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Media mischaracterizes Senate Resolution vote
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The NY Times:
Republicans on Monday blocked Senate debate on a bipartisan resolution opposing President Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq, leaving in doubt whether the Senate would render a judgment on what lawmakers of both parties described as the paramount issue of the day.
The Washington Post:
A long-awaited Senate showdown on the war in Iraq was shut down before it even started yesterday, when nearly all Republicans voted to stop the Senate from considering a resolution opposing President Bush's plan to send 21,500 additional combat troops into battle.
Republicans blocked a full-fledged Senate debate over Iraq on Monday, but Democrats vowed to find a way to force President Bush to change course in a war that has claimed the lives of more than 3,000 U.S. troops.

Contrary to the implication of these "news" reports, the Democrats are attempting to end debate on a single resolution (and need 60 votes to do it) and force a vote on that single resolution without allowing others to be considered. By opposing cloture (which would stop debate), the Republicans are actually keeping debate open.

Or, said another way, Democrats want to prevent other resolutions from being considered. Republicans are attempting to keep debate open to force Democrats to consider and debate other resolutions and amendments.
“Ducking debates about our national defense has become too topical and typical in this country because we are unable to bring matters before this floor. No amendments, no votes, no debates—that is not the way to do a bill in the Senate.” (Sen. Harry Reid, Congressional Record, 10/05/05, p.S11061)
Of course, that is precisely what Sen. Reid is now trying to engineer through his attempt to end debate through cloture.

The lesson? Don't believe everything your read in the MSM. But you knew that already, didn't you?
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I noticed those leads and immediately knew that something was off the mark or missing. Whether by reason of bias or ignorance of senatorial procedure, the reportage of this matter has been risible. To be truthful, I’m slightly amused that the media are so eagerly taking to something that is at most a thin, symbolic gesture that can’t achieve much, if anything good.
Written By: Paul A. Br&amp
And now that it’s being used by the GOP, you can hear the bleating of the sheep...."Fillibusters baaaaaaaad!"

Tough. How do you like it Sen. Reid? How do you like it now?

At any rate, what would passing ANY resolution at this point really mean? Everyone’s position is perfectly clear. The Dems are basically united in their hatred of the President and the war (but they luv the troops!) while the GOP (except for the cretin wing) is kinda-sorta behind the Pres and his war plan as long as the polls don’t go south anymore.

So all of a sudden, a resolution passing would say what that we don’t already know?

On the other hand, wasting time on non-binding useless crap like this is preferable to them working on actual legislation, so have at it!
Written By: shark
URL: http://
The Democrats were actually ready to put all three resolutions to a vote. They wanted them to pass or fail based on simple majorities. The Republicans - you know, the ones who ACTUALLY BLOCKED moving forward on any of them - wanted them to pass or fail based on the 60% filibuster-proof majorities.

All 3 are a waste of everyone’s time and energy. Even if they were binding and the House also moved, and something became Law King George would issue another signing statement.
Written By: UR A. Putz
URL: http://

Your name must be self-descriptive because you don’t know what you are talking about with regard to the procedures under discussion. Simply read the NY Times reporting and it will become clear that the Democrats did NOT want the competing proposals to come to the floor for a vote and refused the proposal from Mitch McConnell that would have allowed their favored resolution to come up for a vote along with the other two.

Learn to read.
Written By: dogman
URL: http://
The SF Chronicle ran the same headline on a story by one of their Washington correspondents.
Written By: jeff
URL: http://
All 3 are a waste of everyone’s time and energy. Even if they were binding and the House also moved, and something became Law King George would issue another signing statement.
Wow, I didn’t know these signing statements were binding law....
The Democrats were actually ready to put all three resolutions to a vote. They wanted them to pass or fail based on simple majorities. The Republicans - you know, the ones who ACTUALLY BLOCKED moving forward on any of them - wanted them to pass or fail based on the 60% filibuster-proof majorities.
Boo f*cking hoo. When the Dems were blocking judges, filibusters were the tactic saving the republic from domination. Now it’s turned against them, it’s filibusters baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!

I’m not a fan of filibusters then and I’m not one now. But I am a fan of seeing the GOP rub Harry Reids nose in it.
Written By: shark
URL: http://
BTW, it’s pretty sad that the GOP seems to be getting more accomplished as the minority then they ever did with Sen Frist as majority leader...
Written By: shark
URL: http://
GOP seems to be getting more accomplished as the minority
Elephants never forget. They had had a lot of practice working as a minority, you know.
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
This may be one of the few times that Oliver Willis is right about something and if he is, then it throws some light on why liberals can possibly believe that the press is biased against them, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
PS: Liberals sure don’t like being hoist on their own petard!
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
I’m not impressed. We still have 40 republican senators plus two national party committees who could respond to this and correct the reports, but they do nothing.
Written By: elgringo
URL: http://
When the Republicans had the majority and were filibustered by the Democrats, there was endless talk of the need for an "up or down vote" on measures - a simple majority. The Republicans even threatened the "nuclear option" to destroy the filibuster.

The filibuster has long been part of the way the Senate works, because the Senate is inherently undemocratic. Small states with low population have just as much representation as large states - in the last Congress the 50 Republican Senators represented only 44% of the population. The filibuster is a vital tool for the minority party, as the Republicans have rediscovered. There is nothing wrong with the way this particular debate has played out, just as there was nothing wrong with the Democrats’ previous use of the filibuster.

What was wrong was the Republican attempt in the last Congress to end the filibuster.
Written By: fishbrake
URL: http://
What’s wrong is the disgusting actions of the MSM in flat getting the story WRONG.
Written By: mikey
URL: http://
The Republicans threatened to use the "nuclear option" to destroy the filibuster when applied to other actions than legislation. Prior to 2000ish, the filibuster had never applied to non-legislative procedures.
Written By: Michael
URL: http://
Well, actually, the coverage is accurate: the current issue before the Senate is whether or not to take S.470 off the Calendar and move it to the floor for a full debate. Currently they are debating whether or not to have that debate.

See here for more details.

This is not the same as the judicial nominations situation where cloture would have equaled a vote.

In this case cloture just means more debate which would not be guaranteed to end a vote, as yet another cloture motion would be required.
Written By: Steven Taylor
Republicans on Monday blocked Senate debate on a ...

A line that we will probably see a lot of in the future.

But it is important to understand the meaning of the words, using the Barry-Byrd Unabridged Dictionary of DC Terminology.

The word "debate" should be given special attention. The word "debate" when used by Senators (and to a lesser degree Congressones) has nothing whatsoever to do with what happens on the floor of the Senate. Us lesser mortals may believe that this is what they do on the floor of the Senate, but, in the proper framing, the word "debate" is what happens when Senators and their staff leak their entire position on a bill or item of public policy, with ready to publish text, to the WaPo and NYT. You debate in the media, not like the Greeks on the floor of the Senate.

Now given this correction in the use of the term "debate", we can now see that the phrase takes on a new, clearer, meaning.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Unlike Lott, Reid, if pushed, will use the "Nuclear Option."
Written By: Patrick Carroll
So let him. He won’t be in the majority forever.
Written By: shark
URL: http://
damn liberals
Written By: Jake
URL: http://
But there’s no media bias...LOL.

The narrative is GOP Bad, Dems Good.

Just wait until Hillary brings back to life Social Security reform, including private accounts, and we are told those are now a good idea.
Written By: Harun
URL: http://

I think you must have caught your head in your zipper one too many times.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

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