RUSH: I told you yesterday this was going to happen, and it happened. I’ve been telling you for the longest time: the Republicans can block anything in the Senate if they hang together. Dingy Harry has 50 votes in the Senate right now because Tim Johnson is still in the hospital. No word on when he is going to get out, and of course you’ve got Joe Lieberman who is an independent Democrat. He’s voting with the Republicans now, but the bottom line here is that Republicans yesterday — and here’s the headline in the New York Times. This is the exact opposite of what happened!
“GOP Senators Block Debate on Iraq Policy.” It’s by Carl Hulse and Jeff Zeleny. “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 decision short-circuited what had been building as the first major Congressional challenge to President Bush over his handling of the war since Democrats took control of Congress … The deadlock came after Democrats refused a proposal by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, that would have cleared the way for a floor fight on the Warner resolution in return for votes on two competing Republican alternatives that were more supportive of the president.”
Now, this is the thing. Mitch McConnell got all the Republicans to hang tough on this. He got all the Republicans in his caucus, all 49 of them, to hang tough. Even Warner voted against his own resolution in this case. What McConnell wanted was for Dingy Harry to allow debate on two other resolutions, one of them a show of support, and another one which would not cut off funds and not set benchmarks and this kind of thing — and Dingy Harry is the one who wouldn’t allow debate! The New York Times has this totally wrong. McConnell wanted debate on things. The LA Times has the same take on this, the exact same headline: “Republicans in Senate Block Debate on Iraq Resolution.” McConnell said, “We are in effect being denied a fair process for this extremely important debate.” Here is McConnell last night on the Senate floor.
MCCONNELL: The Republican side of the aisle is ready for this debate. We’re anxious to have it. But what we are unified upon is a process that guarantees fairness for the consideration of what is clearly and unambiguously, the most significant issue in the country at this moment. It is ordinary, not extraordinary, for matters of great controversy and even at this date — in this day and age, matters of only a little controversy — to be subject to a 60-vote threshold.
RUSH: See? The Democrats are accusing the Republicans of “obstructionism.” Senator Dianne Feinstein and others are saying (paraphrased), “Why, they’re obstructing the Senate here!” Ha! Of course the Democrats were not doing that with judicial nominations? They were filibustering judicial nominations, which had no precedent. Now the normal procedures of the Senate are being attacked by the Drive-By Media, and of course the Democrats as “obstructionism” when in fact it’s the Democrats who will not permit debate on competing resolutions. Here’s Dingy Harry trying to sound tough.
REID: You can run but you can’t hide. We are going to debate Iraq, and — they may have gotten all their folks over there to vote against the motion to proceed, but they’re not going to stop us from debating Iraq.
RUSH: Well, of course not, because you can call the New York Times and debate the thing, or you can call your buds in the Drive-By Media and get what you want said in the Drive-By Media. It’s the Democrats who don’t want competing resolutions debated, and they certainly don’t want a resolution debated that indicates a show of support for the president’s maneuver — and of course “you can run but you can’t hide”? That’s really tough talk from Dingy Harry. Nobody is running on the Republican side. I’m, frankly, shocked that the Republicans held together on this! It’s a testament to McConnell’s leadership. One more from Dingy Harry here:
REID: What you just saw on the Senate floor is Republicans giving George Bush a green light to escalate the conflict in Iraq. The minority can’t rubber stamp the White House, so they’ve decided to stamp out debate instead. They are not permitting debate on the most pressing issue facing America.
RUSH: It’s absolutely the opposite, Dingy Harry — and he knows it, but he knows that the Drive-Bys will pick up his points on this and make it look that way, as the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have done. Anyway, take this last statement here that he made: “What you just saw on the Senate floor is Republicans giving George Bush a green light to escalate the conflict in Iraq.” The Democrats are not talking about stopping the escalation! They haven’t gotten anywhere near serious about de-funding this, and that’s the only thing they can do. They’re not commanders in chief so they can’t pass a resolution by whatever margin that binds the president to anything; that’s why they call it a “nonbinding resolution.” So all this excitement and all this muscle flexing that they went through over having won the Senate, they realize now that they have less power in the Senate than when they were the minority. When they were the minority, they could stop anything or come close. Republicans had 55 votes; you need 60. They have less power in the majority than they had when they were in the minority because the Republicans, if they hang like this, can stop anything the House Democrats or Senate Democrats come up with. They can stop virtually everything. This is an illustration.