Skipping my normal Friday night lineup of favorite television shows, I remained glued to C-Span on Nov. 18 from 6:30 pm until almost midnight as the US House of Representatives put on a show that alternatively shocked, embarrassed, elated, and ultimately pleased me greatly.
First, please let us lay lie to the upcoming Democratic talking points next week that will moan and complain that the Republican proposal was not the same as the one Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) originally proposed. Much more on this alleged military loyalist Murtha later. In Murtha’s own words:
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 US troops (consistent with the safety of US forces).
Indeed Murtha’s proposal, introduced with great hoopla this past Thursday, was for immediate “redeployment” of our troops from Iraq, and don’t let the Democrats tell you otherwise.
As the hours ticked past, I heard Democrat after Democrat complain that the Republican proposal then up for vote was not the same as Murtha’s.
They were madder then wet hens, folks. Their anger was palpable. The picture below shows House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and indeed she was ready to join “Heaven’s Gate.”
It’s just not right. It’s not right now, it wasn’t right yesterday and it won’t be right tomorrow. It is wrong that political players, in this case the Democrats, get to go out on the international stage and lie that the president, whom they characterize as totally dumb, lied and fooled them and this nation into war in Iraq. Imagine: a dumb president managed to fool every one of them.
Murtha’s proposal, presented to the public and hyped by the mainstream media with great frenzy was, well, it wasn’t really serious. It was only a political ploy. Egads, don’t you get it?
Meanwhile our soldiers sleep in grainy sand in hot and almost inhumane conditions, fighting for victory, and well on their way to winning, never mind the lies and spittle emanating from the mouths of the mainstream media and the Democrats. And the Democrats: They’re the same politicians who voted to send them there out and about. Now they proclaim that the president’s lies sent the toops there. By implication, those soldiers are fighting an illegal war.
It was time for the Republicans to throw down the gauntlet. After all, it is the GOP that has a majority in the House of Representatives, thE institution that most represents the American people in its role as the part of Congress filled with elected representatives based on a state’s population.
So they did.
I’m not sure why the Republicans changed the text of Murtha’s proposal, but such changes were minor. House Resolution 571, put to a vote late into the night on Nov. 18, specifically called for an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq. Exactly what Murtha proposed. The Republican proposal did have a caveat that it was “non-binding,” as such a thing would be. The US House of Representatives does not have the authority to manage a war. That task is charged to the executive branch as called for in our constitution. The House, as we know from the Vietnam War, can refuse to provide funding for military ventures, which essentially achieves the same end.
Below is the outcome of the vote.
The House voting on the “Immediate Troop Withdrawal From Iraq” Resolution – 571:
Final count at 11:33 pm. 11/18/05
The entire episode was enlightening and in some aspects, quite entertaining. The House erupted into boos and catcalls when Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) read a letter from a Marine who stipulated that Marines do not quit the battle. The Democrats considered this, I must conclude, a slap at the vaunted Rep. Murtha, a fellow whose patriotism and devotion to the troops is questionable, based on more information coming out about him.
I learned a lot about House procedure through watching the proceedings. Did you know that the House has to hold a vote in order to vote? I consider this is an incredible waste of time, especially with each step toward the final vote requiring an hour of debate.
The House’s parliamentarian looks exactly like Dan Aykroyd, and the Republicans showed way more passion and emotion than I thought they had in them.
There was much drama, which I suspect was orchestrated for the viewing audience. The Republicans brought out a few war heroes of their own, including the eloquent Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX). I thought it was cool.
Republicans are notorious for being firm, emotionless, concise and clear. Those GOP representatives last night were damned mad and they weren’t going to take it anymore.
Perhaps I’ve seen too many bloviating senators, members of that clubby group of 100 who proudly carry their little rule books and name bridges, buildings and roads for their handsome selves.
What I saw last night in the US House of Representatives were angry and passionate representatives of the American populace.
All of them, even the Democratic representatives, must go home to face a district of military bases, soldier-constituents and families of soldiers. Having a supposedly loyal military representative go out and call for a removal of our forces in an active war zone was initially a good idea. The Democrats could collect their MoveOn.org/George Soros contributions while going around denying that they agreed with Murtha, yet still sending this demoralizing message — in the view of the GOP base — to our troops. Not to mention our enemies who sit in their caves and wait, as they have plenty of time for America to chicken out. Already Al-Jazeera is quoting Rep. Murtha as if he were Allah.
When pushed to the limit, heh, as was the plan, only three representatives, and they were Moonbats, actually voted to remove our troops from Iraq immediately. This gives them little wiggle room for such an obviously opportunistic political ploy to appease their base and collect their Mooonbat contributions.
The Republicans called the liberals’ bluff, and it was necessary. If the Democrats don’t know how to behave during war time, then someone has to show them.
Given the administration’s recent push back at the “Bush lied and led us to war” meme, and given that the Democrats had their bluff called over this Murtha drama, Those who support them — as their talking points condemn our military while claiming to support the military — will be few and far between.
For when the time came to put their money where their big mouths are, heh, only three of them had the courage to vote what they’d been saying for the past few weeks.
Now, about this Murtha character. By what standard is this fellow considered a military loyalist? By the standard that his brother owns a lobbying company that got millions of dollars in contracts from the Clinton administration? For it’s certainly not indicated by the man’s prior voting record.
John Murtha who voted NO on House resolution 557 on 3 -17 -2004. The resolution passed 327-93.
Here is the text of the resolution which Rep. Murtha found to be so distasteful:
States that the House of Representatives: (1) affirms that the United States and the world have been made safer with the removal of Saddam Hussein and his regime from power in Iraq; (2) commends the Iraqi people for their courage in the face of unspeakable oppression and brutality inflicted on them by Saddam Hussein’s regime; (3) commends the Iraqi people on the adoption of Iraq’s interim constitution; and (4) commends the members of the US Armed Forces and Coalition forces for liberating Iraq and expresses its gratitude for their valiant service.
Let me understand this. John Murtha, labeled a “hawk” by CNN and his Democratic soulmates in the House of Representatives, voted against House Resolution 557, which simply confirms our decision to remove Saddam, commends the Iraqi people, and (note provision number 4) commends the members of the U.S. Armed Forces and Coalition forces for liberating Iraq and expresses its gratitude for their valiant service.
This loyal military guy voted against number 4? I am just an ordinary Grandma Blogger here, but, silly me, I’d consider a vote against the above proposal to be anything but pro-military.
Oh. And there’s more. The blogosphere is just beginning to buzz about this, but it would seem that Murtha’s got some ghosts in his closet.
In due course, we’ll be hearing more about this guy. Meanwhile, the Dems already brought out military “hero” John Kerry, and this didn’t work. Now they trotted out this questionable pro-military relic and got called on it.
It’s time the Democrats root for our side for a change, both in how they vote and in how they present themselves to the international and national community.
Republican lawmakers say that ties between Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and his brother’s lobbying firm, KSA Consulting, may warrant investigation by the House ethics committee…
According to a June 13 article in the Los Angeles Times, the fiscal 2005 defense appropriations bill included more than $20 million in funding for at least 10 companies for whom KSA lobbied. Carmen Scialabba, a longtime Murtha aide, works at KSA as well.
KSA directly lobbied Murtha’s office on behalf of seven companies, and a Murtha aide told a defense contractor that it should retain KSA to represent it, according to the LA Times.
In early 2004, Murtha reportedly leaned on U.S. Navy officials to sign a contract to transfer the Hunters Point Shipyard to the city of San Francisco, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. A company called Lennar Inc. had right to the land, and Laurence Pelosi, nephew to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), was an executive with the firm at that time.
Murtha also inserted earmarks in defense bills that steered millions of dollars in federal research funds toward companies owned by children of fellow Pennsylvania Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D). ..