Tuesday, November 22, 2005

He Voted For Withdrawal Before He Voted Against It...

No, it's not fluggyhead Kerry this time, but that old rapscallion Murtha who specifically called for an immediate withdrawal of all combat troops in Iraq, then went on to say he didn't after the House voted upon it to the tune of 403-3 against.

He voted against as well. His supporters, yes, such an idiot has supporters, Virginia, and they are called Liberal Democrats, jumped to his defense by saying he really didn't say or really didn't mean RIGHT NOW, but it's clear he did. And what's as clear is WHY. To generate headlines from a willing media. Here's the story as told by Best of the Web:

When 'Now' Means 'Real Soon Now'We suppose a little elaboration is in order about the John Murtha kerfuffle, our item about which yesterday left some readers confused and a few ticked off. Here is the full story, with details drawn from bloggers PoliPundit and NZ Bear, along with our own Brendan Miniter.

Last Thursday Murtha held a press conference, at which he advocated the following course of action:
I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid-December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice: The United States will immediately redeploy--immediately redeploy.
No schedule which can be changed, nothing that's controlled by the Iraqis, this is an immediate redeployment of our American forces because they have become the target. . . .
My plan calls for immediate redeployment of U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces to create a quick reaction force in the region, to create an over-the-horizon presence of Marines, and to diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq.
Here's how the Associated Press reported the story:
An influential House Democrat who voted for the Iraq war called Thursday for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, another sign of growing unease in Congress about the conflict.
This made more news than it should have, since, as we noted Friday, Murtha, although he did vote to liberate Iraq, has been a frequent critic of the idea, even before casting that vote. In any case, Rep. Duncan Hunter responded to the Murtha proposal and the attendant hype by putting up for a vote in the House a resolution "expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately." This the House rejected, 403-3, with Murtha among the 99.3% voting against what he had proposed the previous day.

Some of our readers say it was unfair of us to label the Hunter resolution "the Murtha proposal" because Murtha actually offered a resolution of his own, which did not use the word immediate but instead called for withdrawal "at the earliest practicable date." That resolution appears at the bottom of this page on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee blog, which one of our critical readers e-mailed us triumphantly.

The same page, however, features Murtha's comments from his press conference, including repeated references to immediate withdrawal. It's fascinating how those who claim to be Murtha's defenders are now hiding behind the text of his resolution to claim he never called for immediate withdrawal, when in fact that is exactly what he did. Here's an AP dispatch from yesterday that confirms the point:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would be "a big mistake."

The New York Democrat said she respects Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., the Vietnam veteran and hawkish ex-Marine who last week called for an immediate troop pullout. But she added: "I think that would cause more problems for us in America."

Hillary Clinton opposes immediate withdrawal. So did 187 Democratic members of the House last Friday. The defense of Murtha consists of falsely denying he ever called for any such thing.
Give Murtha credit for helping to clarify the debate. Immediate withdrawal from Iraq is something no serious person favors. Even those who think they do, like Murtha, change their minds upon reflection."

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