GOP Senators Are Now the Ostrich Party

Escalation? Everyone can talk about it except the Senate:

A long-awaited Senate showdown on the war in Iraq was shut down before it even started yesterday, when nearly all Republicans voted to stop the Senate from considering a resolution opposing President Bush's plan to send 21,500 additional combat troops into battle.

Almost every Republican Senator — including Lieberman but excluding endangered Collins and Coleman — voted to prevent debate on even the watered-down precatory Warner resolution on Iraq. Even Senator Warner voted against (debating) his own resolution! And that Chuck Hagel, talking so brave last week about the moral imperative of ending the war, why, suddenly he's against debate too.

In the short run, this means that today — after serious arm-twisting by the capo di tutti capi (Cheney) — a slim majority of the Senate is for debate, but far too little for cloture. But more importantly, unless it does something to clean off this taint soon, the Senate GOP has just taken ownership of what used to be Bush's war and McCain's escalation. This has the potential to be a party-defining vote. And it significantly increases the odds that the GOP nominee will not be a Senator or Congressman — a big boost to Romney and Giuliani, and even the hapless Huckabee, I suppose. Not to mention harming the electoral hopes of several Senators.

I believe that the country is way ahead of the Senate on this one.

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7 Responses to GOP Senators Are Now the Ostrich Party

  1. shmuel says:

    That’s the Pharaonic methaphore in action. It ends in death of, this time, the party (at least massive decline).

  2. ant says:

    Why would you hire a coward like that to sell your shoes?

  3. High Ping Bastard says:

    GOP once again…

    Does that stick in your throat a bit?

  4. Brett Bellmore says:

    I realize it’s the party line, but it’s still a positively Orwellian abuse of language.

    Cloture votes end debate. It’s the Democrats voting to end debate. Republicans are voting to continue it.

    Ok, they’re voting to continue it because they don’t want it to end in a result they don’t like. But they are NOT voting to “prevent debate”.

  5. Michael says:

    I was too compressed. In this vote, the Republicans voted to end debate, the Dems to have it. But I am assuming that the acid test would be whether the Democratic bill, were it to get to the floor, would be filibustered, and I’m assuming that the Senators who voted to end today’s proceedings would be the ones filibustering.

  6. Brett Bellmore says:

    Too compressed, and then some.

    Ok, I’ve gotten a little background now, and the argument seems to be that this was a cloture vote on the terms of the debate concerning the resolution, and since the actual debate couldn’t begin until the terms of it were settled, voting for cloture was a vote to start debating.

    This is at least potentially a reasonable stance, although it depends entirely on the details of those terms of “debate”; It’s possible to have terms for “debate” that preclude any actual debate. (See the first 100 hours of this session…)

    However, just as a general matter, if you’re going to characterize a vote for cloture as a vote for debate, you’d better explain it.

  7. Matt Janovic says:

    I think they have just fallen into a trap that is partially of their own making. In a subconscious sense, I believe they’re pretty self-destructive–OK, objectively too. BUt I think the Democratic majority has set this trap for them so they own the war in-toto. They lost by doing this, they look pretty bad now with all these helicopters being shot-down, and the endless escalation of violence in Iraq.

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