Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Harry Reid is insisting that Republicans have done something dastardly by proposing debate on competing resolutions. Here’s what he’s said now:

“What you just saw was Republicans giving the president the green light to escalate in Iraq,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-NV), said, steamed after the vote. Reid contends the Republicans “are trying to avoid a debate on this matter.”

Dingy Harry best get used to this because he won’t be able to play hardball on this issue. In fact, the more word gets out that there are competing resolutions, the more indefensible Reid’s position will become. Until Reid caves on this, President Bush wins. In fact, if Reid agrees to debate the Levin-Warner and the McCain-Lieberman resolutions, he still loses because I’m betting that more people will vote yes on McCain-Lieberman than on Levin-Warner.

A massive budget bill for the remainder of the current fiscal year comes before the Senate on Wednesday, and Reid promised war amendments to that debate. Bush has requested $245 billion in funding for the war, to cover this year and next year.

Reid’s Democrats can offer amendments to that supplemental spending bill but they don’t dare put up much of a fight on this. If they actually succeed in putting in language that caps troop levels, they’ll be on the record as supporting defeat. They’ll essentially be saying that they’re for the status quo. By the time that they actually got the bill passed, the ’surge’ troops would be in Iraq, leaving Democrats in the precarious position of demanding the troops return home. That won’t happen because they’d be signing the death certificate on their Senate majority.

At the day’s end, Democrats aren’t in a strong position. Yes, they’ll huff and they’ll puff but they’re too spineless to blow the White House down.

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