Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Murtha Maneuver: A Study.

What a night it was last night for political geeks like me.

First the resolution proffered by Rep. Hunter (R-CA) was soundly defeated and only three Democrats voted for it. There were a handful of Democrats and one Independent who did not vote on the measure.

Now, the Democrats main line of attack was the resolution being voted on was not Murtha's and was a cheap political stunt (OMG: Politicians playing politics! There ought to be a law.). Murtha's resolution and the one Duncan Hunter offered were essentially identical and the one offered matches Murtha's public comments much closer than the one Murtha was trying to get considered. Yes,
Why didn't the Republicans just use Murtha's language? If all but three Democrats wanted to claim that "is hereby terminated" means something other than immediate withdrawal, fine. I think what would have emerged is that the only distinction is that logistics will require that the withdrawal take a certain amount of time, and will not, in that sense, be "immediate." The Democrats would have had to say what they really think about Iraq, or at least pretend to. Instead, they were given an easy out. Since the Republican resolution wasn't the same as Murtha's, they could credibly denounce it as a "sham" and their orchestrated votes against it mean nothing at all.
Source: Powerline Blog - Friends, Romans, clowns
Yes, a perfect situation would have been to have voted on Murtha's version and the alternate version actually voted on was a blunder but this is a case of the glass being 7/8ths full for the GOP. The Krazy Kos Kiddies would have been ecstatic with immediate and the Democrats realize immediate is not a good thing.

Now the Democrats and Murtha were and are claiming they did not call for immediate withdrawal but The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.Source: Powerline Blog - Friends, Romans, clowns What's the difference?

Remember too the Mainstream Mastodons were reporting Murtha's move as a call for immediate withdrawal and in fact Murtha himself was fond of immediate in press releases and in speeches.
Congressman Murtha did indeed call for immediate withdrawal of US troops...his own words from a press conference a few days ago: "The United States will immediately redeploy — immediately redeploy. No schedule which can be changed, nothing that’s controlled by the Iraqis, this is an immediate redeployment of our American forces because they have become the target." And: "My plan calls for immediate redeployment of U.S. troops (consistent with the safety of U.S. forces)." Reference: here.

And from CongressmanÂ’s Murtha own website: "I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice that the United States will immediately redeploy." Reference: here.

Also, the media sure played up MurthaÂ’s original remarks as calling for an "immediate" withdrawal. Consider this CNN headline: "Representative John Murtha Calls for Immediate Troop Withdrawal." Reference: here. Read the whole article...CNN certainly reported Murtha’s comments as a call for "immediate withdrawal."
Source: Powerline Blog - Friends, Romans, clowns

So, the Murtha Maneuver was a smashing success. It shows house Republicans to have some glands and it shows the Democrats to be dishonest about what they want. They want a white flag withdrawal but are afraid (rightly so) to express such sentiments plainly they want to hide in lawyerly murk.