Sunday, February 18, 2007

Juan Cole Gives Senate Iraq Vote a Glass-Half-Full Headline: "Senate Comes Close"

Once again, the Senate has voted not to debate a non-binding resolution that disapproves of the latest Bush escalation. Typical stress the negative: Debate Ends in Deadlock... Republicans block... GOP foils... Democrats fail... Republicans Succeed... etc. Bless Juan Cole for looking at the bright side:
The US Senate came very close to passing a resolution condemning Bush's escalation of the Iraq War. It needed 60 to pass and got 56. Several Republicans voted for the resolution. In fact, if only 4 more had, it would have passed. This vote is very bad news for Bush's Iraq policy, because it seems pretty likely that over the next few months, at least another 4 Republican senators will join the anti-war chorus.
Mickeleh's Take: The Bush and GOP strategy in the debate over ending the Iraq war is not to have it. By announcing a "surge," they've moved the perimeter and blocked the debate about "shall we end the war?" with a new debate, "shall we escalate?" And then, they work on blocking that one. They're already setting up the next debate, "shall we have a military strike against Iran?" They're being very clever. But the public is catching on. And the Democrats have not only found their voice, but they're setting the agenda in the House and Senate. The gravitational pull of the 2008 Senate elections will pull some Republicans out of the Bush orbit--or the public will pull some Republicans out of the Senate. Or both. The pull of the 2008 Democratic primaries will keep Clinton, Obama, Edwards, and all the rest focused on Iraq. (Clinton, taking heat for not denouncing her original vote to authorize the President to use force in Iraq, is trying to overcome it by proposing that withdrawal begin within 90 days.)

Meanwhile, the killing and maiming goes on.

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