Republicans block Senate debate on Iraq:
The vote was 49-47, or 11 short of the 60 needed to go ahead with debate, and left the fate of the measure uncertain.This was a watered-down, bipartisan effort at a non-binding resolution which only sought to register disapproval, not enforce any new rules or changes. The fact that the US Senate cannot even muster the appetite for such a vote - clearly supported by an increasingly frustrated public - is a damning indictment of the US political system.
The system is broken. The system does not work. The system must be fixed, or replaced.
This is NOT any kind of government that anyone in their right mind would ever seriously talk about "exporting". This is not Freedom. This is not Democracy.
UPDATE: Josh Marshall explains the political intricacies:
There were three resolutions in play today. The Warner-Levin anti-surge resolution. The McCain-Graham-Lieberman pro-surge resolution. Then there was a third resolution offered by Sen. Judd Gregg. The key is the Gregg resolution. All the Gregg resolution really said was that it's the Commander-in-Chief's duty to assign military missions and the Congress's duty to fund them. (Constitutionally, it's a ridiculous claim. But let's set that aside for the moment.)To which my response is: WHO CARES???
Now, here's the rub. The Democrats wanted them all to go to a simple majority vote. The Republicans wanted each to go to a 60+ filibuster-breaking vote.
How do the two thresholds shape the debate?
If each goes to a simple majority vote, the anti-surge resolution wins, the pro-surge resolution loses and the Gregg amendment probably wins too. But the headline is the repudiation of the president. The Gregg amendment is an afterthought.
However, if each resolution goes to a 60 vote test, the thinking was that both surge resolutions (pro and con) would fail. And only the Gregg amendment would win.
So opposition to the president would lose and the only winning amendment would be one that gets the senate on the record saying that Congress is obligated to fund whatever missions the president chooses.
That's what happened.
The people of the USA demanded change at the last election, and their demand has been ignored. The Dems are still pussy-footing around the political realities. You want credibility, Nancy Pelosi? Go hard and go long, baby. Or go home.
The people of the world are watching.