Murtha imitates Cindy Sheehan

John Fund:

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The day after Mr. McCain articulated why many voters see Republicans as inconsistent and ineffective, a leading Democrat, speaking in Miami, made it crystal clear why his party is an unacceptable alternative. Pennsylvania's Rep. John Murtha, who became a hero to the antiwar left when he called in November for immediate withdrawal from Iraq , went further at a town hall meeting for Rep. Kendrick Meek. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel quoted Mr. Murtha as claiming that the "American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran." He also told the audience of 200 that "we want as many Americans out of [Iraq] as possible" because "we have become the enemy."

Mr. Murtha has been sticking his foot in his mouth a lot lately. He accused Marines in Iraq of murdering civilians "in cold blood," contradicted himself in the same breath by saying they had "overreacted," and asserted that higher-ups covered up the purported crime without backing his statements up. He told a startled Tim Russert of NBC that U.S. troops withdrawn from Iraq could be "redeployed" to Okinawa, Japan, whence they could return "very quickly" to Baghdad--which is 4,899 miles away. And more than once he has offered these examples of presidential leadership: "In Beirut, President Reagan changed direction. In Somalia, President Clinton changed direction."

Here's another take on the change of direction in Somalia: "After a few blows . . . [the U.S.] rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers." That was Osama bin Laden, in an ABC interview in 1998, the same year al Qaeda blew up the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, murdering more than 220. Two years later he struck at the U.S.S Cole off Yemen and killed 17 sailors. The next year his suicide bombers hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and killed more than 3,000 Americans.

"Mr. Murtha sounds less like a Marine colonel these days, and more like a male Cindy Sheehan," writes Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which circulates in Mr. Murtha's district. But all the adulation from left-wing bloggers has apparently convinced the 74-year-old Mr. Murtha that he has a shot at higher office. "The more he gets out there, the more he realizes that he truly has taken on a leadership role," a Murtha aide told Time magazine. This month he told his colleagues that he plans to run for majority leader, the No. 2 job in the House, if Democrats take control this November. It is assumed he would have the tacit or open support of many close allies of the current minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, who won a leadership post in 2001 in large part because Mr. Murtha was her campaign manager and convinced some moderates she was not an antimilitary left-winger.

If Jack Murtha, a backroom operator who is blunder-prone when speaking publicly, is Democrats' idea of fresh leadership, the party is in real trouble. Far from advancing the Democratic argument that Republicans have bred a "culture of corruption" while in power, Mr. Murtha's leadership bid would open a Pandora's box of questions about his own record.

In 1980, prosecutors named Mr. Murtha an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the Abscam scandal. The FBI captured him on tape saying he wasn't interested in taking a $50,000 payment from agents posing as Arab sheiks "at this point," but he was open to further discussions. The House Ethics Committee cleared him, but E. Barrett Prettyman, the committee's special counsel for the Abscam probe, questioned the panel's competence, likening it to "a misdemeanor court faced with a multiple murder." Mr. Prettyman abruptly resigned his post the same afternoon the committee voted to clear Mr. Murtha. While Mr. Prettyman continues to refuse to discuss the case, he told Roll Call newspaper in 1990 that it would be "a logical conclusion" that he resigned over the committee's exoneration of Mr. Murtha.

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He goes on to catologue Murtha's earmark specials that aid his brother's lobby firm which specializes in defense contractors. Republicans need to cut off this anti war pukes gravy train. While the kook fringe of the Democrat party may think he is a good candidate for leadership, the rest of the world is just starting to notice what a disgrace this man is. He will also be an embarrassment to the Democrat Party. Some of the push behind his candidacy for the number two position in the Dem house leadership is that the anti war pukes do not like the current number two, Stenny Hoyer who is not an anti war puke.

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