For example, one element of the plot guaranteed, by law, one full year of "rest" between deployments -- followed by many months of training before they could be sent back. This would have made it virtually impossible to send reinforcements or relieve forces that had been in Iraq for a long deployment. The Democrats believed that they would be able to put the Republicans between Iraq and a hard peace, forcing them either to vote with the Democrats, or to vote against "helping out" the troops.
But then Murtha went and shot his mouth off on some internet interview site; he actually let the beans out of the cat about his real purpose: to strangle the new security operation a-borning, to kill it with kindness. This confession was picked up and bruited all about the internet, then all about conservative talk-radio, and finally all around the entire communications grid... and the Democrats had to call it off.
So now, with the warning firmly in cheek that "loose lips sink ships," along comes AP -- which runs a story about a new Democratic strategy, but fails to go into any details at all about it!
Coincidence? We report, you decide.
In any event, I doubt this will succeed any better than the other schemes. Here is the rapid-reaction Republican response:
The House Democrats' plan brought a sharp response from Brian Kennedy, spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.
"If this is the Democrats' last ditch effort to appease the ultraliberal wing of their party while appearing to support the troops at the same time, I don't think they are going to convince either one of any commitment whatsoever," Kennedy said. "This appears to be political posturing at its worst and yet another attempt to undermine the mission of our troops in harm's way. The American people are going to see right through it."
Tagged, bagged, and released back into the wild with a microburst transmitter up the drainpipe.
The Democrats (and the Bigfoot media) consistently misunderestimate the capacity of the American public to see through their little Kabuki dances. Just because Murtha didn't lurch to the mike to broadcast his too clever by half scheme this time doesn't mean that the voters will fail to see that this ruse is just the same as the earlier attempt to micromanage the war. Once bitten, twice shy.
Or to haul out another hoary quotation: "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence. The third time, Mr. Bond, is enemy action."