The veteran Democrat's criticism of the administration, heightened by his recent predictions that military inquiries would find that a Marine unit committed war crimes in the Iraqi town of Haditha, is central to the battle to shape public perceptions of the war in Iraq. It's also central to the November struggle for control of the House, to a potential intraparty leadership fight, and, finally and closest to home, to the congressman's re-election to a 17th term.Nope... switch it to: Some critics (rightly, IMO) opine that Murtha's political ambitions are largely the reason for his antiwar message.
Mr. Murtha professes confidence about his side's chances in each of those arenas, but some critics argue that talk about his political ambitions has dulled the clarity of his anti-war message.
Republicans, including his November opponent, Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey, hope it will play into their hands in allowing them to nationalize his re-election race, thereby changing what now appear to be the daunting odds against her.Ms. Pelosi, you couldn't be more off the mark if you were playing a blindfolded piñata game in San Francisco and your target was in Philadelphia.
"He's decided to make himself a national figure,'' said a Republican strategist involved in Ms. Irey's campaign. "When you do that, you make yourself a target.''
Five days after he announced it, Mr. Murtha suspended his bid for the No. 2 spot in the Democratic caucus, a move that had put him on a collision course with the current Democratic whip, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
Mr. Murtha, 74, announced the decision after conferring with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, who would presumably become the House's first female speaker if the Democrats win, opening the spot of floor leader. After a fund-raising appearance at Pittsburgh's Duquesne Club last week, Ms. Pelosi rejected the suggestion that the maneuvering had vitiated Mr. Murtha's clout in the Iraq debate.
"Quite the opposite," she said. "My view is that one of the reasons he announced his candidacy was to enhance his capacity to advance his Iraq message. And he certainly has done that."
Yeah, Ms. Pelosi, I'm sure that Jack Murtha is pure as the wind driven snow, and none of his seditious antics have anything to do with distracting attention away from this!
And....Murtha's role in the culture of corruption also implicates Pelosi herself. Roll Call reported last year that Murtha "reportedly leaned on U.S. Navy officials to sign a contract to transfer the Hunters Point Shipyard to the city of San Francisco." Pelosi's nephew, Laurence Pelosi, was an executive of the company that owned the rights to the land. Roll Call also reported that Murtha has been behind millions of dollars worth of earmarks in defense appropriations bills that went to companies owned by the children of his fellow Pennsylvania Democrat, Rep. Paul Kanjorski. And the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan campaign finance watchdog group, lists Murtha as the top recipient of defense industry dollars in the current 2006 election cycle.
Nor is Murtha a newcomer to the culture of corruption. The Times recalls that after the 1980 Abscam scandal, the FBI named him an "unindicted co-conspirator."
Until, that is, Murtha displayed his true level of credibility in military strategy by taking that wrong turn at Okinawa..
Ms. Pelosi said she was confident in her ally's continuing effectiveness as a voice against the war.
"In November, when he made his statement, he changed everything," she said. "The Bush administration has been on its heels ever since. ... This man has such credibility. There couldn't be a better messenger for change in Iraq."
Ms. Pelosi, you're so full of bs that the whites of your eyes are turning brown.
Ross Baker, professor of political science at Rutgers University and an expert on Congress, suggested that the talk about the party post played into the hands of Mr. Murtha's critics.BS, you bumbling bloviator! You yourself, through your seditious rhetoric and via your ethically-challenged behavior are fomenting criticism! Look at your own big damn fat backside if you want to look for a reason, Congressman Murtha! We at Murtha Must Go!! have been (rightfully) criticizing you on this blog since May 19, 2006, and I haven't received word one from Cheney or Rove, before, or after.
"I don't think it was well-advised," he said. "It sort of allowed people to look back and say, 'Was this the reason for his outspokenness?' "
Mr. Murtha argues that such criticism is being fomented by the White House. (emphases added)
"You saw Karl Rove attack me personally," he said, referring to a recent speech in New Hampshire by the presidential adviser in which he targeted Mr. Murtha, along with Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass, as advocates of what the GOP hierarchy characterizes as a "cut-and-run" approach to the war.Go screw yourself a new asshole, will you? Quit bringing the troops into this, you idiot; since you know damn well you're only in this for yourself.
"These personal attacks are just trying to distract from the real policy, which they don't want to talk about," he said. "They're trying to distract the public and distract me, but I won't be distracted. It's too important to the country, and it's too important to the troops who are suffering. ... They're the first reason I got into this."
Word from an army dad to Jack Murtha: Get the hell off my son's team!
And isn't this precious??
One manifestation of the agitation against the Johnstown Democrat is a flowering (of) anti-Murtha Web sites, such as murthamustgo.com. murthalied.com and bootmurtha.com. Raw Story, an Internet news site, has reported that the operators of these sites include some of the same figures active in the criticism of Mr. Kerry's war record in the 2004 election.First of all, there is not one person on staff here, to the best of my knowledge, that was directly involved with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Furthermore, there has not been one direct mention on this blog with regard to Murtha's military record. The focus on this blog has been and will continue to be Murtha's seditious rhetoric and his ethics-challenged behaviors. As far as I'm concerned, there's no need to look at his military record, since his seditious rhetoric and ethically-challenged behaviors speak for themselves, render his military record moot, and prove beyond a doubt that Jack Murtha is no longer fit for office.
"They're trying to Swift Boat him," Ms. Pelosi said.
Another spike of criticism came last week when a Florida newspaper, the Sun-Sentinel of South Florida, reported, inaccurately by its own later account, that Mr. Murtha had described the United States as a threat to world peace. The paper subsequently printed a correction, and Mr. Murtha issued a statement pointing out that he had cited a Pew poll describing other nations' perceptions of the United States. But by then, in part because the influential Drudge Report had featured the initial account, renewed denunciations of Mr. Murtha were flying through cyberspace.As I have said time and time again on this blog, the very fact that Mr. Murtha cited the poll without refuting the wrong-headedness of the attitudes of those surveyed more than conveyed Mr. Murtha's at-best tacit approval of the poll's results. Mr. Murtha cited that poll to make his own political point, and makes no attempt to refute the poll's veracity when compared with reality. Never does Mr. Murtha, either in his speech nor in his defense of his comments, ever say that the people who hold those sentiments are wrong, nor does he ever defend the soldiers who are striving, to the point of giving their very lives, to better the lives of Iraqis and in the process the entire middle east. Not to mention the fact that Mr. Murtha broadcasts his seditious rhetoric to the point where he openly proclaims that we (the U.S.) have in fact become the enemy!
Yep. You just rest easy, there, and keep up that attitude, Jihad Johnny.
An Irey aide pointed to the latest edition of the "Evans-Novak Political Report," which, while still calling the district "likely Democratic," said, in a reference to former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, "Rep. Murtha appears to be suffering 'Daschle-itis,' a figurative disease which makes entrenched incumbents become national celebrities and, in the process, risks alienating the voters that put them in office."
Mr. Murtha is serene about his re-election chances and dismissive of the prospect of opponents "nationalizing the 12th District race.
"That would be mighty difficult," he said. "That district has a 150,000 Democratic majority and they agree with the things I've been saying. ... Bush is unpopular in that district."
In addition to his confidence that his constituents are in tune with him on the war issue, Mr. Murtha maintains that the election will turn on other issues, which he sees as strengths, such as health care and his efforts to bring federal dollars and jobs to Western Pennsylvania.
You're due for a nice long vacation come November, anyway.
(Read the whole story)