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December 23, 2005
Profiles In Democratic Courage

The New York Sun reports that Democrats blocked the adoption of a resolution denouncing Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his anti-Semitic remaeks and Holocaust denial until a demand for an Iranian plebescite and self-determination free of the Guardian Council had been removed. The objection officially came from Senator Wyden (D-OR), who then told the Senate that, uh, he didn't have a problem with the resolutuion, but that his colleagues did -- who displayed their intestinal fortitude by hiding behind Wyden's skirts:

When Mr. Santorum moved to introduce the resolution last Friday, Senator Wyden, a Democrat of Oregon, registered an unusual objection. According to the Congressional Record, Mr. Wyden told Mr. Santorum on the Senate floor that he was objecting to the resolution because his Democratic colleagues in the Senate had asked him too. Mr. Wyden did not say who asked him to issue the objection.

"While I personally am vehemently opposed to the statements that have been made by the president of Iran," Mr. Wyden said, "I have been asked by the members on this side of the aisle to object, and I do so object."

Mr. Wyden's office did not return repeated calls yesterday to explain who suggested that he object to the Iran resolution or why he was chosen to register the complaint. And a spokesman for Mr. Santorum, Robert Traynham, said he did not know who raised the objection either.

D. Zin of Regime Change Iran has detailed this more closely -- his latest post is here, and he got a mention in the Sun but not a hyperlink -- but no one has discovered who passed a note to Wyden asking him to object to the original resolution. However, another odd event occurred. After Rick Santorum removed the two sentences that called for Iranian freedom, the Democrats (in name only, apparently) removed their objection to the resolution and it passed on acclamation.

Perhaps Harry Reid or Howard Dean can explain this. Who wanted the resolution blocked? Why didn't they come forward on their own, rather than playing middle-school games with Wyden over it? More to the point, what about freedom and democracy frightens and/or repels the ironically-named Democrats? The fact that our own Congress cannot endorse those two concepts as the ideal for government should worry Americans, and the manner in which the two sentences got removed from the resolution should evoke contempt for the party whose name supposedly celebrates the concepts. Shame on the Democratic caucus in our Senate.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 23, 2005 6:28 AM

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