I am going to put out some excerpts, out of the order they were written in the article because I want to make a couple points here.
Murtha's credentials as a Marine combat veteran, a critic of the war and close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) were supposed to make him an unassailable spokesman for Democratic war policy. Instead, he has become a lightning rod for criticism from Republicans and members of his own party.
First, if Pelosi wishes to to "use" Murtha because of his previous military status, she better be prepared for him to open his mouth when she isn't there to gag him.
Second point: His military experience means nothing, nil, nada, zip, zilch when it comes to this war, the war on terror, and the same thing applies to John McCain.
Every war is different, our civil war cannot be compared to World War II for example, because the enemies and tactics were different as was every other detail.
By trying to use Murtha, Pelosi made a very large tactical error and it has just bitten her and the other Democrats in the ass.
That tactic did not work in 2004 when the Democratic party tried the same "failed policy" with John Kerry and it is not working today. Using a veteran's former military status to try to claim moral authority is a ruse, a tactic that has been tried and failed miserably. Maybe someone wants to send the memo to Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha.
But a botched launch by the plan's author, Rep. John P. Murtha (Pa.), has united Republicans and divided Democrats, sending the latter back to the drawing board just a week before scheduled legislative action, a score of House Democratic lawmakers said last week.
"If this is going to be legislation that's crafted in such a way that holds back resources from our troops, that is a non-starter, an absolute non-starter," declared Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah), a leader of the conservative Blue Dog Democrats.
The moderates of Murtha's own party cannot and will not stand for a slow bleed on our troops and good for them.
So, now, Murtha will become a martyr for his own party in his cowardly attempt to undermine the President which would also undermine our troops, but to certain members of the Democrtaic party, the troops are secondary to political hits against the President and that is a sad state of affairs, one that the moderates of the Democrtaic party did not sign on to, nor will they.
I take nothing away from Murtha's military past, but it is just that, the past, he hasn't a clue to this war and is very out of touch with our troops and what they say...which is that they are seeing success and can finish the job they have started and have lost brothers in arms to.
The whole slow bleed Murtha strategy is just another cowardly attempt to control the actions of our military without taking full responsibility for the ramifications of their plan.
Freshman Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), a retired Navy admiral who was propelled into politics by the Iraq war, said Murtha could still salvage elements of his strategy, but Sestak, an outspoken war opponent, is "a bit wary" of a proposal that would influence military operations.
"I was recently in the military, and I have to speak from that experience," Sestak said.
Now, Murtha has never been hailed as a genius and I believe that age does offer us the benfit of experience, but age also offers senility. The brain as it ages experiences cognitive deterioration, for some it happens sooner than it does to others.
The story of Murtha's star-crossed plan illustrates the Democratic Party's deep divisions over the Iraq war and how the new House majority has yet to establish firm control over Congress. From the beginning, Murtha acted on his own to craft a complicated legislative strategy on the war, without consulting fellow Democrats. When he chose to roll out the details on a liberal, antiwar Web site on Feb. 15, he caught even Pelosi by surprise while infuriating Democrats from conservative districts.
I feel no pity for Pelosi, she strategically used Murtha in a calculated way to achieve defeat in Iraq and I hope she doesn't start whining because she cannot control him now.
Her own fault.
It came the day before the House voted on a nonbinding resolution opposing Bush's additional troop deployments that Democratic leaders had been touting as a major rebuke. Murtha dismissed that vote as he promoted his coming plans regarding the war spending bill. "This vote will be the most important vote in changing the direction on this war," he said of his proposal. "This vote will limit the options of the president and should stop the surge."
To many Democrats, that was not only impolitic, it was disloyal.
"He stepped all over Speaker Pelosi's message of support for the troops," said Rep. Jim Cooper (Tenn.). "That was not team play, to put it mildly."
Even after that Web appearance, some senior Democratic aides say Murtha might well have been able to save his plan if he had quickly laid it out before the Democratic caucus and marshaled Democratic leaders behind a defense. Instead, the House recessed for a week, Murtha disappeared from the media, and Democratic leaders were silent, saying they could not discuss Iraq legislation because no real plan existed.
In the face of an unanswered Republican assault, the Democratic rank-and-file cracked -- on the left and the right.
"While we're all for troop readiness, we're all for them having all the equipment they want," Matheson, the Utah Democrat, said, "I'd be very concerned about doing anything that would hamstring resources and commanders on the ground."
Indeed, Matheson and other Blue Dogs said the Democrats should concentrate on oversight hearings on Iraq policy, while refraining from binding legislation on the war.
All in all, Murtha's plans will die as they well should and congress can either start acknowledging the success that are being seen on the ground, or they can continue to try to undermine those successes and continue to be the party of retreat in defeat for all the world to witness.
Pelosi and company would do well to start paying attention to the latest polls about what the American people think of them.
3. And, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the United States Congress is doing?
6% STRONGLY APPROVE
33% SOMEWHAT APPROVE
22% SOMEWHAT DISAPPROVE
30% STRONG DISAPPROVE
9% DON’T KNOW
39% TOTAL APPROVE
51% TOTAL DISAPPROVE
They have lost the support of the American people because we do support our troops and we see through the rhetoric that congress has been spewing forth about supporting the troops but not the mission.
5. And, which one of the following would do most to hurt America’s reputation as a world power...
59% To pull our troops out of Iraq immediately
35% To leave our troops in Iraq for as long as it takes to restore order
5% DON’T KNOW
Read the rest of the poll yourself, I do not usually put much stock in polls, but this one does accurately concur with the last poll done by a completely separate company.
John Stuart Mill, please meet John Murtha.
Personally I think Murtha should be put out to pasture.... who agrees?
(NOTE: The move is here and this is my last night posting until I am settled and back online again. The site will be maintained by Debbie from Right Truth, Amy Proctor from Bottom Line Up Front, Faultline USA, A Soldiers Wife and of course our very own HCdl)
See ya'll soon!!!!!