Well waddaya know? You go out of the loop for a few hours and the next thing you know, Harry Reid is telling the Republicans to bring it:
“I would like to inform the Republican leadership and all my colleagues that we have no intention of backing down. If Republicans do not allow a vote on Levin-Reed today or tomorrow, we will work straight through the night on Tuesday. The American people deserve an open and honest debate on this war, and they deserve an up-or-down vote on this amendment to end it.This is a good start. The American people are not aware that the Republicans are standing in the way of every piece of important legislation before the nation and the press is, as usual, failing to tell them. Indeed, the Democrats in congress are being blamed for the GOP's obstruction. The Dems need to draw them a picture and this is one way to do it.
“Given the Republican leadership’s decision to block the amendment, we have no choice but to do everything we can in the coming days to highlight Republican obstruction. We do this in hopes of ultimately getting a simple up-or-down vote on this and other important amendments that could change the direction of the war.
“All Senators will be welcome to speak their mind. Those of us who are ready to end the war will make our case to the American people. Those who support the status quo are welcome to equal floor time to make their case. Let the American people hear the arguments. Let them see their elected representatives engaging in a full, open and honest debate. Let them hear why Republicans are obstructing us on this amendment.
“Whenever Republicans are ready to allow a vote on this most crucial legislation, we stand ready to deliver the new course that has been so long in coming.”
As Rick Perlstein notes here, the last time the wingnuts felt something was so important they were willing to go to the floor and talk till they turned blue was a long, long time ago:
History buffs, and those with long memories, will recall the last time conservatives found something important enough to stand up and obstruct all night long: the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The one that outlawed discrimination in public accomodations.
We'll have to see if protecting their lame-duck loser's Iraq policy is as important to them as Jim Crow was to an earlier generation. You never know with these people, it just might be.