Senate Democrats defeated on retreat from Iraq
Levin acts as if this whole years attempts to legislate defeat have not been ripe with political elements. The Democrats have been playing politics with Iraq since January. They want to lose in Iraq and want to blame Republicans for the loss. That is the reason their is no advantage to any Republican signing on to the Democrats sick agenda on Iraq. The fact is that Harry Reid and the Democrats have been wrong about the new strategy in Iraq and when it became apparent with Gen. Petraeus' testimony they lost their chance to force a loss this year. But they have put themselves on record as being for defeat while we are winning and that is a good record for Republicans to run against.
Senate Democrats' failure to reach agreement with wavering Republicans on legislation to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq forced party leaders to concede yesterday that they are running low on options for altering President Bush's war strategy this year.
The breakdown, coming at the end of days of debate over defense policy legislation, makes it increasingly likely that Congress will conclude 2007 without passing a single Iraq bill of policy-altering significance. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said yesterday that the next big Iraq showdown could come over an emergency war-funding bill that may not be considered until early next year, as he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) turn their attention to the domestic policy front, where Democrats' prospects for success are brighter.
One of the few remaining windows for Democrats on Iraq is on the spending front. Until war funding is secured for the next year, Democrats say that action to force Bush to change course is still possible, said Reid spokesman Jim Manley.
The latest attempt to find consensus fizzled late Thursday. Last week, Democrats failed to pass a proposal to bring home most troops by next June and to narrow the U.S. mission. But Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (Mich.) still held out hope that at least 10 Republicans -- enough to break a filibuster by Bush's GOP allies -- might agree to a more flexible June goal.
Both sides were optimistic about a deal until Republican negotiators demanded that the timetable be pushed from June to sometime after the 2008 presidential election. Levin balked.
"It introduces a political element, putting it into the next administration," Levin explained. "For a lot of Democrats, that's inappropriate."