Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Harry's Hooey Dog And Pony Show

On the surface, and from what people all over the blogosphere are saying, you would think that Harry Reid's announcement on Monday that he, as the Democratic Senate leader, was going to get tough and make the Republicans filibuster through Tuesday night was some type of seminal turning point. The Democrats are finally getting some cojones and standing up to the Republican thugs obstructing progress in the Senate. But, if you really start digging a little, it appears that there is still a cloture vote set for Wednesday morning irrespective of what occurs in between now and then in the Senate, and the Democrats still must obtain 60 votes for that cloture vote on Wednesday morning in order for the bill to go to an up or down vote on the floor. Come Wednesday morning, the Democrats will still be short of the 60 votes necessary to gain cloture and have an up or down vote on the merits of the bill. And this all assumes that Reid can get a quorum in the first place. Why any Republican would show up for this nonsense is hard to imagine. Tim Johnson is not fit to attend, and Lieberman, well, he is just not fit period, and will undoubtedly not be helping his former party. A quorum (51 Senators) may be difficult to gather.

Oh, and about that all important "30 hour" provision that has been so ballyhooed. It doesn't apparently apply as that is the maximum length of debate that can be had AFTER a successful cloture vote of 60 or more votes which, again, the Democrats still appear to be well short of. Some solace can be taken from the fact that the Levin/Reed Bill is a toothless pile of pablum that does absolutely nothing to force the Administration to initiate withdrawal from Iraq in the first place, so no great loss.

Unless I am missing something in this analysis, the only way Harry's hooey stands to have any impact is if Reid keeps repeating the stunt over and over, requiring the calendar of the Senate be cleared for the remainder of the little prime time left before their recess. But Harry Reid won't do that; which makes this a pretty weak and lame gesture. It may get some PR, but it also is an admission of how gutless our leaders really are.

It is time to "end our long national nightmare". Defund the war (funding bills do not require the 60 vote cloture step; they go to a regular vote), and, if Bush doesn't bring the troops home, impeach him and then put him in the criminal docks for the wiretapping violations and any other crimes for which there is solid probable cause. I am tired of Harry Reid's pansy charades and the respective Judiciary Committee's lame letters begging the Administration to pretty please play nice. Lets get on with it.