The cowardly bloody shirt Democrats

Washington Post:

The plan was bold: By tying President Bush's $100 billion war request to strict standards of troop safety and readiness, Democrats believed they could grab hold of Iraq war policy while forcing Republicans to defend sending troops into battle without the necessary training or equipment.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Then for an entire week, as members of Congress returned home for a recess, Murtha refused to speak further. Democratic leaders failed to step into the vacuum, and Republicans relentlessly attacked a plan they called a strategy to slowly bleed the war of troops and funds. By the end of the recess, Murtha's once promising strategy was in tatters.

The Democrats will still try retreat by deceit which is what the Murtha plan amounted too. They will just try to reframe the deceit. When it comes to the war they have been active in the politics of fraud, from their "Bush lied" narrative to now attempts to disguise the retreat they want with packaging. Murtha has been one of their chief spokesman with his "redeployment" to Okinawa and now his "slow bleed." He and Pelosi have taken a well deserved hit on this plan and the Levin plan is no better.

The Democrats are finding that being in the majority puts their ridiculous plans under debate and they are all found wanting because they are based on fantasy and not in comprehension of military realities. While they have been critical of what they characterize as Bush war plans, those plans have actually been the military's plans, and the Democrats did not have the gravitas or courage to attack the military planning directly so they instead politicized war planning. It has been one of the most cowardly and disgusting exhibitions of politics seen in recent years.

The Strata-Sphere also discusses Murtha's muddled thinking, aka, madness.


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