Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bringing the Chutzpah Back Home

After spending two weeks in China, the Chutzpah of the Week award seems to be ready to return to the United States; and we have the Senate Republicans to thank for restoring our national "pride." As reported on the BBC NEWS Web site, at stake was a measure proposed by Democratic Senator Jim Webb (hopefully still remembered for his eloquent response to this year's State of the Union Address) that would give our troops time off between their tours in Iraq. As a decorated Vietnam veteran, Webb felt that such a measure was necessary to keep our troops in effective shape. Defense Secretary Robert Gates did not see it that way, though, calling the measure (according to the BBC report) "a backdoor attempt to pull troops off the battlefield." (Gates' own military record was in the Strategic Air Command.) Between toeing the party line and demonstrating that they have the raw power to block the Democrats (60 votes were needed to pass this measure, rather than a simple majority), the Senate Republicans were able to muster 44 opposing votes (presumably this crew included the 43 who voted against restoring habeas corpus); and one more effort to keep our boys in proper fighting shape bit the dust. This was such a blatant exercise of putting party loyalty before loyalty to our armed forced that all 44 of those Republicans definitely deserve this week's chutzpah award! Thanks for bringing it back home, guys!

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