Meanwhile, many of us gave the Trib a pass whenever the editorial page endorsed John Murtha's re-election, campaign year after campaign year. It was fine with us; after all, the district was tailor-made for a Democrat, and Murtha was regarded as a friend of the US Armed Forces. Why worry about a seat that a more liberal Democrat or a Republican had no chance of winning?
Fast-forward to the fall of 2005. John Murtha has emerged as the leading voice of the "get America out of Iraq" movement in Congress. After an initial editorial criticizing Murtha's position, the Trib gradually came out in favor of pulling our troops out of Iraq. The paper's editorial position on the war has become virtually indistinguishable from that of the rival Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (albeit without the P-G's constant irrelevant moonbat harpings in editorials that have nothing to do with the war).
At this point, we can not expect a fair appraisal of John Murtha in the Pittsburgh media, particularly in light of a puff piece entitled "Murtha Commands Respect" that runs in this morning's Sunday Tribune-Review. The article is nothing short of hagiography, though reading between the lines we discover a nauseating love letter from Nancy Pelosi and an attitude that can only be described as "Imperial Congressman". It's a long one, and I'll just highlight some of the more important bits. Read it all at your own risk.
First, we learn that some of Murtha's best friends and personal heroes are Republican presidents, and that he wields great influence behind the scenes because of his vast experience and knowledge.
Then along comes San Fran Nan to tell us how she and her colleague really feel about their constituents:
"It's a compliment to the people of his district, that with all the options he has, he chooses them," said U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader.Fortunately I have already eaten breakfast, so I need not worry about spitting out my mini-wheats. He chooses the people of his district? I don't care what context that quote is taken from, no American politician chooses his constituents. The system doesn't work that way. Murtha offers himself for their approval every two years. If, as Pelosi suggests, John Murtha feels that the people of the 12th district are subject to Murtha's whim, rather than the other way around, that's all you need to know that Murtha Must Go. (In addition to everything else.)
More from Pelosi:
"To work with Jack Murtha in Congress is to watch a master at work. He has a mastery of the facts and policy. He gets the job done, and he knows the policy, the politics and the people."Dude, you gotta send this girl some flowers. If you haven't already, that is. Like I said, this is a love letter.
From His Majesty:
"We need to find a way out of this quagmire. Problems with energy, Social Security and Medicare can't be solved by partisan politics," Murtha said.Let's just take a moment to remind ourselves that, in Democrat-speak, "partisan" means "Republican". Not that we need to be reminded -- "partisan" has been the Dems' favorite pejorative for at least a dozen years. As for "quagmire"...I will just refrain from using profanity and move along.
Oh, and Republicans like Murtha, too:
U.S. Rep. David Hobson, of Springfield, Ohio, is a Republican who has worked closely with Murtha on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Hobson described the elder lawmaker as someone who is "very forthright and speaks his mind."
"We work very well together. Most of the work on the committee is done in a bipartisan fashion to enhance the quality of life for our troops, so our troops get the best," Hobson said.
If "partisan" means Republican, "bipartisan" usually means kissing the donkey's backside. If the Trib is trying to show that Murtha has plenty of "bipartisan" support in Congress, it could have solicited comments from a few more Republican colleagues. Where are they?
Here's a Pittsburgh area Democrat who was my Congressman before the last redistricting:
U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, an Allegheny County Democrat who has represented the 14th Congressional District for 12 years, said Murtha is respected on both sides of the aisle.
"In the House, there are no assigned seats except for Jack Murtha's. No one else sits in his seat -- that's the kind of respect he commands. People from both parties line up to talk to him and to get his advice," Doyle said.
"He's advised presidents of both parties in the last 30 years. He has a real love for the House and for the country."
In some countries, you could be beheaded for treason if you dare to sit in the King's throne. What punishment would I receive if I plopped myself down in Murtha's chair, I wonder?
Here's Murtha on his own importance, after winning the Kennedy Foundation's Profile in Courage Award:
"I did not fully fathom that my statements would cause the fury that they did, nor that I would receive such an outpouring of gratitude from a nation who was starving for a spokesman," he said in the speech published on the foundation's Web site. "The thousands of tearful calls and heartfelt personal letters that poured into my office for weeks afterward were overwhelming and unprecedented in my career."Would those be tearful calls from people whose family members in Iraq were endangered by Murtha's sudden outspokenness? Those ought to be overwhelming.
Also, there's a tagline in that first sentence: "MURTHA MUST GO!: The Blog of Unfathomable Fury". Yes, I know that he may well be referring to fury of his supporters, but it fits us to a "T" as well.
"I met with (Vice President Dick) Cheney for 45 minutes and told him I thought it was a mistake," he said. "Something with the intelligence was wrong; it wasn't vetted properly by the CIA and DIA. But then I thought they had intelligence I didn't know about, and I voted for it."This is one of the most outrageous things about the Democrat Party today. How many Dems have come out and said, "I didn't know what I was voting for when I voted for the war?" Dumb, dumb, dumb, stupid. People like this deserve to be voted out of office. Like we say, Murtha Must Go!
Oh, but he challenges us:
Murtha, whose hair went white years ago, said he wants to remain in the House "until they carry me out."And:
"I feel good; I love this job. A long as I'm in good health, I'll be here," he said, adding that he has no timetable for retirement.Here is arrogance. I can't blame him for feeling that he lives in a relatively "safe" district, seeing as how he has won re-election to his seat over and over again since I was in First Grade. It should not up to him to plan his retirement, however. That should be handled by the voters of the PA 12th. He needs to go, and he needs to go now. Otherwise, we'll be treated to more scenes like this one of Bazooka Jack in action (original photo). (Ray, this deserves a photoshop if you're up to it.)
Update 3am 7/17 cdt: Done..