17 November 2005

One bad Murtha

Just a day after "Deferment" Dick Cheney joined the GOP slime chorus in assailing critics of the administration's Iraq war sales reps, Pennsylvania democrat and ranking member of the House defense appropriations committee, John Murtha, took things a step further calling for an immediate start to the withdrawal of U.S troops. As expected, the retired marine and decorated Vietnam veteran found himself instantly under attack by the customary "anonymous sources" in the Pentagon and other, unnamed "senior officials." By mid-afternoon, the White House sent out the increasingly irrelevant (and untruthful) Scott McClellan with the most damning zinger they could muster:
"Congressman Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America. So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party."
Awwww, SNAP!

I can only conclude that no one could think of any good "yo momma" lines during the fevered BushCo brainstorming session that preceeded todays press gaggle. Somebody must really hate Spinnin' Scottie, sending him out there with a desperate line of shit like that. In the Democratic war spectrum, you can't get much further from Moore than Murtha. McClellan would've looked less foolish stepping up to the podium and calling the man a doodie-head. (But then again, Scott should be quite used to looking like a buffoon, these days).

The only thing that put a bigger smile on my face than the comedy of McClellan's usual sweaty stammering was Murtha's comments on the GOP noise machine's resurrection of the "You hate America" response to their critics:
"I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."
Someone wanna give Cheney some help? I think he's looking for the taste that just got slapped out of his mouth.

A refreshing change: seeing Cheney and the rest of the administration chickenhawks called on their bullshit by someone who can't be smeared (try as they might) as some kind of far left whacko. Murtha was in the Corps for 37 years, active duty and reserve. As the NYT pointed out, after initially serving in the 50s, he re-enlisted at age 34, to go to Vietnam in 1966. That sound like Michael Moore to anyone? A posterboy?

Some dope-smoking peacenik, he ain't.

Attacks like those that have already started should be as expected as they are reprehensible. John McCain spent over five years in the Hanoi Hilton. That didn't stop him from getting smeared on a variety of fronts (mental fitness, alleged illegitimate childrten) during the 2000 Republican primary. Max Cleland left three limbs in Vietnam and still found himself in attack ads featuring Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. We've seen what happens when people run afoul of the Rove/Bush power structure and the rest of the banana republicans; there's no reason to think John Murtha wouldn't be similarly slandered. Of course, back then, Dear Leader's approval rating wasn't in the mid 30% range with majorities of the American people questioning not only his leadership, but his integrity. With numbers like that, it'll take a lot more than his usual "cry terror" routine to distract people from his petty, vindictive approach to dissent.

More stone-throwing in the glass house that is BushCo

"(His strategy is) based on confrontation and conflict, and in order to sustain it over time it requires an ever-increasing search for enemies."
And who does that sound like?

In reality, that was Thomas Shannon, a U.S. diplomat to Latin America referring to Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez. Par for the course, these days, hearing an administration representative chastising someone for practicing exactly what Dear Leader preaches. So saturated with hypocrisy is this White House, that it's proving impossible to find any level free from its stain.

It's the same divide-and-conquer strategy that our "uniter" of a president turns to at every conceivable opportunity. Whether it be through a timely reiteration of the need for an anti-gay marriage amendment, or shoring up the failing position du jour by invoking September 11th and terrorism, the tune never changes. Whenever the tide turns against him, it's time to find someone or ones to demonize and attack. Of Chavez, Shannon went on to say, "And I believe that the anti-American rhetoric by the president is part of a larger effort to get his constituency mobilized."

A line like that is straight from the strategy sessions that led to the preznit's Veteran's Day "smear the dissenters" campaign:
"The stakes in the global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges," Mr. Bush said. "These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will. As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them."
Once again, BushCo goes to the well and questions the patriotism and support for the troops of those who disagree with them. The patheticism of that tactic is only overshadowed by the stupidity in employing it when more than half of the public is against the war and the president's management of it, and evidence of the allegedly "false charges" mounts higher and higher.
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