Thursday, February 08, 2007

A few articles on last night's letter

There are a number of articles out there today about the letter from seven Senate Republicans (see the previous post for the letter).

There's one at the Washington Post. I did want to share this quote from the article:

A top Pentagon leader weighed in yesterday on the war debate and appeared to undercut the argument advanced by the White House and many GOP lawmakers that a congressional debate challenging the Bush plan would hurt troop morale.

"There's no doubt in my mind that the dialogue here in Washington strengthens our democracy. Period," Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the House Armed Services Committee.
There are also related articles at the Lincoln Journal Star and The Omaha World-Herald.


jam137 said...

Just to be a little bit exhuberant here: I am impressed not only with Hagel's position on the war but also with the adroitness he showed both in yesterday's letter as well as in his remarks on the Senate floor on Monday (see the video that was posted here a few posts back). With the letter, notice how he not only noted the will of the people, but he also noted President Bush's invitation to debate the war strategy (thereby showing that the senators are "playing fair" with what the President has said) and that fact that Monday's vote was a "procedural vote." With the video, notice how he not only talked about the importance of the debate, but also how he referred to past wartime resolutions voted on by his Republican colleagues as well as expressing confidence (at that point of the negotiating process on Monday, when he was speaking) that the leadership would find a way to debate and vote on the various Iraq resolutions.

I hope that the subtleties of these tactics are not lost on people who may not fully appreciate the politically difficult position Hagel is in regarding the war.

mw said...

Agree Jam, but I do think a lot of the subtlety is lost in MSM. I think Warner, Hagel, and the "gang of 7" sincerely want to get to a 60 plurality on a resolution. Even if they all voted for cloture, they did not have enough Republicans. So they threw the dice, backed off when asked, played ball to get a few more votes and put it on the leaders plate to get it done. Essentially saying - "we'll stay in line for this vote, on the expectation that you are going to work it out." The leadership let them down, they are pissed, and there is no tether anymore. They are "open loop" from this point and no longer manageable by the leadership of either party. Should be fun to watch.

I'll admit to spending a ridiculous amount of time watching c-span this week, I don't know what happened that I got so fascinated by this particular debate. Maybe I just got old this week. Anyway - the most interesting bit was the exchange between Lieberman, Hagel and Warner on Monday about "non-binding resolutions". My youtube take on it here.

jam137 said...

Nice video! I also find it fascinating to watch senators politely smacking each other down. It's like Prime Minister's Questions but without the booing.

I've heard Senator Hagel called "weak" because of his vote on the cloture motion. Watching videos like this one and seeing the tactics that he, Warner and the others are unfolding, he does not come across as "weak," in my opinion.

KYJurisDoctor said...

I voted for Sen. Hagel when I lived in Lincoln and admire him. He needs to test the waters and run, frankly.