Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A vote for cloture is a vote for escalation

Josh Marshall on the significance of the cloture vote:

The nominal issue is the Gregg Amendment which, pretty ridiculously, claims that the Congress has the responsibility to fully fund any mission the president decides to authorize for the US armed forces. But the key is they won't let the senate vote on the Iraq War. It's that simple. No vote, no debate on Iraq that can't get over 60 votes. That simple.

That's fine. The senate allows for that. The filibuster is an important right that sizeable minorities have in the US senate. But you take responsibility for what you try to filibuster. So let's note exactly what's happening here. The Republicans -- even ones who say they're against escalation -- are using the filibuster to prevent the senate from opposing the president's war policy. That simple. That's all this is about. Every Republican vote here is for a free hand for the president in Iraq.

Both sides try to spin these things to their own advantage. Sometimes they make them sound simpler than they are. But this one's just clear. They're using the filibuster to protect the president's war policy.

TPM Reader SS on the senate squabble:
I think it's pretty simple. Everyone voting today to shut this down "voted to support President Bush's escalation in Iraq." That's the language I would bash them over the heads with for the 21 months between today and election day 2008. There's nothing untrue about that statement. It's a parliamentary tactic designed to support the president's escalation in Iraq by silencing those who wish to criticize the President's decision.
[emphasis is mine -- bill]


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