Friday, November 16, 2007

Why is Chris Dodd Voting With Lieberman on Iraq?

Chris Dodd's honeymoon with the netroots may be coming to an abrupt stop.

Consider his answer on the relative importance of human rights and national security.

BLITZER: What is more important, human rights or national security?

DODD: Obviously, national security, keeping the country safe. When you take the oath of office on January 20, you promise to do two things, and that is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and protect our country against enemies both foreign and domestic. The security of the country is number one, obviously.

Compare that to the answers of Edwards, Obama and Richardson.

EDWARDS: Well, I think, first of all, we have some basic goals that we need to be focused on with respect to Pakistan.

One is to make sure that the extremists in northwest Pakistan are under control; second that we provide support for the democratic reformers; third, as Senator Biden just spoke about, to make sure these elections take place in January; and, fourth, we need to make certain that the nuclear weapons are under control.

Now, this leads to a bigger questions. I think Pakistan is the living, breathing example that America's ad hoc policy of dealing with the spread of nuclear weapons, while it's absolutely required in today's world given what's happening with Iran, given what we see today in Pakistan and the incredible fragility of the administration in Pakistan and the presidents of an extraordinary extremist element within Pakistan.

But this is the living, breathing example of a policy that will not work over the long-term -- I'm about to finish. What we have to do, what America needs to do and what I will do, as president of the United States, is to lead a long-term international effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

OBAMA: The concepts are not contradictory, Wolf.

They are complementary. And I think Pakistan is a great example.

Look, we paid $10 billion over the last seven years and we had two goals: deal with terrorism and restore democracy.

And we've gotten neither.

And Joe and Bill are exactly right on this. Pakistan's democracy would strengthen our battle against extremists.

The more we see repression, the more there are no outlets for how people can express themselves and their aspirations, the worse off we're going to be, and the more anti-American sentiment there's going to be in the Middle East. We keep on making this mistake.

As president, I will do everything that is required to make sure that nuclear weapons don't fall into the hands of extremists, especially going after Al Qaida in the hills between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But we've got to understand that, if we simply prop up anti- democratic practices, that that feeds the sense that America is only concerned about us and that our fates are not tied to these other folks.

And that's going to make us less safe.

Yes because I believe we need to find ways to say to the world that, you know, it's not just about what Halliburton wants in Iraq. It's also about our values of freedom, equality. Our strength is not just military and economic.
Our strength as a nation is our values: equality, freedom, democracy, human rights.

But this pales in comparison to his vote against cloture on the Iraq withdrawal bill this morning.

My good friend andgarden noted Wednesday night that 231 House members voted to reject a motion to give Bush a no-strings bill

As Kagro X often explains, there is a split between those who believe that motions to recommit are purely procedural and those who believe that they carry all of the meaning of a proper amendment. In this Congress, they have mostly been given the latter meaning.

In that context, the vote on the motion to recommit on tonight's Iraq supplemental funding appropriation seems especially important to me. 223 Democrats voted no on that motion, which would have given the President $50B, no questions asked. They were joined by 8 Republicans.

To me it seems obvious that the President could be in dangerous territory: the House could actually have the votes to defeat ANY clean funding bill. We might, against all odds and predictions, actually be able to end the war during this Congress.

The bill passed the House 218-203, with 15 Democrats voting no; these were a combination of Bush Dogs and Kucinich purity trolls.

This morning, the United States Senate rejected a cloture motion on this Iraq withdrawal bill

Every Democratic presidential candidate was in attendance. Trent Lott and John McCain were absent.

48 Democrats and Bernie Sanders voted for cloture, as did Hagel, Smith and the 2 Senators from Maine.

Every other Republican, Joe Lieberman, and Chris Dodd, voted NAY.

There are three possible explanations for Dodd's vote:

  • It was a mistake

  • He's decided to become a Kucinich purity troll

  • He's decided to change his mind on Iraq.

Or there may be something I'm overlooking.

Whatever it was that caused him to vote against cloture, Chris Dodd owes us an explanation.

1 comment:

wringe said...

Normally, wouldn't the Senate leader in The Dems need to vote against cloture in order to bring th matter up again?

On your account Reid didn't. Might this explain Dodd's vote, given that there weren't 59 votes for cloture?