The liberal MSM spin machine is working overtime in an attempt to portray Senate Republicans as the ones who prevented a debate over Iraq. AP, of course, led the charge. Naturally, USA Today joined in. And the Washington Post contributed with a headline accusing Republicans of “stall[ing] debate.”
Even C-SPAN sounded more like C-SPIN this morning at around 9:00 (EST) when its Washington Journal host told the audience that Republicans were preventing debate. He also sniffed that the two Republicans who joined with the Senate Democrats on the procedural vote are both facing tough re-election battles in 2008 (even though Susan Collins’ approval rating is above 70 percent), but neglected to make the same point about Democrat Mary Landreau who abstained from voting with her party.
As John explained yesterday, the Republican filibuster did not prevent debate. To the contrary, it was the Democrats’ attempt to invoke cloture that would have ended debate. The filibuster prevented the vote the Democrats wanted — one limited to the Warner-Levin resolution. But as I understand it, the Republicans would have permitted voting had the Dems been willing to let other resolutions come before the Senate. More resolutions presumably mean more debate, just as more votes mean more clarity with respect to the “sense of the Senate.”
But the Dems were unwilling to have the fuller, more clarifying, debate. This surely was due, in part, to their confidence that their friends at AP, USA Today, the Washington Post, etc. would spin the story their way thus enabling them to win a PR victory.
UPDATE: The Dems, of course, used the filibuster throughout their recent time in the minority, and the MSM invariably covered for them even when, unlike here, the filibuster actually did prevent voting on the issue at hand. Here, the Washington Post described a Republican cloture motion during the judicial nomination battles as a “motion to end debate.” Here, the New York Times described a similar motion during the debate on a gay marriage bill as “shutting off debate.” But now, in the world of MSM pro-Democratic spin, efforts to resist cloture have somehow become attempts to end debate.
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