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From the Post Politics Hour

Every weekday at 11 AM, members of the Washington Post political team take your questions. Today's installment featured Shailagh Murray who discussed the war over the war in Iraq in Congress, the Larry Craig saga and much, much more.

Anonymous: Hi, Shailagh -- interesting article Saturday. I do have a question because it seems we see the situation differently. In the article, you wrote the following in your voice: "Senate Democrats' failure to reach agreement with wavering Republicans. ... Last week, Democrats failed to pass a proposal to bring home most troops by next June and to narrow the U.S. mission. ... Both sides were optimistic about a deal until Republican negotiators demanded that the timetable be pushed from June to sometime after the 2008 presidential election. ... But even with the additional six months, Voinovich could not promise Levin a large number of Republican votes."

It seems to me the GOP is hunkering down against an onslaught of overwhelming public opinion from left, right and center. How does the GOP senators filibuster of these proposals represent a failure on the part of Democratic senators? If the "wavering Republicans" needed to overcome the filibuster will not allow cloture on a timetable that starts 18 months out with the next president, what exactly is their offer in this compromise?

Shailagh Murray: It depends on whether you want to win the ideological argument or the legislative battle. To win the latter, you have to deal with 60 votes. Republicans did not invent that, although the current minority has certainly worked the filibuster strategy to great effect.

Gainesville, Fla.: I really enjoyed your piece yesterday on Johnny Isakson. While he supports the War he "resents" all the oxygen debates about the war is sucking out of the Senate's schedule. Are there any other Republican Senators you plan on profiling soon, and will they too "resent" their time being wasted on debating the billions spent in Iraq, not to mention the thousands of deaths?

Shailagh Murray: I think Sen. Isakson's concerns are pretty widely held, including among some Democrats -- not that time is being wasted on the Iraq debate, but that until there are signs of some sort of breakthrough, there's a lot of other business that deserves Congress's attention.

By Post Editor  |  October 1, 2007; 12:18 PM ET
 
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