Senate Tuesday: good news, bad news

GOOD NEWS. Tomorrow, the Senate will engage in nine hours of floor debate over the potential confirmation of Condoleezza Rice for Secretary of State. The leader of the Democratic opposition will be Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Fire up the CSPAN!

BAD NEWS. The other leader of the Democratic opposition will be Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV).

Arg. By putting Byrd front and center, the Senate Democrats have set themselves up for a tangential and distracting post-debate debate in which the issue won't be whether Condi is worthy of the post. Nope. The post-debate debate in the right-wing media will be watered down into a battle over Senator Byrd's former KKK status and thus how the Democrats are racists for attacking Condi.

You simply don't feed material like this to the Republicans. Especially material that allows them to make our side seem like the racists. The right-wing talkers have been griping about this for nearly a week -- it's not like the Senate Dems haven't had some fair warning.