Swift-Boating Murtha Posted by: Dale Franks
on Wednesday, November 15, 2006
John Murtha, Nancy Pelosi's preferred choice for the Number Two Democrat in the House, claims that all this talk about the Abscam scandal—where he was named by the government as an unindicted co-conspirator—is merely an attempt to "swift-boat" him. Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus isn't buying that line, though.
For years Murtha has relied on the Abscam bottom line to argue that the case is not a problem for him: He wasn't indicted. But he was named a co-conspirator in the bribery scheme. The feckless House ethics committee didn't take action against him, though the outside investigator it hired quit in disgust after the panel rejected his recommendation to file misconduct charges.
"I am the guy that didn't take the money," Murtha said this summer when his opponent raised the issue.
Yes, but: He's the guy who, brought into the deal by two other House members — Frank Thompson (D-N.J.) and John Murphy (D-N.Y.) — agreed to meet with men offering money in return for official action. He's the guy who knew these two colleagues expected a payoff and even vouched for them with the would-be bribers ("Both of them are solid.").
He's the guy who, when offered a bribe, still wanted to do a deal. "I'm delighted to do business with him and do every goddamn thing I can within bounds, you know, so I don't get myself in jail, in order to get him into the country and whatever needs to be done," he says on the video, unearthed by the conservative American Spectator...He's the guy who—as a member of the House ethics committee—did nothing to stop the scheme.
Sorry, but I'm not buying Murtha's argument that he's the victim of a "Swift-boating attack" over "unfounded allegations that occurred 26 years ago." On its own, Murtha's Abscam conduct is disqualifying.
As Ms. Marcus mentioned, The American Spectator did indeed find the full, unedited, 1-hour video of Mr. Murtha's Abscam meeting, which can be viewed in its entirety here. A transcript of the video is available here.
So, the chastened Republicans return Trent Lott to the senate's leadership, while the oh-so-ethical Democrats are preparing to make, if Nancy Pelosi has her way, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Abscam scandal the #2 guy in the House. As Dean Barnett put it earlier today, it looks like we're in for a two-year dumb-off between the parties.
I know I'm a horrible person for even thinking about it this way, but...this next Congress is gonna be fun to write about. It'll be like watching two depressed Goths locked in an empty room with a loaded gun. Except, of course, that in the case of the principals in Congress, they can shoot themselves in the head repeatedly.
I know I’m a horrible person for even thinking about it this way, but...this next Congress is gonna be fun to write about.
No, you would be a bad person for taking humorous cheap shots at the Special Olympics. See, Special Olympians were born abnormal and cannot help that they are the way they are. The Special Olympics are meant to show and celebrate that they are still people, and that they are capable of doing things all the rest of us can do. The Congress is composed of people who were born normal, but choose to behave in an acutely idiotic fashion. They invite being written about and having their idiocy exposed. As a matter of fact, I dare say that a group of Special Olympians could more effectively govern us over what we have now. Nancy Pelosi? A dim bulb. John Murtha? Corrupt, slightly deranged windbag. Trent Lott? A good old boy’s good old boy. And all of them manipulate the political process for their own gain.
We should have a Congressional Olympics. That would be great humor. Sort of like that old Monty Python’s Flying Circus skit where a group of advantaged twits engaged in such competition as kick the beggar and wake the neighbor.