Undermining the Commander-in-Chief...againVirtual treason.
Undermining the President.
This is some of the language used to describe the events in the Senate yesterday. To keep it very simple, here's what happened. Senate Democrats began by proposing that the President unveil a timeline to get our troops out of Iraq. Here's what one Colorado talk show host had to say, "Today, Senate Democrats tried to force the US military to surrender to the terrorists next year..."
He may sound like an over-the-top talk show host. However, outlining a timetable for our troops to get out, for all to see, would have that very effect. All our new household names--from bin Laden to Zarqawi--would get to sit back, have a beer while watching their fans on Al Jazeera. Vacation would end the day that our men and women would leave Iraq. That simple.
Thankfully, that proposal was shot down by Senate Republicans (and a few Democrats, including 4 who are up for re-election in red states next year).
"Even so, the Senate's political statement was clear - and made even more stinging when the vote was held with Bush abroad, in Asia, an embarrassing step Congress often tries to avoid. With Democrats pressing their amendment calling for a calendar for withdrawal, Republicans worked to fend off a frontal attack by Democrats by calling on the White House to do more." (reports AP via My Way News)
The report goes on to say,
"The Senate then voted 79-19 in favor of a Republican alternative stating that 2006 'should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty,' with Iraqi forces taking the lead in providing security to create the conditions for the phased redeployment of U.S. forces."
"It does not require the administration to do anything. Rather, it simply calls for the Bush administration to 'explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission in Iraq' and to provide reports on U.S. foreign policy and military operations in Iraq every three months until all U.S. combat brigades have been withdrawn."
While I am glad that they did the right thing for the nation to not vote for the timeline, I am very disappointed in the Senate's obvious political motives. If they were serious and had real conviction about this matter, why did they do this while the President was out of the country?! If I had real issues with my boss, I would request a meeting with him in his office. I would not wait for him to go out of town and then make a public statement to the rest of the staff and all our clients/customers/etc. This is what the Senate just did.
I understand that Congress already receives periodic reports on Iraq. If adjustments needed to be made, they should have taken it up directly with the man with whom they have the issue.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., admitted to some potential political motives for the proposal and for the support it received. "I think it speaks to a bit of nervousness about the public perception of how the war is going with respect to 2006."
If Republicans think that their behavior is going to do anything to gain votes next year, they're missing it big time. You do not have to agree with the President to be respectful to him. You don't have to throw him under the bus in order to win an election. I suppose that if they don't figure it out now, they will get it in, oh, maybe in about a year or so.
Let your Senator know what you think about their shananigans: 202/225-3121