Top House Dem aide on Murtha: “Pelosi is going to be furious” that the surge is working; Update: Murtha backtracks, “clarifies”

posted at 10:06 am on November 30, 2007 by Allahpundit

Of course she is. See now why I used the melting bunny video?

Follow the link for a long list of Happy Jack’s greatest defeatist hits; his snide castigation of O’Hanlon and Pollack included in my post yesterday isn’t among them. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is out with a fuller treatment of his comments today. Good news, Pelosi: There’s still plenty of chaos to go around.

Murtha said he saw signs of progress and continuing chaos during his one day in Iraq. A hospital he visited had been hit by a mortar attack the day before, but more parts of the country are peaceful than before, and Iraqi troops in the Al Anbar province are rooting out the remnants of al-Qaida in their area, he said…

Murtha said that “surge” of troops is working, but it only underscores how poor planning from the Bush administration has hamstrung the war effort. Other examples include the slow response to protecting troops from roadside bombs and a shortage of the helicopters needed to transport troops.

He says he got a call from Bush’s war czar about possibly negotiating a timetable. I’ve been wondering if Bush wasn’t coming around to that idea as a way of getting out while on a high note. Murtha seems willing to compromise by extending the Democrats’ proposed December 2008 deadline for withdrawal; Bush probably won’t agree to any binding timetable, no matter how long-term it is, not only as a matter of pride but because I suspect he wouldn’t want to tie his successor’s hands in trying to win the war, even if those hands are likely to belong to Hillary. Now, if Murtha wants to talk about a non-binding timetable…

Pelosi’s anger at Murtha will pass but this may be a source of chronic heart-ache. Exit question: How much further would things have to improve before the GOP starts talking up Iraq as a campaign issue? After four years of risking regional and political disaster, I’m thinking … a lot further.

Update: A lot, lot further.

Update: Pelosi must indeed have been furious.

Following a headline-grabbing uproar, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, moved swiftly Friday to clarify earlier remarks that seemed to suggest the Iraq surge policy was working.

The surge, he said in a statement, “has created a window of opportunity for the Iraqi government,’’ but so far the Iraqi government has “failed to capitalize on the political and diplomatic steps that the surge was designed to provide.”

“The fact remains that the war in Iraq cannot be won militarily, and that we must begin an orderly redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as practicable,” said the chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee.

Update (12/1): My mistake — the newspaper linked above is the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, not the Post-Gazette. The reader who sent the tip informs me that the T-R is a “very Republican newspaper.” Read the story and judge for yourself if you think it’s unfair to Murtha.


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How much further would things have to improve before the GOP starts talking up Iraq as a campaign issue?

I’d take it just not being detrimental.

amerpundit on November 30, 2007 at 10:13 AM

How much further would things have to improve before the GOP starts talking up Iraq as a campaign issue?

I’m not going to hold my breath.

Aren’t there only 5-6 legislative days left? I’d be surprised if the Congress doesn’t pass some kind of war spending bill. I don’t think the dems want to take the political hit. Murtha’s comments might give them a little cover to do so without Pelosi having to give the appearance of agreement. Not to say she isn’t upset about it.

Spirit of 1776 on November 30, 2007 at 10:14 AM

In an interview with Politico, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) attributed the change to a recent reduction of violence and media coverage of the conflict,

Yyp, its hard for the MSM to sell our defeat when we are obviously winning. So my Exit question is…Can we question the Democrats patriotism now? How about charging Murtha and Pelosi and Reid with sedition and treason now?

doriangrey on November 30, 2007 at 10:15 AM

How much futher?

Speaking with a ‘connection’ to the ground….A LOT. Better….sure……good to go…not even close.

Limerick on November 30, 2007 at 10:16 AM

Did any horticulturists ask about Iraq at the alleged debate the other night?

JammieWearingFool on November 30, 2007 at 10:20 AM

How much further would things have to improve before the GOP starts talking up Iraq as a campaign issue?

They’ve been handed their ammo on a silver platter and I expect to hear something like this at the next GOP debate ….

“When a staunch war critic like John Murtha visits the war zone and says the surge is working, you know we’ve turned the corner. I’m waiting paitiently for the rest of the Democrats to come forward and admit they were wrong too.”

Game. Set. Match.

fogw on November 30, 2007 at 10:26 AM

Update: A lot, lot further.

Oh please. That link is about difficulties arising from returing Iraqis, who are coming back because things have improved.

It’s like that earlier article about how bad the downturn in violence was for gravediggers.

All an attempt by the MSM to muddle and obfuscate about Iraq.

I’m sure we’ll start seeing articles about how all the returning Iraqis and booming business lead to traffic jams, electricity and service strains, and more legal dispusts than ever before.

Clark1 on November 30, 2007 at 10:26 AM

Giddy.

Vizzini on November 30, 2007 at 10:30 AM

This has gotta be keepin’ them up at night. I can see ‘em tossin’ and turnin’ all night, thinking “What happens if they (meaning the U.S. Military) win? How can we prevent this from happening?”

Tony737 on November 30, 2007 at 10:36 AM

Every day, the GOP misses the opportunity to educate America on what is actually going on and the positive impacts this war continues to create. MSM and the shrieking voices of the Left could be countered by weekly televised fireside chats by the President, White House and GOP promotion of factual reporting (including apologetics), statistics and support by film makers and networks that were “asked” to get involved.

The GOP stands by the philosophy that they don’t want to get down and muddy with the facts, but they come off as aloof and allow the loonies to take up all the soap-box time, which the public believes if they hear it enough.

Hening on November 30, 2007 at 10:38 AM

Oh please. That link is about difficulties arising from returing Iraqis, who are coming back because things have improved.

Yes, but my point is that even the good news contains logistical problems that leave a candidate open to attack if he touts them. That’s the problem for the GOP in trying to make an issue of this. There’s always a counterargument that things aren’t as good as they could/should be. That’s why both sides will probably be staying away from it.

Allahpundit on November 30, 2007 at 10:39 AM

Dems channeling The Grinch: “I must stop this victory from coming… but how?”

techno_barbarian on November 30, 2007 at 10:41 AM

Slow response to protecting troops? Who was the mastermind of the “slow down funding to hamper the troops ability to fight”, again?

MNDavenotPC on November 30, 2007 at 10:46 AM

Slow response to protecting troops? Who was the mastermind of the “slow down funding to hamper the troops ability to fight”, again?

MNDavenotPC on November 30, 2007 at 10:46 AM

Didn’t the bloated bastard (murtha) actually call it their ‘slow bleed’ strategy a while back?

Our enemies could not have hoped for better allies than the dems, msm, and hollywood.

techno_barbarian on November 30, 2007 at 10:50 AM

Hening, you’re exactly right! I’ve been saying since the invasion of Afghanistan that to counter the leftist enemedia the Bush Admin. should do a weekly update on the war’s progress, but for some reason they’d rather let the media spin it negative, hence the midterm election results.

Tony737 on November 30, 2007 at 10:50 AM

One aspect of this story seems to be overlooked….

Do the “rats” really want the troops home before the elections? Think about it. The troops know how Murtha and Pelosi have treated them. They’ve heard Durbin call them no better than the nazis. They’ve heard Kerry call them terrorists. They’ve heard Rangel say that they only are serving in the military because they are too damned dumb to get a “real” job. Do the “rats” really want more of the troops back here and able to speak up against all this? I think not.

highhopes on November 30, 2007 at 10:56 AM

There’s always a counterargument some BS from the left that things aren’t as good as they could/should be.

That’s better.

fogw on November 30, 2007 at 10:57 AM

your last comment “talking up Iraq as a campaign issue” is where you and I diverge AP. call it naive or pollyannish, but Iraq isn’t about politics or winning votes and never will be as long as W is in the WH. it’s about doing the right thing no matter what the political fallout. polls, votes and talking heads be damned.

DrW on November 30, 2007 at 11:00 AM

In other news, a gimme.

Vizzini on November 30, 2007 at 11:02 AM

Murtha gets a pass, he is fighting for his life. The Dems know it, and will accept anything he says to save his skin. If he hopped over there and popped a few terrorists, they would cheer him.
Next he’ll say that his criticism help resolve this conflict and that he is proud that they begin listening to his advice. That he is proud of the marines for finally doing the right thing, he knew when he said those things, the marines would straighten out. Following Bush was a mistake, he let it go on too long, and he is glad he was the lightening rod for change. He might even be nominated for the Nobel Peace prize

right2bright on November 30, 2007 at 11:03 AM

…and speaking of other news, the fact that Bloomberg and Obama sat next to the glass in that restaurant, simply to get photographed after they moved everyone out for “security reasons” is simply priceless, as too is there seeming obliviousness to it all. Big middle finger to Hillary on both their parts.

Vizzini on November 30, 2007 at 11:05 AM

Can we question the Democrats Demorrhoids patriotism now? How about charging Murtha and Pelosi and Reid with sedition and treason now?

doriangrey on November 30, 2007 at 10:15 AM

Fixed that for you. Actually Mark Levin called them Demorrhoids last night and I almost ran off the road laughing.

pistolero on November 30, 2007 at 11:13 AM

The Dems are scared out of their mind that this war could be won during the presidency of George W. Bush, with Dubya getting credit for the victory. I hope I’m wrong, but I can’t help but wonder if at least some of the Dems consider a military victory for Bush to be a worse evil than 100,000 more dead Iraqis (which they would blame on Bush with no qualms whatsoever). It’s sad to see one of America’s two major parties so invested in an American defeat.

Bigfoot on November 30, 2007 at 11:13 AM

If you fine people think the the republican candidate for POTUS will not use any of the dem candidates defeatist rhetoric (including video) as a campaigh issue in election you are in for a huge surprise.

swami on November 30, 2007 at 11:23 AM

What a burden for the poor Dems. Hoping for your country to lose a war, opposing support for the troops, making decisions based upon political gain instead of the best interests of the people you represent and your country, etc.; all going down the tubes because of success in the war. Bummer. How depressing. It’s going to take some work to spin their behavior and rhetoric about all this to come up smelling like a rose instead of the pile of BS it is. A Maalox year it seems for Pelosi and ilk.

katieanne on November 30, 2007 at 11:27 AM

There’s no such thing as “Non Binding” in the world of “gotcha’” politics.

franksalterego on November 30, 2007 at 11:48 AM

When Pelosi is furious, I am very happy. The leadership of the democrat party made the decision to invest in defeat. Bad choice. Great job by our troops, keep up the great work.

chief on November 30, 2007 at 11:58 AM

Yes, but my point is that even the good news contains logistical problems that leave a candidate open to attack if he touts them. That’s the problem for the GOP in trying to make an issue of this. There’s always a counterargument that things aren’t as good as they could/should be. That’s why both sides will probably be staying away from it.

Allahpundit on November 30, 2007 at 10:39 AM

I think a good pol should be able to make a distinction between a basic, major improvement, and the minor headaches that accompany said improvement. The GOP shouldn’t be afraid to castigate Dems for preaching defeat just as the surge was turning things around.

That said, I am sure this approach will work much better towards the summer/fall assuming things don’t fall apart in iraq.

Clark1 on November 30, 2007 at 12:03 PM

Fixed that for you. Actually Mark Levin called them Demorrhoids last night and I almost ran off the road laughing.

pistolero on November 30, 2007 at 11:13 AM

God bless Mark Levin, and come to think of it that really is a very good and accurate description of what they have become.

doriangrey on November 30, 2007 at 12:20 PM

Update: Pelosi must indeed have been furious.

Heh. Now we need the chocolate bunny and his melting eyeballs.

nailinmyeye on November 30, 2007 at 12:21 PM

The crazy old guy wandered off the reservation for a few minutes. You know, crazy old guys do that sometimes.

Rational Thought on November 30, 2007 at 12:32 PM

Murtha backtracks, “clarifies”

Well, of course he does!

Frozen Tex on November 30, 2007 at 12:32 PM

Murtha backtracks, “clarifies”

Strategic Withdrawal.

Frozen Tex on November 30, 2007 at 12:33 PM

US Casulties low again this month.

US hostile deaths are down a little from last month.

Iraqi Casulties down again this month

Trend lines are down

bnelson44 on November 30, 2007 at 12:35 PM

Exit question: How much further would things have to improve before the GOP starts talking up Iraq as a campaign issue? After four years of risking regional and political disaster, I’m thinking … a lot further.

Probably a lot, lot further, yes. But it’s not nearly as far to become an issue which the Democrats can no longer use to bash Republicans over the head with, and in fact, is largely there already. Success of the surge is taking the issue away, and speaking out like Murtha did or putting forth more cut-and-run legislation has a lot of downside risk with little (if any) upside reward for the Dems at this ponit.

thirteen28 on November 30, 2007 at 12:37 PM

The Demorrhoids have made a bed that is changing rapidly to one of thorns. Investing so much in defeat and kissing the ass every left wing anti-US group seems to be a liberal life support system.

jimwesty on November 30, 2007 at 12:45 PM

Murtha needs Bubba to explain the definition of “Progress” and how it was being used.

Hening on November 30, 2007 at 12:52 PM

Update: Murtha backtracks, “clarifies” Redeploys to Okinawa

Fixed that for you.

ReubenJCogburn on November 30, 2007 at 1:01 PM

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when Murtha got called in on the carpet.
Murtha = Bunny
Pelosi = Hair Dryer

BohicaTwentyTwo on November 30, 2007 at 1:02 PM

Looks like I was wrong, Murtha can’t say anything to protect his hide.
Looks like Pelosi gave Murtha a good spanking.

right2bright on November 30, 2007 at 1:23 PM

It’s time Onion News does a bit on the fact that NYT is running out of bad news. So the paper is down to just the front page and the sports section.
Iraq is getting better, our economy is strong, air is cleaner, weather is getting cooler.

The NYT is going to have one article about rising gas and oil prices, the rest are going to be ads and sports news.
And the one about the feminists rising up against the Muslims for treating women like cattle…whoops scratch that one.

right2bright on November 30, 2007 at 1:29 PM

It does make me wonder if, when someone like Murtha is visiting Iraq, the troops are tempted to just leave him in the middle of the city by himself. ;)

Benaiah on November 30, 2007 at 1:37 PM

Great, now how ’bout appologizing to the troops he slandered.

P. James Moriarty on November 30, 2007 at 1:42 PM

Why is it that Murtha never gives an object when he says “we should redeploy.”

BKennedy on November 30, 2007 at 1:55 PM

It does make me wonder if, when someone like Murtha is visiting Iraq, the troops are tempted to just leave him in the middle of the city by himself.

That, my friend, is a clear violation of the Geneva Convention’s prohibition on inflicting undue harm on the civilian population.

highhopes on November 30, 2007 at 1:56 PM

That, my friend, is a clear violation of the Geneva Convention’s prohibition on inflicting undue harm on the civilian population.

highhopes on November 30, 2007 at 1:56 PM

Yup, the Iraqi democratic process would probably never recover from a Murtha bomb/turd…

doriangrey on November 30, 2007 at 2:05 PM

Rep. Pelosi is informing people that Murtha is now making a strategic deployment to Okinawa to put an end to the rumors that Bush did something correctly in his home district.

Defector01 on November 30, 2007 at 2:16 PM

What a butt nugget, his constituency must be so proud.

leanright on November 30, 2007 at 3:19 PM

What a butt nugget, his constituency must be so proud.

leanright on November 30, 2007 at 3:19 PM

Hey, he brings home the pork bacon, thats all they care about…

doriangrey on November 30, 2007 at 3:42 PM

“This could be a real headache for us,” said one top House Democratic aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Pelosi is going to be furious.”

Drip, drip, drip…hint, the liquid is yellow.

Hey, he brings home is the pork bacon, thats all they care about…

doriangrey on November 30, 2007 at 3:42 PM

Entelechy on November 30, 2007 at 4:01 PM

I love it. Pelosi made Murtha redeploy to Okinawa.

rivlax on November 30, 2007 at 4:25 PM

Rep. Pelosi is informing people that Murtha is now making a strategic deployment to Okinawa to put an end to the rumors that Bush did something correctly in his home district.

Defector01 on November 30, 2007 at 2:16 PM

Sorry, Defector, didn’t see your post before I posted. Wasn’t trying to rip you off.

rivlax on November 30, 2007 at 4:26 PM

Sorry, Defector, didn’t see your post before I posted. Wasn’t trying to rip you off.

rivlax

No biggie – great minds think alike

Defector01 on November 30, 2007 at 5:21 PM

Where the he11 is that ‘what comes around, goes around’ formula when you need it?

Griz on November 30, 2007 at 6:07 PM

Pelosi’s wrath will be terrible, her retribution swift…

ZK on November 30, 2007 at 6:56 PM

Can we really tell when Pelosi is mad, though? Does her face move?

If any of y’all expect the Republicans to hit a homerun with this, sorry. Despite the planted questions there were enough softballs on CNN they could’ve hit out of the park. Example: The black on black violence question. Answer: Stop voting for democrats who’s policies have destroyed the black family unit.

SouthernGent on November 30, 2007 at 9:33 PM

The dems will never admit things are going well. If tomorrow all the political problems were resolved and unemployment in that country dropped to 4% with a bounding economy, the argument from the left would be “yeah, but they don’t have universal health care”

conservnut on November 30, 2007 at 10:53 PM

The DNC’s nightmare is that Bush won’t surrender and they’ll have to do it once they control the WH, Senate, and House. They’ll either do exactly what they’ve promised and forever be branded “surrender monkeys” or they’ll break their promise and do exactly what Bush is doing. They did the exact same thing when they supported N. Vietnam and forced Nixon to withdrawal.

Buzzy on December 1, 2007 at 5:20 AM

SHe’llbe furious that the surge is working?
What country does she represent? I thought it was ours.
un-f’n-real, some of these politicians.

johnnyU on December 1, 2007 at 5:58 PM

Top House Dem aide on Murtha: “Pelosi is going to be furious” that the surge is working

Sorry, this is an unfair headline and an inaccurate description of what anyone said. The quote is in regards to Murtha’s comments: the aide said that Pelosi is going to be furious at Murtha’s statement, not at the actual fact that the surge is working. That’s a pretty huge difference.

Granted, we believe she and other Democrats have been rooting against the surge for some time, and we can speculate, but this story is not evidence of that.

tneloms on December 2, 2007 at 12:33 PM

…said that Pelosi is going to be furious at Murtha’s statement, not at the actual fact that the surge is working. That’s a pretty huge difference.

Granted, we believe she and other Democrats have been rooting against the surge for some time, and we can speculate, but this story is not evidence of that.

tneloms on December 2, 2007 at 12:33 PM

WTF?
She believed it before the story was reported, but the story doesn’t support the facts so the facts are not accurate unless they are reported?
Is that what you are stating?
Oh wait, you think because she is angry at Murtha for only stating that the surge is working, not the supporting that the surge is working, so she is upset a Murtha for supporting verbally, but not physically? Or she is upset that words of support were stated, and she does not want that reported so she….oh never mind.

right2bright on December 3, 2007 at 11:05 AM