Monday, February 12, 2007

36 hours, 15 minutes

Starting tomorrow, the House will be debating a non-binding resolution on Iraq, giving each member 5 minutes to speak their mind. I'll be curious to see how it turns out, simply because the House is more partisan than the Senate, yet doesn't have the parliamentary tricks to block the vote. I fear it's going to turn into a "We Support the Troops more than you do" kindergarten finger pointing exercise. Meanwhile, the resolution doesn't provide any teeth.

I've heard the Republicans have an alternative, calling for a non-partisan commission to oversee the "surge." The problem is, the last non-partisan commission to offer the President advice was largely ignored, so I'm not sure how effective a new one would be. While it seems there are a lot of ideas of how to resolve the crisis, because of how bitter and partisan the debate has become, combining the best ideas of each proposal and getting it through the House or the Senate seems impossible. The ultimate losers of the partisanship on the Hill are our soldiers in Iraq.

American voters knew, despite the promises, that this would happen and this unfortunate reality was reflected in polls leading up to and following the election. We all support our troops, and it would be nice if those in leadership could put down the partisan dangers for a second, stop trying to score cheap political points and get to work. My belief is our soldiers would trade 30 minutes of a discussion that generated some results, instead of 36 hours of partisan grandstanding over a non-binding resolution, any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

I'll post Representative Garrett's five minutes, as well as any other ones that are poignant.

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