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Republicans successfully prevent vote on the anti-surge resolution

The media is right on cue spinning this negatively toward Republicans claiming that they are preventing debate on Levin's anti-surge resolution, but they are doing no such thing. The senators can debate this resolution until the cows come home; they were simply prevented from voting on the resolution. Senator Joe Lieberman, of the Conn. for Lieberman party, spoke on the floor of the Senate earlier this evening and explained why this resolution should not go forward:

Now, a new course has been chosen. A new commander is in place in Iraq, confirmed by this Senate. A new Secretary of Defense is in place at the Pentagon, confirmed by this Senate. And a new strategy has begun to be put into action on the ground in Iraq by our troops.


It is altogether proper that we debate our policy in Iraq. It should be a debate that is as serious as the situation in Iraq and that reflects the powers the Constitution gives to Congress in matters of war.

But that, sadly, is not the debate that the Warner-Levin resolution invites us to have. I am going to speak strongly against this resolution because I feel strongly about it. I do so with respect for my colleagues who have offered it, but I believe its passage would so compromise America's security, present and future, that I will say so in the clearest terms I can.

The resolution before us, its sponsors concede, will not stop the new strategy from going forward. As we speak, thousands of troops are already in Baghdad, with thousands more moving into position to carry out their Commander's orders. This resolution does nothing to alter these facts.

Instead, its sponsors say it will send a message of rebuke from the Senate to the president, from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other. But there is a world beyond Pennsylvania Avenue that is watching and listening.

What we say here is being heard in Baghdad by Iraqi moderates, trying to decide whether the Americans will stand with them. We are being heard by our men and women in uniform, who will be interested to know whether we support the plan they have begun to carry out. We are being heard by the leaders of the thuggish regimes in Iran and Syria, and by Al Qaeda terrorists, eager for evidence that America's will is breaking. And we are being heard across America by our constituents, who are wondering if their Congress is capable of serious action, not just hollow posturing.

This resolution is not about Congress taking responsibility. It is the opposite. It is a resolution of irresolution.

For the Senate to take up a symbolic vote of no confidence on the eve of a decisive battle is unprecedented, but it is not inconsequential. It is an act which, I fear, will discourage our troops, hearten our enemies, and showcase our disunity. And that is why I will vote against cloture.

You can see Senator Lieberman giving his speech on the Senate floor here and here.

Cloture failed 49-47. Sixty votes were required to bring the anti-surge resolution to a vote.


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Comments (34)

FPOBEvery once in ... (Below threshold)
Ishmael:

FPOB

Every once in a while, GWB makes me proud that I voted for him in '00 and '04. In this issue, he is doing what is best for America, regardless of party. It's even halfway conservative.

Had he not made the changes to SecDef, General & strategy, the censure motion would have passed the Senate.

FCOB (First comment on Blog... (Below threshold)
Ishmael:

FCOB (First comment on Blog)

Every once in a while, GWB makes me proud that I voted for him in '00 and '04. In this issue, he is doing what is best for America, regardless of party. It's even halfway conservative.

Had he not made the changes to SecDef, General & strategy, the censure motion would have passed the Senate.

Error #1:"Senator ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Error #1:

"Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat...."

jp2:You're right. ... (Below threshold)

jp2:

You're right. He's not a Democrat. I'll change it.

Thanks for heads up.

But there is a wor... (Below threshold)
JLawson:
But there is a world beyond Pennsylvania Avenue that is watching and listening.

What we say here is being heard in Baghdad by Iraqi moderates, trying to decide whether the Americans will stand with them. We are being heard by our men and women in uniform, who will be interested to know whether we support the plan they have begun to carry out. We are being heard by the leaders of the thuggish regimes in Iran and Syria, and by Al Qaeda terrorists, eager for evidence that America's will is breaking. And we are being heard across America by our constituents, who are wondering if their Congress is capable of serious action, not just hollow posturing.

My complaint about Congress is they feel words substitute for action, and triangulation on a subject for actual decision-making. We need statesmen, not warmed-over used car salesmen who'll tell the customer anything to make the sale, confident by the time the next elections roll around their constituency will have forgotten the promises made with no attempt to be kept...

Joe Lieberman's a statesman - the good of the country counts for him over party loyalties. The other talking heads - politicians, for whom the party comes first, the folks they owe political favors to second, and the good of the country a distant third.

"Error #1 - <p... (Below threshold)
cmd:

"Error #1 -

'Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat. . .'"

You're right, jp - Lieberman (or as you folks called him during the election, Jew Liarman) isn't a Democrat.

He wants America to win.

I remember when the Senate ... (Below threshold)
tas:

I remember when the Senate Republicans were against filibusters. Those were the days.

Lieberman refers to himself... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

Lieberman refers to himself as an "independent Democrat" and caucuses with the rest of the Senate Democrats. Plus, they have his vote on every other issue, just not this one. So calling him a Democrat may be a mistake, but not a real big one.

Tas was into liberal half-t... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Tas was into liberal half-truths: the fuss was about filibuster against judicial nominees, especially the appellate ones. The Dems were again in the sewage wrt breaking "senate traditions" and the respect for the constitution. So what do liberals do? Distort to make moral comparison.

I remember when the Sena... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

I remember when the Senate Republicans were against filibusters. Those were the days.

Yes, on judicial nominees, not legislation.

Joe Lieberman, Democrat or ... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Joe Lieberman, Democrat or not, has the kind of stones we haven't seen from the left side of the aisle since Zell Miller retired. Democrat or not, I'm proud of him and I agree with every word he said. He put the posers on both sides of the aisle to shame.

tas,I remember whe... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

tas,

I remember when liberals in this country could engage in honest debate about issues without resorting to half truths and bald faced lies.

No. Wait. I can't.

Never mind.

The Nation's Press Poobahs ... (Below threshold)

The Nation's Press Poobahs have headlined Harry Reid's laughable talking point to the effect that a vote against cloture (i.e. in favor of continuing debate) is somehow a vote to cut off debate. Black is White, according to Harry and the Press agrees.

Tas you got nailed......twi... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Tas you got nailed......twice.

I've got Joe-mentum..... :)

CMD, you are so right. You can tell Joe ain't a democrat cuz he wants America to win. Very astute.

Coleman: wannabe neocon, vo... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Coleman: wannabe neocon, voting with the Dems. Franken-phobia? Bush hangover?.... Mc Cain: not voting? Dock his pay! The guy's a worm! Yea or Nay or back to the Hilton!

How many people have died i... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

How many people have died in Iraq as a result of the dhimmi and RINO's do nothing, say nothing resoutions? Hundred, thousands? This is without a doubt the most stupid house and senate leadership in the history of the United States. They are helping the enemy more than their own country. Someone drag them out and horse whip them all.

Bush opens up the gates of ... (Below threshold)

Bush opens up the gates of hell in Iraq and now it's the Lefts fault people are dying by the thousands?

Pass the pipe, I want some of what you guys are smoking.

Can anyone tell me which side of the Iraq civil war I'm suppose to be cheering for?

Ah, I miss the good old day... (Below threshold)
John:

Ah, I miss the good old days when Republicans were outraged that we couldn't just have a "straight up-or-down" vote....

Great column: <a href="http... (Below threshold)
bryanD:
Has this Moonbat gone Batsh... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Has this Moonbat gone Batshit or what? (click the video link) http://michellemalkin.com/

Has this Moonbat gone B... (Below threshold)
marc:

Has this Moonbat gone Batshit or what? (click the video link) http://michellemalkin.com/
Posted by: bryanD

Now why would she be "batshit crazy?" Shouldn't that be directed at Edwards new blogger? All MM has done is read her words verbatium from Pandagon.

Including the piece about her flight that "strangely" was pulled just after landing her job with Edwards.

There are two question that need to be asked, 1. why has Edwards choosen to be associated with a hate filled bile spiller and 2. why do you BryanD[ranged] now feel it's permissable to use the term moonbat.

Just a couple days ago you castigated MM for using it "on 99%" of her blogs pages. (a lie you have failed to substantiate BTW)

What's good for the goose is good for the gander I guess.

Or more to the point hypocrite.

Hey Tas. . . ISn't... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Hey Tas. . .

ISn't it an unusual sort of FIlibuster when the vote to close off debate gets LESS votes that the vote to extend it?

49 - 47. More voted to keep it going. Lover's of pure majority rules should be HAPPY.

And filibusterinf NOminees is different from fillibustering non - binding resolutions.

A non binding resolution is a statement of the outcome of a debate, and if the debate isn't over, its inappropriate to issue it, wouldn't you think?

If even one of the two senators PROPOSING the bill in question things its not over, who are you to say that the debate, as such, should not continue?

SOrry, cyhange that to ALMO... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

SOrry, cyhange that to ALMOST more.

Regardless, this is not the equivalent of voting to block a vote on a judicial nominee.

Tas you got nailed......... (Below threshold)
tas:

Tas you got nailed......twice.

Not really. My comment was strcitly on filibusters in general, and anyone who mentions judicial nominees v. legislation is sticking words in my mouth. If anything, though, those comments serve to highlight my point that Republicans are for filibuster in some circumstances (like when they are in the minority and want to shoot down legislation) and against it in other circumstances (like when they are in the majority and want a few extreme judicial nominees to gain passage to the courts); but in the latter situation, it was the Republicans who threatened the "nuclear option" of cutting off filibuster votes completely.

And, you know, those were the days, eh?

Now some might be thinking, "I betcha Tas doesn't think that Republicans should have the right to filibuster!," so I'll answer that question right now: I think the Republicans have every right to adhere to Senate procedures and they shouldn't be cut off from those rights. If they want to filibuster a non-binding resolution that many of us on the left consider to be weak, then they are well within their legislative rights to do such. I do hope, though, that the Republicans successful attempt to stymie the debate on Iraq is looked upon with scorn and shame by the majority of the American electorate.

Now why would she ... (Below threshold)
Now why would she be "batshit crazy?" Shouldn't that be directed at Edwards new blogger? All MM has done is read her words verbatium from Pandagon.

Heh. Ann Coulter is right: when Democrats squeal about 'personal attacks' or 'hate speech' by Republicans, what's happening is that they're being quote accurately and in context.

TasYou are trying ... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Tas

You are trying to backpedaled and not very successfully at that. You refer to the Republicans not believing in using the filibuster for judicial nominees, which still holds true today and then try to infer they don't believe in filibusters at all which is not true. Then you try to play the old switch around and say that since you were talking about filibusters in general then Rep must be talking about filibuster in general. You not fooling anyone which such liberal's tricks.

Wayne, first off if you kee... (Below threshold)
tas:

Wayne, first off if you keep assuming that I'm trying to play "liberal tricks" then you're bound to read more into my words then what I've actually said. I'm quite the liberal but I also like debate, too.

In that vein, I can't see where I've backpedaled. In my original comment I mentioned filibusters, period. That was it. And I think it's unfair for people to tell me that I mentioned more than just filibusters then be accused of "backpedaling" when I have to correct them.

As for my inference that Republicans don't believe in filibusters at all, that would be proved false after the events of the past couple of days. However, I pointed out that a short time ago it was the Republican majority who threatened to take away the minority's filibuster threat entirely when they wanted to use the "nuclear option" to rewrite Senate procedures and take away the Democrat's right to filibusters. And I think it's hypocritical for Republicans to be so against filibusters when they're the majority party yet use the very same power when they're in the minority. This, I believe, is a rather benign conclusion to come to after a quick glance over the facts.

If the tables were turned and the Democrats threatened a "nuclear option" against Republicans, then my criticism would reverse, too. While I'm liberal and I realize that such use of the nuclear option would give momentary benefit to my side. I also understand that the Senate has a history of giving minority political voices more rights to express themselves. (In fact, that right was stronger in the original Senate meetings when only one was needed to maintain a filibuster. The filibuster/cloture tradition which exists today is the compromise which killed that older tradition.) Given that the political minority regularly represents at least 40% or more of teh electorate, I think the Senate's rules respecting their rights to speak should be respected no matter who's in the minority.

However, I pointed out t... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

However, I pointed out that a short time ago it was the Republican majority who threatened to take away the minority's filibuster threat entirely

Incorrect, once again. As already pointed out by others.

Credit for the attempt at snark, but your chosen snark-fun was weak.

I do hope, though, that... (Below threshold)
marc:

I do hope, though, that the Republicans successful attempt to stymie the debate on Iraq is looked upon with scorn and shame by the majority of the American electorate. Posted by: tas

They did nothing of the sort.

The Republicans did insist any debate on Iraq include two competing resolutions.

1. The McCain-Lieberman resolution, approves the surge strategy but establishes benchmarks with which to measure its success.

2. The second, proposed by Judd Gregg, takes no position on the surge but instead declares that the Senate does not favor cutting off funding for the efforts in Iraq.

Reid and his band of "merry" democrats insisted on blocking any consideration of those two alternatives and demanded an end to debate.

This will make it that much... (Below threshold)
Sam Sam:

This will make it that much easier for the Democrats to reach a filibuster proof majority in 2008.

Now the House can actually propose and vote on a resolution in order endanger more Republican seats.

I can not wait for McCain to run on staying in Iraq in 08.

Just think what you "wise republicans" have just done. You filibustered a meaningless resolution that will help us have President Hillary with a close to or actual filibuster proof majority in the Senate.

These indeed will be remembered as the Good Ole Days for the GOP compared to 2009/2010.

This just might put Mitch M... (Below threshold)
Sam Sam:

This just might put Mitch McConnells (KY) in play in 2008.

How sweet it is.

TasJust admit it. ... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Tas

Just admit it. The Republicans were not against the filibuster in entirely but only for judicial nominees.

Wayne, after you admit that... (Below threshold)
tas:

Wayne, after you admit that the Republicans are being hypocritical about their attitudes towards a filibuster and that the Senate's minority party -- whoever it may be -- deserves the same rights and traditions enjoyed by the minority in past Senates. You have accused me of partisanship by saying that I play "liberal tricks," but how can I be partisan when I supoprt the rights of whichever party is in the minority and you support those rights only when wielded by the GOP?

Marc:

They did nothing of the sort.

The Republicans did insist any debate on Iraq include two competing resolutions.

And the Republicans insisted debate on two other resolutions by killing the debate for a different solution that looked like it would receive support from a few Republicans, thus gain passage in the Senate.

John:

Incorrect, once again. As already pointed out by others.

OK, I was wrong to include the word "entirely" (happy now, Wayne?). However what's not incorrect is the Republicans threatened to end filibusters and limit the rights of the minority party. While the procedure would have stuck to judicial nominations in that instance, such a threat could be applied anytime the Democrats forced a cloture vote and exercising such a "nuclear option" one time could have set a precedent to imply that such procedures are OK to us more than once. That's a matter of opinion, though... You know my opinion, and I'm pretty sure I know what yours is on the matter, and I doubt whatever either of us has to say in reply will change each others minds.

But, getting back to what I originally pointed out, the Republicans are against filibustering in some situations and for filibustering in other situations. I find this to be hypocritical. Some people will continue to point out that the GOP was against filibustering judicial nominations but for filibustering non-binding legislation, but I don't see the difference. A filibuster is a filibuster no matter what situation it's applied to, and I think it's hypocritical of the Republicans to be for a filibuster in some cases but threaten to ban its use in others.

Wambulance time for the maj... (Below threshold)
snowballs:

Wambulance time for the majority - heh.




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