"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Who Is Cutting Off Debate?

I see that seven Republican senators, having joined in a successful effort to block Harry Reid's resolution on the Iraq surge---nonbinding, of course---now are scrambling to force further debate, as the newspaper headlines accused the Republicans of "cutting off the debate" by refusing to vote for cloture.

Huh? Cloture by definition would end the debate, and the unified Republican stance against cloture continued it. So, as usual, the headlines in the New York Times and the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times and a number of others, well, lied; and the magnificent seven capitulated. And they wonder why the Republican base has abandoned them.

5 comments:

Mike D'Virgilio said...

Funny how the Democrats employing the filibuster when they were in the minority, mostly against judges, was NEVER characterized as "cutting off debate" or blocking debate. No, it was a procedural tactic to help protect the minority or some such blather. MSM bias it so blatantly obvious that I've become uncomfortably numb to it. Obviously Republican politicians haven't.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Huh? Cloture by definition would end the debate, and the unified Republican stance against cloture continued it.

Hammer on nail, case closed, classic Zycher. Good to see you, Ben.

James F. Elliott said...

Dr. Zycher is, unfortunately, incorrect. But it's not his fault if all he did was take Mitch McConnell's quote, as McConnell is either using the term cloture incorrectly, or deliberately provoking a flurry among the base. I suspect the latter.

Here's the deal: McConnell said that the Republicans were unified in voting against cloture - that's in the quote in the Times that presumably has Dr. Zycher so energized. Cloture is a motion to end debate and call for a vote. However, Reid was not calling for cloture. He was calling to bring the resolution to the floor for debate. If the Republicans were voting against cloture, they were filibustering; McConnell doesn't want to do that, given that it makes him look hypocritical if he does. So, they're preventing the resolution from reaching the floor.

Again, McConnell said Reid brought a vote for cloture, when he did no such thing.

It's not MSM bias - the Republicans are preventing debate. A simple reading of the actual article lets you know that.

Tom Van Dyke said...

According to Stephen Spruiell, Mr. Elliott is correct. I think. The Democrats are also blocking debate on the Gregg Amendment. Or something...:

Here, the cloture vote was a vote to end debate on a motion to proceed with debate on the Warner-Levin resolution, which is the one the Dems want to pass. So by voting to continue debate on the motion to proceed with debate on the Warner bill, the GOP technically did block debate on that specific resolution. That's because the Republicans want the Senate to consider Sen. Gregg's resolution also, but the Democrats are afraid to let that happen because Gregg's resolution is a) more popular and b) commits the Democrats to not cutting off any funds for forces in the field.

James F. Elliott said...

commits the Democrats to not cutting off any funds for forces in the field.

Since the Democrats have already ruled out this option, what's the point of Gregg's amendment?