Day By Day

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pennsylvania Politics -- Novak on Murtha

Robert Novak has a nice short summary of the situation in Pennsylvania's Twelfth District where Diana Irey is challenging incumbent Jack Murtha.
Rep. John Murtha (D.-Pa.) appears to be suffering "Daschle-itis," a figurative disease which makes entrenched incumbents become national celebrities and, in the process, risk alienating the voters that put them in office.

Since seizing his party's anti-war mantle, Murtha has become a great draw for Democratic fundraisers, helping his party boost its prospects for a congressional takeover. Naturally, this helps his party-leadership bid as well.

But at the same time, his outspokenness made him a huge target....

What originally seemed like a long-shot bid by Diana Irey (R.) to unseat Murtha has taken on new credibility as she raises money from the Internet and as Murtha makes more and more outrageous statements.
Read it here.

Novak rightly points out that Murtha's biggest mis-step was not his anti-war stance itself, but his outrageous assertions, made without any presumption of innocence, that US Marines engaged in a murder spree at Haditha. Those statements open Murtha to legal liability in any judicial action taken against those troops, are widely perceived to be inappropriate, and are widely resented within the core where many people have expressed the opinion that Murtha is a Blue Falcon.

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