Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hillary Gets SuperJack Endorsement

Every other significant Democrat in Pennsylvania is hitching his caboose to the Hillary train -- so why not Murtha?

A boost more powerful than a locomotive.....

Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown, stirred up a hornet's nest in 2005 when he spoke out against the war in Iraq. Yesterday, the Vietnam War veteran created a buzz by endorsing Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Murtha said Mrs. Clinton "will forge a consensus on health care, education, the economy, and the war in Iraq."

There's no way to measure the power of Mr. Murtha's endorsement as far as influencing voters, but he is a pretty good fund-raiser. And in a race this close, it's worth noting that Mr. Murtha is one of those all-powerful super-delegates.

I will try to set aside the image of John Murtha in spandex tights and concentrate on the topic at hand (thanks a lot, Mr. Post-Gazette reporter!).

Since Murtha has been an advocate of "declare defeat and bring 'em home!" for a few years now, it's almost surprising that he has not gotten behind Barack Obama, whose advocacy of a policy of surrender seems closer to Murtha's position than does Hillary Clinton, who is in favor of a gradual withdrawal. The only reason that the Murtha endorsement is NOT a surprise is that Pennsylvania politics are old-fashioned and somewhat bizarre. PA politics do not reflect the popular image of politics in other parts of America. This is the state (or should I say, Commonwealth) that is currently represented by a pro-life Democrat and a pro-abortion Republican (who is not a Christian) in the US Senate. Boom boom, out go the stereotypes. In the big elections, PA voters thumb their noses at party affiliations in many general elections. For a few decades now, Pennsylvanians have been electing a Republican Governor for two terms, then a Democrat for two terms, then a Republican for two, then a Democrat...and so on. A few years ago, every statewide elective office was held by Republicans except for one. Today, the exact opposite is true. Our voters are fickle. We are a political pendulum.

This goes a long way to helping understand John Murtha's success in getting re-elected to Congress, biennium after biennium. He's a Democrat. But he's a conservative! That's what the media tells us, and compared to most other Dems, he certainly seems that way. Considering Murtha's voting record over the decades, labels like "conservative", "liberal", and "moderate" are meaningless. The only description that accurately fits him is "Porkmonger". He's all about delivering the goods. Today, those goods are called Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Like his support for immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq, this endorsement is an example of Murtha going along with the prevailing winds. Governor Ed Rendell, the mayors of Philly and Pittsburgh, and other major league Democratic political players have publicly backed Hillary. Jack Murtha is following suit. Hillary has become Murtha's other white meat, so to speak. A Clinton victory already seemed like a foregone conclusion in Pennsylvania; Murtha has made it even more so.

Getting back to the Murtha-as-superhero image (more like super-villain), it's not hard to imagine him assuming the identity of...The Porkmonger! I don't know if the Porkmonger can fly off of rooftops, but I wouldn't mind seeing him try.

Leo adds:

There ya go, Dave :-)