Monday, November 21, 2005

Newbies Can Be So Cute

I don’t know if you’re paying attention to the furor in the House over the last few days. I know, many of you get your news only from these pages and we’ve been busy living life lately. Sorry about that.

To sum up, Rep. John Murtha is a hawkish Democrat, a decorated Vietnam vet from humble working class roots. He is respected on both sides of the aisle. And last Thursday, he made a statement saying that the time has come to withdraw the troops from Iraq. Of course, the White House will not tolerate dissent so the attack dogs came with both barrels, comparing him to Michael Moore and saying that we cannot surrender to the enemies. That sort of thing. The standard Swift Boat type stuff. (Not that Murtha just sits and takes it like a certain junior senator from Massachusetts who ran for president last year – Murtha on Cheney: "I like guys who've never been there who criticize us who've been there," Murtha said. "I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and sent people to war and then don't like to hear suggestions that what may need to be done.")

But that’s not the money shot. Representative Jean Schmidt has the least seniority of anyone in the House. She just won that special election against Paul Hackett in the Ohio 2nd. Remember that? So she’s been in for a few months, yet she decided it was time to go on the floor and launch some Scud missiles at the loveable old war hero John Murtha.

In attacking the Democrats' position, Ms. Schmidt, the newest member of Congress, said she had received a call from a Marine colonel, who "asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

The House exploded in catcalls and jeers among outraged Democrats. When debate resumed, Ms. Schmidt retracted her comments and said, "I did not intend to suggest they applied to any member," especially Mr. Murtha.
You should hear the tape of the speech. The House really did explode with catcalls and jeers. It sounded like questions for the Prime Minister in the British parliament. And even that’s not the funniest part. Read what she said in her very first speech after her swearing-in ceremony.
Honorable people can certainly agree to disagree. However, here today I accept a second oath. I pledge to walk in the shoes of my colleagues and refrain from name-calling or the questioning of character. It is easy to quickly sink to the lowest form of political debate. Harsh words often lead to headlines, but walking this path is not a victimless crime. This great House pays the price.
It would appear that we have already had to pay that price, honorable congresswoman. Well played.


Matthew Smith said...

I think it's sweet. I mean, Schmidt now has on record the moment that her hypocracy cherry was popped. So she's got that going for her...which is nice.

emeryroolz said...

Awesome. Gunga galunga.