You’ve probably read this on some other blog already by now, but it seems Harry Reid has decided to further raise the stakes in the Iraq standoff. The structure of the situation is that the Senate was slated to consider the authorization bill for the Defense Department. Democrats want to attach an amendment to the bill that would provide a framework for withdrawal from Iraq. The GOP is using the filibuster to prevent a vote on this amendment. Now Reid is saying that he’s going to pull the whole Pentagon authorization bill from the floor and just move on to other subjects unless the Republicans allow a vote.
It’s worth keeping in mind that even if the GOP backs down eventually and an amended bill passes congress, Bush is likely to simply do what he did with the war supplemental — veto the bill and then accuse the Democrats of refusing to fund “the troops” unless they pass an un-amended bill. To make a long story short, the country is still many, many Republican defections away from a point where congress will be able to end the war without the cooperation of a less stubborn president.