The vote was 56-44.
So what does this mean, exactly?
It means that we won't be "demeaning" our troops by getting them some realistic down time. TPMCafe has a transcript:
Greg Sargent sums it up for us:
The reenlistment rates of those who have served in the theater are larger than those of any other. And, in fact, it is a testament to their courage, to their valor, and their sense of duty to their country. I think we would demean their service if we were to say to them that there had to be a parity between the time in service out of the country and the time at home. The goal ought to be for us not to have 15-month deployments. The hope would be that these would never be necessary. But the mandate from congress that this is how we must operate our armed forces I think is ill-conceived, it is dangerous and does not serve either the national interest of our nation nor the interest of the soldiers on the field whom it is intended to serve.
We should not have a subterfuge of policy to change direction in Iraq heaped on the back of our brave young men and women in uniform...
The argument here appears to be that because the amount of service our troops have performed shows that they are heroic, it would hence "demean" them to reduce that amount of service by giving them longer rest time -- because it would deprive them of more time to be heroic.As a consolation prize, Our Troops Best Friends (ie the GOP) offered up an alternate resolution. You can read it here.
Of course (and you know you saw this coming) Martinez voted FOR that amendment. Greg Sargent, again:
Just to savor this for a moment, consider that Martinez said above that it would "demean" the service of the troops to support Webb's measure, because we mustn't "say to them that there had to be a parity between the time in service out of the country and the time at home." But apparently it's okay to say this to them via the measure put forth by the GOP, as long as we're not voting for something that would actually make this happen.Yep - the troops's best friends are in the GOP.