Tuesday, November 22, 2005

 

GOP May Force Another Vote on Withdrawl

Now force Democrats into a substantive debate they cannot win

If the Democrats persist with their 'cheap talk' regarding the withdrawl of troops from Iraq, the GOP may force a new vote in the House:
The Republican who initiated last week's overwhelming House vote to keep U.S. troops in Iraq said he will do it again if Democrats don't cease their calls for withdrawal.

'If they start this again, we'll call the vote again,' said Rep. J.D. Hayworth, Arizona Republican, whom members credited with suggesting holding a vote. 'As far as I'm concerned, if they haven't learned from this, if they go back to this cheap talk, I would be more than happy to call for another vote.'

Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat, said Thursday that the U.S. should start withdrawing from Iraq, but the House voted 403-3 the next day to reject immediate withdrawal. Republicans say the vote both bolstered the troops' mission and recaptured the political momentum on the issue.

(My emphasis)
As I previously noted, this last sentence sums up the net effect of the vote. I agree with the following analysis provided by the three quoted Republicans:
"Republicans succeeded in calling the Democrats' bluff by forcing them to go on the record against their rhetoric of retreat and defeat," said Ron Bonjean, a spokesman for House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican. "Any attempt by the other side to downplay it will look hypocritical in the eyes of those who support U.S. troops fighting in Iraq."

And Mr. Hayworth said the signal to U.S. troops was worth it.

"The Washington Post, the New York Times and Al Jazeera all reported [Mr. Murtha] called for immediate withdrawal. I thought by Saturday morning seeing in Al Jazeera that the U.S. House overwhelmingly rejects calls for withdrawal is the message we needed to send," Mr. Hayworth said.

He proposed the idea at the House Republican Conference meeting Friday morning.

A Republican aide said the final decision to go ahead was made that afternoon at a meeting, in which top House Republican leaders and committee chairmen decided something had to be done.

"The message out of that meeting was either we play offense or we play defense. And right now we need to play offense," the aide said. "It stopped the momentum the Democrats were trying to generate."
Indeed it did. Very well done. Now stay on the offensive.

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