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Once again, Dems grandstand and fail

By
July 19, 2007

By now you’d think the lackluster Democratic leadership of Congress would have learned. They may have a majority in the House and Senate but they don’t have either the power or the legislative savvy to defeat the despotic rule of President George W. Bush or his GOP lemmings on the Hill.

This point became all too clear Wednesday as the Republican minority defeated yet another grandstanding attempt by the Democratic majority to change the course of Bush’s failed Iraq war.

The all-night debate, staged by Democrats to showcase “the importance of the issue,” lumbered to a sleep-deprived halt as Democrats fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to even get a vote on whether or not to pull troops out of Iraq.

Like all previous attempts by Senate Democrats, the effort failed and failed miserably.

Reports Reuters:

U.S. President George W. Bush’s fellow Republicans in the Senate on Wednesday blocked a Democratic proposal to force him to withdraw American combat troops from Iraq after a rare round-the-clock debate.

The action prompted weary and frustrated Senate Democrats to postpone consideration of other measures to bring the war to an end. But they voiced confidence more Republicans would soon join their efforts.

On a vote of 52-47, backers fell short of the needed 60 to clear a Republican procedural hurdle and move toward passage of an April 30, 2008, deadline for removing U.S. combat troops from Iraq.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada responded by suspending consideration on a defense policy bill until Republicans drop procedural tactics that prevented passage of the withdrawal plan.

“There are two things that I want to accomplish. One is to pass a defense authorization bill, but with a deadline dealing with Iraq,” Reid said. “If that’s tomorrow, we’ll do it tomorrow. If it’s later, we’ll do it later.”

Critics called the nearly 24-hour Senate debate, which had featured cots, pillows and take-out pizza, a theatrical stunt by Democrats who have been hammered for their inability to keep a 2006 campaign vow to end the increasingly unpopular war.

White House press secretary Tony Snow tweaked Congress, whose approval ratings have dropped to under 25 percent, beneath those even for the unpopular Bush.

“You had a Senate that brought in the cots yesterday, which is a pretty good metaphor for a Senate that’s been asleep for the last seven months,” Snow said.

But Democrats described the debate as a wake-up call to pressure wavering Republicans, many of whom are up for re-election next year, to break ranks with Bush.

Reid had urged support for the measure, which would have begun troop withdrawals within 120 days, saying, “It couldn’t be clearer that if you give this president a choice, he will stay hunkered down in Iraq until the end of his failed presidency.”

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky countered that the measure was a poor alternative to current strategy. “Last night’s theatrics accomplished nothing,” McConnell said.

‘WE’RE NOT DONE’

Democrats’ drive to change the course of the war likely will now move back to the House of Representatives, which was expected to stage more votes on Iraq before an August recess.

“We’re not done,” a House leadership aide said. Last week, the House approved a troop withdrawal plan, although it appears to have little, if any, immediate chance to clear Senate Republican roadblocks.

But Assistant Senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin of Illinois said he expected a number of Republicans to switch positions in coming months.

“It’s going to be an interesting summer for a lot of senators who have either told their home states that they are ready for change or know in their heart of hearts that they cannot sustain” support for the war, Durbin told Reuters.

The Senate may not return to the war debate until after its August recess when the Pentagon is to give a mid-September report to Congress on progress in Iraq.

“By the end of September, this could be a different debate,” Durbin said.

In addition to withdrawing combat troops by the end of April, the Democratic measure blocked by Republicans would have kept an unspecified number of noncombat U.S. troops in Iraq to help train Iraqi soldiers, conduct counterterrorism missions and protect U.S. diplomats.

Democrats noted that more than 3,600 U.S. soldiers had been killed in the war, now in its fifth year, and that a change in strategy was needed amid a mounting civil war. Republicans warned a troop pullout would embolden terrorists and increase the risk of attack on the United States.

Four Republicans broke with Bush and voted to move toward passage of the withdrawal amendment. Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, who normally votes with Democrats but backs the war, joined Republicans in blocking the measure.

22 Responses to Once again, Dems grandstand and fail

  1. hillbilly

    July 19, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Does anyone not wonder why of all the polls being conducted, I have yet to see one concerning one on congress being broken down into something along the lines of:

    On a rating of 1 through 10, (10 being the highest), how do you rate the members of the House of Representatives and the US Senate?

    1) Republicians ___

    2) Democrats ___

  2. Bill Robinson

    July 19, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Failure is not an option. Our soldiers are dying, more and more of them each day we delay. This poor performance by the “Noble Senators” is not acceptable, and the only noble thing about the senators is…
    Well, I can’t think of ANYTHING noble about any of them. They do not represent the feelings or thoughts of the American People, they do not act in our best interests, and they do not have the courage to stand up and oppose the tyrant Bush and his puppetmaster Cheney. They deserve to be replaced. They should be replaced. Come the elections, perhaps enough people will care enough to replace them all.
    The time has come for change. We need to limit the power these non-representing Representatives hold as they serve term after term and grow fatter and lazier. The amount of time they worked last year was about 100 days–less than half of the work year. For this they get a huge salary, great perks, and a retirement package that is the best in the nation.
    Enough I say! Put them all on the same social security that the rest of us have. Take away these “fact-finding missions” that are just extended vacations for people who aren’t giving us a full week’s work anyway. Make them regular citizens like the rest of us, and limit their term to one three year term, not a lifetime in office.

    One three year term for all elected officials including appointed Supreme Court Justices. We cannot afford to continue to allow these fat cats strangle us as they feed at our expense and give back nothing in the way of representation. The experience they gain by remaining any longer in office is only experience in how to continue to fleece the people. Any man on the street, any woman on the street could represent the American People better than those in Congress do. One three year term. Only one. Then out and new people come in. We can’t be worse off than we are now, and it would be difficult to find more lazy people than those who are already in office. Dump them all.
    Bill Robinson

  3. gene

    July 19, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    Is that Mr. delusional (psycho) McCain in the background in the above photo?

    I think it is. Hell, with him still standing vertical along with Bush and Cheney what would one inspect. I bet Bush and Cheney are laughing and grinning their evil asses over this. They just continue to get their way. Amazing how this incrediable, unbelievable constitutional rape continues.

  4. Carl Nemo

    July 19, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    The Gentlemens Club of 100 will never stop this war as long as Bush is in office. The secret to stopping this war is curtailing the funding which is within the purvue of the House. So I advise folks to concentrate on their Republican and “Blue Dog” Dem House reps that continue to support the war. Also people need to disregard the feelgood slogan “Support our Troops” nonsense when pols pull that tired rabbit out of their duplicit hats. This war is about bigtime money-making for the MIC and the thousands of samlltime camp-following contractors that are doing the same. The House needs enough votes to override Bush’s vetos. He’s surfing on the fact that they cannot achieve such a vote.

    To put it simply, the U.S. is broke, dead broke, and we have been so for a long time. These “tax and spend” rep-monkies have destroyed this once great republic, but it doesn’t mean we can’t change our ways as a nation and hope to cobble some type of domestic recovery post “Operation Iraqi Freedom”; i.e, Gulf War II.

    The Southland needs rebuilding without the help of an illegal labor force. Returning veterans will need to be given absolute hiring priority over any other applicants, neccessary skills being a mitigating factor of course. Apprentice programs and such though will be mandated to cater to veterans first. America’s roads and schools need serious rehabilitation too. So instead of wasting 12 billion per month in Iraq we could be spending this money in the U.S. and have something to show for both our tax outlays and our indebtedness. The annual MIC expenditures need to be severely curtailed with the main mission to be simply rebuilding a conventional force that protects America and it’s borders if necessary. I rest my case.

    I entreat all citizen/patriots to get highly motivated and contact your Congressional District reps and start jaw-boning them that they best support defunding and our extrication from Iraq or they’ve lost your support at the polls. Forget about your Senators, they are all intransigent “crooks” with an agenda for the most part. The Senate is acting as a convenient filter/stumbling-block for Bushco’s NWO, nation-wrecking agenda; i.e, they are facilitating the process with their mindless partisanship.

    The link I’m posting gives a demographic vote map result of the recent House movement to end the war which Bushco has plans to veto. You can click on individual states to identify the intransigent supporters of this war; i.e, elected reps that are virtually thumbing their noses at the electorate because they are partisans first and citizens of the U.S. second to last. You can also go to Congress.org’s home page and sign up for their “Vote Monitor” service. You will get timely emails showing you how they’ve voted on recent issues and also alert you to upcoming issues.

    Remember the money being poured down this Iraqi rathole is being funneled back into the M.I. Complex and the hostilities also benefit the oil and oil service industry immensely. Middle East hostilities keep the price of oil and it’s derivatives “pumped” to say the least. With us out of the region oil will pullback to the 45-55 zone which still supplies handsome profits to these wealthy mattoids.

    http://www.congress.org/congressorg/issues/votes/?votenum=624&chamber=H&congress=1101

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    July 20, 2007 at 3:11 am

    Hello!!! The House of Representatives has the power of the purse and they gave into Bush last May. It was not necessary for the Dems to have a veto proof majority to win. All they they had to do was send the same spending bill last May over and over until Bush would be forced to sign a bill with a withdrawl date.

    The Dems fell for Karl Roves Right Wing Echo Machine that was continually saying the Dems were trying to pull the rug out from under our troops; the Democratic representatives were more afraid of the Rove propaganda mill then the American public was, and that’s why immediately after the Dems caved in last May, their polls have precipitously gone very low and the same polls said it was because the Dems caved last May.

    The idea that if the Dems didn’t give into the POTUS that troops would be caught in the middle of a fire-fight with out enough bullets, and not have adequate equipment to fight with is pure BS. Congressional dems had a chance to stop it and they screwed the pooch, so lets get out of this idea that “well, the Republikans are blocking Dems efforts to stop the war”. Nancette Pelosi took out a provision in the May spending bill that Bush would have to go to Congress for permission to bomb Iran. The AIPAC lobby booed her regarding this in a public confrence Nancette had with them, and the next day she took out the provision.

    The Dems and some Republikans are still clinging to this idea that we
    can get ‘most’ of the troops out but leave behind enough troops to protect the McSuper Embassy in Iraq and permanent military bases.

    Permanent miltary bases? Even Thomas Friedman who was for the Iraq war
    has said a reduced troop presence in Iraq is a fantasy, and that we are better getting out by depriving Irans proxy militas targeting our troops. The amount of troops there is nominally adequate as is, so with half of those troops with an Iraqi government already teetering on the edge makes it a ridiculous proposition that we can maintain a skeltal force to protect our assets in Iraq. Also, the Iraqis will never sign the oil agreement that Bush is trying to push on them because mulit-national oil companies will get an excessive cut of profits from this. The Iraqis may be
    unable to be at peace with each other, but their no fools when it comes to not signing BushCo’s oil bill.

    Come on folks, the Democrats are by and large just going along for the ride with a few notable exceptions, but not enough for me to Rah Rah the
    Democrats.

    The Democrats are Scheisse

  6. JoyfulC

    July 19, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    I’m not sure I understood the point of having a “sleep over,” but maybe that’s just a lack of political knowledge on my part.

    I think that the true leaders of the solutions of the future will abandon DC for the moment and come home to mobilize people to the streets.

    The French had a solution for invigorating democracy a few hundred years back. It involved guillotines. Hopefully our solution won’t need to be so bloody, but it’s going to have to be as absolute. We need some political decapitations — of entrenched parties and politicians.

    ..c..

  7. shag11

    July 19, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    Your comments are the type that made me stop supporting John Edwards, in his presidential bid. After he voted for the authorization to go to war, he now talks about how the Dems. have cowered, by not defunding the war.
    They got a slim majority(depending on the subject; Lieberman is a defacto Republican), so how the hell are they supposed get much of anything done on this war, in the Senate. If they just cut the funds, and our soldiers don’t get out safely, our party will never live it down. People like you neede to wake up.
    You are why the Republicans have been kicking our asses in the presidential race, so often, in the last 50 years or so.

  8. Jenifer D.

    July 20, 2007 at 1:10 am

    Hmmm….which one, which one?

    1)Republicans -9

    2)Democrats -3

    NEXT!

  9. douin

    July 20, 2007 at 2:54 am

    vjs
    It is the Republicans that will end up losing in the end. They have proven that all they want to do is Obstruct and think that it will make the Democratic Majority look impotent and useless to the American people. Well, the American people realize that the Democrats must have a majority of 60 to even get heard..and as long as the Republicans only care about what Bush wants, instead of what the majority ( over 80%) of the American people want, they are going to be out on their asses come Nov. 2008. Unless They know something that the Democrats are not privy to…like possibly another black flag ‘attack’ being planned before that time…allowing Bush to declare Martial law and call off the election until…… It has to be something as sick as that, for surely they do not really think that we are so dense as all that. Or do they ?

  10. Helen Rainier

    July 19, 2007 at 9:25 am

    I disagree with some of the comments in the above article. It is conceded that the Democratic leadership will continue to have problems with passing legislation that the American people have indicated they want passed. However, instead of just folding up their tent and walking away meekly, I believe it IS doing the country a service for them to keep on trying to push the legislation that the majority of the people are clamoring for. If nothing else, the Democrats efforts and the Republicans continuing refusal to allow this to happen is a very active and vivid demonstration to We, the People, that the Democrats have heard us and are listening, and further that it is the Republicans who are telling us to go cheney ourselves and that loyalty to party is more important than loyalty to upholding, defending and protecting the Constitution.

    I am frustrated (and pissed off) that the Republicans are blocking all attempts to end Bush’s mess, and believe that in the long run the Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot by their blockheaded stubborness in continuing to support the Bush/PNAC/AIPAC agendas.

  11. vietnam vet

    July 19, 2007 at 10:31 am

    vietnam vet

    very well said Helen, I agree with your statement. It’s not that the Democrates are failing, rather it’s the Republicans that are putting a road block in their path thats preventing them from doing the peoples business. These people could care less about the american soldiers, or how many are killed, just as long as they can make the Democrates look bad and that nut in the white house look good.

    peace and love
    Jesse

  12. pascal1947

    July 19, 2007 at 10:58 am

    The Democrats have once again been outbluffed by the GOP even though they hold the winning hand.

    If the Democrats can withhold any further funding, the President and the GOP MUST capitulate. They should not give in to false memes about not supporting the troops. It is only too clear which party places no value on the lives of our troops.

    But the past history of the Democrats suggests that they will be unable to stand firm and will once give the President everything he wants and more, no strings attached.

  13. NancyH

    July 19, 2007 at 11:13 am

    I do not see this as a Democratic failure. I see this as a failure of Republican ethics, honor, and a commitment to the oath of office as a member of the US Senate. They are in office as a representative of the people and to uphold the US Constitution–not as a slavish lap dog of George Bush or “The Party.”

    Quite frankly, the Obstructionist Republican’s(OR) gleeful comments and jokes exhibited the most egregious lack of Senatorial honor I have seen in decades. The needs and wishes of the American people or the needs of our troops are not considered–only the wishes of George Bush & Co., and “The Party.”

    Never again will I ever vote Republican because “The Party” now is based on lack of ethics, honor, and integrity as shown the last six years. Honorable Republican Congress members would break the chain tying them to “The Party” lies, deceit and daily destruction of this country’s reputation.

    To continue fighting a “non-declared war” war with preemptive invasion of a country not responsible for our 9/11 tragedy with daily deaths of our greatest asset–our sons and daughters; just to give in to George Bush so he can have better place in history, is so much a violation of Constitutional duties of a Senator, perhaps they should be removed from office or impeached!

    These “ORs” dishonor the Senate and all Americans. If there is any justice left in this country; they all will be removed from office in 2008.

  14. bryan mcclellan

    July 19, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Anyone else out there that would like to see a Democrat slap the taste out of Snowjobs mouth? Why do they put up with this immoral mentally crippled caricaturist spewing crap and insults? Get some BALLS already dems and while you’re at it slap der-lieberman too!!

  15. LurkingFromTheLeft

    July 19, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    This Lefist has wanted…

    …to do that since I sadly became aware of his existence –

    …same for his little puppy Dana P –

    LFTL

  16. kanawah

    July 19, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    I would like to see someone in congress slap Snow Job so hard the shrub feels it.

  17. Janice

    July 19, 2007 at 11:56 am

    I see this as another failure on the part of the Republican Senators. They are – again – putting party loyality above loyality to our country and the constituents who elected them. A vast majority of the American public wants us out of this ill-begotten war, and the Senate has failed them. This is nothing new, the Republican Congress has failed the American people for many years. The real shame is that this is allowed to continue. I only hope that we the people will vote out the rest of the ‘bad apples’ next year. I also hope that this Congress will do the right thing and bring articles of impeachment against both Bush and Cheney – but I realize that will never happen without a massive movement on the part of the American citizens.

    If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.
    Mark Twain

  18. dakine01

    July 19, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    The Dems set out to high light Republican obstruction and succeeded. The forced the pseudo Independent types like John Warner to go on record as being Bush lapdogs. They showed that it is the Rs who are blocking things and not allowing progress in the Congress.

    Now they just need to contiue to do this on all the other bills that toothless Mitch and his minions are blocking.

  19. allan hirsh

    July 19, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    mr. hirsh
    the power and the savvy–sounds like an old MGM movie–how would you recommend they get it? If you are savvy, why not let them in on your secret? Just think, you could be somebody too and wouldn’t have to complain about these poor Dems who are about to lose another presidential election thanks to old Ralph the Greenie. Numbers are numbers. The Dems made a good comeback and probably could have had a few more house seats with better accounting for registered voters, but they need one more, don’t they?

  20. hillbilly

    July 19, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    I agree with most of the posts above. I do not see this as a democrat failure, but another step to awakening the American people. I get so disgusted with this political spin. Without the support of the Supreme Court’s intervention into this vote…the dems are in the same position they were in 2000…a majority, but not a victory.

    The repugs and MSM keep attempting to keep this a political issue. Folks it isn’t political any more…it’s a patriotic issue. For those of you who did not hear or have not read the Bill Moyers interview with Bruce Fein and John Nichols, the link is below. It is a rather long read, but should be required reading for everyone…including our elected reps. I have sent a copy to my US Senators and have received a reply from each. Maybe everyone should send their reps a copy of the transcript.

    As I said, my opinion is this is not a political issue any more, but a patriotic one. Take the time…read it!!

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07132007/transcript2.html

  21. Janice

    July 19, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    Hillbilly,
    Your elected reps actually read your email and respond?!? I always get canned responses from Norm Coleman – go figure. I think I get real responses from Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Walz. I have dragged everyone I know in front of the internet and/or TV to watch Bill Moyers interview with Bruce Fein and John Nichols. It’s very significant. I agree with you that this has become a patriotic issue now. It’s time to force this issue with our representatives.

    If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.
    Mark Twain

  22. bryan mcclellan

    July 19, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks Hillbilly, I will re-read and give a copy to as many who will accept it. Is there a PATRIOT in the house or senate ?