Thursday, September 14, 2006

Four GOP Senators Buck Bush On Detainee Bill

Watching the GOP try to reposition itself for the aftermath of the neocon Era of Misadventure is a bit like old-time Kremlin watching. Here's the latest move:
WASHINGTON - A rebellious Senate committee defied President Bush on Thursday and approved terror-detainee legislation he has vowed to block, deepening Republican conflict over terrorism and national security in the middle of the election season.

Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia, normally a Bush supporter, pushed the measure through his Armed Services Committee by a 15-9 vote, with Warner and three other GOP lawmakers joining Democrats. The vote set the stage for a showdown on the Senate floor as early as next week.

In an embarrassment to the White House, Colin Powell — Bush's first secretary of state — announced his opposition to his old boss' plan, saying it would hurt the country. Powell's successor, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, jumped to the president's defense in a letter of her own.

All this played out after Bush started his day by journeying to the Capitol to try nailing down support for his own version of the legislation — and by issuing a threat to the maverick Republicans.

"I will resist any bill that does not enable this program to go forward with legal clarity," Bush said at the White House.
McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine joined Warner in this landmark blowback vote.

Andrew Sullivan gives Powell the credit, saying that Bush has driven "a huge divide within his own party in order to make war crimes legal."

Steve Soto thinks this blows up "the media's favorite GOP storyline that only the Democrats are disunited" and says Karl Rove's "Democrats appease terrorists" campaign is dead in the water as of now.

The uber-right are pissed, but they don't matter as much anymore - as this proves. As time goes on they will matter less and less.

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