Marshall follows through, breaks ranks on Iraq

The Georgia Democrat was one of two to break ranks with his party and vote against the nonbinding resolution “Disapproving of the decision of the President announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.”

Seventeen Republicans — none from Georgia — broke ranks with their own party and voted for it. The resolution passed 246-182 (with 6 no-votes).

My thoughts on the debate can be read in more detail at Human Events.

In a nutshell, I think that a non-binding resolution (which is basically a vote of no confidence in a key element of the President’s new strategy) is the worst of all options. If they really want to end the war and bring the troops home, then I think that Congressional Democrats should stand up for that conviction and use their legislative/budgetary power to do so — bindingly. There’s no problem with debate, but, with this course of action, the Democrats (minus Reps. Marshall and Taylor, and plus seventeen Republicans) appear to be attempting to have their cake and eat it too, by attempting to be verbally against the war, while allowing it to go on, so as to lay the blame of the possible eventual defeat solely at the feet of the President.

16 comments

  1. buzzbrockway says:

    I applaud the Congressman for this vote.

    I don’t live in that district, but if I did I still wouldn’t vote for him for a host of other reasons. It’s OK to agree with people on the other side of the aisle every now and again, but it’s not OK to vote for them. 😉

  2. RuralDem says:

    The sad thing with your comment Buzz is that you actually feel that way. The last sentence is quite disturbing. When you allow the letter beside a person’s name to take precedent over the viewpoints of the individual, then well, debating and considering issues becomes pointless.

    Anyway, I cannot say that I agree with Marshall and Taylor on this vote (nor will I say I disagree), but I respect the fact that they vote their conscience. I know Taylor voted against procedural matters such as considering the resolution, I had heard nothing about him saying he would vote Nay on the resolution itself.

    Marshall and Taylor continue to be my favorite Representatives (along with Sanford Bishop), and it’s independent action like this that shows we need more people like them in Congress.

  3. Jeff Emanuel says:

    RuralDem, see the ” 😉 ” at the end of Buzz’s post?

    Chris, I think that this is one of a host of reasons why he’s probably not going to be beatable in ’08 (barring a disaster.) I applaud his vote, personally, regardless of party.

  4. Jmac says:

    … the Democrats (minus Reps. Marshall and Taylor, and plus seventeen Republicans) appear to be attempting to have their cake and eat it too, by attempting to be verbally against the war, while allowing it to go on, so as to lay the blame of the possible eventual defeat solely at the feet of the President.

    Jeff, it’s been established that we disagree on the impact of the non-binding resolution, so fair enough (though I think your line of argument is just as guilty of a ‘have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too’ mentality as you decry the non-binding vote urging those who oppose the president’s policy to stand up and vote for ceasing funding, yet also poormouth that measure just as freely).

    My concern, and one of the primary reasons I oppose cutting funding, is because I sincerely don’t believe limiting funding for the war will deter the president from pursuing his policy. I personally believe that, for better or for worse, he’s going to pursue his military strategy no matter what.

    I’d also like to point out that’s a clever twist-of-words … suggesting one vote by Democrats could potentially be more damaging to the war’s effort rather than the previous four years of its management under the president.

    … it’s independent action like this that shows we need more people like them in Congress.

    I agree RuralDem, even if, like you, I don’t agree with Marshall’s vote.

  5. Jeff Emanuel says:

    JMac: correct, I would be staunchly opposed to the denial of funding for the war.

    I think, though, that that would be a much more principled stand than simply verbally disagreeing in a non-binding resolution, while allowing what they disagree with to proceed apace. It is possible for the Congress to effectively tie the President’s hands so completely that he has no choice but to bring the troops home and abandon the war effort — but it would take sticking to that goal, on the record, and with real, binding resolutions for that to be accomplished, and in my opinion, this is less about acutally “accomplishing” anything, and more about scoring political points.

  6. Jmac says:

    I think, though, that that would be a much more principled stand than simply verbally disagreeing in a non-binding resolution, while allowing what they disagree with to proceed apace.

    Jeff, fair enough.

    I used similar logic to arrive at the opposite conclusion. That is, I felt it would be wrong to deny our troops the funding since the president does make the final decision regarding the use of our military (as the commander-in-chief should), but think it’s entirely appropriate, even necessary, to go on the record with a statement of disapproval of the policy.

    If anything, honestly speaking, I would think you would be more receptive to a measure which voices disapproval but doesn’t hamper the funding for troops in the field.

    About it scoring political points … maybe, maybe not. I can see how it could work both for and against those who voted for the resoltion.

    I, for one, sincerely don’t look at it as a political decision. I think the war has been mismanaged to a large extent, and I appreciate someone voicing disagreement over it, but I also wouldn’t want to limit access to the resources the troops need while over there.

  7. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Hey Rugby, sorry, I hadn’t seen that question.

    In a word, “Yes” — though, of course, it’s nowhere near that simple. I don’t think that insurgents and terrorists across the globe sit around in their safe houses or their caves watching C-SPAN (althought the Prime Minister’s Questions is some good entertainment). However, to think that people so savvy in the methods of using the internet, and of providing our media with jsut the fodder it has learned that they want, are ignorant of what is being said and done here — especially by the political leaders — seems to be quite an underestimation both of their intelligence and of their awareness.

    As an example, here’s a quote from al Qaeda’s Grand Ayatollah Ayman al-Zawahiri:

    As for the Democrats in America, I tell them:

    The people chose you due to your opposition to Bush’s policy in Iraq, but it appears that you are marching with him to the same abyss, and it appears that you will take part with him in the defeat and certain failure, with God’s permission. And the American people shall discover that you are all one side of the same coin of tyranny, criminality and failure; that failure which – by the grace of God – has neutralized the endeavors of the traitors who entered Kabul and Baghdad on the backs of American tanks, and has dashed their hopes as they see the Mujahideen come closer and closer to victory, which has led them to urgently appeal to America for help and implore it to continue to occupy their lands and raise the banners of the Cross over their heads.

    Does that sound like a man who has no idea what is going on in America, and who doesn’t care if Congress bleeds the war effort dry, opposes it actively, or just sits by and lets the war continue? I think that statements like Senator Durbin’s, when he compared our troops and other operatives to Nazi storm troopers, and statements by other Senators and Congressmen calling the President a liar and proposing withdrawing from Iraq, are very much noticed by members of al Qaeda, the Iraqi insurgency, and others. They understand our media, and they use the internet very well — and I’d say that you’re selling them pretty short if you argue that they only put out information over the internet, and never receive any from it, especially on the state of their number one enemy.

  8. rugby_fan says:

    Now, granted Jeff, I do think they know what is happening here in America (and your example is fine proof of this).

    As to the argument that they will feel emboldened by Democrats being in charge, or this one non binding resolution being passed, I do not buy that. The reason I think so is because al Qa’ida hates America. Not one side’s version of America (contrary to what Dinesh d’Souza might think), but our very existence .

    Besides, let’s call a duck a duck. With the way we have conducted the Iraqi war in the past few years, I doubt either party intimidates the terrorists too much.

    So I guess we both agree on the shade of gray on this issue eh?

  9. RuralDem says:

    Jeff,

    Yeah I did.

    BigMack,

    That would be correct. Due to the redistricting process we’ve gone back and forth between Bishop and Marshall in the past few years. The people in my county have been fortunate though as both of them are great people.

    You always hear from some people who say that their Congressman is horrible with constituent services. This cannot be said for Marshall and Bishop. If we needed information on something we got it. If we wanted them to appear at a meeting to discuss an issue affecting our area, either they came, or they always sent a staffer.

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