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Stuck in the Sand | The Nation

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The Notion

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Stuck in the Sand

It's dispiriting for opponents of the war that a motion to bring an end to combat operations in Iraq by March 2008 received only 29 votes in the Senate yesterday.

True, this was a largely symbolic vote; an amendment to a water bill that had no chance of passing. And sure, it was a sign of progress that there was a vote at all on a controversial measure like this.

But still. Only seven more Democrats voted to end the war as to oppose it in the first place. There were some notable converts, such as Hillary Clinton. Yet even supposedly antiwar Democrats, such as Carl Levin, Jon Tester and Jim Webb, voted against the Reid-Feingold proposal. Not one Republican strayed from the party line.

One could argue that this was yet another example of Congress's disconnect from the American public. Yet if 70 percent of Americans strongly favored getting out of Iraq by a firm, set date, then don't you think more Senators would've voted aye? They're behind public opinion, but not that far behind.

Look at the polls. The American people oppose this war and want it to end. But when asked, they're not quite certain of how. Apparently neither is Congress.

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