Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cut-and-Run Amendment To Be Put Up For Senate Vote

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans sent a loud and clear message to defeatist Democrats today: it's time for them to put up or shut up on legislation to cut and run in Iraq.

The Washington Post reports that "[i]n a surprise move, the Senate voted overwhelmingly today to begin debating a bill that would begin withdrawing troops from Iraq in 120 days and cut funding for battlefield deployments." Why are the Republicans now wanting to open debate and vote on troop withdrawal legislation?

For at least two reasons.

First, there is good news to tell the American people about progress in Iraq. As the Post reports:

"There's been so much improvement in the situation in Iraq. Since they are the ones who want to turn back to the subject, we'd like to spend the time talking about the dramatic improvements in Iraq," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters moments before a preliminary vote on the withdrawal amendment offered by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.).

The Associated Press further elaborated:

The debate, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said, "would give us a chance to talk about the extraordinary progress that's been made in Iraq over the last six months, not only on the military side, but also with civilian reconciliation beginning to finally take hold in the country."

The second reason Republicans want to bring Senator Feingold's amendment to a vote is that they know not even many Democrats support it. While most Democrats are good at trash talking the Iraq war to appease their far-left friends at Moveon.org, VoteVets.org, etc., in the final analysis, most U.S. Senators -- including Democrats -- understand that immediate withdrawal from Iraq will be handing the country over to Al Qaida on a silver platter. Level-headed lawmakers know, as Senator Joe Lieberman explained, that Feingold's "resolution . . . offers the same familiar prescription for retreat and surrender."

Indeed, as Reuters reports, "[s]ome Democrats, speaking anonymously, said there could be fewer than 30 votes for the measure in the 100-member Senate."

That's why Republicans are more than happy to allow a vote on Feingold's bill. It will be "a good chance for the Senate to go on record again as refusing to cut off money for the war," according to MSNBC's report of McConnell's remarks.

"All the more so will we oppose it when the fight in Iraq, by all accounts, is showing clear-cut tactical progress, and now, at last, some important political progress is also being made," McConnell said.

Republicans are willing to fight vigorously for victory in Iraq. We shall soon see how much of a fight, and for what cause, the Democrats are prepared to mount in response.

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