House Vote Splits on Party Lines

Earlier today, the Republican leadership in the House sent out an email that said in part:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner are scheduled to hold an early afternoon press conference to “throw down the gauntlet,” in the words of one House GOP leadership source, over the House Democrats’ plan to “slow-bleed” the Iraq war to an end. The GOP leaders are aiming to capitalize on a perceived shift in momentum in their direction following Rep. John Murtha’s detailed lay-out of his plan to choke off funding for the surge, but which is increasingly seen as a broader strategy meant to bring about a quick end to the war in Iraq.
Asked about the number of GOP defections on that House vote, a House leadership source told the Bulletin, “The more our members and their members hear their true intentions, the less likely they are to vote for this non-binding resolution.” The leadership source added, “Predictions of 50-60 defections will likely be proven false.”

That was, indeed, what happened when the vote was taken a little while ago. The Victory Caucus has the details. The Democrats’ anti-surge resolution passed 246-182, but only 17 Republicans voted for defeat. (Sadly, one of them was Minnesota’s Jim Ramstad.) Two Democrats, Jim Marshall of Georgia and Gene Taylor of Mississippi, voted with the Republicans.
The press will no doubt try to spin this as a “bipartisan” resolution, but the truth is that the Democrats didn’t get anything like the number of Republican supporters they were hoping for just a few days ago. I think the public will recognize that the real meaning of the resolution is that the Democrats, as a party, have committed themselves to a policy of failure and surrender. Time will tell whether that commitment will turn out to be a wise one.
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