Saturday, February 17, 2007
It Is A Victory
The Senate gridlocked on the Iraq war in a sharply worded showdown Saturday as Republicans foiled a Democratic bid to repudiate President Bush's deployment of 21,500 additional combat troops.
The 56-34 vote fell four short of the 60 needed to advance a nonbinding measure identical to what the House passed Friday.
Democrats swiftly claimed victory anyway. "A majority of the United States Senate is against the escalation in Iraq," said Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. "As for the Republicans who chose once again to block further debate and protect President Bush, the American people now know they support the escalation" in troops.
Republicans blasted the Democratic leadership for refusing to allow a vote on an alternative that ruled out any reduction in money for troops in the field.
"There is no place for chicanery at a time of war," said Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "Even some of the president's most strident opponents know that. They know that the only vote that truly matters in a vote on whether to fund the troops."
From where I sit, this is indeed a victory. The Democratic House passed a resolution that represents the true will of the people and a majority of Senators voted for it, even they were 4 votes shy of passage. It was non-binding, so wouldn't have done anything practical yet--it's import was symbolism, yes, but also gets everybody on record.
The charge of chicanery is a clear case of projection. The only vote that truly matters is the one that reflects American voters' intentions in November when they threw control to the Democrats.
Regardless, as Senator Leahy said the other day this is just a first step in a long march out of Iraq.
PS--Real goddamned courageous of the 9 Republicans who skipped today's vote, including McCain. And of course Lieberman (Selfish Bastard - CT) voted no. He won't campaign or bowl on Shabbos, but hell if he won't give Bush a blow job.
PPS--Congrats to Reid for keeping his party in line.
[Update: as The Wanker Who Never Links To Me notes, only 2 Dems crossed in the House. That's pretty damned impressive, so congrats also to Speaker Pelosi. I didn't mention it before because my focus was on today's vote affirming the House's will, but she did a great job in holding the line and getting 17 Repubs to vote for the resolution.]
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Well, you have to admit, for Joe doesn't consider fellating the Chimperor work. It's a pleasant duty of fealty.
Posted by: Apprentice to Darth Holden | Feb 17, 2007 4:41:09 PM
NO MORE WHINING!
(smiley face here)
Posted by: mer | Feb 17, 2007 5:14:54 PM
I wasn't a big fan of the resolution, but the silent 9 deserve some attention.
Posted by: mdhatter | Feb 17, 2007 5:15:05 PM
Atrios sent me. So I might as well read the post.
Posted by: WîlL | Feb 17, 2007 5:17:55 PM
Joe doesn't consider fellating the Chimperor work. It's a pleasant duty of fealty.
Also, it doesn't require using machines of any kind.
Posted by: Molly Ivors | Feb 17, 2007 5:18:22 PM
Republicans have flip-flopped on up or down votes. What a surprise!
Posted by: George Johnston | Feb 17, 2007 5:29:20 PM
Do my eyes deceive me? Did I actually follow a link from Atrios over here?
What's the Rapture Index today?
Posted by: flory | Feb 17, 2007 5:38:39 PM
What's next? The blogroll?
Posted by: emma | Feb 17, 2007 6:08:26 PM
This blog is almost as bad as that Dunkin Hack.
Posted by: Danny Guam | Feb 17, 2007 6:11:50 PM
Can Salon be far behind?
Posted by: Tim Finnegan | Feb 17, 2007 6:18:38 PM
Three votes short (they could have roused Senator Johnson to come in if absolutely necessary) and 21 GOP Senators up for re-election in 2008? I would not want to be head of the RSCC right now....
Posted by: Danby | Feb 17, 2007 6:22:14 PM
Hey, not bad. You should start a blog or something.
Posted by: JeffCO | Feb 17, 2007 6:43:07 PM
You have a wiki???
Posted by: tikistitch | Feb 17, 2007 6:51:46 PM
You set up a weird blog warp continuum here. You link back to the same Atrios post that links to this post that then links back to that one that then .... can't get off the merry-go-round.
Posted by: sdf (Stu) | Feb 17, 2007 7:11:09 PM
Begs to question NOW WHAT??????
We got a MEANINGLESS vote that puts Repubs on record to say they are with GWB and
Posted by: lib4 | Feb 17, 2007 8:02:33 PM
lib4 - start thinking strategically.
Posted by: NTodd | Feb 17, 2007 8:15:29 PM
The War is Over
Atrios links to NTodd.
headlines man, we want headlines. i'm encouraged by the direction of the debate, but the day we entered iraq the world was fundamentally changed forever. big mistake, and all the kings men.. humpty... fell off a wall...
Posted by: charley | Feb 17, 2007 8:28:36 PM
Anything that puts McConnell in front of a camera works to the favor of progressives. The fact that they are fighting so hard against a non-binding resolution makes the victory that much more sweet. Guess they don't exactly believe in keeping their powder dry do they?
Posted by: Mr Blifil | Feb 17, 2007 9:18:18 PM
So what are you saying, the Democrats win by, you know, losing? Although this shows is that the Democrats cannot succeed in even giving bush an official slap on the wrist, let alone do anything that has any real meaning.
Posted by: Shoelimpy™ | Feb 17, 2007 10:05:42 PM
So what, like 1 in 7 Republicans didn't show up for this vote? As you say NTodd, Reid and Pelosi deserve props.
Posted by: hutchie6 | Feb 17, 2007 10:15:21 PM
The House vote authorizing Bush to use military force in 2002 was 296-133. (69%-31%)
From CNN: Six House Republicans -- Ron Paul of Texas; Connie Morella of Maryland; Jim Leach of Iowa; Amo Houghton of New York; John Hostettler of Indiana; and John Duncan of Tennessee -- joined 126 Democrats in voting against the resolution. A total of 215 Republicans and 81 Democrats voted for it.
In the Senate, back then, it was 77-23. Only Lincoln Chafee crossed over among Republicans to oppose it. Again CNN:
Byrd argued the resolution amounted to a "blank check" for the White House.
"This is the Tonkin Gulf resolution all over again," Byrd said. "Let us stop, look and listen. Let us not give this president or any president unchecked power. Remember the Constitution."
Congress authorized this for the purpose of enforcing UN resolutions and to prevent the development of or possession of WMDs.
Now the House has rebuked Bush's surge plan 246-182. (57.5%- 42.5%) So 26% have shifted their support away from granting the president free rein to conduct an ongoing war for objectives the Congress never cited in its original authorization.
With this 56-34 Senate vote, that means of those present, a margin of 62.2%-37.8% oppose the surge. That means 39.2% changed.
Combining both houses each time, Congress initially supported going after Saddam 70.5%-29.5% but on the surge, they were 58.3% to 41.7% against. Congressional makeup shifted just 6.5% toward the Democrats in the 2006 election yet support for the war reversed by 28.8%.
That's a seismic shift. I dunno if it proves the Dems won, but it definitely proves that the country and our troops won, while the war and Bush lost.
Symbolic? No. Bush now proceeds in direct opposition to the populace and the legislature. and without fast results, he can't sustain that. It's the first time in 60 years Bush has been held accountable for any of his fuggups.
Ending the war quickly has always been a presidential prerogative. The losses of life are an ongoing tragedy, but the Democrats have sought an exit for more than a year and once they gained control of the legislative agenda, it took them less than 6 weeks to get the first major step done.
All it would take to get out is the support of 20% of the Republican Senate. It is their courage that is lacking, not the Democrats.'
Posted by: Kevin Hayden | Feb 18, 2007 7:11:15 AM
I don't quite get Lieberman - it seems that an abstain counts the same as a 'no' vote. So why bother to vote "no" on Shabbat?
Posted by: Whispers | Feb 18, 2007 8:08:42 AM
Whispers - methinks it's because he really wants to show how dedicated he is to "winning". Heck, he probably thinks this qualified as an emergency and thus rode in a car.
Posted by: NTodd | Feb 18, 2007 11:11:05 AM