Friday, November 18, 2005

Even a Broken Clock... right twice a day. In this case, it's the Washington Post media critic, Howard Kurtz. Although Mr. Kurtz still doesn't quite get it completely, he at least notices that yesterday's speech by a conservative and hawkish Democrat is significant.

John Murtha is now off the reservation.

If I had to pick one of the least likely candidates to demand an immediate pullout from Iraq, the Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania would be right up there. Vietnam veteran, big Pentagon supporter, rarely makes waves on the Hill. We're not talking Ted Kennedy here. He supported the Gulf war and the Iraq war. And yet the guy holds a press conference yesterday and says it's time to go because "our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency."

The Murtha Moment follows Bill Clinton saying the war was a mistake, John Edwards saying his vote was a mistake, the Nation saying it won't support any pro-war Dems, Senate Republicans saying the White House should fill out quarterly report cards on how it's getting us the heck out, and a few things I'm sure I've forgotten.

The point is not that an irresistible groundswell for withdrawal is sweeping the country. The point is that the landscape is changing as politicians scramble to catch up with polls showing a majority see the war as a blunder. We seem to have moved beyond the administration's things-are-improving-in-Iraq argument to a more narrow focus on how to extricate American troops. (Anyone old enough to remember "Vietnamization" knows what I'm talking about.)
[Emphasis added]

Whether Congressman Murtha's comments are viewed simply as crafty pre-election posturing or as impassioned comments by a decent man disgusted by what this disasterous and horrific war has done to America and Americans, the speech was timely and the delivery effective. It will be hard for the White House to accuse Mr. Murtha as being complicit with the 'terrorists'in Iraq and make it stick. Kurtz apparently got that, which is terrific.

It's also nice to see the mainstream media "scramble to catch up with polls showing a majority see the war as a blunder." I just wish they had done so in late 2002.


Post a Comment

<< Home