Only Four Senate Democrats Oppose Timetable for Iraq

Last Tuesday's elections not withstanding, this is the best news for Democrats in months (emphasis mine):The Republican resolution, sponsored by Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee and Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner of Virginia, largely mirrored a Democratic resolution, except for Democrats' key requirement for a withdrawal plan.

Warner said the Senate resolution was to declare to Iraqis, "We mean business, we have done our share, now the challenge is up to you."

Senators defeated the Democrats' resolution 58-40 before backing the other.

Remember how we have often heard about how congressional Democrats are divided on withdrawal from Iraq? Well, we are divided no more. The amendment Senator Feingold stopped by to tell us about was opposed by only four Senate Democrats: Lieberman, the two Nelsons, and Mark Pryor. Shame on them, but I'm not really sure how much we need them in this case.

The key difference between the Democratic and the Republican resolutions must be emphasized: nearly the entire party is on record supporting a flexible timetable in Iraq, and the entire Republican caucus is on record opposing it. Democrats are in favor of withdrawal, Republicans are opposed to it. Now, demanding a timetable from Bush, even if only a flexible timetable, is officially an issue we can run on in 2006. That is, of course, as long as we have the guts to actually do it, and stop being quiet about Iraq when it comes to our agenda / platform.

Tags: Senate 2006 (all tags)



Has Joementum received the two-part memo?
Here are the two parts of the memo:

  1.  Bush's poll numbers are the worst since Truman.

  2.  Joe Lieberman is a DEMOCRAT in a BLUE state.

by jgarcia 2005-11-15 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Has Joementum received the two-part memo?
Well, one thing you have to say for Lieberman... He is sticking to his guns, regardless of how wrong he is.  I think Lieberman is so hardcore pro-israel/anti-palestine that he is going to support any military action in the middle east, regardless of how wrong his position is.
by yitbos96bb 2005-11-15 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Has Joementum received the two-part memo?
I am for bringing our troops home ASAP.

I was against the war from the start.

I do believe that Saddam was a threat to those in his area but there were other ways like diplomacy.

by kydem 2005-11-15 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Has Joementum received the two-part memo?
I happen to agree.  The dirty little secret is that the Iraq war married the rabidly hawkish pro-Israel faction of this country with the Cheney cabal who profited from it.  A win-win in their minds.
by jgarcia 2005-11-15 04:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Has Joementum received the two-part memo?
see my above comment as I am very pro-Israel.
by kydem 2005-11-15 04:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Has Joementum received the two-part memo?
So am I.  But I did not agree with the war.  Iran now has more influence than ever, and they are the country to worry about, IMO.

The sad part about Iraq is that Bush is the boy who cried wolf.  If Iran is REALLY making moves in the middle east and Bush goes to the nation, the UN, and to Congress with "intelligence", no one will believe him.

by jgarcia 2005-11-15 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Has Joementum received the two-part memo?
I don't agree with the war either.

I completely agree.

by kydem 2005-11-15 04:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Has Joementum received the two-part memo?
Please don't take my comment as bad mouthing Pro-israel people.  I more was saying that Lieberman's pro-israel position has led HIM to stubbornly refuse withdrawal.  Just as some pro-choice people absolutely despise abortion, but remain pro-choice due to privacy and health issues, not all pro-israel people are in favor of the war or are anti-middle eastern people.  Unfortunately, we know Lieberman is in favor of the war and I always got the anti-middle eastern vibe from him... although I may have misinterpreted.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-11-15 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Has Joementum received the two-part memo?
I still think North Korea is a bigger threat, but Iran is dangerous in the middle east definately.
by yitbos96bb 2005-11-15 07:55PM | 0 recs
israel > likud
joe and his neocon buddies are pro-likud. they give as much of a fuck about the welfare of israel as they do the US.
by wu ming 2005-11-15 11:48PM | 0 recs
What About Kent Conrad?
NYTimes has him voting with the Republicans.
by Left in the West 2005-11-15 02:43PM | 0 recs
by LiberalFromPA 2005-11-15 03:36PM | 0 recs
oy vey...
Conrad (D-ND), Nay

So that's 5 Democrats and I am ashamed of all them right now.

by kydem 2005-11-15 03:59PM | 0 recs
Re: oy vey...
I can forgive Conrad.  He's in an uber red state with an election in a year.  But Joe is in a blue state.
by jgarcia 2005-11-15 04:18PM | 0 recs
Re: oy vey...
I don't know how any Democrat could vote against the amendment.
by kydem 2005-11-15 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: oy vey...
Here is the Warner Amendment Rollcall.

Two key sets are:

1. Democratic Crossovers for the Levin Amendment (the Dem. variant):

Conrad (D-ND)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)

2. Sens. that voted against both the amendments:
Note the bold ones:

Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Conrad (D-ND)
DeMint (R-SC)
Graham (R-SC)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
McCain (R-AZ)
Sessions (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)

which reminds me of:

Looks like McCain wants to go all the way with Chimps :)
by NeuvoLiberal 2005-11-15 05:07PM | 0 recs
Re: oy vey...
The main (only?) difference between the two amendments seems to be a complete redaction of the the clause:

 (7) A campaign plan with estimated dates for the phased redeployment of the United States Armed Forces from Iraq as each condition is met, with the understanding that unexpected contingencies may arise.

from the Democratic version.

See this dKos diary.

Without this clause, isn't the whole thing pretty much meaningless?

by NeuvoLiberal 2005-11-15 05:18PM | 0 recs
Re: oy vey...
With the exception that it is a political gift on a silver platter.

Harry Reid is one heck of a Senate Majo... Minority... Leader.

by Andrew C White 2005-11-15 07:04PM | 0 recs
Here is the full text of the Amendment passed
S. AMDT. 2518


    (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``United States Policy on Iraq Act''.

    (b) Sense of Senate.--It is the sense of the Senate that, in order to succeed in Iraq--

    (1) members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or have served in Iraq and their families deserve the utmost respect and the heartfelt gratitude of the American people for their unwavering devotion to duty, service to the Nation, and selfless sacrifice under the most difficult circumstances;

    (2) it is important to recognize that the Iraqi people have made enormous sacrifices and that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis want to live in peace and security;

    (3) calendar year 2006 should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq;

    (4) United States military forces should not stay in Iraq any longer than required and the people of Iraq should be so advised;

    (5) the Administration should tell the leaders of all groups and political parties in Iraq that they need to make the compromises necessary to achieve the broad-based and sustainable political settlement that is essential for defeating the insurgency in Iraq, within the schedule they set for themselves; and

    (6) the Administration needs to explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission in Iraq.

    (c) Reports to Congress on United States Policy and Military Operations in Iraq.--Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every three months thereafter until all United States combat brigades have redeployed from Iraq, the President shall submit to Congress an unclassified report on United States policy and military operations in Iraq. Each report shall include to the extent practicable the following unclassified information:

    (1) The current military mission and the diplomatic, political, economic, and military measures, if any, that are being or have been undertaken to successfully complete or support that mission, including:

    (A) Efforts to convince Iraq's main communities to make the compromises necessary for a broad-based and sustainable political settlement.

    (B) Engaging the international community and the region in the effort to stabilize Iraq and to forge a broad-based and sustainable political settlement.

    (C) Strengthening the capacity of Iraq's government ministries.

    (D) Accelerating the delivery of basic services.

    (E) Securing the delivery of pledged economic assistance from the international community and additional pledges of assistance.

    (F) Training Iraqi security forces and transferring security responsibilities to those forces and the government of Iraq.

    (2) Whether the Iraqis have made the compromises necessary to achieve the broad-based and sustainable political settlement that is essential for defeating the insurgency in Iraq.

    (3) Any specific conditions included in the April 2005 Multi-National Forces-Iraq campaign action plan (referred to in United States Government Accountability Office October 2005 report on Rebuilding Iraq: DOD Reports Should Link Economic, Governance, and Security Indicators to Conditions for Stabilizing Iraq), and any subsequent updates to that campaign plan, that must be met in order to provide for the transition of security responsibility to Iraqi security forces.

    (4) To the extent that these conditions are not covered under paragraph (3), the following should also be addressed:

    (A) The number of battalions of the Iraqi Armed Forces that must be able to operate independently or to take the lead in counterinsurgency operations and the defense of Iraq's territory.

    (B) The number of Iraqi special police units that must be able to operate independently or to take the lead in maintaining law and order and fighting the insurgency.

    (C) The number of regular police that must be trained and equipped to maintain law and order.

    (D) The ability of Iraq's Federal ministries and provincial and local governments to independently sustain, direct, and coordinate Iraq's security forces.

    (5) The criteria to be used to evaluate progress toward meeting such conditions.

    (6) A schedule for meeting such conditions, an assessment of the extent to which such conditions have been met, information regarding variables that could alter that schedule, and the reasons for any subsequent changes to that schedule.


I'll plan to write a diary on it soon.

by NeuvoLiberal 2005-11-16 12:54PM | 0 recs
Not the only difference
Democratic language:

United States military forces should not stay in Iraq indefinitely and the people of Iraq should be so advised;

Republican language:

United States military forces should not stay in Iraq any longer than required and the people of Iraq should be so advised

That's a key change that everyone is missing. There's no reason to change it if you only object to "specific dates." But the first explicitly says that there is an end to all of this. The second pointedly does not. "Any longer than required" is a completely meaningless formulation. Required by whom? For what?

Warner and Frist just went on record opposing any American troop pullout from Iraq, imo.

by BriVT 2005-11-16 04:34AM | 0 recs
defending the establishment
"Now, demanding a timetable from Bush, even if only a flexible timetable, is officially an issue we can run on in 2006."

I got to say Chris, you're starting to defend the establishment in DC.

by janfrel 2005-11-15 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: defending the establishment
You are going to have to explain that one to me, since I have been arguing that Dems should run on withdrawal for over a year.
by Chris Bowers 2005-11-15 06:31PM | 0 recs
Senate Votes
The vote was 58-40 against the Levin Amendment
The Non Voting Senators were Corzine(NJ)and Alexander(TN)- Corzine(NJ)would have voted for the Levin Amendent, Alexander(TN)would have voted against it.
The vote count is 41-59 in favor of the Levin Amendment.
Profiles and Courage Awards should go to
Democratic US Senators
Max Baucus-MT
Evan Bayh-IN
Robert Byrd-WV
Byron Dorgan-ND
Tim Johnson-SD
Mary Landreui-LA
Blanche Lincoln-AR
Jay Rockefeller-WV
Red State Democratic US Senators
Johnson-SD and Landrieu-LA are likely to face tough re-election campaigns in 2008.
If Democrats take back the US Senate in 2007
Vote count will be 46-54 against setting timetable in Withdrawing US troops.
Plus we will be able to convince Democrats like Kent Conrad-ND,Bill Nelson-FL,and Mark Pryor-AR to come on board. plus Republican US Senators- Chuck Hagel-NE. or a moderate like George Voinovich-OH,or Arlen Specter-PA, or the Two Maine Senators.
by CMBurns 2005-11-15 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Votes
I agree that they showed real courage finally with this vote, and it's some sort of milestone to see the red state Senators hang together with the rest on a war vote.

Credit goes as well to Feingold for leading on this amendment, and for credibly articulating the reasoning behind it.

This might be a measure of the faith these Senators have in Reid and Schumer's leadership. Under Daschle, these same Senators acted like they couldn't trust a national strategy.

by thief 2005-11-15 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Votes
I don't know if I would use courageous with Bayh's vote.  He is a red-stater, but pretty safe.  However, this was a SMART political vote on his part.  He votes no and that vote would haunted him through out the primaries.
by yitbos96bb 2005-11-15 07:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Votes
The two Democratic US Senators that I consider highly courageous is Mary Landreiu of Louisiana- who will face a tough re-election campaign in 2008. Unlike in 2002, Landreiu has lost her political base because of Katrina. and Johnson-SD- who may face a tough re-election campaign against the current Governor of SD.
by CMBurns 2005-11-16 05:38AM | 0 recs
I expected some of them
But Bill Nelson and Kent Conrad were almost uncalled for. Lieberman has a consistency of being a turncoat, and Ben has to for his constintuency, but Bill should know that he already has his race locked up next november. And Conrad, what was he thinking? Mark Pyror I understand his situation, but with senators like Lincoln and Landrieu voting for it, I would've expected better.
by KainIIIC 2005-11-15 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: I expected some of them
Good analysis.
by NeuvoLiberal 2005-11-15 05:10PM | 0 recs
Good news, bad news.
Bad first. This thing is fairly meaningless in the absence of any serious oversight by the Congress.

That's pretty much not going to happen for the balance of this Congress, maybe in '07 if, God forbid, we're still up to our eyeballs in Iraqi politics.

Good news, the GOP senators were sufficiently scared to give the Dems a quarter loaf. Okay, let's build on it.

New on EWM: Pentagon Caught Torturing Prisoners with Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Applications  
Amnesty International calls practice "barbaric"

by The Muse 2005-11-15 05:49PM | 0 recs
sided with the Democrats.  One thing about the guy, he is not stupid.  Man, I hope we can beat him.  
by Eric11 2005-11-15 06:30PM | 0 recs
I just made a pledge at  So far $57,120 has been pledged to the campaign of someone who will challenge Lieberman in the primary.  The more pledges, the more likely a candidate is to step up to the challenge.  I'd love to see this site get some hype.
by ZamboniGuy 2005-11-15 07:25PM | 0 recs
Let's stop talking about withdrawal and start talking about oversight.

Even the time-table should be called a checklist or a list of goals that need to be accomplished before we can withdraw. Putting a date on withdrawal is the best strawman the Republicans could ask for because everyone involved knows withdrawal will only be the right option after a complex and unpredictable series of events has played out.

The only way to decide how and when to bring our troops home is with responsible, dilligent oversight by the congress, the press, and the people. I'm with you guys on this issue, but as long as we're just asking for withdrawal soon, let's not talk like we're asking for it today.

Today we're asking for oversight, and it's a bit harder to argue that congressional oversight emboldens the terrorists.

by msnook 2005-11-15 08:43PM | 0 recs
I think you'll find this funny, it's below the "Red State Antics."

Look for Turncoat Dems.  These guys tear them apart nicely.

by trotsky74 2005-11-16 12:11AM | 0 recs


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