Wednesday :: Sep 26, 2007

AUMF 77 to 23; Kyl-Lieberman 76 to 22 - hmm

by Mary

Guest post by Marie

If we saw those two scores for the only games played by two opposing teams that were five years apart and in both cases when the losing team entered the game with an advantage, would we consider that the games had been rigged?

Is there a rule among Senate DEMs that on questions of war and peace, the majority of them must vote for war and no more than 23 may vote for peace? Did the Democratic Senators draw straws or play musical chairs to determine which of them would vote with the majority? At first glance it appears that the DEM leadership is more systematic and crafty than that.

First, the un-bought and unbossed (voting no then and now:

Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Byrd (D-WV)
Feingold (D-WI)
Inouye (D-HI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Wyden (D-OR)

They are joined by two who voted no then in the House and no now in the Senate:

Brown (D-OH)
Sanders (I-VT)

Sanders is a reliable vote and replaced Jeffords and his no vote on the AUMF. Brown is mostly reliable and replaced Dewine who voted yes on the AUMF.

They were joined by new DEM Senators who have been getting a lot of flack on recent votes from their supporters:

Klobuchar (D-MN)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Tester (D-MT)
Webb (D-VA)

Klobucher replaced Dayton who opposed the AUMF. The other three replaced GOP who supported the AUMF.

Only one GOP opposed the AUMF, but he's gone. Two GOP that supported the AUMF have decided to switch, presumably because both of them have stated that Iraq is a mess.

Hagel (R-NE)
Lugar (R-IN)

Rounding out the 22 are six like Hagel and Lugar who voted for the AUMF:
Biden (D-DE)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Dodd (D-CT)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lincoln (D-AR)

Of those six, Harkin's vote for the AUMF was the most inexplicable. Kerry's was an obvious political calculation for which he paid a price. Biden has always been somewhat hawkish, Dodd less so, but both are running for POTUS and away from GWB's adventure in Iraq. Cantwell and Lincoln are unreliable DEM votes and I haven't a clue why either of them would vote yes on the AUMF and no on this one. Graham (Fl) and Wellstone's seats turned over to rightwing GOP.

So, what is the final tally on this? Plus one (Brown), plus three (McKaskill, Tester and Webb) plus eight switcheroos and minus two (Graham and Wellstone). Net “dove” gain should be ten. WTF happened?

Well, RI replaced the GOP Chaffee who voted against the AUMF with Whitehouse. Then there are the DEM switcheroos: Akaka, Conrad, Durbin, Levin, Mikulski, Murray, Reed and Stabenow. Corzine and Sarbanes replacement voted yes. Plus ten, minus eleven, totals minus one. As Obama replaced a GOP, he could have made it a wash or increased the warhawks number by one more. Among the switcheroos, only Durbin and Reed are up for re-election next year, but their seats are safe in their states blue; why would they switch now? Why would any of these for that matter?

Then there are the vulnerable GOP running next year: Collins, Coleman and Sununu who didn't break ranks with the GOP. Therefore, liberals might as well hang up any illusions (delusions) that there will be any meaningful GOP support for ending the occupation in Iraq. Unlike 2002, Senate DEMs can't hide in the smoke and ashes of 9/11 or behind the skirt of a popular GOP president. This time they have no excuses (not that they won't come up with some that many Democratic voters will buy).

At a purely practical level, a Democratic Senate will never have the votes. Extrapolating from these two votes suggests that even if all 100 Senators had a D behind their names, there would only be 44-46 liberal votes. Please somebody tell me again why I should vote for any Democrat other than Boxer (who hasn't endeared herself to me lately but continues to get it right on the big stuff) and my House Rep who is very reliable? (And yes, GWB will get his $180 to $200 billion additional smackeroos to keep on killing.) As poignantly and clearly presented in “In the Valley of Elah,” the ugliness of the US foreign policy is now beyond partisan politics. It's us against our government.

Mary :: 5:15 PM :: Comments (26) :: Digg It!