Check out democracyarsenal.org: Now Who's Strong on Defense?
- Senator Murray (D-OR) introduced an amendment to give an additional $1.98 billion in additional funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs, including over $600 million to help address a health care crisis in the VA system. The measure was defeated by Republicans.
- Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) introduced an amendment to research the current need for heavily-armored Humvees, and to provide $213 million to procure more of them. The amendment passed, despite the opposition of dozens of Republicans.
- Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) passed an amendment to require the federal government to equalize the gap between civilian and active duty salaries for federal employees mobilized for duty. The amendment passed the Senate -- then, guess what, Republicans removed the amendment in the final budget report.
- Senator John Kerry (D-MA) introduced a successful Senate amendment to extend housing allowances for families of deceased service members, and another amendment to increase President Bush's paltry death gratuity of $12,000 to $100,000.
OK -- those are the weenies. Look at them, sniffling and wiping their noses with their sleeves. Now, check out how the Daddy Party flexes its big muscles:
- On the four amendments above, no fewer than 25 conservatives voted against each.
- And seventeen of them -- EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM FROM A RED STATE -- voted against every single one of the four amendments above.
- Who were they? Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Senators Wayne Allard(R-CO), Robert Bennett (R-UT), Kit Bond (R-MO), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Thad Cochran (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Ted Stevens (R-AK), and George Voinovich (R-OH).
So what's going on here? Most likely, a combination of blind partisanship -- anything to deny a Dem a win -- and chicken-hawkism -- only war sells, not taking care of the people who actually have to fight.