From Pine View Farm

The Politics of Character Assassination 2

The Honorable Jean Schmidt, speaking about the Honorable John Murtha’s resolution about the war in Iraq:

Ms. Schmidt: Yesterday I stood at Arlington National Cemetery attending the funeral of a young marine in my district. He believed in what we were doing is the right thing and had the courage to lay his life on the line to do it. A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bop, 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. Danny and the rest of America and the world want the assurance from this body – that we will see this through.

Mr. Murtha has earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Here is part of what Mr. Murtha said:

Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, Saddamists and foreign jihadists. I believe with a U.S. troop redeployment, the Iraqi security forces will be incentivized to take control. A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, and about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis.
I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice that the United States will immediately redeploy. All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free. Free from United States occupation. I believe this will send a signal to the Sunnis to join the political process for the good of a “free” Iraq.

My plan calls:

To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.
To create a quick reaction force in the region.
To create an over- the- horizon presence of Marines.
To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq

Mr. Murtha is no dove. You can read his official bio here.

Yet, the Republicans have the gall to accuse him of cowardice. They are back to the politics of character assassination, their refuge whenever the truth is not on their side.

Here is the letter I shall post tomorrow to the Honorable Jean Schmidt:

The Honorable Jean Schmidt
238 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-3502

Dear Ms. Schmidt:

I am no great fan of the Honorable John Murtha. I am familiar with him because I lived in Pennsylvania for several years before moving to Delaware. I disagree with many of his positions on a variety of issues.

Nevertheless, for you to accuse a decorated American veteran who sustained wounds on behalf of his country (that is what the Purple Heart means—look it up) of cowardice is an example of the lowest form of the politics of character assassination.

Have you no shame?

Very truly yours,

Frank W. Bell, Jr.



  1. Second Son

    November 19, 2005 at 12:11 am

    I can honestly say I hope I’m as aware as you when I get all growd up.

  2. Frank

    November 19, 2005 at 9:01 pm

    Well, hell, I’m a child of the Viet Nam era. I remember sitting in a dorm room waiting to hear my draft lottery number called, sweating bullets worrying that I had missed it.

    This stuff matters. Honesty in government matters. Respecting differences of opinions matters. Treating with respect those whose opinions differ from ours matters.

    What really torques me off about this situation has little to do with Mr. Murtha’s resolution. I don’t care whether it passes or not or whether he’s right or not (though I sort of suspect he is right).

    Rather, it is that, in this Federal Administration, when anyone counters this Administration’s party line, they attack, not their opponents’ position, but their patriotism.

    Rather than advancing arguments to support their policies, they attack the motives and virtue of their opponents.

    I am forced to conclude that they indulge in personal attacks because they are unable to defend their policies in the plain light of day.

    And it’s really, really sad.