What a week it was in DC...
The Senate lost it's backbone and House found theirs.
The Senate, in a widely debated vote, defeated a call for setting a withdrawal timetable - then passed a bill that calls for greater accountability on the conduct of the war. Pundits like Hugh Hewitt called it a "vote of no-confidence" and that their timing of the vote was a "slap in the Presidents face". Make no doubt about this, the timing of the vote was intentional! The Senate Democrats (weasles that they are) held their proposal specifically for the day when the President was travelling. However, I can see why the Republican leadership responded in the way they did. The only way for the Administration to win the war of words right now is to take the progress reports directly to the American people and I can think of no better way for the President to take control of the discussion. The Senate redeemed themselves (slightly) when they found the will to cut $50b in earmarked spending.
The House leadership, conversely, finally showed their collective will. When Rep Joe Murtha called for an "immediate redeplyment" of US troops the House leadership said "let's put it to a vote". The Democratic Leadership immediately cried "FOWL" even going so far as to call it "personal attack on one of the best members, one of the most respected members of this House". What a joke! They have been calling for a complete withdrawl ever since Cindy Sheehan appeared on the scene! To call Friday's debate an exercise in hypocricy would be an understatement of epic proportions!
All in all, I think that this week is the beginning of the end for the debate on the war. The Democrats left themselves wide open for this. Their rhetoric (in calling for a withdrawal) lead them to this precipice and the Republicans finally called their bluff. All I can say is, it's about time!