November 20, 2005

Dems Cry "Foul;" But Who Is Kidding Whom?

The lefties and progressives as well as the Democrats are crying "foul, no fair" last night, and today, and for sure on all the talk shows tomorrow. The MSM will play it up as the Republicans grandstanding again, but the truth of the matter is that for once, the party of Harry Truman and John Kennedy lost a game they thought they had mastered.

And, the left is left in high dudgeon. My good friend Marc Cooper is livid, as are many of his lefty type commenters. Marc states:

After its midnight emergency session earlier this year in the midst of the Teri Schiavo carnival, I couldn’t imagine the U.S. Congress stooping even lower.

Not until last night, that is, when the House held up its Thanksgiving break to debate and vote on what is one of the most repellant political maneuvers in recent memory.

As the tide of public opinion turns against the war in Iraq, as a conservative Democrat like Jack Murtha calls for a troop withdrawal plan, the response of the Republican leadership is to play beanbag with American body bags."

There are several things wrong with this, first, I see absolutely nothing wrong (except in its execution) with congress having an emergency meeting to look at the execution by dehydration of an innocent woman. I am not willing to revisit the Schiavo case but that case was so fraught with injustices that some felt that they had to do something and congress critters can have an emergency session. Perhaps a bad choice of action, but the motive was good (and no, I don't need any lectures about how the road to hell is paved with good intentions). Second, this was not a "repellant political maneuver,” this was a bold (and bold faced) attempt to get the hysterical Democrats to put their money where their mouth is. Lastly, my dear friend Marc, the bean bag game is being played by the Dems, remember the "joy" at the 2000th American casualty?

This whole episode has one cause, Democrat game playing. Starting with the idea that the repulsive Congressman John Murtha (D. Penn) had a "change of heart" on the Iraq war and was now thinking that a pull out was necessary. Because Murtha was a decorated retired Marine, the MSM played this for all it was worth. I've chronicled this "B.S." in a previous entry.

However, in my haste to call the Dems on their silly protestations, I didn't go far enough. So, I'll say it here. Murtha is a scoundrel. How's that for ya? Murtha's statement “a flawed policy wrapped in an illusion,” cannot be easily dismissed. Responding to Dick Cheney’s acid counterattack that “certain politicians” were “losing their memory” in supporting the war, Murtha replied: “People with five deferments” had no right to make such remarks. Oh yeah Jack, says who, you? He (Murtha) has been all over the map for partisan political advantage. Sure, he was a decorated combat veteran in Vietnam. So what? There is a despicable meme that only those who have been in combat before have the highest "moral authority" to speak against the war. Maureen “Dowdy” famously stated that Cindy Sheehan had "absolute moral authority" to call out against the war because she had lost her son Casey. Well, what about parents who have lost a child and still support the administration and the war in Iraq? What about the soldiers, sailors, Marines fighting this war, actually with boots on the ground who disagree strongly with Congress Critter Murtha? They have a right to question your "memory" don't they? In addition, you confer that right in your ridiculous statement.

Congress Critter Murtha proposed an immediate pullout. Oh, he didn't use those words "exactly" but this is nothing different than he said in September, 2003 at a publicity stunt press conference with Nancy Pelosi (D. Ca.) the House Minority Leader. On hardball, two or three days later, he told Chris Matthews regarding his vote to go to war:

I’m not blaming anybody else because I saw all the intelligence reports. All of them indicated we had imminent danger." [Imminent danger? That is something Bush never claimed!... so what, the Dems have beat that meme into the ground and now a lot of people believe it...ed]
So what are we left with? A highly partisan Democrat with a history of highly political stunts who happens to be a retired Marine who was in combat in Vietnam comes out against the war. That is nothing new; he has said the same things repeatedly since September 03 at the least. Then he proposes a pull out and the Republicans take him at his word and put out a resolution that calls for an immediate pull out. The Reps will, of course, vote against the measure but it is out there to give the Dems a chance to put their money where their mouth is so to speak. Here is Murtha's resolution in full:
Whereas, Congress and the American People have not been shown clear, measurable progress toward establishment of stable and improving security in Iraq or of a stable and improving economy in Iraq, both of which are essential to “promote the emergence of a democratic government”;

Whereas, additional stabilization in Iraq by U, S. military forces cannot be achieved without the deployment of hundreds of thousands of additional U.S. troops, which in turn cannot be achieved without a military draft;

Whereas, more than $277 billion has been appropriated by the United States Congress to prosecute U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan;

Whereas, as of the drafting of this resolution, 2,079 U.S. troops have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom;

Whereas, U.S. forces have become the target of the insurgency,

Whereas, according to recent polls, over 80 percent of the Iraqi people want U.S. forces out of Iraq;

Whereas, polls also indicate that 45 percent of the Iraqi people feel that the attacks on U.S. forces are justified;

Whereas, due to the foregoing, Congress finds it evident that continuing U.S. military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the people of Iraq, or the Persian Gulf Region, which were cited in Public Law 107-243 as justification for undertaking such action;

Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that:

Section 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.

Section 2. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S Marines shall be deployed in the region.

Section 3. The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.

Sounds like an "immediate pull out to me" even with the tag "...earliest practicable date." at the end of Section 1. (copy of Murtha's Resolution courtesy of QuickRob

"No fair," cry the Dems, "how dare you?" Even that French Looking Senator from Mass who allegedly served in Vietnam had to pitch in saying "I won't stand for the 'swift-boating' of Jack Murtha." Oh, how dreary. First of all Senator Kerry, no one is "swift-boating" Murtha, everyone acknowledges his courage under fire. It was your so called "history" that was swift-boated because of the continuing doubts about your conduct. Just like no one questioned Max Cleland's patriotism they questioned his judgment and rightly so. We are also questioning Murtha's "sudden conversion" from hawk to dove. Come to think of it, Senator, perhaps we ought to question your intelligence if you think this is swift-boating because it indicates you still don't have any idea what the Swift Boat Vets were saying.

But I digress, the actions of the Democrats in the so-called debate were not only ludicrous, it was hilarious in the extreme. Think about it; a group of Democrats lambasting the Republicans for pulling a stunt that the Dems time and time again have pulled. Then we have the sight of Congress Critter Ford of Tenn. "charging" the other side of the aisle:

Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) drafted a simpler resolution calling for an immediate withdrawal of troops, saying it was a fair interpretation of Murtha's intent. Members were
heatedly debating a procedural rule concerning the Hunter resolution when Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) was recognized at 5:20 p.m. Schmidt won a special election in August, defeating Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett, and is so new to Congress that some colleagues do not know her name.

She told colleagues that "a few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp," an Ohio legislator and Marine Corps Reserve officer. "He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

Dozens of Democrats erupted at once, pointing angrily at Schmidt and shouting repeatedly, "Take her words down" -- the House term for retracting a statement. For a moment Schmidt tried to keep speaking, but the uproar continued and several GOP colleagues surrounded her as she sat down, looking slightly dazed. Presiding officer Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) gaveled in vain for order as Democrats continued shouting for Schmidt to take back her words. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.) yelled "You guys are pathetic!" from the far end of the Democratic section to the GOP side.

Just as matters seemed to calm a bit, Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) suddenly charged across the aisle to the GOP seats, jabbing his finger furiously at a small group of GOP members and shouting, "Say Murtha's name!" Rep. David R. Obey (D-Wis.), who had led the chants for striking Schmidt's comments, gently guided Ford by the arm back to the minority party's side.

All in all, great political theater. The Dems seemingly debating not having a vote on a resolution proposed as an antithesis of the one Murtha proposed as being un-fair and then voting damn near (403-3) lockstep against the resolution. Why? Because it required them to put their money where their mouth was and they couldn't do that, because this is not about the war, this is about bashing Bush and gathering as much political capital as possible while doing it. Anyone who denies that is not being fully honest.

Oh, and the three that voted for the resolution: Democrats Jose E. Serrano (N.Y.), Robert Wexler (Fla.) and Cynthia McKinney (Ga.). The only Democrats with enough guts to vote their conscience. I disagree with all three of these folk, but I admire their courage in standing up to the mealy-mouthed in their own party. And the six Democrats that voted "Present," maybe they are the biggest cowards of all.

Linked at STACLU

Posted by GM Roper at November 20, 2005 01:14 PM | TrackBack

Great posting,GM. I especially appreciate the lack of 'nuance'. You seem to have dialed up the intensity recently or perhaps it's just my perceptions.

As you are aware I dislike nuance in most cases. It is largely an excuse for inaction and moral equivalence. When you get right down to it, most situations(without some bed-rock philosophy to serve as a guide), are 6 of 1, half-dozen of the other in nature. So tedious to try to sort things out, don't you know. Better to just wander away and pretend nothing is really happening at all.

Say appropos of not anything in particular---

I am planning to watch Rome again tonight, and transport myself for an hour to a 'different' place. I know it's not PC, but I always was a big Caesar fan. The Republic was decayed beyond salvation and was merely the private plaything of a corrupt and largely morally and intellectually bankrupt oligarchy. It was doomed. Caesar didn't kill it; he merely interred the corpse.

Hmmm, maybe it's not that different a place after all. Ever wonder what would happen if a truly popular National Hero arose and made noises about cleaning up the mess in the Capital ,returning power to the people,and throwing the special interests out of the halls of Power. I wonder if they had polling back in Rome. Do you think the 'Senate' would have gotten more than a 27% approval rating,or the main opposition better than 25%?

27%--25%. Surely that can't be good. Can it ? Don't you think it says something a triffle unsettling about the foundations of the system in place? And that is in an era of 5% unemployment. What would the foundations look like if things got considerably worse?

These are unsettled times, methinks, and I sometimes wonder if our 'leadership' is really up to the job. Based upon the 'debates' about the War, I wouldn't bet the house on the affirmative.

Posted by dougf at November 20, 2005 06:14 PM

...Murtha replied: “People with five deferments” had no right to make such remarks.

Oh...I thought that our military fought to preserve the freedoms for ALL Americans. But, according to Murtha, he fought just to preserve HIS right to criticize others. Maybe he needs to go back and check the Constitution.

Posted by Woody at November 21, 2005 10:40 AM

Imminent danger? That is something Bush never claimed!
Your history is faulty, GM. Can you tell us why?

Posted by Meatbrain at November 26, 2005 10:51 AM

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