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Tanner Sparring with Fellow Democrats Over Iraq

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The 9th District's Steve Cohen isn't the only local member of Congress to be in the middle of a verbal firefight these days. Tennessee's 8th District congressman John Tanner, who represents part of Memphis and much of northern Shelby County, is feuding with fellow Democrats over a bipartisan measure he's sponsoring to relax the terms of a congressionally mandated withdrawal from Iraq.

In response to criticism from MoveOn.org and other critics who want more direct and immediate withdrawal measures, Tanner, a leader of the Democrats' congressional Blue Dog faction, said, "When these soldiers, sailors, and airmen are buried, they're not buried as Republicans or Democrats. I care a hell of a lot more about them than I do about partisan politics."

Liberal blogger Matt Stoller comes back at Tanner with this bit of sarcasm: "[He] is willing to go the mat to beat back those crazy anti-troop liberals that actually want to compel Bush to withdraw troops, since that apparently is partisan politics."

The two sides of the controversy can be followed here and here.

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