Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Senate to pull an all-nighter

Props to Reid for doing what we wanted the Republicans to do over the judges: keep the Senate in session until the opposition crumbles.

The Senate this week will pull its first all-night debate on the Iraq war in advance of a vote on whether to bring home combat troops by next spring, Democrats said Monday.

The rare, round-the-clock session Tuesday night through Wednesday morning is intended to bait Republicans into an exhaustive debate on the politically unpopular war, as well as punish GOP members for routinely blocking anti-war legislation.

"How many sleepless nights have our soldiers and their families had?" said Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

Republicans shrugged off the planned marathon debate as political theater. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Republicans "welcome further debate" but that there was no reason why the Senate couldn't vote sooner.
There's been a lot of political theater since the Democrats took over the Senate, when do you think they will actually start legislating?

And then there's this:
The political sparring came as several Republican congressional staffers met privately with Bush aides in the West Wing of the White House to hash out an effective communications strategy on the war.

According to one member who attended, Bush made a brief surprise visit and thanked the staffers—spokespeople for Republican leadership on Capitol Hill—for sticking behind him. Bush told the staffers he would not rethink his Iraq policies until a critical military assessment comes in September.

Bush also said he had no confidence in the ability of international institutions—a reference to the United Nations—to salvage Iraq if the U.S. were to withdraw.


The meeting was arranged by Ed Gillespie, a former high-dollar Washington lobbyist and longtime Republican strategist. Gillespie recently replaced Dan Bartlett as White House counselor.
It's looking like it was a good thing that Bartlett left if the President is actually going to work with the Congress more closely to stop any more defections. I hope that by "communication strategy" they mean that they are finally coming up with a strategy communicate the importance of this war to the American public.

Update: Though David Freddoso of The Corner makes a good case why it's a dumb move. Maybe that's why the Republicans never bothered. Maybe they just aren't into political kabuki theater the way the Democrats seem to be.