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  Paul's Column Archive
January 11, 2006

Time to Start Acting Like an American Party


War hero and Congressman John Murtha has officially become the Democratic Party’s most demoralizing voice to our men and women in uniform. He has already knowledgeably put America and the entire world in danger by advocating an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. But most recently, he has gone a step further to not only dishearten Iraqis by promoting a policy that is sure to result in a victory for terror, but he has directly insulted U.S. forces by insisting that he would not join the military today.


So there you have it: Democrats are no longer satisfied with just emboldening terrorists by seeking to set timetables and urging immediate withdrawal, instead they are now on a mission to simultaneously dispirit our men and women in Iraq as well as prospective recruits at home. Perhaps Murtha’s comments would not be as significant if he didn’t serve as a ranking Democrat on the House subcommittee responsible for defense spending and as one of his party’s leading spokespersons on military issues.


Unfortunately, when Democrats such as Senator Joe Lieberman suffer scathing attacks for continuing to support the struggle in Iraq, it becomes obvious that Murtha is only a reflection of a party that is decreasingly in touch with the American people. A top member of, one of the Democratic Party’s favorite fundraising organizations, was recently quoted by The New York Times as calling Lieberman’s stance on the Iraq War a “betrayal.” Given that there is complete consistency between support for the Iraq War and being an American patriot, Lieberman could only be betraying election prospects for Democrats in 2006 by pushing for success in Iraq.


In light of Lieberman’s support for the war, a top Congressional Democratic aide said to The Washington Post, “Senator Lieberman is past the point of being taken seriously in the caucus because everything he does is seen as advancing his own self-interest, instead of the Democratic interest.” This sentiment is unfortunately widespread among Democrats, who see an inconsistency in advancing their own interest concurrently with that of America’s. More interestingly, the same Post article refers to Senate Minority leader Harry Reid’s assertion that Lieberman “is at a different place on Iraq than the majority of the American people.” Wait, wouldn’t that then hurt his self-interest?


Lieberman is a rarity in a party that has relinquished principles for politics. Even the Times labels him a “maverick” for being the first leading Democrat to criticize President Bill Clinton’s extra-marital sexual escapades. You know there is a severe problem with your party when condemning Clinton’s nauseating behavior makes you a maverick in that party. Elements of the far Left have unfortunately taken over much of the Democratic structure. As can be seen with John Murtha and Joe Lieberman, Democratic hawks are now only respected if they act like ones solely when it is politically convenient.


It must be noted, however, that the Democrats’ position on the war, as well as the respective praise and criticism for Murtha and Lieberman, has been largely based on the assumption that the Iraq War was going to be increasingly unpopular with the American public. Unexpectedly for them, recent polls are showing that President Bush’s approval rating has risen to a solid 47%, up from 39% in November, and that two-thirds of the American people believe that there is significant progress in building a democracy in Iraq. As proud as they are of their anti-war efforts, surprised Democrats are coming to the realization that they must slow down, and maybe even go in reverse, on the Iraq issue.


Acknowledging that it is no longer clear that Iraq is headed toward mayhem, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced that the Democrats will not have a unified position on the war going into the midterm elections, leaving it up to the individual conscience of Democratic candidates (Otherwise known as “depending on the electoral district”). It is understandable that political parties might leave secondary issues such as the environment or tort reform to individual candidates, since having different stances on these issues might help in different districts. But the fact that the Democrats refuse to take an official stance on a war that America is engaged in and acutely threatened by only goes to demonstrate the weight they give to national security relative to victory at the polls.


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