Why These Republicans Are Hypocritical, Phony Patriots
By “these Republicans” I mean those in the Senate that tried a failed filibuster on a bill to fund wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in an attempt to delay health care legislation.
On a 63 to 33 vote, Democrats cleared a key hurdle that should allow them to approve the must-pass military spending bill Saturday and return to the health-care debate. After years of criticizing Democrats for not supporting the troops, just three Republicans supported the military funding.
Let a Democrat just try to hold up military funding and see how the right reacts. But when they do it, I don’t hear anyone bellowing about how they hate America. As Senator Dick Durbin said, “If Democrats tried that, there would be cries of treason.”
Republicans have provided the backbone of support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many have praised Obama’s troop increase in Afghanistan. When the House considered the same legislation Wednesday, 164 of the 175 Republicans present voted for it, so the Senate GOP plan to oppose defense spending Friday morning put them in an unusual position.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) cited the roughly 1,800 earmarks in the bill worth $4.2 billion in explaining his opposition, but most others were blunt in their rational for opposing the military legislation.
“I don’t want health care,” Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) said Thursday evening.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates sent Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a blistering letter Thursday warning of a “serious disruption” in the military’s ability to pay troops. “It is inconceivable to me that such a situation would be permitted to occur with U.S. forces actively deployed in combat,” Gates wrote.
Republicans hoped they’d get Russ Feingold of Wisconsin to vote with them to deny funding to the troops because of his strong opposition to the wars but, to his credit, Feingold didn’t buy the ploy, saying, “I am not going to be part of a partisan and cynical effort to delay passage of the defense bill in order to block the Senate from considering health-care reform.”Click here for reuse options!
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