But, even though I predicted it, and I swear, my hand on the Enchiridion, that I was going to write about it, I didn't. So I can't take credit, and it would be untoward to make a point of it.
But I predicted it.
In any case, though, Howard Fineman writes in Newsweek:
In a long chat with an Irish colleague, he talked about his congressional hero and mentor, another blue-collar Irishman, Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill. No liberal on defense, in 1967 O'Neill had stunned President Lyndon B. Johnson by telling him that the Vietnam War had become a lost cause. Now, Murtha mused, it was his turn to confront a president with harsh truths.(All emphasis mine.)
Which was precisely what the Democratic leadership wanted Murtha to do. A close ally, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, was anxious to open a second axis of attack on Iraq—and was aware of his growing antagonism toward the war. The two met and agreed that he would make his case in private to the party conference. After that, on his own, he would introduce a resolution calling for withdrawal of troops from Iraq "at the earliest practicable date." Pelosi and the other liberals would keep their distance, while their own Marine charged up the Hill. Framed by long rows of American flags at a press conference, he denounced the Iraq war as a "flawed policy wrapped in an illusion."Murtha had known he would set off an explosion. He did. His arrival on the House floor was greeted with cheers from fellow Democrats, by dagger glances from Republicans.
"After that, on his own"? After planning meetings with Pelosi, with the pre-planned response being that "liberals would keep their distance", and a pre-established cheering section (do you think the Democrats cheer every time Rep. Murtha comes on the floor?)
(Oh, and Fineman also includes this bit of psychic reportage: "An Ohio backbencher named Jean Schmidt, eager to demonstrate coldbloodedness,...." Wow. How do you suppose Fineman found out about that? Did someone leak him a memo from Schmidt to Hastert saying "Dear Denny, I'm eager to demonstrate coldbloodedness. Yr friend, Jean"? But I digress.)
In any case, it's clear that, far from being a moving moment of conviction (which we really knew anyway, since Murtha had been on record as saying the "war is unwinnable" in May of 2004), it turns out to have been part of a planned media play.
Which, even though I predicted it, I didn't post about. So I can't take credit for it.
But I knew it.