Yes, absolutely, if Coleman would have voted with his party yesterday to filibuster a nonbinding resolution opposing escalation in Iraq, I would have savaged him. I would have called him a hypocrite, for opposing the filibuster as a member of the majority, then immediately using its power as a member of the minority. I would have accused him of being a craven politico, beholden only to his pursuit of power.
As it turns out, Coleman voted with Democrats to move forward with debate on the escalation resolution:
Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman broke with GOP leadership Monday, voting with Democrats to move forward with debate on a resolution critical of President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq.
Coleman and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine were the only two Republicans to do so, part of a 49-47 majority that fell 11 votes short of the 60 needed to break a filibuster. That prevented a vote on a nonbinding measure backed by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., expressing disagreement with Bush's plan to deploy an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq.
"I voted to move the Warner resolution forward in order to bring this important issue to the Senate floor for a vote," Coleman said in a brief statement. "While today's vote failed, I remain optimistic that a way forward will be found that allows the Senate to vote on the various resolutions proposed by my colleagues."
I can't quite cheer Coleman's vote, but it's only fair to note that he exceeded my expectations.
Labels: Smilin Norm