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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Republicans' way out

So, the White House pushback against the Senate resolutions condemning the surge is to press the claim that "showing division" somehow emboldens "our enemies" in Iraq.

Even if it's no longer believable, this unconvincing chestnut reintroduced by Petraeus at his hearing, is once again useful as political cover for Republicans not to sign onto the resolutions condemning "the surge."

Lugar and Voinovich pulled this new tack yesterday,
Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich said he was more skeptical than ever about Bush's plan but he voted against the resolution because he thought it could be characterized as a "political attack."

The committee's senior Republican, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, said he was not confident Bush's plan would succeed, but also opposed the resolution. "This vote will force nothing on the president, but it will confirm to our friends and allies that we are divided and in disarray," Lugar said.

The strategy is, apparently, to protect the White House by voting against these resolutions on "political grounds," and yet still get in the claim for the next election that they were critical of "the surge." It allows them to have it both ways.

(Plan B seems to be to have loyalists (Boehner, McCain) propose a number of alternate resolutions to fracture support.)

This is really sharp politics by the White House. I just wish it wasn't leading to more dead US soldiers.

(By the way, most of "our enemies in Iraq" are only our enemies because we are there fighting them. They're fighting for their country, and they are "our enemies" because we are getting in their way.)


  • It seems to me, the Republican senators are determined to play politics over the lives of American servicemen. Many (all?) will not go on record of standing up to Bush. They will do anything and everything to undermine progress if it's a Democrat's idea.

    Senator Warner has explicitly refused to compromise with the Dems to work out a truly bipartisan resolution. He would rather flip the bird to Biden than do the people's business.

    It makes me sick. And that's not just a figure of speech. I hope it bites them in the ass in 08... I'm looking for a filibuster-proof Dem majority. (One can dream....)

    By Blogger -epm, at 7:01 PM  

  • They definitely are playing politics with this, but frankly, so are the Dems.

    A non-binding resolution or a "sense of the Senate" is highly political by its very nature.

    The difference is that the Republicans are going along with what they know to be a bad idea, one that will certainly cost more lives.

    Hard to say on '08. From what I remember something like 20-21 Republican Senators come up, although I don't remember if they're in vulnerable spots.

    (I would guess so because they were Republicans elected at the Bush pre Iraq pro war highpoint.)


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 9:38 PM  

  • The Dems are on it as well. A non-binding resolution is just washing the hands on a matter, perhaps the same as voting aginst the surge. I would conclude that they don't give a flying fig about the guys there, nor their families.

    By Anonymous romunov, at 5:56 AM  

  • Yeah. The Dems could be pushing alot harder. However, they are on the "less killing" side.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 7:30 AM  

  • I understand that these sense of the senate resolutions are a political tool. But there's politics and then there's politics. At least Biden was reaching out and trying to work with Warner, et al., on a common language for the resolution. The tenor and the manner in which the Democrats are (were) crafting this resolution was much LESS cynical -- much more reaching across the isle -- than anything I can recall coming from the Republican controlled senate.

    Now we'll see several resolutions proposed, some redundant, some not, all in the name of increasing the fog of war.

    I don't know what motivates the Dems -- whether they care about the servicemen and their families or not -- but their actions have been to increase armor, increase VA hospital funding, protect them from predatory lenders and bankruptcy courts, increase assistance to families, all against the opposition of the majority of Republicans. So, do the Dem's "give a fig?" I don't know. But whatever their motivation, they're willing to actually DO something to support the troops -- something more than just false bravado and patronizing, empty cliches.

    By Blogger -epm, at 9:18 AM  

  • And, I agree that these resolutions, although non-binding do have a political impact (especially if they can get more Republicans in.)

    These resolutions are "doing something," but the result is not concrete, and in the current frustration, that's hard to take.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 11:15 AM  

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