Fresh on the heels of John Murtha's re-election victory, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which endorsed Murtha in his recent campaign, has given its sanction to the old warrior's (sic) quest to become the second-highest ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, right behind Nancy Pelosi (or right up Nancy Pelosi's behind, if you prefer):
When U.S. Rep. John Murtha lobbied for the House majority leader position back in June in anticipation of a Democratic victory in November, the Post-Gazette said his ambition was " foolishly premature" and that it should "wait until the battle is done." As it turned out, the Johnstown Democrat gave up his leadership quest until after the elections.Because anyone who dares act without permission of the Imperial media is a headstrong fool, if not outright evil. The sheer arrogance of the media, whether it's the PG, the Strib, or whoever, never fails to outrage.
Now that the battle is done and won, with Democrats controlling both the House and Senate, Mr. Murtha is back seeking to become the second-most important officeholder in the House after the speaker, who will be Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California. There's nothing foolish about Mr. Murtha's ambition now; it is timely and wise.It's like a game of "Simon Says" with these editorialists, who fancy themselves in the role of "Simon". "Simon didn't say 'Run for majority leader', Mister Murtha! Simon says go back and finish your race for Congress!" Now Simon says it's okay, and the ass is transformed into a sage.
Far from being a sure bet for the post, which will be decided in a secret vote in Washington on Thursday, Mr. Murtha is seen as the underdog. That's because Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland has filled the No. 2 post for the Democrats for the last four years. He has the support of some senior Democratic congressmen as well as more than half of the incoming freshman class.Underdog? He reminds me more of Simon Bar Sinister, continually plotting the death and destruction of the good guys.
Once again, someone is making the suggestion that Murtha is a sort of shadow commander-in-chief. You know what's scary? It looks like there really are a lot of people who look up to Murtha in this manner. I try not to be a cynic, but this does not bode well for the future of our country.
But Ms. Pelosi has written a letter of support for Mr. Murtha, one of her close allies. More than friendship, however, recommends Mr. Murtha as the one who should be chosen -- and Ms. Pelosi alluded to this in her letter.
Noting his opposition to the war in Iraq, she wrote: "Your leadership gave so many Americans, including respected military leaders, the encouragement to voice their own disapproval at a failed policy that weakens our military and makes stability in that region even more difficult to achieve."
The unfolding disaster in Iraq was one of the principal reasons that Americans decided to rebuke the Bush administration and its faithful followers in Congress. Although Democrats would be wise to give serious consideration to the eventual findings of the Iraq Study Group, headed by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and ex-congressman Lee Hamilton, the Democratic leaders in the Senate are reported to be determined to push for troop withdrawals in a matter of months.I'd like to see what the Iraq Study Group comes up with. Will it recommend these anticipated troop withdrawals? Do the Democrats even have a plan for withdrawal? Tell you what -- quitting the war abruptly might make the vaunted "world community" like us again, but those aren't the countries that are trying to kill us. Better to show strength against the terrorists and let the peaceniks hate us, than to make ourselves (AGAIN) look like easily dominated cowards.
Mr. Murtha, of course, has had the courage to be speaking along these lines for almost a year -- and he has been demonized by the right for his trouble. In last week's election, however, the Swift Boat-like attacks were so many pea-shooters bouncing off his sterling reputation as an ex-Marine and decorated Vietnam veteran who is one of the most pro-military figures in Congress. He easily won re-election to a 17th term against Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey.If you're playing a Murtha drinking game, this paragraph will get you tipsy. "Swift Boat" is worth a chug. "Ex-Marine" and "Decorated veteran" -- take a sip! "Pro-military" allows you to down the whole bottle.
On the positive side, the PG remembers Diana Irey's name. You'd have thought that the media would have swept her under the rug by now. She needs to remain in the public consciousness, in some form or other, over the next couple of years for Round Two.
The American people want change, but it's a fair bet they also want leaders who are credible and responsible. Ms. Pelosi, whom Republicans like to paint as a San Francisco liberal, needs a plain-speaking warrior Democrat like Mr. Murtha at her side. The nation does too.The papers have been going out the their way this week to portray Murtha as an outright conservative. That's ridiculous. San Fran Nan, on the other han', is a San Francisco liberal. If you wish us to believe that she is something else, PG, why not tell us what that would be? Eh?
And so the Post-Gazette ends its endorsement of John Murtha for House Majority Leader in truly vomitous fashion. Nancy Pelosi needs Murtha, a "warrior Democrat", and so does the nation? Which nation? Iran? Syria? France? Whichever nation it happens to be, it sure as hell isn't any nation that I would want to be a citizen of.