The Senate: We Can't Get The Votes To Do Anything Useful, But We Can Tell MoveOn They Were Bad

Gotta love it. The Senate today took a break from being paralyzed by Republican "No Up-Or-Down-Vote For You" obstructionists. They had to. You see, it's important for people to understand that the Senate isn't going to stand still when big mean Democrat netroots activists call a general a mean name. So they took time away from their busy schedule to pass a "sense of the Senate" resolution that reads:

To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.

That's nicely worded, especially the "deserves the full support of the Senate" bit. Call me a cynic, but I'm going to bet that in two or three weeks, after the ad that sparked all this fades in the gnat-like memory of the media, we're going to hear a talking point that goes something like this:

"The Senate voted unanimously to confirm General Petraeus in January. In September, the Senate again voted overwhelmingly in favor of giving General Petraeus their full support. Now, Senators want to take away the tools that General Petraeus needs to do his job."

Any takers?

By the way, if you want to know who not to give campaign money to, you can find the roll-call record here. The short version is this: The Republicans and their Mini-Me from Connecticut voted in favor. 22 Democrats voted in favor, including Feinstein and Leahy. 25 Democrats voted against, including Clinton and Dodd. Obama, Biden, and Cantwell bravely ran away.

9 responses so far

  • Metro says:

    Why are Americans putting up with this crap?
    Don't they feel betrayed? Shouldn't they be storming the White House with torches by now?
    Another month, another X soldiers killed, another load of shite from a Bush stooge, and the reaction from their "representatives" is: "We can't support the troops, but we better by god support the commander!"
    It's enough to make a man wish to believe in a hell, so that he could live life with equanimity, knowing that they would eventually reap their just reward in the Eighth Circle.

  • I think a lot of people underestimate just how fragile out commitment to perpetual occupation of Iraq really is. We behave as though the politicians up in Washington really are capable of continuing it forever.
    In reality, all it is going to take is some big attack, like a Lebanon-esque bombing in the Green Zone, to make the whole house of cards collapse. The Democrats are playing the same game they've been playing all along, and letting Bush display bravado so that all the blame cascades down onto him.
    The complacency and cowardice of the Dems is nothing short of deplorable, but they feel safe in the knowledge that the anti-war crowd (around 70% of the country, at this point) has no where else to go but to them.

  • Kesh says:

    Why are Americans putting up with this crap?
    Because in 2008 we'll have a new President. I think most folks are just waiting for that, expecting it's going to magically fix everything.

  • mark says:

    Because in 2008 we'll have a new President

    Well, not until 2009, which gives the Chimp a few months to do something stupid. If the Senate wants to condemn ill-mannered actions, we can all think of quite a list, beginning with those who have caused the greatest harm to our county.

  • Who cares says:

    Metro wrote:

    Why are Americans putting up with this crap?

    Or at least the people thinking that resistance is futile. They do not think that they can make a difference so don't even try or don't try anymore after being shown time and time again that their efforts are futile (for example voting out congress in the hopes that the new one would put a halt to the madness). The apathy of just waiting for a new president fits with that pattern, they don't know what else to do.

  • Bobby says:

    To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.
    Wonder when they'll get around to the resolution condemning the right-wing loonies for what they're saying about Abizaid because of his moderate views on Iran.

  • M says:

    I've got a real problem here...both of my senators, Clinton AND Schumer, have been in the brave minority on quite a few bills as of late. They vote correctly, even when the vote goes against them.
    What's the problem with that? Simple: I don't have anyone I can call up and yell at!

  • Lurchgs says:

    Politcal grandstanding aside, I do have an issue with some of this. I'm old enough to remember Vietnam, and I'm starting to see a bit of similarity here.
    Not with how the "war" is progressing in Iraq - it's proceeding exactly as I predicted when it started - and as many others predicted during the first gulf war. Our government is (pardon the pun) constitutionally unable to sustain a significant effort at anything other than screwing the voters. Anything else will typically get screwed WITH, to the point where its ineffectual.
    What I am disappointed in, though, is the average Joe on the street. As with the Vietnam era, far, far too many people are unable to disassociate "War", "Military", "Government", and "Soldier". Sure, the soldier is a volunteer these days and not drafted as he was in 'Nam - but he's still being blamed by individuals for all the bad things in the world.
    Congress does this too - to a much more hurtful point. *I* can say "I support you, but you can't have my money" and it means nothing. WHen Congress does it (who controls congress, these days?), it tells the whole world that the U.S. is populated by a horde of backstabbing liars.
    No wonder this country is in such a mess, when we alllow such BS to continue on ANY level. (and pointing the finger solely at the current crop of losers is just plain stupid - it's been a steady progression down hill since at least FDR's debacle)
    Next time you see a soldier (sailor, airman, marine, coastie), shake his hand and thank him. You owe him, no matter what you think of his boss.

  • bacopa says:

    I think this vote was a dress-rehersal for the kind of power the government hopes to have. They want to really be able to have the power to fine or imprison those who speak out against them. Homeland Security is making us accostomed to being searched and arrested, and now Congress is trying to make us afraid to speak.Why did anyone vote for this censure? Why not just say that if you don't like it just don't read the NYT. One political ad hardly seems relevant enough to pass a resolution.
    If we really want a resolution to our current state of affairs, we've got to make a real outsider president. None of the current slate can do it, except Ron Paul, who is a bit of a goofball. Folks say he's such a libretarian, but he's got ties to the fundies and chicks can't even sunbathe topless anymore in his home district due to local laws which supercede state laws that allowed this. Has Ron Paul ever spoken out about this?
    Our best hope is that semi-outsiders like Gore or Wes Clark will enter the race.