...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005
      ( 5:43 PM )
Saluting Defiance

What seems like defiance is actually sensible thinking and action. And where did it come from today? The Senate! The Senate? Yes! The GOP-controlled Senate!

The Senate voted 98-0 today to an amendment that calls on the President to:

*restrict the techniques used to interrogate terrorism suspects
*ban their inhuman treatment
*provide lawmakers with quarterly reports on the status of operations in Iraq
*let the Guantanamo inmates appeal to a federal court their designation as enemy combatants and their sentences.

The measure "calls for the Bush administration to "explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission in Iraq" and to provide reports on U.S. foreign policy and military operations in Iraq every three months until all U.S. combat brigades have been withdrawn."

This is a big deal. Not only has the Senate voted to ask for a timeline on withdrawal from Iraq, but they've done it while Bush is out of town. (Don't look at those silly people calling for the truth! Asian Bird Flu! Ack!)

The Senate's votes on Iraq showed a willingness even by Republicans to question the White House on a war that's growing increasingly unpopular with Americans.

Polls show Bush's popularity has tumbled in part because of public frustration over Iraq, a war that has claimed the lives of more than 2,000 American troops.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the outcome was "a vote of no confidence on the president's policies in Iraq." Republicans "acknowledged that there need to be changes made," he said.

[...]the Senate's political statement was clear — and made even more stinging when the vote was held with Bush abroad, in Asia, an embarrassing step Congress often tries to avoid. With Democrats pressing their amendment calling for a calendar for withdrawal, Republicans worked to fend off a frontal attack by Democrats by calling on the White House to do more.

The President might have had something to say about this outright defiance. But he's on his way to Mongolia. And besides, he only talks to his Mommy these days.

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