Tuesday, November 15

WARNER AMENDMENT NO. 2518 ("UNDERMINING THE PRESIDENT #101")

Rather than adding an additional "Follow-Up" to this post of mine published earlier today on a proposed Senate resolution, introduced by Senate republicans, recommending changes in U.S. policy vis-a-vis the conduct of the war in Iraq and requiring the submission of quarterly reports from the president on the progress of that war, I thought it important enough to write a new post.

Why you ask? I'll tell you why: because the "Warner Amendment" passed in the Senate today by a 79-19 vote.

The upshot:

Heralds the Washington Post: Senate Rebukes Bush on Iraq Policy.

Rings the New York Times: Senate Votes to Demand Regular Iraq Updates From White House.

Salivates the Los Angeles Times: Senate Calls for Faster Move to Iraqi Sovereignty.

The elite, liberal mainstream media is in its glory this evening, delighting in publishing these kinds of headlines to keep the fire hot on the "Bush lied" meme of the Party of Amnesia while President Bush is in the Far East. They have Republican Senators to thank. What a lovely "course correction" this is from GOP leadership! Seems they're tacking to the Left again and unable to find True North. What good is an RNC video if a Republican majority in the Senate cannot even find it within themselves to support the Commander-In-Chief?

Hugh Hewitt calls what happened in the Senate today "Vietnam Syndrome 2.0" and I think he's spot on.

The Anchoress was roundly criticized by a prominent conservative poliblogger for a post she wrote recently that I termed "a clarion call" for the GOP. It merits re-reading on the occassion of yet another Republican majority cave-in in the United States Senate, this time by the Gang of 38.

Thank you Senators Frist (R-TN) and Warner (R-VA) -- you're at the top of your game.


CORRECTION: I did a re-count and, if my eyes didn't fail me, I count 41 Republican "YEA" votes, not 38, as I originally wrote.

FOLLOW-UP: I respectfully disagree with Captain Ed that passage of the Warner Amendment "might be the best of a bad situation." Baloney! The GOP majority was right to defeat the Democratic Party's resolution that would have called for a specific timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq. But to follow its defeat with passage of an amendment calling for reports from the president (which, I should add, it already gets) and indicating dissatisfaction with Iraq's troop build-up, training, and preparedness plays right into the hands of the Party of Amnesia and critics of the war far and wide. Captain Ed theorizes that it might have been politic of GOP Senators "faced with an increasingly skeptical public" to pass such a resolution; but, goodness, that increasing skepticism is the result primarily of a viciously-mounted campaign of disinformation and historical revisionism that followed on the heels of the Cindy Sheehan Crawford-vigil. Is this the way the GOP responds to her hysteria? Finally, and I am among those who have called for greater communication from the president on the Iraq war and without the usual cliches and bromides, sending reports and DOD high-ups to testify before the Senate is not what I had in mind. This resolution is a bonehead blunder of the first rank.

FOLLOW-UP II: Jonathan R. at GOPbloggers opines on the Senate's track record with the GOP at the helm. And, Jonathan, I couldn't agree more!

FOLLOW-UP III: Scott Johnson of Power Line wades into the fray and expresses his "indignation" with Senate republicans.

FOLLOW-UP IV: The Anchoress, who always keeps her readers guessing, seems inclined to give the Republican Senate a pass on the Warner Amendment, as she thinks its chief benefit may be to keep the president from "going quiet" on the war, which has been his predilection to the consternation of conservatives. I'm inclined to think otherwise -- namely, that this wasn't any holistic, GOP strategy to gain an upper hand on the Party of Amnesia. Bill Frist simply hasn't proven himself to be that shrewd. Reid regularly beats him with a board. No, I think it's more a case of many Republican Senators simply running scared over what the polls are saying. They're afraid to face constituents back home who the Democrats and their MSM allies have worked into a lather with their persistent "Bush lied to us" meme that has gained traction on the heels of the Cindy Sheehan vigil at George Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch. Now they can hang their respective hats on the Warner Amendment, as if such a resolution is going to ensure any more accountability for the execution of the war and Iraq's preparedness to assume the fight in the next 12 - 24 months than there has been already. It's blue smoke and mirrors and ass-covering, pure and simple. The shame of it is that it has put new coals on the propaganda fire that the Reid-Kennedy-Dean-Kerry-Pelosi-Durbin cabal keeps stoking. If it was a gambit, it has backfired already, playing into the hands of the elite, liberal media. I mean, really: the minute the president finally does engage, Senate Republicans embarrass him and when he's in Japan no less, rather than in Washington. I have the highest respect for The Anchoress and Captain Ed, but on the Warner Amendment issue I beg to differ over its true implications. I don't like gangs of 7 or gangs of 41. And I think Bill Frist may be the worst Senate Majority Leader ever.