Seven Republican Samurai Tell Reid and McConnell: Shape Up — Debate on Iraq Resolution Must Take Place

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hagel clemons.jpg
Seven Republican Senators — seven renegade samurai, or ronin — have essentially blasted in a letter just prepared in the last hour both the Democratic and Republican leadership for behind-the-scenes gamesmanship that undermined a floor debate about America’s options in Iraq.
While American citizens saw a procedural motion to move to “debate” the Warner-Levin Iraq War Resolution lose a 49-47 vote, what they did not see was a snarling, nasty tug-of-war between Reid and Durbin on one side and McConnell and Lott on the other that ripped the guts out of any possible comity needed to get to that debate.
TWN has learned that Senators John Warner, Olympia Snowe, and Chuck Hagel — and others — were highly irritated, angry in fact, with both sides and elected to vote against the procedural motion until the party leaders on both sides of the aisle ceased their antics.
I was as confused as anyone by the votes cast by Warner, Snowe and Hagel who were real stakeholders in the resolution that was being fought over. But it is now clear that in the eyes of these Senators, the Republican Party leadership and the majority Democrats chose to slug each other silly in ways that preempted any ability to secure the votes needed to assure debate. In that circumstance, the Senators who have signed the letter below decided to vote against the resolution in that climate.
Essentially, these seven Senators have said to their own Republican leadership and the Democrats to “shape up” or a “pox on both your houses.”
I think it’s a brave move — and explains a lot.
Here is the signed letter as a pdf.
Here is what the letter says:

February 7, 2007
The Honorable Harry Reid, Majority Leader
The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Republican Leader
The Honorable Richard Durbin, Assistant Majority Leader
The Honorable Trent Lott, Assistant Republican Leader
United States Senate — Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Leader Reid, Leader McConnell, Senator Durbin and Senator Lott:
The war in Iraq is the most pressing issue of our time. It urgently deserves the attention of the full Senate and a full debate on the Senate floor without delay.
We respectfully advise you, our leaders, that we intend to take S. Con. Res 7 and offer it, where possible under the Standing Rules of the Senate, to bills coming before the Senate.
On January 10,2007, the President stated, with respect to his Iraq strategy, “if Members have improvements that can be made, we will make them. If circumstances change we will adjust.” In a conscientious, respectful way, we offered our resolution consistent with the President’s statement.
We strongly believe the Senate should be allowed to work its will on our resolution as well as the concepts brought forward by other Senators. Monday’s procedural vote should not be interpreted as any lessening of our resolve to go forward advocating the concepts of S. Con. Res. 7.
We will explore all of our options under the Senate procedures and practices to ensure a full and open debate on the Senate floor. The current stalemate is unacceptable to us and to the people of this country.
Sincerely,
Olympia Snowe
John Warner
Chuck Hagel
Susan Collins
Norm Coleman
Gordon Smith
George Voinovich

This letter is going to reopen the possibilities of what could happen regarding the much needed national debate on the Senate floor on America’s course in Iraq.
The “huge get” of this letter is Senator GEORGE VOINOVICH. He was not on any of the previous resolutions.
So where are MURKOWSKI, SUNUNU, BROWNBACK, and SPECTER?
More soon.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

80 comments on “Seven Republican Samurai Tell Reid and McConnell: Shape Up — Debate on Iraq Resolution Must Take Place

  1. benjoya says:

    does this mean that warner and hagel will no longer filibuster their own bills? talk about your profiles in courage.

    Reply

  2. jf says:

    “I know that many of you on the left — like some other readers on the right — kind of despise working with or dealing with what you see as political opposition.”
    Of course. Of course there are *some* on the left who would prefer not to work with or deal with what they see as political opposition. However, if you feel you are bolstering your argument by dismissing those with less confidence in your mythic seven senators, it does not sway me. And having carefully read the comments prior to your response, I think you have done them an injustice as well. I, and I believe most people reading your blog, crave intelligent debate of the issues. For you to reiterate the impossibility for that to happen without the existence of both Dems and their political opposition I find offensive because it ought not need to be addressed.
    Having expressed my disagreement with you on this, I would like to say your posts in recent weeks have been quite simply the most valuable contributions to current events I’ve seen in years. You are hitting it out of the park consistently. Thanks for that, and keep it up, please.

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  3. Alan Coltharp says:

    All of these Congresscritters are in dire need of
    spine transplants. All of them know, whether or not
    they acknowledge it, that the Iraq war is a total
    clusterf**k. And an Iran attack will be a double
    plus clusterf**k. Yet they dither. “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”
    Thomas Jefferson

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  4. Den Valdron says:

    Hmmmm. There’s a Canadian word, I don’t know if you have it down in the United States. But it seems quite appropriate.
    With Senator Warner, we have a Senator making a resolution, only to filibuster his own resolution, and now he’s blaming the Democratic leadership and his own leader for… something or other? Preventing him from making the motion he wants to filibuster? Preventing him from filibusterign the motion he made? Not preventing him from doing something or other about something or other he had done at the start?
    Sadly, Senator Warner’s incoherence and dishonesty is matched for its game playing qualities by the other six Republican Senators who have sat through Bush’s previous six years, rolling over every time he said boo.
    So…. What are we to make of this.
    By the way, the appropriate word, used in Canada is: Cuntrag. As in “gee, that Senator Warner sure is a cuntrag.” Or “hey, what a bunch of cuntrags.”
    Feel free to use it, particularly in reference to Warner and the rest of the Seven Samurai.

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  5. Frank says:

    Plan b is for Bush to pull a condom over his head capturing his “seminal” legacy stemming from mental masturbatory phantasys his tragic Iraq misadventure had inspired. Then he will display that shameful “legacy” in a spot lit glass case prominately located in his five hundred million dollar presidential library.

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  6. gq says:

    I believe Wes Clark has been talking about this for years. The Dem presidential field is starting to parrot Clark’s approach that we need to have a political solution in Iraq and some are coming around to Clark’s plan for Iran engagement.
    Of course, I’m sure Clark’s words are only because someone so humble, brave and straight shooting like Chuck Hagel are around. Nothing good comes from anyone in Washington except Hagel–and Lincoln Chafee.

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  7. Pissed Off American says:

    “I know much more about the tit-for-tat escalation of ridiculous positions that Reid and McConnell engaged in — and I understand why a US Senator in that position would choose to keep his or her powder dry, and wait to fight another day.”
    Really? You don’t say? Well Steve, you mean your Golden Boy, Reid, is the asshole I have always claimed he was? Funny, you never got back to me about what it is he has done that made you give such glowing testimonials to the guy. But hey, in reading the comments here, its pretty obvious that most of your readers would like a bit of enlightenment about the “tit-for-tat escalation of ridiculous positions that Reid and McConnell engaged in”. Perhaps you could be more specific, and describe these antics for us. I don’t doubt that this posturing coward Reid is playing games behind the curtains, and its obvious that McConnell is just a drooling Bushlicker…but most of us would like clarification. WHAT “tit-for-tat escalation of ridiculous positions” are you talking about?

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  8. beth says:

    It matters to me that Hagel voted against the minimum wage increase. He’s not so impressive after watching him, waiting for action. None comes. No action comes from that man, and he votes the wrong way 90 percent of the time.
    Sure, it’s great listening to Sen. Hagel talk back to Lieberman about us all wanting good things in Iraq, but this guy is not showing leadership the way I want to see it. Sen. Obama talks more subtley, but his bills are better.

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  9. Easy E says:

    BREAKING………
    ***Pentagon: Pre-war intelligence was LEGIT***
    “…A report will be given to Congress tomorrow in which a DOD official clears former Pentagon policy chief Douglas J. Feith of allegations by some Democrats of illegal activities – specifically that he misled Congress about the basis of the administration’s assertions on the threat posed by Iraq…”
    http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002513.php
    Just confirms the power of http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3362402,00.html and http://www.aipac.org/

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  10. jhg says:

    Steve,
    Surge? What surge? 20,000 troups is not a surge. Prewar estimates were that at least 2-4 times the current troop levels were needed to maintain order. Why bother debating a surge which is about 1/10 the actual number needed. This is a public relations surge, Bush is doing something to appear to not be “staying the course.” Why bother to debate such an inconsequential change in stategy. Hagel acting like a few more troops is like Napolean at Waterloo is just theatre.

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  11. Delia says:

    As another Oregonian, I can’t help but notice that Gordon Smith’s miraculous conversion to war skeptic followed hard upon the November election. He’s got an eye on his own election in 2008, and his behavior this past week certainly seems to indicate he’s trying have his cake and eat it too.

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  12. Easy E says:

    Iraq and Iran will continue to destabilize as U.S. Foreign & ME Policy continues to be controlled by foreign government.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3362402,00.html
    And a reason that foreign agent and key architect of ME fiasco will escape justice.
    http://kurtnimmo.com/?p=753
    A sad state of affairs.

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  13. Mike says:

    These gutless Republicans hewed the Party Line when it counted, and are claiming to be independent when it doesn’t. They are tryin to have it both ways. Cowards and hacks.

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  14. Marky says:

    I’ve seen Gordon Smith on cable news, and there isn’t a slimier pro-war Republican. He uses all the talking points which stifle free debate on the war—not wanting to send a bad message to troops, etc.
    Big kudos to Pelosi for arranging to embarrass the old men of the Senate by holding three full days of debate on Iraq.

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  15. Bill R. says:

    I couldn’t disagree more, Steve. You are really letting these cowards off the hook. They had their chance and chose party over conscience and country. Now they want to have it both ways by saying that their vote for fillibuster didn’t really count. As an Oregonian I can tell you Gordon Smith is going to come to account for this and his other votes to provide cover for George Bush and his party.

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  16. Easy E says:

    Both Iraq and Iran are about a foreign power that controls U.S. Foreign/ME Policy. This foreign power is still the top recipient of U.S. foreign aid.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3362402,00.html
    That’s a key reason that an agent of this foreign power architect of our current ME fiasco will likely escape justice.
    http://kurtnimmo.com/?p=753
    Sad state of affairs.

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  17. bryanwilkins says:

    Mitch McConnell is the snake in the grass throughout this whole episode. He is carrying the White House’s water. They do NOT want ANY kind of congressional rebuke/rejection of the Iraq policy of Bush-Boy; Warner, Hagel et al will be the loyal waterboys despite all their protestations to the contrary. How could Warner vote against his own resolution he so ardently thought was Soooo important? McConnell is simply tying up the senate and pretending that procedure is the reason for doing nothing….and he is right. He is doing nothing. Exactly what the WH wants.

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  18. brendan says:

    “brave”?
    All but two voted against cloture. They didn’t want to debate the bill: now they’re writing letters demanding a debate?
    This may be a mulligan, but it is not brave under any definition of the word. “Mulligan” is probably the wrong word: what this is is an exercise in CYA.

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  19. liz says:

    It’s kinda nice to see some Republicans paying attention to We the people. We the people elect human beings to represent US in DC. We DO NOT elect human beings to represent the President of the United States to us. My Senator needs a lesson. He has not listened to any residents of his district. I say if the Senate is not allowed to debate based on one of those Senators being from my state, perhaps we should issue a RECALL of that Senator until he HEARS his electorate…….. any other ideas?

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  20. Ken from Ken's Kitchen says:

    Samurai warriers? Kabuki theater is more like it.
    Five Republican “warriers” (including Warner himself!) successfully filibuster the Warner Iraq resolution on Monday, then demand on Wednesday that the Senate allow the Warner Iraq resolution to come up for a vote.
    Wait, that’s not Kabuki Theater, that’s Theater of the Absurd!

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  21. Neil says:

    Neil Maydom
    Bush’s Surge – from Mock War to unmitigated Phase II Disaster.
    The stated reason for the ‘surge’ was to secure Baghdad. While this was intended to sound impressive, it’s actually a subtle admission of defeat because, after four years of unremitting slaughter, the US has failed to secure one zone, region or province – a superficially puzzling result considering Iraq was defenceless when it was attacked and its army surrendered at the earliest opportunity. Given the bizarre outcome, the only logical explanation is that the war was NEVER about security – for Iraq or America – or Iraqis or US troops. It was about looting the US Treasury by destroying Iraq using a profligate range of extraordinarily expensive but tactically irrelevant weapons for fun and private profit – at US taxpayer’s expense.
    When the Iraqi army surrendered, the war was effectively over and the US was free to do as it pleased in Iraq. However, with no Iraqi Army left to fight, and being committed to a long war, to soak up as much public money as possible, Bush’s lunatics and liars decided to wage a new war on the civilian population, and it is this war that Bush can’t hope to win. The reason is blindingly obvious.
    Its Phase II war on the civilian population was launched by kicking down the front door of every ‘suspicious’ household in Iraq and doing things very few US soldiers will brag about to their children. One very peculiar thing they did, after looting and damaging the homes they broke into, was to torture thousands of Iraqis to discover what they knew about WMDs which Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney knew didn’t exist.
    And Bush had the gall to ask “Why do they hate us?” Well, it really doesn’t matter ‘why’ any more. They have every right to hate Americans and will undoubtedly prove themselves more than equal to the task of demonstrating just how little they appreciate the “help” Bush & Co has delivered so far.

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  22. trip says:

    ANGRY at ANTICS???
    Then what are they doing in the United States Senate??
    If they were going to get ANGRY over ANTICS, they should be, I believe the currently en vogue recommendation is, selling shoes.
    Sorry, Steve, seven Senators non Samuri sunt.
    Their vote was wrong and cowardly and this “brave” letter is is just a lame attempt at ass-covering.

    Reply

  23. ... says:

    it seems to me the republicans and democrats are cut from the very same cloth and it has nothing to do with democracy or representing the needs and wishes of the ordinary american… they seem interested in opposite would be a better way of putting it..
    so, however many years later, there is still no wise leadership coming from the usa, whether in the form of president, vice president, congress or the senate.. there is a lot of self serving type leadership good for corporations and more corrupt reasons, but none of quality for the ordinary person.

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  24. Marcia says:

    Steve:
    In your enthousiasm for Hagel you omit the fact that with each foreign agression there were corresponding domestic agressions on all our rights, Habeas Corpus, privacy etc. and that Hagel voted with his with party for Bush-Cheney. Like Spector he talks big then tows the line.
    These domestic issues are no less important than the foreign agressions and no less urgent.
    Congress betrayed voters, refused its constitutional role and merits no confidence , no trust. Only acts can speak now.

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  25. Power to da People says:

    I can see a need to work on strategy–Dems have a majority in the Senate only with counting on Lieberman (UGH…what a croc!!), so that brings us back to 50, and adding the 7 Repubs still leaves us 3 votes short of the 60 needed. Did not know that Dems shot themselves in the foot by VOTING to mandate 60 votes for decisions–way to render their majority impotent! What is this–do the Dems have a death wish or something?? Finally will have a majority and then make it so that their majority is inconsequential? Of course, Johnson is still hospitalized so he is not present, bringing the Dems down equal to the Repubs even without LIEberman, because we all know that he is undependable for anything. Now, considering this standoff, why not make some feeble attempt to work with the “seven renegade samurai, or ronin”? Their votes on the resolution DID come off appearing to appease Dubya tho, and that is the rub of it. And, it does come off feeling like the Repubs have squeezed Dems cojones AGAIN.
    I do tend to agree with whoever brought it up that the non-binding resolution, which will do zippo/zilch/nada, is an exercise in futility. What we need is to grab Bush by his cojones and inform the jerk that Congress is on equal footing with him, so he should knock off the unitary-executive dictator shit. Although, frankly, I believe such a directive would be disregarded by the PTB. Guess my next vision is one of people taking to the streets because I’m convinced that is the only thing which would even begin to convince IB (idiot-boy) that he is not supreme and ultimate ruler of all. Until that happens, we must find some way to work with the “other side” to make progress, because those in the WH will do their utmost to keep both sides harping against each other and prevent any united action from occuring.

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  26. Rob says:

    WTF is wrong with you? Brave? Heroic? Ronin? Get the hell outta here!
    More maneuvering, more posturing, more double speak after the fact just so they can straddle both sides of the fence and you laud them like they just ended the war and brought peace to Iraq overnight.
    Only a beltway insider tool like you could come up with such a head up your butt conclusion.
    Out here in the real world, where actions speak much louder than words and real human beings take responsponsibilty for the consequences of their actions (or inaction), we can recognize this “heroic” gesture for what it is – complete CYA bullshit.
    What a tool.

    Reply

  27. rich says:

    Umm, so if these ‘samurai’ were FOR a debate, why were they voting with the Repubs on these absurd measures? or for the 60-vote threshold?
    More specifically/irritatingly–how can Susan Collins or any of them pose as defenders of the minority’s right to attach & amend resolutions, be heard, or debate–or FILibuster???
    Where were their voices when Dems were utterly flattened and completely excluded from any sort of participation, or voice, during the Republican rule? I guess the voice & participation of the minority as critical to a funtional democracy didn’t matter so much then.
    That ALONE radically diminishes their pose of defending the integrity of the Senate or democracy in general.
    They had an obligation to speak up then, and to vote in the national interest now. FURTHER, if they’d impressed upon Harry Reid their intention to break that deadlock earlier, this might not have been necessary.
    Frankly, Harry Reid’s posture & tactic on this may well have been the result of the Seven Saurai’s refusal to stand up when Dems were the minority. When else would Repub Sens have th power to make that critical difference?
    SOO–let’s see the substance–some real action. Susan Collins in particular talks a good game, then votes w/Bush & hardliners on the most important issues of the day, time and again. ANd SENator Collins’ bald hypocrisy stinks all the way out here. There ARE LIMITS.
    IF what they’re doing is so bold–let’s see ’em follow through. Otherwise, NO credit.

    Reply

  28. rich says:

    Umm, so if these ‘samurai’ were FOR a debate, why were they voting with the Repubs on these absurd measures? or for the 60-vote threshold?
    More specifically/irritatingly–how can Susan Collins or any of them pose as defenders of the minority’s right to attach & amend resolutions, be heard, or debate–or FILibuster???
    Where were their voices when Dems were utterly flattened and completely excluded from any sort of participation, or voice, during the Republican rule? I guess the voice & participation of the minority as critical to a funtional democracy didn’t matter so much then.
    That ALONE radically diminishes their pose of defending the integrity of the Senate or democracy in general.
    They had an obligation to speak up then, and to vote in the national interest now. FURTHER, if they’d impressed upon Harry Reid their intention to break that deadlock earlier, this might not have been necessary.
    Frankly, Harry Reid’s posture & tactic on this may well have been the result of the Seven Saurai’s refusal to stand up when Dems were the minority. When else would Repub Sens have th power to make that critical difference?
    SOO–let’s see the substance–some real action. Susan Collins in particular talks a good game, then votes w/Bush & hardliners on the most important issues of the day, time and again. ANd SENator Collins’ bald hypocrisy stinks all the way out here. There ARE LIMITS.
    IF what they’re doing is so bold–let’s see ’em follow through. Otherwise, NO credit.

    Reply

  29. Carroll says:

    Well, I give up, this is too convoluted to follow any more, games,games. Just further proof of the incompetence caused party and self interest of our two ruling mafia families.
    How many things would we have to list to prove to the good citizens that the politicans are all beyond hopeless?
    Think they will do anything about this? Bet they won’t….
    “State Department Report Delivered to Pelosi and Biden
    February 7, 2007
    At the height of the Israeli war against Hezbollah last summer, in which hundreds of civilians living in southern Lebanon were killed, the U.S. rushed a request from Israel for more than 1,300 American-made M26 cluster bombs. The request prompted an outcry in Congress and elsewhere that the artillery rockets, which disperse 644 submunitions each, might be used in civilian areas, contrary to the terms of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act. Last week, the Department of State delivered a preliminary report to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, and to Sen. Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that is said by the news media to accuse Israel of exactly these charges.
    Or how about this? I am sure letting the pentagon investigate itself is going to produce some real bombshells.
    “Pentagon Inspector General to release investigation into secretivepre-war Iraq intelligence group Larisa Alexandrovna
    Published: Wednesday February 7, 2007
    A long awaited Pentagon Inspector General’s report into the Office of Special Plans and its activities surrounding pre-war intelligence in the lead up to the Iraq war has been completed.
    According to sources close to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the classified version of the Pentagon IG’s report will be released to committee members Friday. Two to three declassified pages may also be concurrently released to the public.
    A Senate aide on the committee, while not commenting on particular questions regarding the IG’s report, confirmed that a major focal point involves former Deputy Undersecretary for Defense Policy Douglas Feith – a keystone of the Administration’s intelligence on Iraq and director of the notoriously secretive Pentagon Office of Special Plans from September 2002 to June 2003.
    Feith announced his resignation in January 2005, a week after the New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh accused him of working with Israeli officials to select potential targets for a preemptive Iran strike.
    The Pentagon has told the Senate Intelligence Committee to expect the report Friday.
    Led by Feith, the group’s members also included Larry Franklin, who pleaded guilty to leaking classified documents regarding Iran to a Washington-based Israeli lobby in 2005; prominent neoconservative and Iran-Contra intermediary Michael Ledeen; and Middle East expert Harold Rhode, who purportedly sought to purge the Pentagon of anyone opposing the group’s hawkish Iraq agenda.
    Another prominent member was Ahmed Chalabi, who headed up the Iraqi National Congress – an Iraq opposition group created by the Rendon Group, a defense contractor for the U.S. military, after the first Gulf War.
    The Office of Special Plans was created by then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. On an organizational level, Feith ran the operation, which then purportedly “cooked” and filtered intelligence that favored an Iraq invasion.
    A history of espionage allegations
    Compounding concerns over a self-investigating Defense Department are a history of confessed and alleged espionage by members of the OSP.
    Feith’s access to classified information and any possible wrongdoing can likely be laid at the feet of more senior officials in the Bush Administration – namely former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld – who would have been forced to overrule Pentagon background checks to reissue Feith’s clearances after he was booted from the National Security Council for espionage allegations in the mid-1980s.
    According to the Washington Post, Feith faced questioning in 2004 on allegations that he or other officials may have passed classified information to an Iraqi politician or a pro-Israeli lobby group.
    In 1978, former Rumsfeld Deputy Paul Wolfowitz was investigated for allegedly passing a classified document on proposed US weapons sales to Israel through the same pro-Israeli lobby. The inquiry was later dropped. Wolfowitz now serves as president of the World Bank.
    According to an FBI wiretap, Perle discussed classified information with the Israeli embassy when he was a foreign policy aide for Senator Henry M. Jackson in 1970; in 1978, the New York Times reported that he inappropriately accepted classified data from a CIA official, again as Jackson’s aide…..http://www.rawstory.com/news/2007/Pentagon_Inspector_General_to_release_investigation_0207.html
    >>>>>>>
    Give it up, this gov is rotten to the core…the WH, congress and our election process are corrupted beyond repair, every agency we have is either incompetent or off on their own ding bat or line their pockets mission. I doubt that now even Burning Washington to the Ground would salvage very much.

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  30. Ben Rosengart says:

    Steve: some of the disagreement you’re seeing here comes not from partisanship, but from lack of information. Looks to me like you failed to make your case as to why this action is praiseworthy — well, not so much failed, as didn’t even try. I suggest you make a follow-up post, and this time, start at the beginning and walk us through it. We don’t all have the same ready access to day-to-day political minutia that you enjoy (if “enjoy” is the right word).

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  31. rose says:

    This is just the typical disconnect that Republicans, the party of “moral values” (heh!), have between their mouths and their hands. And it is total bullshit to suggest the reason the debate has not gone forward is because of Democrats.
    It is also laughable for any Republican to cast aspersions on any Democrat for being “partisan.” What have we seen this past 6 years from Republicans, if not extreme partisanship to the extent that democratic viewpoints were completely shut out from being debated in congress.
    Democrats have offered more bipartisanship that Repubs ever did, but obviously Republicans are too immature to accept an olive branch when it has been offered. They are still trying to ram thier extreme right agenda down everyone’s throats. And I say to the Dems, forget trying to make nice with these fascists, enough is enough. It’s time for the grown-ups to step in and clean up the mess these spoiled brats have made of the country.

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  32. gq says:

    Steve is absolutely right on one thing: There is no candidate on the Dem side that is Hagel-like. No Dem has voted with Bush 90-95% of the time. I haven’t seen a Dem come out and say they support legislation only to filibuster it.
    I’d like to see what Hagel did while the GOP was in the majority to get “debate” on Iraq going in the Senate. I’ll even take things he did in the background. I’d like specific deeds, not words. I haven’t seen any specific actions posted by TWN–only happy speeches.

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  33. Matthew says:

    Seven Samurai? So at what part of the film did Yul Brynner make up with the bandits? To paraphrase Elenor Roosevelt, a little more courage, a little less profile would be in order.

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  34. DonS says:

    The time for debate about a disaster is already past. Action is needed. While the seven senators, indeed the whole senate, may believe in their relevance, its going to take some pretty amazing verbiage — if a “debate” ever does occure — to overcome the apparent fact that debate has become irrelevant unless its attached to actual action.
    In the larger political picture, the repubs will be looking back at the ’06 midterms as the good old days if they don’t stop fiddling with the deck chairs. While the dems haven’t acquitted themselves well on the war either, ousting the repubs will be an intermediate step .
    This letter from the seven born again senators does not represent a moderate, sensible way forward any more that that bipartisan bunch that saddled us with Alito and Roberts. Moderate and sensible republicans simply enables the unitary executive decider. Thye have to make a choice, and that means breaking with the party disciple in more than words.

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  35. bubba says:

    It may be time for the Dems to put the original language back in the resolution. Call these 5 asshats on their prior bluff. They forfeited their right to have a say in the language by voting the way they did on cloture. Put the original language back in, let these clowns vote against the bill after debate, and then explain that to their constituents. It won’t be the Dems who get hurt by that.

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  36. Eric says:

    Steve, you said…
    “I know much more about the tit-for-tat escalation of ridiculous positions that Reid and McConnell engaged in — and I understand why a US Senator in that position would choose to keep his or her powder dry, and wait to fight another day.”
    Can you elaborate? I think what you’re fighting against here is not simple partisanship…from my perspective at least, it looks like the Democrats had already made concessions to get this process going, only to see the effort scuttled.
    I understand the idea of “keeping the powder dry”. And I’ll even concede that maybe there were behind-the-scenes machinations we’re not aware of that may in fact justify their holding back.
    My point has to be that in the process of doing so, they created a perception that hurts the process. Hagel, for example, made some bold statements…but unless he’s clear about the specific reasons for supporting the filibuster, and then only if those reasons make sense across party lines, he’s shooting his credibility in the foot. Warner, participating in a filibuster of his own bill…how does that NOT create a negative impression?
    I absolutely agree with you that the debate needs the participation of Republicans. That said, I don’t see how you can see bravery in this action. They didn’t keep their powder dry…they gave it away. To bring up Hagel again, we’ve seen him make bold statements time and time again…only to retreat when it really counts. He’s running out of powder. There’s going to come a time when he makes yet another bold statement…and no one is going to care. What use is he then, in terms of moving this debate forward? What credibility will he have/does he have?
    They weren’t happy with how this was playing out procedurally. So be it. Who wins by putting a road-block in front of the process now? Are the American people really going to understand the “tit for tat escalation” you refer to? Or are they going to see “Republicans sink debate on Iraq”? “Bravery” would have involved those seven Senators standing up to sink the filibuster and allow the momentum to build. Not within the chambers of Congress, but in the larger arena of public opinion. The debate needs both Democratic and Republican participation. Beyond that, it needs an aware and informed public. Achieving cloture could have helped that. Instead, these Senators chose to stop debate (whatever the technical details, THAT’S the public perception) and hand the White House a “victory”.

    Reply

  37. carsick says:

    The democrats were so tricky that they actually sat down with Warner to find language he could agree with so their non-binding resolution could be debated with a bipartisan effort. How uinderhanded of them!
    They were rewarded with partisan gamemanship.
    Now they write letters. Why don’t they just set up a committee to explore setting up a commission to review the possibility of a debate.
    What was it Hagel said just a week or so ago?
    “. . And I want every one of you, every one of us, 100 senators, to look in that camera, and you tell your people back home what you think. Don’t hide anymore; none of us.
    “That is the essence of our responsibility. And if we’re not willing to do it, we’re not worthy to be seated right here. We fail our country. If we don’t debate this . . . we are not worthy of our country.”
    Guess he changed his mind.

    Reply

  38. NCProsecutor says:

    Dear Steve,
    I have long been a devoted fan of your writing, and I have recommended your website to others seeking straightforward analysis of foreign affairs. You were clearly at your best during the Bolton confirmation process, and for that reason I was willing to overlook your nonsensical worship of Linc Chafee (over a true progressive Democrat) during this past election cycle.
    But this post goes too far. You say you want to see a real debate about Iraq policy. That’s great, but explain to me how the “heroes” you describe have done anything to make that debate happen? You laud Chuck Hagel (or someone like him) as a potential presidential candidate — do you mean someone who talks a good game about opposing this administration’s disastrous foreign policy but refuses to take concrete action (and someone, by the way, who has consistently voted in accord with this administration’s positions)?
    How do you answer SqueakyRat’s question above, re: the fact that, had Senate Democrats allowed all three resolutions to come to a vote, only the Gregg amendment would have passed and everything even mildly critical of the President would have failed.
    Finally, your post does absolutely nothing to provide evidence to support your theory that “behind-the-scenes” gamesmanship by both parties caused your “heroes” to oppose cloture. In your theory, what exactly are the “heroes” blaming the Democratic leadership for? Refusing to allow the Gregg amendment to come up for a vote? See above on how the Democrats simply couldn’t allow that to happen.
    Perhaps your “[m]ore soon” will further enlighten me. I await further evidence to support your “heroes” theory. But Steve, your judgment in hyping this letter as evidence of moderate Republicans’ desire to have a real debate on the war in Iraq seems deeply flawed. I hope you will either tell us more about why you have come to this conclusion or disavow this post.
    With deep disappointment,
    NCProsecutor

    Reply

  39. Easy E says:

    “Pentagon Inspector General to release investigation into secretive pre-war Iraq intelligence group”
    http://www.rawstory.com/news/2007/Pentagon_Inspector_General_to_release_investigation_0207.html
    “From the Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Iraq”
    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/03/whitehouse200703
    Conclusion:
    ***INDICT***IMPEACH***IMPRISON****

    Reply

  40. Cicero says:

    “The world’s greatest deliberative body”????
    What a disgrace. What a temple to impoverished discourse. What a citadel of cowardice. What a discredit to the inspiration of the Roman Senate.
    The United States Senate of today is infested with a pack of cowardly jackals. 20 Republicans are up for election in 2008. PURGE!!!

    Reply

  41. SqueakyRat says:

    Steve–
    Do you really believe the Democrats should have gone along with the Republican demand for a 60-vote majority for passage of the resolutions? Surely you can see what the result would have been: the Gregg amendment passes and everything critical of Bush’s Iraq policy fails. What reason could the Democrats possibly have for allowing the playing field to be slanted in that way?
    I don’t see how parcelling out the blame equally to both sides is anything but falling in with a Republican spin game.

    Reply

  42. bubba says:

    Steve,
    Hell, in addition, you seem to forget that the Dems have already given in to these 7 republicans by significantly watering down the language of the Levin-Warner bill. The least the 5 republicans could have done was return the favor by voting their conscience on the damn thing. Instead they act like they want to have their cake and eat it to. I call shennanigans on that crap. And you should too.

    Reply

  43. bubba says:

    Steve,
    Brave? I see five chicken-sh*ts who refused to buck their party because they placed party above country and our soldiers. These five cowards could have showed some spine and stood up to their party leaders (something that they rarely, if ever, did during the past 6 years) on the original votes. Had they done so, I have no doubt that their personal leadership, shown by their actions on the floor of the senate, in such a situation would have allowed other lesser GOP senators to go along with them and the Dems. These clowns have pretty much sat idly by for the entire period of the war, and when it comes to standing up for principle, just once, they did the cowardly thing. Brave? Man, you are way off base on this one. And it is disappointing, as I respect your opinion.

    Reply

  44. Steve Clemons says:

    Dear critics — greetings to all of you. I am focused on getting a healthy, real Iraq debate going in this country. That debate is impossible without the support of some like-minded Republicans. It simply is impossible. I know that many of you on the left — like some other readers on the right — kind of despise working with or dealing with what you see as political opposition. I’m not on the same page. Those who pointed out that I called for a purge are right that I did — and these kind of votes help that — but I’m not a partisan Dem. I don’t have the patience for that kind of ideological predictability and don’t think that the Dem Party should count on blind-followers. I know much more about the tit-for-tat escalation of ridiculous positions that Reid and McConnell engaged in — and I understand why a US Senator in that position would choose to keep his or her powder dry, and wait to fight another day.
    That is what happened here. The kind of political definitiveness that many of you want will not happen until there are one or more elections — and and as I have said before, I’m not thrilled with most of the candidates. I care mostly about America’s dangerous game in the Middle East. I also care about other issues — like family/work issues, the economy, trade and offshoring, gay issues, the environment and global change, the state of civil liberties in the US and elsewhere — but my highest priority now is the crappy shape of America’s national security and foreign policy portfolios.
    I won’t write off the leading Republicans that are trying to drive change here — and if I need to pause, step back, and reconsider how they need to play their hand, I’m willing to give them that break. I would even loudly applaud someone like Hagel running for President, as there is no Hagel-like candidate on either the Republican or Democrat side.
    So, chew me up for that — but this is why we are here — not to agree at every turn but to try to educate one another and engage in serious discussion about serious problems.
    Best — and thanks for the notes,
    Steve Clemons
    http://www.TheWashingtonNote.com

    Reply

  45. Rob says:

    TWN took the bait hook, line and sinker if it believes its “sources” or these seven Senators are playing it straight with them. (“Ronin” is a little too breathless, don’t you think?)
    “I know that my vote was completely in line with the political intentions of my GOP leadership and that I didn’t complain about it at the time, but REALLY, I happen to be voting with them for another reason, secret ’til now, ta-da!”
    Voting with the rest of your party against debating a resolution isn’t reprimanding the leadership – it’s voting with your party. If you really wanted to register your displeasure, you abstain from voting or you vote present.
    These senators got suckered into thinking that the press reaction could be managed in a favorable manner the next morning just like it was in prior Congresses over filabustered judges. It couldn’t, which is why Senate GOP staffers were in all the Hill news publications saying that they lost the first round of the press coverage. R’s gambled, lost, and looked both petty, silly and political in making that gamble. This letter is simply regretful moderate R’s trying to dupe the press into thinking their intentions were otherwise.
    TWN shouldn’t be duped into accepting their attempt at political cover as anything other than an attempt at political cover. I’m a little disappointed that an otherwise saavy blog took the bait.

    Reply

  46. Jim says:

    Steve,
    You must have fallen and hit your head. Five of the seven voted against cloture and you’re lauding them for this letter that bashes the Dem leadership. Most of these clowns are up for reelection and are scared shitless. They will say and do anything at this point. Don’t enable these cowards.
    Jim

    Reply

  47. DonS says:

    Paraphrasing Arianna Huffington on the Libby trial (Firedoglake video summary of yesterday’s hearings), with regard a grandiose definition of ‘confidentiality, given by the defense in the attempt to quash a subpoena:
    ‘It gives the impression that any conversation between government officials [or even that a conversation took place] is automatically off the record, that it is a kind of club between high government officials and major reporters, and that anything discussed between them is automatically off the record, no matter whether it is in the public interest or not’.
    Too much secrecy; not enough sunlight.

    Reply

  48. semper fubar says:

    steve, I think you’re jumped the shark on this one. Heroes?? How about “gutless cowards who put their own political fortunes ahead of the lives of our troops and the will of the American people.”
    Heroes? RONIN? SAMURAI?
    Jeeez, man. Get a grip. We’re not that freakin stupid out here in the hinterlands.

    Reply

  49. Marcia says:

    This Senate looks like the retirement home of the mentally deficient. What is the average age of these “venerable” men and women. Many have spent their entire lives debating how to debate. Or are they just stalling for time, for the next step
    of war-mongering to change the subject?
    The bravery of these arm-chair barons could hardly be held as an example to our country’s youth.
    When empires go down the pampered faces of the entrenched entitled, their lack of honesty and moral spine are the virtues of the day.
    Personally I fear for our young, they will pay the price for these disgruntled cronies.

    Reply

  50. george g says:

    Steve:
    I will have to disagree with you on this one. No one held a gun to Warner and Hagel’s head to vote against cloture. NOW that public reaction is going the other way and they seem like McCain on the Torture bill, they are scrambling for political cover. If they were really SENATORS before party loyalists, they would have voted for cloture. Just another scam. VERY VERY disappointed in Hagel and Warner especially.
    George

    Reply

  51. Con George-Kotzabasis says:

    To use Samurai as a metaphor for the Republican “anti-warriors”, is rather amusing.

    Reply

  52. susan says:

    Here’s what Kos has say:
    “Steve Clemons applauds the “pox on both houses” tone of the letter, calling it a “brave move”. Of the seven senators writing the letter — Snowe, Warner, Hagel, Collins, Coleman, Smith and Voinovich — only two voted for cloture — Snowe and Coleman. The rest voted against cloture. How that is a “brave move” is beyond me.”

    Reply

  53. Con George-Kotzabasis says:

    To call the seven Republican CUT AND RUNNERS from the war in Iraq SAMURAI, is the ultimate irony.

    Reply

  54. billjpa says:

    dear Mr C- Ya know how they say that the folks in dc live in a bubble and that they have lost contact with the unwashed.Well, you have obviously in need of getting the hell out of dc for awhile. “BRAVE”- you have got to be kidding. This display of cowardice is the best example of the fraud the the gop has successfully accomplished and it should be used to defeat every single one of the gooper traitors. It should also be included in adverts in every single newspaper in this once great country and should be used as a TV ad as well.
    Mr C- get you act back together and do it soon cause if the perception of you having shifted you position so radically that you are willing to praise these ballsless pieces of garbage, you will see the support radically drop off.
    Shame Mr C- Shame!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  55. BK says:

    The current state of affairs regarding Iraq, and
    the inability of our politicians on both sides of
    the isle, to come up with some viable options,
    is completely unacceptable. These creatures
    got us into this mess, and now are at a loss
    on how to proceed in getting our Children out
    of the Hell that is Iraq. This just proves the point
    the original decision was made in error of a
    real understanding of the reality on the ground.
    The Republicans are doing nothing but giving
    another Carte Blanche to the Executive, to do
    whatever the Hell it chooses to do, or not do.
    As Field Marshall Rundstedt once told Keitel,
    “Make peace you Fools, what else can you do”?
    One gets the distinct impression, that the Iraq
    war is nothing more than a war of extermination,
    to eliminate as many military aged Iraqi males as
    is possible. There by leaving Iraq dependent on
    US Troops for at least 2 generations. That would
    suit some just fine. It doesn’t take a PhD to see
    past all of this Smoke and Mirrors.

    Reply

  56. Marky says:

    These men have repeatedly put party over country in the last few years—every last one of them, every last time, when it comes down to voting.
    Because of Senaate rules, maybe we will have to wait for the House to pass a resolution or bill, but the fact is, bipartisanship is for Bush supporters ONLY.
    NO more “fool me for the 500th time” from the Dems.

    Reply

  57. John says:

    Reminds me of the Holy See debating the number of angels that could fit on the head of a pin while Byzantium burned. If they really debated the Iraq War, not the “surge,” let the chips fall where they may, I might take them seriously.

    Reply

  58. gq says:

    I don’t always agree with Steve, but can almost always see his points. But this is much, much different. I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed in reading one of Steve’s posts, but this is it. Not long ago he was calling for a purge of these people (save the two who voted against the filibuster) and today he’s calling them heros. I’m truly at a loss.

    Reply

  59. Marky says:

    What’s really unbelievable is that apparently the Gregg resolution would get 60 votes. The GOP claims this, and no Democrat has dispusted it.
    Mark@11:24 is exactly right.

    Reply

  60. Jim says:

    I’m sorry, you’re approval–not to say more–of these people is bewildering to me. As I understand it, Reid had already more or less agreed to a watered-down version of the original Hagel-Biden resolution as negotiatated by Warner and Levin. The White House party, led by McConnell, essentially tried to attach a poison pill to that resolution in the form of the Gregg amendment on funding, and Warner, Hagel, and the rest of your “ronin” went along with it.
    Where is the bravery? How are Reid and Durbin in any way, shape or form responsible for Hagel, Snowe, Warner et al’s complicity with McConnell, McCain, Lieberman and the rest of the Bush toadies in the Senate?

    Reply

  61. Zathras says:

    The text of this letter is not easy to reconcile with Sen. Hagel’s (admittedly uncomfortable-sounding) declarations this week of his faith in the Senate GOP leadership’s ability to work out fair rules of debate on Iraq resolutions. It is tempting to regard the adherence to the letter of at least some of its signatories as being a product less of their concern for a vigorous floor debate than of their unease at the negative media reaction to the stalemate over the terms of that debate.
    Having said that, one must also question the tactics of the Democratic leadership, which has been acting as if the important thing here were what the final resolution(s) passed by the Senate ends up saying. Actually, the important thing is the debate itself. From the standpoint of public opinion the GOP leadership is in an impossible position as soon as the debate starts, and so is any Republican Senator who hangs with McConnell and Lott in trying to block a resolution that says something the administration doesn’t like. Allowing Senate debate on the war to be delayed — to the point where the House might actually take up an Iraq resolution first — just makes the Senate look feckless and ineffectual without advancing Democratic objectives at all.

    Reply

  62. Mark says:

    This war is fast becoming the Democrat’s War! If the Democrats refuse to end this debacle and they vote to fund it again then it is their War. Looking for a third party candidate to run in 2008…

    Reply

  63. kim says:

    I’m just not buying it. Warner votes to prevent debate on his own resolution because he’s ticked?
    And Hagel?
    If they’re ticked, find a better way to fix it than voting against the first sign of hope for fixing the war mess.
    They’re all unexcused. Geez, I wish we could hold another election today. We’d pick up 10 more seats in the Senate.
    Here’s hoping Pelosi can ram a resolution through the House, Repubs be damned.

    Reply

  64. David says:

    The Republicans are at their lowest and are only being criminals like the president by not voting for a strong resolution to get out of this war and watching our brave soldiers dying so they can fill their pockets with oil money. I hope they all get voted out in 2008 and they all go to prison. That might include a few Democrats to.

    Reply

  65. genrikh yagoda says:

    All a farce and an all clown circus. The ring master is Mr/Mrs. Juice and the bait is New York money. Nothing gets done unless AIPAC blows the go whistle.
    All show folks and no lions in the act, Just them jigler silly clowns and monkeys.

    Reply

  66. Tim says:

    Could really use some information on the ‘behind the scenes gamemanship’ they’re talking about. By who? How? Why?
    And everyone else needs to ‘shape up’ how? Without more background info, it really does seem to me like a meaningless letter. But since Steve can always back up his reasoning, I could use a little help her in understanding this.

    Reply

  67. karenk says:

    Looks to me like they’re stalling …if this resolution had passed wouldn’t they be debating now? And wasn’t that the point of the resolution?

    Reply

  68. Unimpressed says:

    Letter?
    Yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwn ……….

    Reply

  69. ucfjoustudent says:

    Steve,
    Then why in the hell did Hagel and Warner vote against cloture? If they wanted to be taken seriously as ronin, why did Hagel, who supported a more strongly worded resolution and Warner — whose resolution was being filibustered — vote against giving it an up=or=down vote?
    This isn’t a pox on both houses, this is pure gamesmanship by the Republican leadership to force 60+ votes on three measures, ensuring only the Gregg measure would pass if it was voted on. They don’t want the lead story to be a Senate no-confidence vote against the president in every paper tomorrow, so they pull this B.S. and Hagel and Warner go right along with it. They put party loyalty above the lives of the troops and the country as a whole. Ronin they are not. Maybe it’s time for Hagel to go…
    I love your site, but you’re really reaching here.

    Reply

  70. daCascadian says:

    I have a comment for the Republican Senators.
    SHOW ME !
    Ronin, yet, they are not.
    Action speaks louder than words so ACT and stop with the bloviating.
    Maybe it is time to start thinking about recalling some of the folks in Congress…
    “Every once in a while, you’ve got to do something hard, do something you’re not comfortable with. A person needs a gut check.” – Corporal Chad Ritchie, U.S.M.C.

    Reply

  71. Pissed Off American says:

    This is just your usual horseshit posturing. Really, it appears to be an effort to take some of the heat off of the Republipukes for stifling debate. Kind of “See, the Dems were derailing the opportunity for debate too”.
    Personally, I say fuck them all. It is somewhat ironic to see these slimey bastards, both right and left, posturing for their respective “anti-war” stances this late in the game. Do they really think that we missed noticing that these cowardly frauds did NOTHING to rein in the Bush Administration until the voters made their dissatisfaction known? Now that we have an unsalvagable mess in Iraq, they are against the war, and they are chomping at the bit to “debate” how to extricate ourselves from this criminally constructed mess?
    For starters, they might want to stop blathering about “bipartisanship”. Do they think the entire population of the United States is comprised of fucking morons? Do they think we miss noticing that nothing has changed, and they are still the same batch of posturing lying warring weasels we were stuck with prior to the mid-terms? Truth be told, everytime one of these sons of a bitches on the right says something about bipartisanship, someone ought to shove every issue of the last six years of the New York Times right up his ass. Do they think we didn’t notice the kind of “bipartisanship” they practiced when they were in the majority?
    Sooner or later, these assholes will come to the collective realization that there IS NO SOLUTION to the Iraq mess. No military solution, and no diplomatic solution. We broke it. Its broken. We can’t glue it back together. Military options won’t work, and the fucking idiot in the White House has definitely shown us his abilities at employing “diplomacy”.
    We need to get the hell out of Dodge. Then we need to investigate the shit out of how we got here, and how we are going to avoid ever getting here again. And we need to throw these bastards Bush and Cheney, (and quite a few of their henchmen), in the prison we all KNOW they belong in. And if our Congress doesn’t have the guts to do it, then all this horseshit about a “representative government” is nothing but a gigantic LIE.

    Reply

  72. Stephennnn says:

    The Public is well beyond the Senate on this issue. Now is the time for a complete pullout of US troops, The Congress should offer only enough funds to complete the job in 6 months. In other words….”OUT”

    Reply

  73. Marky says:

    And really, Steve—how many times has Hagel burned you to date. In Texas they have a mangled saying about not being fooled more than onece, if someone fools you once and maybe you get fooled again… Texans are not very articulate, I guess. Anyway, It’s been at least 10 times you have praised Hagel for… nothing.
    He’s got to be purged, or leave the GOP caucus. There’s no middle ground—not with McConnel as Minority leader.

    Reply

  74. Marky says:

    It occurs to me that the inclusion of Voinovich in this group is even more reason to doubt the sincerity, or at least their gutsiness. Voinovich’s abasement in the Bolton affair was quite embarrassing.
    The bottom line is that the Republican “mavericks” keep on saying “We’re really serious—this time!”
    Given their miserable failures to date, one has to set the bar extremely high now. If Hagel wishes to draw up articles of impeachment for the House to consider, with the warning that impeachment is coming if Bush doesn’t yield to Congress’s constitutional authority, THEN i’l believe him.
    Instead of saying “hey, I’m going to jump through hoops this time”, make them do something truly meaningful first.
    It occurs to me that a relatively cheap political ploy would be to call for the impeachment of Cheney, or for an investigation into his uses of his office.

    Reply

  75. Kevin says:

    “Brave”.. you must be joking me. Warner votes against debate of his own bill and then he writes that his resolve to debate the bill should not be doubted. He pulled the same kabuki theatre garbage on the Military Comissions Act, pretending to be the wise old statesman, and now we don’t have habeas corpus.
    You paraphrase the letter to mean “shape up” to Reid and Durbin. All they wanted was an up and down vote on Warner’s own bill. So where’s the beef?

    Reply

  76. DonS says:

    Yes, yes, yes. Behind the scenes nastiness. I get that.
    But it will take a lot to convince me that these seven “samurai” are heroes.
    Somehow, a gaggle of republicans does not strike me as the crew that will hold this administration’s feet to the fire in furtherance of the “purge” Steve has endorsed.
    Suddenly, everyone, and I mean everyone in the Senate is in favor of a “debate” on Iraq. Six weeks ago, hardly the case. Now if “debate” is prelude to cutting off funds, probably the only real attempt at control, or laying the groundwork for imeachment, perhaps its more than an exercise in political grandstanding. The history of courage in the Congress has not been inspiring.
    I’m listening.

    Reply

  77. Marky says:

    It’s hard to trust a Republican now.
    It appears that Warner set out to trick Reid and succeeded. The real debate has been delayed for several days. Is Hagel trying something else to prevent real discussion of the war? I’d say yes, based on past experience with his weaselly behavior.
    The mistake is trying to craft a bi-partisan resolution. Fuck bipartisanship Stick it to the GOP and stick this war to them!
    The Republicans are NO help and can’t be trusted.
    Frankly, I don’t think the Dems should deal with any Senator who still caucuses with the GOP>

    Reply

  78. Ajaz Haque says:

    I think these seven Senators are telling others like it is. “Either take the matter seriously or you cannot count on our support”. I think it is a brave tactic as futile non-binding resolutions really do nothing except fool the public.

    Reply

  79. Ajaz Haque says:

    I think these seven Senators are telling others like it is. “Either take the matter seriously or you cannot count on our support”. I think it is a brave tactic as futile non-binding resolutions really do nothing except fool the public.

    Reply

  80. dalivision says:

    Maybe there is hope that the “old” ways of the Senate will prevail. Let’s hope that their manners will extend beyond just this issue.

    Reply

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