules in order to harm his own side.