Bloggers tussle over another failed Iraq war bill, debate whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be allowed to tour Ground Zero, and dissect Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS.
GOP ensnares Webb: Senate Republicans shot down a proposal Wednesday that would have ensured the majority of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would be home for an amount of time equal to their deployment before being shipped out again, leaving the military with fewer available troops. Sen. Jim Webb's bill was considered the Democrats' best chance to force President Bush to change his strategy.
Bloggers at DailyKos are frustrated by the legislation's failure, but Kagro X is more insulted by the Democrats than the Republicans, complaining that Democrats never should have agreed to let the GOP off the filibuster hook. "And so the Webb amendment died quietly yesterday, allowing Republicans to enjoy all the obstructionist benefits of a filibuster, without having to stand up and tell Americans and their fighting men and women in the military exactly what they were doing."
Mark Kilmer at Red State says, "It sounds nice on the surface, but it would strip a power from the Commander in Chief; more importantly, it would have made it impossible to keep the number of troops in Iraq at a level with which victory could be achieved." At Flopping Aces, Curt, a former Marine, agrees, and he commends the Republicans. "It was a sneaky back door way to drawdown the troops and nobody bought it, well except for the Democrats." But he also acknowledges the toll on the troops: "While giving the troops more leave time would be great every single one of them understood what was required of them when they signed up. That's what makes them heroes."
But Rod Dreher, Beliefnet's Crunchy Con, says that the GOP fails to realize what long-term political impact this could have: "I think we can all agree that next fall is going to be a mighty reckoning for the Republican Party, for its president and its legislators own this war."
Virginia Virtucon says that the legislation was "unconstitutional idiocy" that would have harmed the country. Hollywood agent-turned-war documentarian Pat Dollard, meanwhile, thanks Defense Secretary Robert Gates for beating the "nefarious bit" of legislation.
Elsewhere, John Amato at liberal Crooks and Liars pins the blame on Sen. John Warner of Virginia for changing his vote at the last minute and convincing several Republicans to follow suit: "Warner helped torpedo whatever chance it had to pass because the White House got to him as usual….Let's thank the Rubber stamp Republicans for not supporting our troops. And I'm so sick of these very honorable people."
Read more reaction to the bill's defeat.
Be my guest: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives in New York Sunday to address the U.N. General Assembly and make a speech at Columbia University. NYPD's Commissioner rejected a request by Ahmadinejad to tour Ground Zero.
"[I]f you try to set one foot on where the terrorists your regime supported murdered a member of my family and 3,000 others, I will be there standing in your way," warns Tim Sumner at 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America. Sumner links to a post by Michelle Malkin drumming up support for a counterprotest at Ground Zero. Maybe they'll hook up withAtlas Shrugs, who is none too happy about the stop at Columbia, either.
But liberal Steve Benen at the Carpetbagger Report cautions that "the nuances and complexities of the situation deserve more than a knee jerk" response. Liberal BooMan Tribune is concerned that the vehement refusal will harm America's standing in the world even further: "It's one thing to thank him politely for the kind gesture and then deny him the trip on security grounds. That's diplomacy. People would understand that. But to have all the presidential candidates lining up to outdo each other in their outrage at the mere suggestion? It's gross. It's ugly. It's the worst of America."
The Anonymous Liberal doesn't understand the ruckus: "It's not as if Ahmadinejad or Iran had anything to do with 9/11. He's a Shiite Persian. Bin Laden is a Sunni Arab. They're not allies. Never have been. They don't even have similar goals or aims."
Michael Leeden at National Review's Corner chides Columbia: "As for Columbia University, one can only propose the Chamberlain Award for Exceptional Appeasement."
That's a Rather large sum: Dan Rather sued CBS Wednesday for $70 million for violating his contract, claiming that CBS made him the scapegoat for a report about President Bush's National Guard service that relied on forged documents and then cut his airtime on 60 Minutes.
Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs, who was among the first to question the legitimacy of the infamous memos, scolds Rather and his lawyers for continuing to assert that the documents could have been real. "And for Dan Rather to continue insisting they are genuine shows either: 1) a disconnection from reality that borders on the psychotic, or 2) a blatant liar willing to go down in flames rather than admit the truth."
At the Huffington Post's Eat the Press, Rachel Sklar critiques Katie Couric and the CBS Evening News for their brief coverage. "Twenty seconds, in and out, before moving on to a teaser about cute bears, complete with a bear-cam, for a segment lasting 2 minutes 50 seconds."
NewsBusters—which is devoted to exposing liberal media bias—has a field day: "The statements in Dan Rather's $70 million lawsuit … reflect a conspiratorial paranoia about how he sees himself as a victim of Bush White House pressure and is unable to accept responsibility for his sloppy and politically-driven story."
Learn more about Rather's lawsuit.