Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A postscript to Howie's post (below) about the vote tomorrow on the Webb Amendment: Do we have a senator more useless than Holy Joe Lieberman?


"For some reason, the political establishment persists in seeing him as some sort of independent player when he has actually been one of the more destructive forces in the congress, using his status as elder statesman to give cover over and over again to the worst excesses of the GOP."
--Digby, in a rip-roaring, raging post, "Webb's Righteous Amendment," on Campaign for America's Future

Who's the "elder statesman" who's got Digby in a lather? Of course it's soon-but-not-soon-enough-to-retire Virginia Sen. John Warner, who actually said of fellow Virginia Sen. Jim Webb:

"I certainly support the concept he brings. But I am in the reconsidering posture."

{Hey, you can't make this stuff up!)

"Now we find," Digby writes,
that one of the great statesman Warner's last acts may be to pull the football out from under Jim Webb, whose Amendment to allow the military a decent interval between deployments is coming up for a vote. [See Howie's post, below.] Like clockwork, Warner, who had supported the bill is now saying that he may not since the Bush administration has agreed to his propaganda ploy to bring home a handful of troops for a big Christmas pageant, (which I'm sure the President, the Vice President and Senator Warner will milk for all its worth.) You could make big money in Vegas by betting on Warner to stab Democrats in the back every time and take some cheap shiny trinket from the White House as a reward.

The Webb Amendment is a powerful piece of legislation, backed by the Military Officers Association and many military families who are seeing their loved ones deployed over and over again until their marriages and their finances are at a breaking point. Although it may serve to force the administration to withdraw troops more quickly than they wish to, this is not a political ploy. Even before the surge, experts said that the Iraq war was breaking the military. Now it is far worse. Someone has to step in and do something about this problem and it's obvious it isn't going to be the Republican party.

Digby supports a common-sense proposal made by Mark Kleiman last week:
The Democrats should offer the Webb Amendment when the Defense Appropriation comes up. If the Republicans want to filibuster, fine. Don't pull the amendment. Just let them keep filibustering. As long as the amendment is on the floor, there can be no vote on the bill itself. Keep calling cloture votes, one per day. After a few days, start asking how long the Republicans intend to withhold money to fund troops in the field in order to pursue their petty partisan agenda.

If the Republicans in the Senate hold firm, it's their stubbornness that's holding up the bill. If they fold, and the bill gets to the President's desk and he vetoes it, then pass the same damned bill again. And start asking how long the President intends to block funding for troops in the field in order to pursue his petty partisan agenda.

As of October 1, there's no money to fund the war. So the usual move is to pass a continuing resolution, which keeps the money flowing until the appropriation passes. Fine. Pass a continuing resolution with the Webb Amendment attached. If the CR runs into a filibuster or a veto, ask how long ...

Really, this isn't very hard. With the voters overwhelmingly interested in getting us the hell out of Iraq, the Democrats can make full use of the power of the purse without worrying about a backlash, especially with Webb as the public face of the campaign.

Footnote Plan B is to pass the amendment in the House and let the Senate conferees accept the House version. Then it goes back to the Senate for a straight up-or-down vote, with the Republican dead-enders in the position of directly voting against money to fund the troops in the field. Not a vote I'd care to defend, especially if I were up for re-election next year.

Works for us, Mark. Senator Reid?

Labels: , , , , ,


At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think he wants to cap a career of mediocrity with the bullet that took down the Bush Admin.

At 7:32 AM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

You know what Warner reminds me of? He reminds me of the Nevada Senator in Godfather II. The one that tried to talk to Michael like the Senator was all high and mighty. Michael knew he was scum and he knew the Senator was just as scummy. The good ol' Senator thought he was above it all when he obviously wasn't. Very few Senators or Congressmen in the past 30 years have been doing anything worthy of history treating them like history will treat Britney and Lindsay. As the idiotic jokes they are. The problem is the Congresscritters can do a lot more damage to our country than those two immature girls can.


Post a Comment

<< Home