When Democratic Rep. John Murtha called for the withdrawal of American troops in the middle of the war, Republicans immediately leapt to action by calling Murtha a war hero, a patriot and a great American.
I haven't heard Republicans issue this many encomiums to one man since Ronald Reagan died. By now, Murtha has been transformed into the greatest warrior since Alexander the Great and is probably dating Jennifer Aniston.
In response to Murtha's demand for the "immediate withdrawal of American troops" – as the New York Times put it – President Bush called Murtha a "fine man, a good man" who served with "honor and distinction," who "is a strong supporter of the United States military." He said he knew Murtha's "decision to call for an immediate withdrawal of our troops ... was done in a careful and thoughtful way."
Vice President Dick Cheney called Murtha "a good man, a Marine, a patriot."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Murtha is "a fine man, I know him personally ... and it's perfectly proper to have a debate over these things, and have a public debate."
National Security Adviser Steve Hadley called in his praise for Murtha from South Korea, saying Murtha was "a veteran, a veteran congressman and a great leader in the Congress."
During the House debate on Murtha's insane proposal to withdraw troops in the middle of the war, Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., said Murtha deserved an "A-plus as a truly great American," and Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., said "none of us should think of questioning his motives or desires for American troops."
On the House floor, both Republicans and Democrats repeatedly gave Murtha rousing standing ovations. There was so much praise for Murtha that one of his Democratic colleagues asked him if he still had to attend Murtha's funeral.
What is this? Special Olympics for the Democrats? Can't Republicans disagree with a Democrat who demands that the U.S. surrender in the middle of a war without erecting monuments to him first? What would happen if a Democrat were to propose restoring Saddam Hussein to power? Is that Medal of Freedom territory?
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