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?
I don't know what Republicans imagine they're getting out of all this love they keep throwing at Democrats. I've never heard a single liberal preface attacks on Oliver North with a recitation of North's magnificent service as a Marine. And unlike Murtha, who refuses to release his medical records showing he was entitled to his two Purple Hearts, we know what North did. (These Democrat military veterans are hardly shrinking violets when it comes to citing their medals, but they get awfully squeamish when pressed for details.)
We also know what Rep. Randy Cunningham, R-Calif., did to earn his medals. One of only two American Navy aces that the Vietnam War produced, Cunningham shot down five MiGs, three in one day, including a North Vietnamese pilot with 13 American kills. Cunningham never did something as insane as proposing that we withdraw troops in the middle of a war, but this week he did admit to taking bribes.
And yet, no Democrat breathed a word of Cunningham's unquestioned heroism before rushing to denounce him as "the latest example of the culture of corruption" – in the words of Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
Sen. Teddy Kennedy didn't issue a 20-minute soliloquy on what a wonderful man Judge Robert Bork was as a human being before attacking his judicial philosophy. Kennedy just laid into Bork like he was George Lincoln Rockwell.
Speaking of which, George Lincoln Rockwell, former head of the American Nazi Party, served in the military during World War II. Are we obligated to praise his war service before disputing his views?
CNN's Bill Schneider summarized the Republican love-fest for Murtha by saying that House Republicans "started calling him some very ugly names – cowardly, shameful, he wanted to cut and run, he wanted to surrender to the terrorists, emboldening the enemy." Are we all looking at the same "intelligence"?
The only Republican congressman who did not offer to have sex with John Murtha on the House floor was Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio. While debating Murtha's own proposal to withdraw American troops from Iraq in the middle of a war waged to depose a monstrous dictator who posed a threat to American national security, Schmidt made the indisputably true remark that Marines don't cut and run. (She was right! Murtha voted against his own proposal.)
Schmidt's precise words were: "I received a call from Col. Danny Bubp. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do." Bubp later said – pointlessly – that he was not calling Murtha a coward. Neither was Jean Schmidt. (These guys are very brave facing down the VC, but cower before the MSM.)
Now Schmidt is Emmanuel Goldstein, subjected to the liberals' Orwellian two-minutes hate, and not one Republican will defend her. If Republicans were one-tenth as rough with the congressman who wants to withdraw troops in the middle of a war as they are on a congresswoman who calls it cowardly to withdraw troops in the middle of a war, we might have a functioning Republican Party.