Sunday, February 18, 2007

Senate Republicans Vote to Continue Debate on Iraq Resolution

On Saturday, Harry Reid, leader of Democrats in the Senate attempted once again to shut off debate on the flawed resolution undermining support for our troops in Iraq.

In yet another rebuke to his strong arm tactics in disallowing any other resolutions to be brought to a vote Reid's second attempt to end debate failed. The Washington Times reports that "Republicans in the Senate have not prevented any debate over the war in Iraq," said Sen. Jim Bunning, Kentucky Republican, at the beginning of the nearly two-hour debate preceding yesterday's vote. "What we have prevented is the majority leader dictating to the minority exactly which resolutions we will vote on."

Meanwhile, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, vowed that Democrats would "be relentless" in their campaign to end the war in Iraq.

Still, the vote in favor of terminating debate included 7 Republicans:

Coleman, Norm- (R - MN)
Class II
320 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-5641
Web Form: coleman.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm

Collins, Susan M.- (R - ME)
Class II
413 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2523
Web Form: collins.senate.gov/public/continue.cfm?FuseAction=Contact...

Hagel, Chuck- (R - NE)
Class II
248 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-4224
Web Form: hagel.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home

Smith, Gordon H.- (R - OR)
Class II
404 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-3753
Web Form: gsmith.senate.gov/webform.htm

Snowe, Olympia J.- (R - ME)
Class I
154 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-5344
Web Form: snowe.senate.gov/contact.htm

Specter, Arlen- (R - PA)
Class III
711 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-4254
Web Form: specter.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactInfo.Home

Warner, John- (R - VA)
Class II
225 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2023
Web Form: warner.senate.gov/contact/contactme.cfm

All but Snowe and Specter are up for re-election in 2008. Something tells me that signing on with the defeatists will lose them more support from their Republican constituents than they will gain from rabid Bush-hating Democrats. Can we say PRIMARY CHALLENGE?

Furthermore, Warner, Snowe and Collins were part of the "Gang of 14" which enshrined rights for the minority when Democrats held that role. Isn't it odd that they would not justly demand the same consideration when the shoe is on the other foot?

Democrats have vowed to bring up the resolution again and again until it passes. Now isn't the time for Senate Republicans to "go wobbly."

I urge readers to use the contact links above and demand these seven reconsider their reconsideration of the earlier vote where they voted to continue debate. A quick note will due. Also , you are urged to write a brief note to each of your Senators (if not above) and request they continue to stand strong on this issue.

Here's a sample letter which I am sending and you are free to adapt:
Dear Senator Warner:

I urge you to reconsider your recent reconsideration and vote NO next time on cloture for S. 574.

As Margaret Thatcher once told President George H. W. Bush, now is not the time to "go wobbly."

As a member of the "Gang of 14" You stood up for minority rights. I find it difficult to understand why you should abandon that principle at such a key moment in our nation's history.

Even if you cannot bring yourself to support one of the resolutions more supportive of the President's plans for victory, I beseech you to stand with your Republican colleagues on principle.

If not now, when?

Our party is in much disarray following the debacle in November. Further undermining of our unity and strength does not bode well for our chances in 2008.

We're all in this together. Please reconsider your vote.

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