Wednesday, January 31, 2007



If they water this puppy down any further, Rove will just tell Bush to sign it, and the only senators voting "no" will be Lieberman and Cornyn. "Democratic and Republican opponents of President Bush's troop-buildup plan joined forces last night behind the nonbinding resolution with the broadest bipartisan backing: a Republican measure from Sen. John W. Warner of Virginia. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced the shift, hoping to unite a large majority of the Senate and thwart efforts by the White House and GOP leaders to derail any congressional resolution of disapproval of Bush's decision to increase U.S. troop levels in Iraq by 21,500."

The Biden-Hagel-Levin version (nonbinding, symbolic) was already sickeningly weak. This version has its head about up Bush's ass beyond the adam's apple, expressing tepid "opposition to the troop increase but would vow to protect funding for the troops. The resolution does not include the Democratic language saying the Bush plan is against the national interest, but it also drops an earlier provision by Warner suggesting Senate support for some additional troops."

Hoyer and Emanuel seem to have won out over Pelosi and Murtha (again) and the House will also take this idiotic, unproductive and disgraceful path. Democratic leaders are asking Democrats-- and all Americans-- to trust them. We have no choice. But let's see if we can; I sincerely doubt it.

Meanwhile Warner is getting badly beaten up by the far right radicals in his own party.
"It is clearly not an act of leadership," said Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who joined two of his colleagues Wednesday in dismissing Mr. Warner’s proposal as they sought to hold off a Senate repudiation of the president's plan.

"To offer nonbinding resolutions which encourage our enemies and undermine our allies and deflate the morale of our troops is, to me, the worst of all possible worlds," said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas.

Mr. Warner's approach has also caused a policy rift with Senators McCain and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, two Republicans he has often worked closely with on military matters and joined last year in confronting Mr. Bush over the treatment of terrorism detainees.

The knives are out and Warner is being swiftboated by the extremists. Mainstream Republican conservatives like Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter are aghast that Republicans have turned on an iconic figure like Warner with such vehemence and fury. A pissed off Collins said, "It is outrageous for anyone to question his support for our troops. There is no member of this body who cares more about our troops and the nation's defense than Senator Warner." Oh? Not John Kerry?


Russ Feingold has real legislation to rein in the Bush Regime and stop the insanity in Iraq. Today he denounced the pathetic nonbinding symbolic crap, the first (and only) senator to do so. "I oppose the weak Warner-Levin resolution as currently written because it misunderstands the situation in Iraq and shortchanges our national security interests. The resolution rejects redeploying U.S. troops and supports moving a misguided military strategy from one part of Iraq to another. The American people have rejected the President's Iraq strategy and it's time for Congress to end our military involvement in this war. We must redeploy our troops from Iraq so that we can focus on the global threats that face us."


Senator Dodd has also come out in opposition to this very flawed compromise. Basically, this is what Dodd is saying: The bill doesn’t oppose a surge in our forces per se-– it simply states that the 21,000 is too high a number. It doesn’t contemplate the phased redeployment from Iraq, quite the contrary, it says that the legislation "should not be interpreted as precipitating any immediate reduction in, or withdrawal of, the present level of forces." And it refuses to endorse one of the most critical elements of the Baker Hamilton plan-- engaging all of Iraq’s neighbors in a regional effort to bring peace and stability to Iraq.


The Progressive States Network has been talking with state legislators all over the country to help them draft resolutions to stop the escalation. Yesterday they reported on action to this effect in the Oregon House where Democratic legislators are pushing for a vote on the "Oregon Homeward Bound Act of 2007," which urges Bush and Congress to bring our troops home promptly and safely. There are also active resolutions in various states of action in Missouri, Colorado, Georgia, New Jersey, Connecticut, Montana, Texas, Massachusetts, Vermont, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Minnesota, New York, Kansas, Washington, Iowa, Maine, North Dakota and Rhode Island. You can watch what's going on-- and lend a hand-- in your own state on this page.


Republicans like John Kyl (AZ) and Joe Lieberman (CT) who just won re-election and don't have to face voters again for over 5 years are working actively to derail the compromise bill. Kyl was on Fox & Friends today (where else?) bad-mouthing it. "I haven't read the exact language," he admitted, "but I suspect that the exact wording matters less than the headline on Fox News the next morning or on newspapers all around the world, which will be something like 'Senate Rebukes President's Mission In Iraq.' ...That's the message that will be sent to our allies, to our enemies and to our soldiers." Oregon's Republican senator, Gordon Smith, is all over the map on this-- and he does have to face the voters next year. He's made impassioned speeches against escalation-- even calling the Bush Regime policies "criminal," but then after he gets slapped down by the White House he backs down. Today on Fox he was all giddy about the compromise bill-- right up his alley, allowing him to show the independents back home that he is "against" the escalation... without actually jeopardizing it in any real way. "My own sense is that you will have at least a majority for the Warner resolution. I'm for it. I'm a co-sponsor of it. It's, I think, respectful. It clearly opposes the surge but it does it in a way that also lays out the things we would like to see the president and the administration, our military doing in Iraq, in a way that doesn't needlessly put our troops in harm's way."


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