The Note: Touching a Nerve

WASHINGTON, Mar. 15

Everyone in the Gang of 500 knows why the Establishment Media is covering Sen. Feingold's censure resolution as if Democrats are rallying around it and Republicans are cowering in fear.

Only a subset of the Gang knows that the most important piece in any newspaper today is the Wall Street Journal's must-read "bring it on" editorial LINK, and that the most important quote in any newspaper today is from the anti-censure Barney Frank, who says "This is an understandable response from people who are very angry. But why do we want to energize George Bush's people?" Everyone in the Gang of 500 knows that the Bush political operation reads polls.

Only a subset of the Gang knows that the pro-domestic surveillance talking point (picked up by the Journal) that the program is ok because there is "public opinion in support" is a ticking boomerang of a time bomb.

Everyone in the Gang of 500 knows that Senator Coleman (R-Minnesota-by-way-of-Brooklyn) speaks for the full Gang when he calls for White House staff changes. LINK

Only a subset of the Gang knows that after some random CNN report yesterday, all other activities of the White House staff and of some Gang members came to a halt as discussions of Gergenesque layering with a former Senator TBD raced like wildfire through phone lines and Treos.

Everyone in the Gang of 500 knows that the move of super-talented Mark Leibovich from the Washington Post to the New York Times represents the biggest development in the 2008 presidential race to date. LINK and LINK

Only a subset of the Gang knows which potential presidential candidates truly understand why this is so.

Everyone in the Gang of 500 knows why it matters that Ben Bradlee told Vanity Fair what everyone in the Gang of 500 already "knew" -- that Dick Armitage was Woodward's (and Novak's) source on Plame.

Only a subset of the Gang knows why Bradlee told Vanity Fair and how Woodward (and Armitage) feel about this development.

And everyone in the Gang of 500 knows that -- Robert Pear's CW notwithstanding -- the White House intends for the prescription drug benefit to be a political net plus on Election Day, 2006, which is why President Bush makes 1:45 pm ET remarks about the program at Riderwood Village in Silver Spring, MD.

Three hours and fifteen minutes earlier, the AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka and Rep. Ben Cardin (D-MD) will denounce the President's program at the nearby National Labor College.

Meanwhile, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel, and Rep. Tim Ryan unveil a countdown calendar to the May 15 enrollment deadline at an 11:15 am ET press conference in H-203 on Capitol Hill.

Democrats will urge seniors to enroll in the Medicare prescription drug program by the May 15 deadline (as they also call for an extension of the deadline and for revising the program altogether -- complex messaging, that) to avoid higher monthly premiums, or what they are calling the "Bush prescription drug tax."

Expect few references to the "Medicare prescription drug program" and many references to the "Republican prescription drug program" or "Bush's Medicare drug plan."

The President also participates in a celebration of "Hungarian contributions to democracy" at 5:35 pm ET in the US Capitol.

Karl Rove makes closed press remarks to the NRCC's "Businessman of the Year Luncheon and Award Ceremony" in Washington, DC.

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