Monday, September 17, 2007

Murtha The Prognosticator

He's been yakking it up at the National Press Club:
WASHINGTON - Pennsylvania's Rep. John Murtha today predicted that Democrats would pick up as many as 40 to 50 House seats in the 2008 election because of the public's frustration with the Iraq war, despite anger among party loyalists with Congress' inability to set a firm withdrawal timeline.
Didn't this just happen last year? Wasn't there enough anger, frustration, and just plain old negative sentiment to drive Congress into the waiting arms of the Democrats in 2006? Unless George Bush goes to Iraq and personally starts killing American troops, I can't imagine the level of frustration is going to get high enough to deliver 50 seas to the Democrats.
"You're going to see a big Democratic win," Mr. Murtha, D-Johnstown, told reporters after a speech at the National Press Club.
...while wearing a ridiculously oversized turban.
He acknowledged that there was deep dissatisfaction among anti-war activists and independents who helped Democrats win control of Congress last year, but he said their anger with the Bush administration was greater.
Originally, Bush administration policies were "chilling". They were afraid then; now they're angry. What did Yoda say, about hate, fear, and anger leading to the Dark Side? These jihadi sympathizers were already on the Dark Side.
Mr. Murtha, chairman of the powerful House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, made an appearance at the press club to give a negative assessment of Gen. David Petraeus' report last week on the troop "surge" and President Bush's decision to gradually pull back the size of the American force in Iraq to its pre-surge level of 130,000 troops by next summer.
Is there any reason to pretend that Murtha didn't know what he was going to say about Petraeus' report before now? He's been holding out until he could have a forum all to himself. He told us last week that he wouldn't comment until today. It's not about the war, or the troops, or the Democrats, or the Republicans. It's all about Murtha being in the spotlight and cruising to an easy electoral victory. Again.
Mr. Murtha dismissed reports of progress in Iraq, arguing that U.S. troops were still refereeing a bloody civil war between Shiite and Sunni Muslims and cited a string of negative statistics: only two to six hours of electricity in Baghdad each day, a national unemployment rate of 50 percent, and two million Iraqi refugees.
Quoting a body of statistics is well and good, but there's no meat on those bones; or, as an old German teacher of mine would say, it needs "mehr Blut". Who's out of work? Why are those people leaving Iraq? I'd like to hear details to back up those stats, Jack.
He also said the strains of four years of fighting would require the U.S. to begin a limited pullout in the coming months, with or without the approval of the president.
Whoa. Is Murtha going to lead a military revolt against the Commander-In-Chief? Short of a major offensive on the part of the enemy, the military can not pull out "without the approval of the president". Either Murtha is hoping for a major Jihadi advance, or he is exhorting the U.S. forces in Iraq to stage an uprising.
"They can't sustain the troops in Iraq," he said. "It's just a fact."
In the mind of Jack Murtha, "fact" is just another word for wishful thinking. It's a fact that we can't sustain him in Washington. Can we have Diana Irey run again? Please?