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Master Debaters

Now that the House has passed a non-binding resolution condemning President Bush's decision to send additional forces to Iraq, it might be a good idea to examine the truly extraordinary juncture at which we find ourselves. After four long years, we are finally having a serious debate about the war and how best to proceed. And we are having it despite the best efforts of the GOP to stifle and/or change the subject.

Some notable highlights:

- Rep. Todd Akin cited the Alamo for why we should support the surge, which in retrospect probably wasn't the best historical parallel given the outcome of that battle.

- Rep. Virgil Goode, as to be expected, flogged the treat posed by radical Muslims who he claims would like nothing more then to see "In Muhammad We Trust" stamped on our currency.

- Rep. Don Young quoted Abraham Lincoln who said that any Congressmen who does anything to demoralize the military during wartime are traitors. Sounds pretty damning. Too bad Lincoln never said it.

- Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite channeled Larry The Cable Guy. Insert gratuitous joke about Ted Kennedy channeling Ron White's liver here.

While some may say this vote is all for naught because it lacks teeth (indeed a majority of Americans would like to see the Congress go further in ending the war), it is nonetheless important because of the precedent it sets. No longer will Congress simply be a rubber stamp for the President's dictates. Instead, it will be the deliberative body that our Founding Fathers knew was important to our system of checks and balances.

Update: More from Cernig, Michael Froomkin, John Nichols, Ari Berman, and BarbinMD.

(Filed at State of the Day)