Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Webb amendment

Watching this video of Jim Webb making the case for his amendment to require adequate time between deployments for troops serving in combat zones, I can forget for a few moments how furious I am with his FISA vote. He's direct, simple, and blunt (note he says "occupation", a word most pols won't use). Please take a look and do what he's asking.

I did. Here's my email, and as soon as I publish this post I'll make my phone call:

Dear Senator Warner,

Please announce your support for and vote for the Webb amendment to allow troops deployed to combat zones adequate "dwell time" before redeployment.

This is the absolute minimum that we owe to those serving. The crushing deployment schedules of the last several years violate the implicit contract that makes a volunteer armed forces possible.

Congress has the right and obligation, under Article I, section 8 of the Constitution, "To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces." Your obligation is even greater, as you have acquired a reputation as someone with the trust and respect of the military.

This issue is not something to be treated as the subject of some political deal you are striking with the president. It is a core obligation to the country and the armed forces that serve it.

You voted for this amendment earlier. Withdrawing that support now sends the wrong message to your constituents about your party's respect for those serving and its ability ever to work across partisan lines.

Your relationship with the junior senator has appeared to be refreshingly cordial and mutually respectful up to now, unusual for today's highly partisan Congress. If you now abandon Webb's amendment, Virginians will be forced to conclude that even the most supposedly independent and moderate Republicans are more focused on their relationship with the White House than their commitment to the country.

I hope you will support the Webb amendment.

Update: 4:10 pm, 19 Sept - Within hours of my email to Warner's office, it became known that the silver-haired fraud is putting forward a toothless 'sense of the Senate' resolution to compete with Webb's amendment; it would recommend more time between deployments to the Great Decider. No notice to Webb, who found out the same way I did -- from McCain's comments on the Senate floor. Webb is handling it masterfully, hitting back on all the ridiculous GOP talking points (see here and here).

But now the Democratic leadership needs to back him up: If Warner's slimy maneuver means we don't win the cloture vote, then let the Republicans filibuster this for real. Bring. it. on. I can't imagine a better moment for Dems to stick a fork in the "all bills now require 60 votes" nonsense. (See this Daily Kos diary or Mark Kleiman {h/t Taylor Marsh via Digby} for more.)

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At 2:12 PM, September 26, 2007, Blogger Thomas Nephew said...

Well, he tried yesterday. I'm just appalled that this Kyl-Lieberman thing went through. (Wrote "flabbergasted" first, but that's not quite right.)

At 12:02 PM, September 28, 2007, Blogger Nell said...

He did indeed. It's clear to me that he and Lugar and Hagel, among others, want to get this issue to hearings so that they can challenge the propaganda about Iranian "meddling" in Iraq.

The leadership appears to have paid absolutely no attention to Webb's objections, which were focused on the provision to recommend naming the IRGC a terrorist organization. Not a word of that changed from the first version to the final one. A seriously horrible precedent, on process and substantive grounds.

What saddens me most of all is the acceptance of this propaganda by people who should know better. One case in point is Susan at No Quarter, who has been a major blogger there and at Daily Kos on U.S. torture and related issues. Now, because she's afraid that progressives sitting on their hands because of disgust with HRC will cost Dems the presidential election, she's actually arguing Clinton's position on the issue.

An unpleasant flashback to the 1990s: Beause the Clintons were under assault from hateful, dishonest right wingers, we were expected and urged to back their most criminal and idiotic policies. Wasn't buying then, won't buy now.


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