On Sestak, Again
by Matt Stoller, Tue Mar 20, 2007 at 12:06:03 PM EDT
Ok, I'm going to concede that I was probably not as charitable as I should have been with Joe Sestak. He has a withdrawal plan, he has strongly advocated against the war and he speaks against Bush on prominent platforms (like Meet the Press). Based on this quote from a Washington Post article, along with a source telling me what was going on, I thought that he stepped on Murtha's plan when it was launched.
Freshman Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), a retired Navy admiral who was propelled into politics by the Iraq war, said Murtha could still salvage elements of his strategy, but Sestak, an outspoken war opponent, is "a bit wary" of a proposal that would influence military operations.
"I was recently in the military, and I have to speak from that experience," Sestak said.
This article is not clear enough, and I'm no longer convinced that this is anything but a slip-up on Sestak's part. Sestak is considering voting on the Iraq supplemental, but if he opposes it his opposition is coming from the progressive side. That is, the bill might not go far enough to satisfy him, and though I disagree with it I can live with that explanation. Still, I think he's going to vote for the bill. This is from Congress Daily.
Democratic sources who are keeping track of votes said all but two or three conservative Blue Dog Democrats appear likely to vote for the measure, despite initial opposition to language aimed at getting U.S. troops out of Iraq next year. The sources also said about a dozen anti-war progressives were likely to vote against the package because it leaves too many potential escape routes for President Bush to avoid the limits on his handling of the war. Aides said the support of anti-war groups and increased pressure from leaders on lawmakers on the fence have limited liberal defections and have converted some former opponents, particularly anti-war freshmen.
I don't know if Sestak came around or if he was always going to go for the bill, but the situation seemed very different a few weeks ago. Now that the bill is branded as an antiwar bill, Sestak seems to be on board. And so I should not have included him on that list of supplemental saboteurs who didn't want a withdrawal date.
As for the supplemental, the votes aren't there yet, but it's looking better. And there's a lot of great organizing being done all over the country with military vets and generals standing out as particularly important and effective.