Chuck Hagel Crosses Over While John McCain Is Everywhere

Yesterday the Senate voted on a new resolution to bring the troops home by next year. The vote won by a narrow margin of 48 to 50. The Democrats owe this victory to Chuck Hagel, a critic of Bush’s war in Iraq, for crossing over and voting on the Democratic side. Two weeks earlier he opposed a similar measure, but yesterday he walked in about an hour before the vote and said he would “not support sustaining a flawed and failing policy.” “It’s now time for the Congress to step forward and establish responsible boundaries and conditions for our continued military involvement in Iraq,” Hagel added. His vote is important because if had voted as he was expected to do the vote would have been a 49 to 49 tie, and vice President Dick Cheney would have been able to vote it down. The resolution was tacked on to a 122 billion package to fund the troops. Also tacked on was 20 billion dollars of pork packages that Nancy Pelosi negotiated to get the votes necessary to pass this thing. That is a common practice, yet the right wing is attacking her for it. This bill will get to the President’s desk eventually and he has already promised to veto it. Meanwhile funding for the troops will have to be renegotiated. The Democrats tacked the resolution on the funding bill because they thought it was the best way to get Bush to pass it. Doesn’t look like it will work though, but it will force Bush to veto a 122 billion dollar funding for the troops, which is more than he asked for. This is an example of why the making of politics is often compared to the making of sausage.
John McCain has used this vote to his advantage, and was President of the airwaves today criticizing the vote. This morning he was on Fox and Friends talking with Brian Kilmeade. McCain said, “It’s a mistake, a serious mistake on the part of my colleagues. But the president of the United States will veto this bill. It will be funded — the war will be funded and we will give these young people a chance to succeed, not a signal that we are going to — we’re going to depart at a certain date and divorce totally from reality on the ground.” Then he was talking with Meridith Viera of NBC’s “Today” show. There he said, “It’s tough. It’s dangerous. It’s long. It’s hard. Many mistakes were made. But I am confident, if given the opportunity, we can have success. And the consequences of failure — the consequences of failure are catastrophic, because if we come home — if you read Zarqawi and bin Laden, they want to follow us home.” If you turned the channel you could catch McCain talking to Hannah Storm of CBS’s “Early Show”. he used this opportunity to talk about all the pork barrel spending in the bill. McCain told Hannah, “And also, by the way, this bill that was passed yesterday is particularly odious because it’s loaded down with $20 billion worth of pork, outrageous pork-barrel spending — by the way, something the Democrats promised they wouldn’t do when they came to power; $25 million for peanut storage. I mean, you can’t make it up. You can’t make it up.” The next channel had McCain talking with Chris Cuomo of ABC’s “Good Morning America” where he was talking about the reasons why the troop withdrawal would be a bad idea by saying, “What I’m worried about is losing this war, and then they’ll follow us home. And then we’ll have a lot more to worry about than politics.” It was like McCain TV this morning. That’s two Republicans with two distinct views on this war in Iraq. Could this war in Iraq split the Republicans as more and more of them splinter off because of constituent pressure?
Alan Cosgrove

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1 Response to Chuck Hagel Crosses Over While John McCain Is Everywhere

  1. mia says:

    saw a great post on hagel a while ago, it seems it still holds true, hagel may be the man after all

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