Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

John Murtha: R.I.P.

John Murtha, Pennsylvania Congressman and former Marine, has died at age 77. He died of complications from gall bladder surgery.

In 1974, John Murtha became the first Vietnam War combat veteran to be elected to Congress. He was a longtime nemesis of the American Chickenhawk — because of being a veteran, and because he was against the Iraqi war which chickenhawks loved with a passion (as long as somebody else did the dirty work).

In 2002 he voted in favor of authorizing George W. Bush to use military force in Iraq. But in November 2005 he voted to bring all troops home immediately from Iraq, saying "The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion.”

Murtha was a longtime voice for veterans and their needs — another reason the Yellow Ribbon “Support Our Troops” dildos hated him. He actually meant — and lived! — their empty slogans.

Rep. David Obey said: “He understood the misery of war. Every person who serves in the military has lost an advocate and a good friend today.”

Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said that in part because of John Murtha: “America is now on track to removing all combat troops from that country by this summer.”

And President Obama called Murtha “a steadfast advocate for the people of Pennsylvania for nearly 40 years with a ‘tough-as-nails’ reputation.”

Murtha wrote an autobiography in 2004, “From Vietnam to 9/11.” One of his quotes from the book: “Ever since I was a young boy, I had two goals in life — I wanted to be a colonel in the Marine Corps and a member of Congress.”

Nobody is pretending John Murtha was a saint. He’s had his share of scandals during his long career in Congress, including Abscam (1980) and more recent accusations of bringing too many earmarks, too much pork, to his district.

For some unfathomable — and totally irrelevant — reason, John Murtha always reminded me of Will Darnell, the auto-repair garage owner from the movie “Christine” (played by Robert Prosky).


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Blogger Holte Ender said...

He wasn't a perfect man, a bit like us, but he did have the guts to call the Bush administration out on Iraq and if he had been joined by men of equal courage, for instance his colleagues who say nice things about him now he has been silenced.

February 9, 2010 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Holte: You're right; he had the courage of his convictions, unlike too many of his colleagues.

February 9, 2010 at 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Isn't he the one that either Virginia Foxx or mean Jean Schmidt said he was a coward when he asked for the troops to be brought home? In freeperland the comments are just vile about this guy.

February 9, 2010 at 12:08 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Murtha's district is in western Pennsylvania, long known as an economically depressed area. So, if he brought home some bacon, it surely helped people in need of a break. People whose fathers and grandfathers once had solid jobs mining coal and making steel. People since devastated by industrial flight to non-union, tax-friendly sunbelt states, free trade and just about everything else.

He was the kind of Democrat people admired and relied on for all the help and reforms passed during the New Deal and Fair Deal days.

What a shame he evidently died because of a mistake in surgery. God rest him, he was a good man.

February 9, 2010 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jess: Yes, it was Mean Jean Schmidt. She said something like "cowards cut and run" -- to a longtime Marine Corps officer.

SW: That's true, Murtha must have helped lots of people in his district. Conservatives are probably pissed at all of his earmarks because the money went to regular people and not CEOs and lobbyists. Democrats like him are getting a lot less common, unfortunately.

February 9, 2010 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Beekeepers Apprentice said...

I didn't really pay that much attention to him, to tell truth. Scandals - hell, show me one on capital hill without a 30 year old scandal on their balance sheet, and I'll sell you that plot of steel I've got going over the river into Brooklyn.

February 9, 2010 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

They certainly don't make congresspeople like him any more.

February 9, 2010 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Bee: Good point. I'll pass on that bridge, since I can't think of any saints in Congress.

Lew: Nope, they sure don't.

February 9, 2010 at 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


John Murtha, Max Clelland, John Kerry! Doesn't matter if you served in the military The right wingers know more about military matters and are more patriotic then you just because they are right wingers!

Need any further explanations?


February 9, 2010 at 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't he the man that admitted many of his district were racist? Took a lot of guts!


February 9, 2010 at 8:35 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Jess, that was Ohio Rep. Jean Schmidt, at the time the newest, greenest member of the House. You can read the details in a post I did Nov. 18, 2005. What she did was really outrageous.

As for the Freep creeps, absolute bottom hasn't been established, but I have a hunch it ends in the deepest pit in hell, which is fitting.

February 9, 2010 at 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

I remember her being all nasty and she still is a piece of work. Her and the idiot from NC Foxx. S.W thanks for the link, now bookmarked. Somewhere else for me to go on these here tubes.

Oh yeah we all know the reps can still go lower, they manage it on a daily basis. One commenter said something about this is why we need tort reform. When I commented that he had been in ICU because of complications due to his surgery that they had clipped his intestines, I was summarily dismissed as a kook. They just do not take kindly to be called out with facts. I consider it my civic duty to piss off one republican a day. I did it to more than one today, for this I am pleased :)

February 9, 2010 at 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

Ah yes, Jean the River Hag. Little children in her District are told she'll collect them in her burlap bag and have them for supper if they misbehave.

She is a disgraceful piece of sh*t, but I am a former resident of that District, and I'll tell you right now-she's no surprise. If anything, she's a moderate from that area.

February 9, 2010 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: Damn right. John Kerry, Max Clelland, John Murtha -- none of those moonbat veterans can hold a candle to Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the 101st Flying Chickenhawks. And yes, that does take cojones for a congressman to admit something negative about his own constituents.

SW: I didn't know Jean Schmidt was new in Congress at that time. I hadn't heard of her before then, but I don't follow Congress closely enough to know all the players. And yes, bottom hasn't been reached yet; there's always room for things to deteriorate even further.

Jess: I'm glad you're having fun at rightwing blogs and chatrooms. I used to do that but it's too draining. I can call names with the best of them if I have to, but it never seems to solve anything or go anywhere. And I think most of those people are too dense to even know when you've insulted them. "Piss off a Republican a day" -- it's a worthy goal but you've got your work cut out for you.

JR: That's the trouble. No matter how contemptible a congressperson is, ultimately the blame has to go to the voters who elected him/her/it.

February 9, 2010 at 11:46 PM  
Blogger tbs66 said...

He is a politically motivated disgrace of a man and congressman. I can only hope his predecessor is a better man, and elected official. His uninformed accusations around Haditha are unbelievably biased and politically motivated. Disgusting for a man who wants to be remembered for his greatness, but the truth of his legacy is very different. Good things happen to good people, and bad things..... RIP John Murtha.

February 7, 2012 at 7:59 PM  

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