Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Democrat Amendment On Iraq Becomes The Republican Amendment

The Republicans have finally agreed with something the Democrats want to do. That idea surprises you? It shouldn't on its face surprise anyone, but the way this was accomplished should be a concern. Not only did they cross-out wording, they crossed-out the names of all the Democrat co-signers, and added the names of Senators Warner and Frist. This act effectively weakened and ultimately hijacked the amendment.

Sen. Carl Levin, ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee made it clear at a press briefing yesterday about the underhanded "gutting" of the Democrat amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill. "I don't think they even read the amendment, because paragraph 7 which is apparently what they have "gutted" says that 2006 will be a significant transition in Iraq as they move to national sovereignty." He went on to quip that the" President should report to Congress every 90 days about a plan for eventual troop withdrawal." Apparently the Republicans didn't like the fact that the wording, in their opinion was tadamount to "cut and run". The old famikiar rhetoric we have heard time and time again from the administration and the Republicans.

Ultimately both the Democrat and Republican versions of the amendment were debated today on the Senate floor. The usual suspects, who show repeatedly that their whole purpose for being Senators, is to what they are told, but not by their constituents. Depending on one's point of view, these Senators did not disappoint. Senators like Sen Joe Lieberman, who stood at his podium declaring he would vote against his own party's amendment for reasons that consistently makes you wonder why there isn't an "R" in parentheses after his name. He proclaimed the reason for his voting "no" was because the last paragragh gives a time table for troop withdrawal, and that "sends the wrong message and mixed signals to our troops." he then rambled on about the partisan bickering that is embarrassing this great body". -- okay..

Sen Biden, took up the slack and right at the top, set Sen. Lieberman straight, or at least attempted to. "This is not a partisan issue, as stated by Sen. Lieberman. This debate is happening at this tine, about this issue because the people are fed up with the White House rhetoric which does not reflect the realities on the ground in Iraq."

Sen. Frist, was just in his usual form today, just reiterating the White House "talking points" or maybe he was reading from one of Mr.Bush's speeches he gave over the last few days. The points being, we shouldn't "cutand run", and "fight the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them over here". montra. You get the idea.

At the end of the debate on both amendments, the final votes were: On the Levin Amendment, 57 "yeahs", 40 No", On the Warner Amendment, 79 "Yeahs" 19 "No". Even though a watered-down version was passed overwhelmingly, it did send a scathing message to Mr. Bush and the White House; The time has passed for lame self-serving rhetoric, the time is here to account for a plan on the occupation of Iraq. The American people diserve answers, this country cannot be wallowing in a quandry indefinitely.

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