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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Senate GOP Blocks Non-Binding Resolution, Leaving a Smoking Hole in Their Shoes

It's hard for me to get too bent out of shape over the republican filibuster of a non-binding resolution opposing Bush's escalation of the Iraq war. A stern finger shaking at a president who'll increase troop presence while the majority of americans want the opposite is miles short of what the situation calls for. Pass or fail has the same consequence for the surge -- none at all.

What's got me perplexed is why the GOP is providing political cover for a lame duck. Bush isn't running in '08, but one third of the senate will be. I'm a little lost on why anyone would want to tie the Iraq war cinderblock to their leg before going for a swim in the electoral waters. But that's exactly what they did.

The resolution, being non-binding, served only one purpose; to get legislators on record. By cutting off debate, they've gone on record in support of the surge. They really haven't accomplished anything. They haven't dodged the record, although some GOP senators will have to explain why "I voted for it, before I voted against it'" was unforgivable when John Kerry did it, but OK when a republican does it. John Warner's going to have the biggest problem here, having co-authored the resolution, then voting against cloture. The votes were cast and the resolution, designed not to block the surge but to record the votes, was successful. It was meant to embarrass.

All senate republicans have managed to do is delay a debate that will happen. They can't possibly keep sweeping the Iraq war under the rug and they won't be able to ignore the wishes of the people -- not and stay in office, anyway. Too much happening in Washington centers around war.

Associated Press:

A lengthy Senate floor debate on the Iraq war is inevitable, despite a Republican effort to block it, Democrats say, as negotiations on how to move forward were expected to continue Tuesday.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be headed to Capitol Hill to testify on Bush's $624.6 billion request in defense spending. The spending request marks the first time Bush has offered an estimate of how much the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost a year in advance.

There's no way they can filibuster this issue. Cutting off debate on funding the troops will be effectively doing what they accuse dems of wanting to do -- leaving troops in the field shortchanged. Regardless of which side of the debate you come down on, it's 'must pass' legislation. What republicans have done is allow democrats to force them to vote in favor of an unpopular war as often as possible -- and get it in headlines. Great plan.

To tell you the truth, I originally gave a filibuster no chance -- mostly because it was so stupid I thought it was an empty threat. But senate republicans actually decided that the best thing to do after getting their asses handed to them in the '06 elections was more of the same pro-war idiocy.

I underestimated their talent for doing exactly the wrong thing for the nation and themselves.


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