Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Standing firmly in the slow quicksand of public disapproval and impending electoral defeat, the WINOs, the Waverers in Name Only, voted with their president this morning, blocking passage of the Levin/Reed amendment to the Defense Authorization.
By a vote of 52-47, with 60 "yea" votes required, Republicans filibustered the Levin-Reed amendment to the Defense Authorization bill, thus keeping it from going to an up-or-down vote and effectively killing the measure. Republicans Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Susan Collins (R-ME) voted with the Democrats.
Lugar and Domenici knew well before the night of debate started that they would oppose any serious effort to change course in Iraq. And Voinovich who got all that great press a few days ago for telling CNN that Bush had screwed up the war?
Meanwhile, Voinovich -- another allegedly "wavering" Senator -- had this to say about Democratic efforts to vote on Reed-Levin: "You wonder if they are more interested in politics than dealing with the substance of this."
No, the politics on this one was all on the side of the WINOs, who are doing their best to strike the posture of being mavericks on Iraq, of breaking with an unpopular president and forcing him to change. They got a whole lot of free press out of the deal, with the media just eating up the idea of Republicans abandoning the president. Of course, the traditional media is pretty easy to fool. We'll probably continue to see stories highlighting the tough talk of the WINOs. Will we see stories about how they're action belie their "tough" talk, how they have obstructed any real change of policy in Iraq?
Seeing their intransigence in supporting their president over supporting the troops, can anyone really believe that something so magical will have happened by September to change their minds? No, they'll just kick that can a little further down the road. But they have done one critical thing in their actions during this debate. They have fully taken on the mantle of responsibility for the Iraq debacle. It now belongs entirely to them.