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Up All Night

by Pamela Leavey

Senate Dems are pulling an all nighter with debate on the Iraq War. The cots were pulled hours ago as the Dems prepared to force the Republicans to a vote…

The WaPo reports that “Republicans were determined to block legislation forcing a withdrawal of combat troops, which was expected to come before bleary-eyed senators this morning in the nonstop session,” and they “dismissed the Democrats’ overnight effort as political theatrics and vowed to enforce a 60-vote threshold for passing the withdrawal proposal, which would bring most troop homes by May.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and his leadership team circulated sign-up sheets for speakers. Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), one of the front-runners for the 2008 Democratic nomination, was scheduled to take the floor between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., just as the television networks’ morning news programs start their broadcasts. Senators were warned that votes could occur anytime throughout the night.

The first roundup of senators began at 8:30 p.m. for a procedural vote. Afterward, several Democrats left the Capitol for a candlelight vigil across the street with antiwar activists.

In a sign of the late-night weariness, a second procedural vote held at midnight drew 80 senators, some of whom had changed into more casual clothing. It officially drew a quorum, but 11 fewer senators showed up than had for the earlier vote.

Obama, who had been at a campaign event in Cincinnati earlier in the evening, made it back to the chamber for the midnight vote. Reid set another quorum-call vote for sometime after 5 a.m., with the penultimate vote on the amendment sponsored by Reid and Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) slated for 11 a.m. today.

Think Progress is live-blogging the showdown in the Senate, between catnaps and an earlier candlelight vigil in front of the Capitol and Bob Geiger has some notes from the all-nighter as well.

There’s buzz on both sides of the blogosphere at Hullabaloo, Taylor Marsh, Jules Crittenden, TPM and Kos.

Meanwhile, check out this video on Think Progress: ABC goes ‘Inside the Surge.’ Michael (on vacation) comments on it here.

Enough already with the Iraq War.

Bring the troops home.

3 Responses to “Up All Night”

  1. This looks like a slumber party not an all nighter. :? When I work all night, sleeping is NOT allowed. Not that we have time to usually.

    Glad some of the Senators went to the vigil. I missed one here in Denver at rush hour. It is such a pain in the arse when life interferes with social activism. :roll:

  2. Cots? Now that is rich. The conservative vampires must have been pissed to not have coffins to nap in! I hope they laced the cots with garlic!

  3. “The Articles of Confederation don’t work anymore. They were fine for something to get us through the Revolutionary War, but they just don’t get the job done now. What are we going to do?”, asked one Founding Father.

    “Why don’t we try a Constitutional Convention?”, answered a second one.

    There was no model for this. There was no place to look to see that what clearly needed to be done was formally authorized in some manner. It was just the right answer and our country was started by people who, if anything, knew how to get down to business. We live in a society that has a clear history of using a constitutional convention as the vehicle for creating the framework for moving from an unacceptable set of present circumstances and setting foot on a superhighway to unlimited future potential.

    The main symptom that our current society has degenerated into a system that needs to be given a top to bottom overhaul is that roughly half of all of our citizens have just completely tuned out the entire political arena. When these folks choose to stay away from the polls they think that they are voting for “none of the above”. I use this interpretation because of the clear and obvious level of deep discontent with current circumstances.

    The design of our political system, however, is such that these votes get counted as “stay the course”. Not that it could ever happen, but if we all became so disgruntled that all but one of us didn’t vote, our government will be chosen by an individual (or any combination of a majority of one). Maybe an answer would be to require something like a sizeable quorum number for electoral business to be conducted, so that gridlock would ensue until participation is achieved.

    Or maybe we would want to do something to make Senators more concerned with their relations with their constituents than their relations with each other.

    Etc.

    But the fact is that any idea, no matter how important or beneficial, has meaning only in the context of The Second American Constitutional Convention.