Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Murtha's Running Scared?

Who would've thunk that a hulking man like John Murtha would be running scared of a petite woman with a sharp intellect? That's exactly what's happening now. Why else has he avoided Diana Irey's calls for debating? Why else has he avoided the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat's call for debates? That's just the tip of the anti-Murtha iceberg, though. Let's let his challenger, Diana Irey, tell you about the growing anti-Murtha iceberg:
Contrary to Murtha’s stated defense that he only discussed how to bring needed investment into his southwestern Pennsylvania congressional district, the video proves that Murtha believed he had cut a deal to take a $50,000 cash bribe in exchange for helping a rich foreigner get into America, and proves further that the "investment defense" was nothing more than a cover to throw suspicious reporters off the trail.
Can anyone doubt that if the video had showed a senior Republican caught on tape discussing how to take a $50,000 cash bribe to help a rich foreigner get into the country, it would be front-page news all over the nation?
As Murtha’s opponent in Pennsylvania’s 12th District, I’m taking full advantage of the scandal surrounding this newly released FBI surveillance video. The grassroots momentum for my campaign has been building for months, fueled by conservative bloggers and talk-radio hosts who have focused on Murtha’s repeated declarations of surrender in the War on Terror. With the addition of the FBI surveillance video, along with a front-page, above-the-field article in the New York Times documenting how Jack Murtha regularly trades his vote for cash, and a recently-released report from a liberal congressional watchdog group that listed Murtha among its list of Congress’ 25 "most corrupt" members, I’m making this race about Murtha’s long history of ethical lapses.
In a political environment where upwards of 70% of voters believe that members of Congress don’t live by the same set of rules, where "scandal-a-day" coverage is reminding voters on a regular basis of the corruption in Washington, and where a strong "throw the bums out" mentality is permeating the entire American body politic, I believe I’ve found just what’s needed to topple Jack Murtha.
Diana Irey's political instincts are right on. After all, 17 incumbents were 'retired' in this winter's primaries for collaborating with 'Fast Eddie' Rendell "to give themselves pay raises of between 16 percent and 54 percent."

Don't think that this year's Pennsylvania voters are in a 'live and let live' spirit towards corrupt politicians who don't represent their priorities. Diana Irey's riding a 'bipartisan wave' of discontent with incumbents who don't listen to their cunstituents' priorities. I don't believe, however, that this is an 'indiscriminant' "throw the bums out" wave. I give voters more credit than that.

As a footnote to this wave, don't bet that Lynn Swann's talking about "Fast Eddie's" being the other Pennsylvania poster child of anti-reform, standing opposite 'Trader' John Murtha, will help Rendell in two weeks. Expect that anti-machine bureaucrat wave to retire 'Fast Eddie', too.

If I were a political consultant with the Irey, Swann and Santorum campaigns, I'd suggest running ads showing the youth and vitality of this trio while portraying 'Little Bobbie' Casey, Ed Rendell and John Murtha as sluggish, out-of-shape bureaucrats who've gotten fat feeding off Washington's pork. I'd also portray them as status quo, anti-reform politicians who don't listen to the voters but rather issue edicts from on high.

Don't misunderestimate the power of a carefully crafted image in a campaign.

At the day's end, John Murtha knows that he's been in Washington far too long to defend himself against accusations that he's anti-reform. That's what Diana Irey's been hounding him about. That's why Mr. Murtha's still running. Unfortunately, he isn't running in PA-12 as much as he's running to states where Nancy Pelosi tells him to go.

That'll change this November 7th, when PA-12 voters give Mr. Murtha his next marching orders.

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Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog