Friday, November 18, 2005

U.S. Congress Says, "Leave Them There!"

What a difference a day makes!

Yesterday's poster child for the Democratic Party as the voice of both the people and the military was Representative John P. Murtha (D/PA). At a well-attended and well-covered press conference Murtha demanded the "immediate redeployment" of U.S. troops in Iraq, claiming that their mission had been completed.

Today the House Republicans took Murtha up on his demands and submitted a bill that would demand the President to begin immediate withdrawal of troops beginning as soon as possible.

So, the bluff was called. The bill submitted for a vote. And those squawking Democrats, including Kucinich, Pelosi and, yes, even Murtha, all voted unanimously to prevent any vote on the measure at all.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, enough Republicans voted to ensure that the House would immediately proceed to an actual vote.

At the end of the day, only three Democrats voted for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq(McKinney (GA) Serrano (NY) & Wexler (FL)). And SIX (Capuano,Clay, Hinchey, McDermott, Nadler & Owens) refused to enter a vote at all--simply listing themselves as being "Present." The final vote? 3 against the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

This is the party that wants to be in control of United States foreign policy? A party that says one thing for political effect but, when it comes down to a vote, backs away from just about the only policy suggestion they have made during the past two years.

Watching this play out today I was reminded of the wonderful scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where, under heavy resistance during a seige on a castle, the good knights retreat to the rear, crying out, "Run away! Run Away!"

If nothing else, Rep. Murtha (who voted twice against what more or less amounted to his own suggestion) has been effectively discredited as a US military policy wonk. Today's defeat was so complete and the beating, humiliation and embarrassment of the Democrats in general and Murtha in particular was so severe that it may well qualify Murtha for his third Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat.

When the water starts to boil over on my stove I pour some oil on it to help "simmer it down."

Today the Republican Congress not only poured a little oil on the Democrat's head of steam but probably threw a bucket or two of cold water on the fire under their kettle as well.

Note: Yes, I know that the Republican resolution did not match Murtha's proposal in any but a general sense....and, yes, I know that one Republican Representative quoted a Marine in a way that insinuated that Murtha is a "coward." And, yes, these two things dampen any Republican claim to have taken the "high road" today. Nonetheless, the matter of "immediate withdrawal" demanded by so many on the far left wing of the Democratic Party actually got a hearing and an opportunity for some comments directly related to this matter to be permanently recorded in the Congressional Record. In the end, while the Republicans did not come out looking very good, the Democrats came out looking pretty bad.