Entangling alliances

The man running a "national coalition" pushing the nuclear option is the former aide to Bill Frist who resigned after accessing Democratic strategy memos on Bush's judges.

Published May 5, 2005 11:17AM (EDT)

Yesterday, when we mentioned Manual Miranda, the chairman of the National Coalition to End the Judicial Filibuster, we knew he sounded a little familiar -- and not just because he shares a surname with the defendant in the landmark Fifth Amendment case the right would like to reverse.

Our email inbox quickly reminded us of where we'd heard of this Miranda before. Before Manual Miranda was the head of a group encouraging Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to invoke the nuclear option, he was an aide to . . . Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. And before Manual Miranda was an aide to Bill Frist, he worked as a staffer for Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he used a shared computer network to access Democratic strategy memos on . . . George W. Bush's judicial nominees. In what was known as Memogate before CBS ever showed any documents about Bush's National Guard service, some of the Democratic memos were leaked to the press, Democrats and Republicans alike condemned those who accessed the documents without authorization, and Miranda resigned from his job as Frist's top aide on judicial nominees. And now -- what an amazing coincidence! -- Miranda is leading a coalition with a nice, third-party-sounding sort of name supporting Frist's drive to end Democratic filibusters of Bush's judicial nominees.

Maybe it really is a small world after all.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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