Congressman John P. Murtha in a very publicized move, criticized the war in Iraq and called for the immediate withdrawal of our troops. Fine. Republicans then introduced a motion in the House to immediately withdraw our troops from Iraq. Also fine since we are after all a democracy and we decide issues of import by voting. The measure was soundly defeated 403-3. Surprisingly Murtha didn’t even vote for the move he inspired with his speech.
Now the Democrats are crying “Fowl! We were set up! This was just a political stunt!” And that’s were I got really confused. If the Democrats want our troops to come home then why would they not want to vote on it? The troops aren’t going to be redeployed without some sort of congressional support and a vote seems to me a logical first step. Why would they claim that this was a political stunt by the Republicans when all they did was vote to do what the Democrats wanted them to?
I think it is because the Democrats really didn’t appreciate the finality of the Yea or Nay vote. Incumbents were hoping to ride the rising frustration of the war into the 2006 election cycle. By claiming to be anti-war they hoped to get more of their base out to retain their seats. I believe they literally were going to rally around a “Bring Our Troops Home” platform all the way up to next November. Now they can’t. Not without looking (more) hypocritical. This “put up or shut up” move has let a lot of steam out of their anti-war movement. If they keep on about it now, their opponents need only point to the vote to show
a) Overwhelming congressional support for the war and
b) All but 3 Democrats believed (via vote) that it was not time to pull out of Iraq.
It was a smart move by the Republicans. I just wish it meant the end of all the anti-war rhetoric from the left.
This is a Homespun Blogger Symposium question and OTB at Bloggin Outloud