Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Every So Often, Harry Reid Reminds Us That He Really Was A Boxer In His Youth

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 19, 2007

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And not by acting punch-drunk, either.

If you’re wondering why the Republicans (particularly the phony “mavericks” in the WINO caucus) are especially enraged at him today, it’s because he’s just cut off their last lines of escape:

4. What are the prospects for the Dems succeeding in breaking the GOP filibuster?

They’re actually better now that the softer Iraq amendments can’t get passed. That’s because yanking the bill rules out the introduction of other, nonbinding amendments that nervous Republicans were inclined to support. Without the option of supporting such amendments, Republicans can’t plausibly claim to constituents to have done anything to stop the war. In turn, that increases the pressure on them to support the only available option left — i.e., a binding measure mandating withdrawal, such as the one favored by Dems.

That’s probably the real reason why Republicans are furious with Reid today for removing the bill and all its amendments. (Well, that and sleepiness.) Case in point: Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA). In his floor statement right after the cloture vote failed, a visibly angry Specter inveighed against the Senate’s lack of debate on the most prominent GOP amendment — John Warner and Richard Lugar’s toothless proposal for Bush to submit a post-surge strategy to Congress after Petraeus’s report. Specter, clearly, wanted the option of supporting Warner-Lugar, an option Reid has taken away.

As a result, when debate eventually resumes, Specter will have to choose between either staying with the surge or mandated redeployment. Even for a moderate GOP Senator not up for reelection next year, stark choices are not pleasant ones. Get ready to see more waverers — though, as Greg has been pointing out, not all waverers actually vote their wavering consciences.

The wild card here for the WINOs is the September Petraeus report. No matter how nuanced a picture of Iraq Petraeus paints to Congress, the White House will use it as a rallying cry for continuing the war. How much support that can give to a GOP Senator whose constituents loudly hate the war is one of the big unknowns.

One thing that could conceivably cause more Republicans to defect, ironically, would be President Bush portraying Petraeus’s report as more optimistic than it in reality. The same could happen if Petraeus’s report itself is more optimistic than Iraq seems to warrant. Either of those could diminish whatever credibility on Petraeus’ part the White House is out to exploit, leaving the GOP caucus set to fracture ahead of the next election.

This, my little chickadees, is the key. No more hiding behind bullcrappy shields like the Warner-Lugar amendment or The Salazar Distraction. Either you back bringing ‘em home, or you back Bush. It’s really that simple.

Now we get to see how many Republican “mavericks” who’ve been talking faux-tough about How They Oppose Bush are willing to actually vote to oppose Bush.

[UPDATE: DrenchedOtter over in a Fire Dog Lake comments thread reminds me that Reid had even given the Republicans the chance to vote on their bogus Warner-Lugar and Salazar legislation if they would only end the filibuster. They refused, as he knew they would — and then and only then did he yank the defense authorization bill.  That totally gives the lie to Specter’s “Waaaah!  He won’t let us vote for Warner-Lugar!” baloney.  Hey, he gave you the chance and you turned it down, boyo.]

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8 Responses to “Every So Often, Harry Reid Reminds Us That He Really Was A Boxer In His Youth”

  1. MEC said

    Maybe more to the point, we should remember that Harry Reid faced down the mob in Las Vegas.

  2. Yes. And there are similarities in the two situations.

  3. MEC said

    “And there are similarities in the two situations.”

    I hope Harry’s checking his car for bombs before he turns the ignition.

  4. whig said

    Give ‘em hell, Harry. Seriously, don’t give the Republicans any cover whatsoever, let them go down with their party if they don’t want to abandon it.

  5. Charles said

    I have a question: suppose that the Warner-Lugar and/or Salazar amendments are passed. Would Reid-Levin still apply?

    My guess is, not. The Salazar amendment especially undercuts the idea of a timetable. So, Reid has to make it a choice between Reid-Levin and nothing.

  6. And that’s exactly what he’s just done. With the DA bill on hold while Reed-Levin’s being filibustered and blocked by the GOP Senate, the Salazar and Warner-Lugar legislation that was to be attached to it has now gone bye-bye.

  7. Charles said

    Well, maybe au revoir. The Defense Bill has to be passed by about October. I don’t see any reason why Salazar or Warner are going to wise up in a few weeks.

  8. […] more confident in their progress on getting our troops out of there.  This is very likely due to Harry Reid’s brilliant move this week wherein he deprived the Senate Republicans of the chance to placate their […]

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