The instant talking point response from Team Bush about the suicide attack on the Iraqi parliament building is that it's an "attack on democracy." We've heard variations on that today from Condoleezza Rice, from a Pentagon flack, from the president himself. But it seems as if Iraqi parliamentarians are doing just a fine job of attacking democracy all on their own.
Professor Juan Cole reports at his indispensable Iraq blog that Muqtada al-Sadr's bloc is thinking about reviving its boycott of parliament.
A Sadrist boycott of the al-Maliki government, coupled with the defection of the Islamic Virtue Party from his coalition, could make it difficult for parliament to function, and could stop the passage of the proposed petroleum investment bill. The Bush administration appears privately to have told al-Maliki that passage of that bill by June is a benchmark on which his government will be judged.
Oh, there's a Sunni fundamentalist bloc thinking about pulling out too:
If the Sunni Arabs in parliament withdraw, and the Sadrists withdraw, that really could spell the end of any quorum and produce [an even more] complete legislative gridlock.
There's already trouble enough maintaining a quorum because so many Iraqi parliamentarians don't even live in Iraq.
The perpetrators of today's bombing committed a crime against humanity, for sure. But an attack on democracy? Come on.