Skip to comments.House rejects troop pullout; Dems decry vote (Rep. Ford yells repub's making uncalled for attacks)
Posted on 11/19/2005 12:50:54 AM PST by Former Military Chick
WASHINGTON - The House on Friday overwhelmingly rejected calls for an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq, a vote engineered by the Republicans that was intended to fail. Democrats derided the vote as a political stunt.
"Our troops have become the enemy. We need to change direction in Iraq," said Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a Democratic hawk whose call a day earlier for pulling out troops sparked a nasty, personal debate over the war.
The House voted 403-3 to reject a nonbinding resolution calling for an immediate troop withdrawal.
"We want to make sure that we support our troops that are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. We will not retreat," Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said as the GOP leadership pushed the issue to a vote over the protest of Democrats.
It was the second time in less than a week that President Bush's Iraq policy stirred heated debate in Congress. On Tuesday, the Senate defeated a Democratic push for Bush to lay out a timetable for withdrawal.
Murtha, a 73-year-old Marine veteran decorated for combat service in Vietnam, issued his call for a troop withdrawal at a news conference on Thursday. In little more than 24 hours, Hastert and Republicans decided to put the question to the House.
Democrats said it was a political move and quickly decided to vote against it in an attempt to drain it of significance.
"A disgrace," declared House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
"The rankest of politics and the absence of any sense of shame," added Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat.
Republicans hoped to place Democrats in an unappealing position - either supporting a withdrawal that critics said would be precipitous or opposing it and angering voters who want an end to the conflict. They also hoped the vote could restore GOP momentum on an issue - the war - that has seen plummeting public support in recent weeks.
Democrats claimed Republicans were changing the meaning of Murtha's withdrawal proposal. He has said a smooth withdrawal would take six months.
At one point in the emotional debate, Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, told of a phone call she received from a Marine colonel.
"He asked me to send Congress a message - stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message - that cowards cut and run, Marines never do," Schmidt said. Murtha is a 37-year Marine veteran.
Democrats booed and shouted her down - causing the House to come to a standstill.
Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., charged across the chamber's center aisle screaming that Republicans were making uncalled-for personal attacks.
"You guys are pathetic! Pathetic!" yelled Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass.
Democrats gave Murtha a standing ovation as he entered the chamber and took his customary corner seat.
The fireworks, as lawmakers rushed toward a two-week Thanksgiving break, came just days after the GOP-controlled Senate defeated a Democratic push for Bush to lay out a timetable for withdrawal. Spotlighting questions from both parties about the war, senators approved a statement that 2006 should be a significant year in which conditions are created for the phased withdrawal of U.S. forces.
Murtha has proposed his own resolution, which would force the president to withdraw the nearly 160,000 troops in Iraq "at the earliest practicable date." It would establish a quick-reaction force and a nearby presence of Marines in the region. It also said the U.S. must pursue stability in Iraq through diplomacy.
The Republican alternative simply said: "It is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately."
"It's just heinous," Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., said of the Republican move.
"This is a personal attack on one of the best members, one of the most respected members of this House, and it is outrageous," said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, however, said the resolution vote was not a stunt. "This is not an attack on an individual. This is a legitimate question."
"They've been itching for a fight for a long time," Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said of the Democrats.
Bush, traveling in Asia, also fired back at his critics, saying a troop withdrawal would be "a recipe for disaster."
Most Republicans oppose Murtha's call for withdrawal, and some Democrats also have been reluctant to back his position.
A growing number of House members and senators, looking ahead to off-year elections next November, are publicly worrying about a quagmire in Iraq. They have been staking out new positions on a war that is increasingly unpopular with the American public, has resulted in more than 2,000 U.S. military deaths and has cost more than $200 billion.
A U.S. field commander in Iraq countered the position of the congressman who usually backs the Pentagon.
"Here on the ground, our job is not done," said Col. James Brown, commander of the 56th Brigade Combat Team, when asked about Murtha's comments during a weekly briefing that American field commanders give to Pentagon reporters.
Of course if you were a Dim elected officeholder, stuck between Moveon.org and actual American public, you too would resent any move to make you declare your views on ANY ISSUE.
I don't know this guy from Adam's house cat, and he may be a fine individual, however, John FnKerry is a decorated Vietnam war veteran, also.
The Republicans HAD to bring this whole "war debate" to a head. The rats have been mounting a very effective campaign to use the war as a way to divert attention from the news they don't want America to hear - - terrific news about the economy.
It is critical to remember that the Democrat Party thrives on a bad economy - - what they want more than anything else is an economic recession in which people lose their jobs, their homes, and their savings. This is when the Democrats have the most success selling their vision of a Euro-style, secular-socialist welfare state. This is when they see their best chance of getting elected.
Their problem, their nightmare, has been that the economy is roaring - - the stock market is climbing, unemployment is virtually non-existant, and even oil prices are plummeting (I got my gas today at $2.09!). This is the worst possible news for the Democrats. All their best soundbites ("How will people afford to heat their homes this winter?", for example) are becoming obsolete.
And so, the Democrats have been left only with their old dependable fallback position of silently hoping like crazy for more and more filled U.S. military body-bags to provide them with the political fodder they needed to use against Bush and the Republicans - - until tonight.
With tonight's vote, the Democrats' harping about the war will ring hollow. Now the focus can turn back to the good economic news, as well as the tremendous progress that has actually been made in Iraq and in the war on global terrorism.
Tonight's vote was a tremendous poltical victory for the Republicans and for America. And the night was capped by the surprise live broadcast of President George W. Bush rallying the troops and the nation.
(P.S. Are the Democrats some very sick animals, or what??)
Yeah, I'm a little quizzical about this, too. I mean, Vietnam? The guy's only about five years younger than my WWII dad. How did Murtha miss Korea? I am willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, but I would be interested in a little more info about exactly what he did in Vietnam. I thought I heard that he had a couple of Purple Hearts?
He's seeing his Presidential aspirations slowly go down the drain. Now he's on record opposing immediate withdrawal from Iraq, putting him at odds with the moonbat base of the Democrat party. So what does he do now -- wink, wink, nudge, nudge to the base? Or defend his vote on future Tim Russet-a-thons?
Forget about his presidential aspirations, he's watching his Senatorial aspirations circle the drain.
No, he can simply say he supported the pullout before he opposed it.
Goodness! Democrats protesting a vote...on which they voted in near unanimity.
403 to 3 is a "heated debate?!"
BWA HA HA!
Some of us here in Tennessee know the Fords very well, and Ford has "posed" as whatever he "needed" to be to move up. He's nothing but a puppet of his daddy, coming from a chronically corrupt and ethically vacant radical leftist family. As for Murtha, a Watergate baby (as was Junior's daddy), he's finally demonstrated his true stripes as a traitor.
Don't assume anything good about Ford. Like Al Gore, he is from a political family, and I believe will shape everything he does around what will further his career. Just remember that Congressman Gore was pro-life, fiscal conservative, and NRA rated "A".
The thing I find interesting in all this is that if you say to a democrat, "You are wrong," they start this "personal attack" accusation. That is obviously in their playbook. I never heard anyone accuse Murtha of being anything but wrong. The worst thing that was said about him was that the administration was perplexed that he had adopted the same position as Michael Moore. This is simply a statement of fact. He did adopt this position, and it is very inconsistent with his past actions.
There's already a $hitstorm brewing in Memphis, as Junior's Aunt just stole a State Senate seat by a dozen votes in a heavily uber-Rat district and may be overturned by our GOP State Senate shortly. His own base of power is crumbling and the State 'Rats may be quite ready to yank the carpet out from underneath his feet for next year's US Senate race nomination. Personally, I want to see him get the nomination so we can utterly destroy him statewide.
The House voted 403-3 to reject a nonbinding resolution calling for an immediate troop withdrawal.
Hehehehehehehe....can't say it better. :-)
Great move finally by Hastert and Blunt!
When will FRIST develop such backbone?
I am waiting for some hint that Frist is the majority leader.
Well, don't look for logic in DeamonRATS positions.
Exactly. What the media really means is that it sparked heated screams in the halls of congress from the Dummy heads, but resulted in a tame common sense vote at the end.
Shame on the Lo$er DEMs and the media.
I'm sure the Democrats would say that they have not personally attacked President Bush.
We've known it all along: when you call the Democrats' bluff, they scream "Personal Attack! Personal Attack! You guys aren't playing fair! Sob, sob, sob!"
Murtha has certainly turned to the "dark side". There must be something in the Washington water. Certainly being a DemonRat doesn't help one's sanity - as Rush says: "Still voting Democrat - your stuck on stupid".
However, Murtha's early military career is not questionable. From an earlier post:
>>"He learned about military service from the bottom up, beginning as a raw recruit when he left Washington and Jefferson College in 1952 to join the Marines out of a growing sense of obligation to his country during the Korean War. There he earned the American Spirit Honor Medal, awarded to fewer than one in 10,000 recruits. He rose through the ranks to become a drill instructor at Parris Island and was selected for Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia. He then was assigned to the Second Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In 1959, Captain Murtha took command of the 34th Special Infantry Company, Marine Corps Reserves, in Johnstown.
He remained in the Reserves after his discharge from active duty until he volunteered for Vietnam in 1966-67, receiving the Bronze Star with Combat "V", two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He remained in the Reserves until his retirement." <<