Last week, John Murtha introduced a resolution which proposed that:
* Section 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.
* Section 2. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S Marines shall be deployed in the region.
* Section 3 The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.
But Republicans, who are forever whining about Democrats "playing politics," submitted a different resolution which read:
* Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.
* Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.
Why they couldn't debate Murtha's original resolution I don't know. Well, actually I do know - it's because they would rather turn to cheap political tricks than debate the merits of his proposal. But here's an example of how the Republicans then went on to "debate" John Murtha last week:
REP. JEAN SCHMIDT: A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. 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 remarks were later stricken from the record. She said, "Mr. Speaker, my remarks were not directed to any member of the House and I did not intend to suggest they applied to any member, most especially the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania." Odd - I could have sworn that the remark was aimed directly at Murtha. (I think the line about "sending Congressman Murtha a message" was a bit of a giveaway.)
So there you have it - rather than debate the substance of Murtha's original resolution, House Republicans decided to introduce their own faux resolution and then called a decorated 37-year veteran of the Marine Corps a coward on the House floor. Now that's what I call leadership.