Thursday, July 12, 2007

Conservative Senators Join Forces Against McConnell

Several conservative Senators joined forces yesterday to blast Mitch McConnell for filibustering the Webb-Hagel amendment to support our troops in Iraq. The amendment was offered by Chuck Hagel, who has one of the most conservative voting record in the Senate (he received a 96 from the American Conservative Union in 2005), and would give the troops the same amount of time at home between missions that they spend in Iraq. Conservative Sen. Chuck Hagel hammered McConnell for putting politics before supporting the troops:
“This was not about politics. This was about the right thing to do with regard to the men and women we ask to defend our country,” Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.), Webb’s chief GOP backer, said after their amendment went down, 56-41...

Even as Webb vowed to return with a new version of his plan, tension among Republicans consumed much of the Senate’s oxygen. Addressing reporters to tout the GOP victory, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) described the war as “badly mismanaged, terribly mismanaged for a number of years,” prompting reporters to ask McConnell if he agreed with that assessment.

McConnell declined to answer the question and sidestepped inquiries about the political pressure on Republicans up for reelection in 2008 — including himself — to heed voter discontent over the war.