March 30, 2007

Colorado Senate Passes Anti-Iraq War Resolution

The Colorado Senate passed a "statement" against troop escalation, in an entirely pointed display of political grandstanding that accomplishes little except putting the state's Democratic delegation on record as opposing the war. As if that was ever in doubt.

It passed along party lines--no surprise there:
The resolution, which now goes to the House, passed on a straight party-line vote, with 20 Democrats in favor and 14 Republicans opposed.
. . .
"The war in Iraq has dragged on for five years," said Sen. Ron Tupa, D-Boulder, co-sponsor of the measure. "Certainly, when we have Colorado lives on the line, it's appropriate for us to weigh in on the issue."
. . .
Littleton Republican Sen. Mike Kopp, an Army veteran who served in the first Gulf War, said he has received letters from soldiers in Iraq who complain that the resolution diminishes their sacrifices.

"We can chose the politics of abandonment or loyalty to our troops," he said.
More quotes (video):
"If you have an opinion in a democracy, you have to say it," said Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon (D-Denver), one of the sponsors of the memorial. "Silence is consent and I don't consent."
. . .
"We are not qualified to opine on force levels," said Sen. Steve Ward (R-Arapahoe County). "We have no particular expertise regarding the need for or against escalation. We are not experts on national security or the tools needed to achieve it."
Jason Bane believes that despite the resolution having absolutely no legal effect, it is important to put into the record that the Colorado legislature opposes the administration's policies.

That would matter if the resolution received unanimous or even broadly bipartisan support. The fact that the resolution was passed entirely on party lines makes it clear that the resolution represents the view of Colorado's Democrats, not the state legislature. A fine but important point of difference.