Saturday, February 17, 2007

56 for. 34 against. 1 unable to vote. And 9 afraid to vote.

On the Senate vote to end the filibuster and move forward with the nonbinding resolution opposing the President's troop increase plan for Iraq, it failed to get the necessary 60 votes, failing 56-34.

Seven Republicans (Coleman (MN), Collins (ME), Hagel (NE), Smith (OR), Snowe (ME), Spectre (PA) and Warner (VA)) joined 49 Democrats in voting to move forward on the resolution. Democrat Tim Johnson of South Dakota is still recovering from emergency brain surgery and was unable to vote.

Independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut joined 33 Republicans in voting against moving forward. I don't agree with this position, but at least they were all willing to stand up and be counted for what they believe in.

If you do the math, you will see that this means that nine Republicans did not vote on this at all. They in fact hold the key-- if even half of them had voted to move the resolution forward it would have, and if seven of them had voted with their party-mates then it would have clearly sent a message that the GOP could block such a resolution in the Senate and won't support it (since their own party leaders are pushing a plan that would also require sixty votes, not just to end debate, but to actually pass the resolution-- a very unusual requirement for a floor vote).

In other words, this is a resolution on a plan that will either result in a turning point in Iraq (if the President, against mine and a lot of other expectations turns out to be right) or a catastrophic increase in American casualties and more to the point, giving insurgents if they are still around next year the ammunition to claim they took our 'best shot' and still came through it (therefore making our failure worse). And these nine couldn't even muster the backbone to have a position.

4 comments:

Indy Voter said...

I haven't found a roll-call list for the vote yet, but John McCain was one of the 9 Republican no-shows today.

Eli Blake said...

Why am I not surprised?

I will see if there is a roll-call list in the print edition of the Sunday paper.

Indy Voter said...

The NYTimes has a roll-call list up. The 9 cowards (listed alphabetically by state) are:

Murkowski (AK)
Kyl (AZ)
McCain (AZ)
Cochran (MS)
Bond (MO)
Ensign (NV)
Corker (TN)
Bennett (UT)
Hatch (UT)

LINK

Indy Voter said...

Looking at that list, I suspect all 9 would have been "no" votes on cloture had they been in town. My guess is that the 5 western senators - other than McCain - didn't want to alter their vacation plans because Reid kept them in town an extra day. McCain himself was in Iowa campaigning, which imo is a pretty lame excuse.