Thursday, June 22, 2006

How's That Debate Going?

Hot Air is covering the votes today on setting deadlines for withdrawing troops from Iraq. There are several competing Democrat plans being put to a vote.

Allah has named them:

Cut and run lost 86-13. This is the Kerry amendment.
In an 86-13 vote, the Senate turned back a Democratic proposal that would require the administration to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by July 1, 2007, with redeployments beginning this year.

Cut and jog. This is the amendment that is currently being debated and voting will commence shortly. It's an approach cobbled together by Democrat party leaders, and would call for withdrawals to begin by the end of the year, with an undetermined end date.

The alternative plan, winning without any timetables for withdrawal, was not considered by Democrats. Apparently they've failed to learn from history and that whenever politics gets in the way of military decision-making, the end result is very bad.

Joe Lieberman has already come out and said he would not support any of the timetable amendments. Good for him. Of course that's bad news for him vis-a-vis the anti-war Left, and possibly his reelection bid - but he's standing by the courage of his convictions and his experience having visited Iraq on a number of occasions to see the situation for himself.

Today's voting is supposed to be showcasing potential Democrat candidates for 2008 - at least according to the WaPo. Well, it does provide yet another opportunity for a soundbite generator to operate. But whether anyone actually thinks that these votes will shed light on who has a chance in winning in 2008 is reaching. There's lots of time, and plenty of issues to come that may end up having a much greater influence on voting patterns than today's votes.

Cut and jog lost 60-39. As Ed Morrissey notes:
UPDATE 10:53 CT: Bill Nelson of Florida voted against the Levin resolution, crossing party lines. The so-called "cut and jog" appears headed to defeat as well. Ben Nelson of Nebraska also voted against it -- but of course, Linc Chafee (R-RI) voted to support it. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) also voted against it. So far all of the red-state Democrats appear to be coming out against it.

10:59 - Joe Lieberman voted against the Levin resolution. While that remains consistent with Lieberman's previous support for the war and the long-term strategy -- recall that he alone among his caucus acknowledged the progress made in Iraq, even before Zarqawi was killed -- it impresses me that he did not bend to help his primary challenge from the Left.

Levin's resolution failed 60-39. This should conclude the debate over the long-term strategy in Congress. Both houses have now spoken, and both houses have supported the White House strategy in Iraq.

11:09 - Ben Nelson of Nebraska, not Bob (fixed it above). Thanks to The Influence Peddler for the quick catch! The Defense Authorization Bill now faces a cloture vote. If debate ends on this bill, it should put an end to any further exploration of panicked retreat for the foreseeable future. Cloture appears to have a wide margin of support and should pass on a wide bipartisan basis.
The roll call on Kerry's cut and run amendment shows the following voting in favor of the cut and run:
Akaka (D-HI)
Boxer (D-CA)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Wyden (D-OR)

(ht: BIG at LGF)

The roll call on the Levin amendment can be found here.

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