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But by mid-day Thursday, the White House sang a whole new tune. No doubt at the order of the president, Mr. Holder wrote a letter to Mr. Paul in which he said: “The answer to the question is no.”

“Under duress and under public humiliation,” Mr. Paul said with a smile, “the White House will respond and do the right thing.” 

Yet there was more than just a simple answer to an elementary question. The stand taken by the spry young pups of the Senate, while the fat old dogs dined with the president, proves there are some new pack leaders in town. No longer will a president chew up the Constitution — not as long as we’re here, the alpha pups said. And we don’t need to ask nicely over and over and over — we’ll just stand here, all of us, until the president answers.

So if old dogs really can learn new tricks, they better learn ’em, and quick, ’cuz these new dogs are growling and showing their teeth. And one thing is clear: Their bite is worse than their bark.

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times and is now editor of the Drudge Report. He can be reached at and on Twitter at @josephcurl.