Republicans kick butt in the Senate

The smartest thing Republicans have done since the November thrashing they rec’d was to put Senator Mitch McConnell in the position of being Senate Minority Leader. He has bested Majority Leader Harry Reid on numerous fronts, and this time he’s done it again on the issues of funding our troops in Iraq and a too-soon withdrawal. Via AP:

In the Senate, after weeks of skirmishing, Republicans easily turned back Democratic legislation requiring a troop withdrawal to begin within 120 days. The measure set no fixed deadline for completion of the redeployment, but set a goal of March 31, 2008. The vote was 50-48 against the measure, 12 short of the 60 needed for passage.

Senate Democrats promptly said they would try again to force a change in Bush’s policy beginning next week when they begin work on legislation providing money for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.


It took weeks for the Senate to agree to hold a formal debate on Democratic calls for a change in war policy, and by the time it occurred, the result was utterly predictable. So much so that Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who is running for the White House in 2008, skipped the vote to campaign in Iowa.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky led the opposition to the measure.

“This is a dangerous piece of legislation. It is constitutionally dubious and it would authorize a scattered band of United States senators to tie the hand” of the commander in chief, he said.

McConnell said it would be “absolutely fatal” to the mission of U.S. troops in Iraq.

Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada disputed that. “Five years of war, the president’s current approach in Iraq is not working. The country is closer to chaos than stability. U.S. troops are policing a civil war, not hunting and killing the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11.”


GOP leaders hoped the proposal, advanced by Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, would prove difficult for Democrats to oppose and complicate any future effort to reduce funds for the war.

Gregg’s amendment passed 82-16.

Democrats tried still another proposal, this one saying that Congress would provide “necessary funds for training equipment and other support for troops in the field.” It passed easily, 96-2.

The House timetable was part of a spending bill that totals $124 billion, $95.5 billion of which is targeted for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Initially, Democrats had wanted to use the funding bill to prevent Bush from proceeding with his plans to increase troop strength by 21,000 as part of an effort to quell sectarian violence in the Baghdad area. That was scuttled after Republicans criticized it and moderate Democrats objected.

In its place was a requirement for troops to receive proper training, equipment and rest, although Bush is permitted to waive those provisions.

In other words, two things happened here: the Senate has set no ‘timetable’ for withdrawal and has slapped down the Nutroots by continuing to support funding US troops in Iraq. Senator Harry Reid loses. Again.

What a difference an effective Minority Leader can make, eh?

As I’ve said before, the Senate is our saving grace against the moonbatty legislation that comes out of the House and attempts at mirroring such legislation in the Senate. Hats off to Senator McConnell, who has shown oodles more leadership abilities than many a Republican ‘leader’ we’ve seen in the last 7 years.

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