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Come on Down, Plenty of Good Seats Available

OK, let me get this straight. Democratic senators get an opportunity to trash President Bush on live TV... and almost nobody shows up? Come on kids. I was hoping for a rockin' sold-out show at today's Senate hearing to censure the president on domestic wiretapping. But I counted at least nine empty chairs around the table. The only Democrats willing to show their faces were Sen. Russ Feingold, who sponsored the censure resolution, and Sen. Patrick Leahy. Over at Daily Kos there's a hilarious thread as bloggers call up Sens. Kennedy, Schumer, Biden and Feinstein to ask, "Where the hell are you?"

After this mighty display of disinterest, President Bush shouldn't be too worried. In fact, the only really mean things said were about Richard Nixon. In a bizarre flashback to Watergate, former Nixon aide John Dean showed up to say how domestic spying is worse than anything his former boss did.

Dean said, "I think I have probably more experience first hand than anybody might want in what can go wrong, and how a president can get on the other side of the law."

Then Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham decides that he's going to open his own can of whup-ass on Nixon and starts to debate Dean about what Nixon knew and when he knew it.

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The New Yorker predicted this Democratic desertion earlier this month.

I know that most of politics is theater, but you hope that actors will at least bother showing up.