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Friday, November 18, 2005


Dana Milbank writes on the latest Yellow Elephant Stampede in the Star Tribune:

In his 37 years in the military, John Murtha won two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star with a Combat "V" and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

As a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania for the past 31 years, he has been a fierce hawk, championing conflicts in Central America and the Persian Gulf.

On Thursday, he was called a coward.

After Murtha stunned the Capitol with a news conference calling for a pullout from Iraq because our "troops have done all they can," the denunciations came quickly and furiously.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., accused Murtha of delivering "the highest insult" to the troops. "We must not cower," Hastert told the former Marine.

Majority Leader Roy Blunt, R-Mo., told Murtha that his views "only embolden our enemies" and lamented that "Democrats undermine our troops in Iraq from the security of their Washington, D.C., offices."

Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., told the 73-year-old Murtha that "the American people are made of sterner stuff." And Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, said the likes of Murtha want to take "the cowardly way out."

Murtha, whose brand of hawkishness has never been qualified by the word "chicken," was expecting the attacks: "I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that."

Carter, Hastert, Blunt and Hayworth have no military service record.

Imagine that. Four Republican congressmen in favour of the war who never served themselves. What are the odds?

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