Murtha Tries to Get Ahead By Selling out Soldiers
Everybody loves Jack Murtha (D-PA)--that is if everyone dislikes the military and wishes to talk them down and leave Iraq immediately.
I have not been kind or gentle to Murtha, given the fact that he has not been kind to our soldiers. When he cries for retreat from Iraq, which was the topic of a House vote where he was humiliated, and describes them as "broken" and "worn out" I have very little sympathy for him. My brother-in-law is over there in Samarra, one of the least happy places in that nation, and reports nothing of the sort that Murtha does. And most recently, when Marines were accused of effecting My Lai in Haditha, Iraq, Murtha was quick to accuse them of "murder" of civilians and covering it up without bothering to consider the other side. In all respects, Murtha is no longer pro-military, given that he has turned his mind over to the far left wing of his party, and has bought into the notion that U.S. forces are the problem, not the solution.
But now we may know why Murtha has come unhinged: he wants to be in the leadership of an unhinged party.
Murtha announced that if the Dems retake the House this fall, that he will run for Majority leader with Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) running for speaker. And so it makes one wonder if Murtha's eagerness to use his authority as a retired high-ranking military official to rip American soldiers who are risking their lives in Iraq is part of his greater plan to advance his own political fortunes. That kind of message resonates with most Democrat voters, and it certainly put him on the front pages. It also made a few of us wonder if he was coming unglued, but this development puts it all in a very sensible logical context.
Put simply, he had to use his influence to talk down the war and then directly trash U.S. soldiers as murderers and general troublemakers. And for taking such a huge risk, I hope voters deliver for Murtha a marvelously high political price for the unjustifiable and immoral lengths he has gone to promote himself.
But that aside, the chilling combination of Pelosi-Murtha could prove to be something of a boon for Republicans to run on in tight races, which would follow much the same effect as a Hillary Clinton candidacy for president.
Certain candidates, while interesting to their base, often do more to energize the other side's voters and to elect their opponent by their very presence in a race. The aforementioned Sen. Clinton could be one such candidate. Howard Dean might have been another, had he won the nomination in 2004.
But this move is a serious political miscalculation. Americans are generally not thrilled with the developments in Iraq, and being a society expectant of instant results, the hard slog that is Iraq no longer produces the shock and awe that we saw in its first days. But to simplistically assume that dissatisfaction with Iraq will translate into the disgust for the military that many Democrats today hold is a mistake with potentially devastating results for their party. Putting a San Francisco leftist as their leading candidate for Speaker and an opportunistic military turncoat as Majority Leader, gives the Republicans the free gist of being able to declare that they need not accuse the Dems of being anti-family, anti-military and anti-American, but that Americans need only listen to the Dems themselves to discover it.
And while I didn't expect the Dems to retake either house of Congress this year, a move like this is bound to assure it if the Republicans play it right.
And perhaps the voters in Murtha's district might want to consider the moral and ethical character of the person they are sending to Congress, because much like former Congressman, now jailbird, Duke Cunningham, Murtha voluntarily traded his status as a war hero for that of an American disgrace in order to benefit himself. Because what Murtha has done over the past 7 months is to kill our soldiers morale, scandalize them without any investigation--and now he intends to use their empty helmets as his own political stepping stones.