by Taylor Marsh
This is strictly CYA for John McCain, his boss and the Republicans. It will not go unnoticed.
John McCain is in favor of escalation. McCain has walked in lock step with Bush for a long time. Now he's decided to desert the troops and walk away from the Webb amendment, offering up a non-binding version that protects none of them. Evidently former Navy secretary and retiring Senator John Warner has been pressured by the White House to join McCain, and he buckled.
Via Think Progress who also has the video of John McCain.
I have just learned from Sen. McCain's comments that Sen. Warner will be offering a side-by-side amendment that goes to the sense of the Congress rather than the will of the Congress. And I would like to state emphatically at the outset that this is a situation that calls for the will of the Congress. - Senator James Webb
The Webb amendment is supported by the Military Officers Association of America, which numbers 368,000 strong. Webb's legislation is simple, direct and more importantly it's binding.
Senator Webb this week plans to reintroduce his amendment to support our nation's troops through responsible deployment cycles. The measure requires that active duty troops have at least the same time at home as the length of their previous tour of duty overseas. After four and a half years of occupation in Iraq, it is time for the availability of troops to dictate the operational tempo, and not the other way around. Politics aside, Senator Webb believes we need to be proper stewards of our men and women in uniform. His amendment seeks to do that.
The McCain-Warner CYA legislation is not binding, but it's being put together as a cover their asses alternative for obvious reasons. What McCain's efforts amount to is providing cover for Republicans so they can say they support the troops while actually walking away from legislation that actually does support the troops. McCain's legislation, joined by John Warner, would actually make sure that the continued redeployment of back to back tours continues, as will the strain on our forces, their families and our ability to make sure we can continue the all volunteer force. McCain is also standing against MOAA, which is in full support of the Webb amendment.
This is what Republicans mean when they say they "support the troops." They'll talk about it. Take pictures showing it. But when it comes down to signing on to policies that actually do support the troops even Republicans like John McCain and John Warner desert their comrades when they're in need. It's a betrayal of trust. It's choosing politics over protecting our troops. It's choosing to protect a president and his failed policies over the men and women in uniform.