Military Commissions Bill Passes Easily

The administration’s bill to authorize military commissions to try enemy combatants and to provide for interrogation of captured terrorists passed the Senate this afternoon on an easy 65-34 vote. Notwithstanding the wide margin by which the legislation passed, most news coverage I’ve seen has focused on the dissenters’ objections to the statute, not on the strong grounds for the act that gained it large majorities in both the House and the Senate.

I haven’t seen a roll call yet, but I’d guess that Democrats who voted for the bill will be strongly correlated with Democrats who are up for re-election.

The bill is, I think, a good one, not substantially different from what the administration first proposed.

It is a sobering thought that if the Democrats were in charge of either house of Congress, it would probably be impossible to enact the most basic legislation relating to the detention, interrogation and disposition of terrorists.

UPDATE: I still haven’t seen the Senate roll call, but Michael Barone has the votes in the House, with analysis. It is interesting to note that the two House Democrats who are running for the Senate, Harold Ford and Sherrod Brown, both voted with the administration. The Democrats purport to be confident that running against the President is good politics, but their own candidates don’t seem so sure.

UPDATE: Blog of the Week The Anchoress adds:

For a president who is supposed to be crippled by his “increasingly unpopular war” and his dwindling poll numbers, Bush continues to get what he wants.

Enough Democrats understand that, NY Times aside, the American people want seriousness – not cartoonish partisanship – when it comes to dealing with terrorists and terrorism. Or, at least they understand it in an election year.

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