Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa) hit on a fact that has bugged me more than everything else about the media's compliance with the Bush-Cheney attacks on those who ask for accountability from elected politicians: Bush and Cheney are cowards. They claim to stand with the troops, but only do so in the safety of photo-ops. They have no idea about sacrifice. Of all the quotes from Rep. Murtha's statement today, the most important, in my mind, is this sarcastic rebuttal to Dick Cheney's repugnant attack on the elected leaders who actually care about the troops' suffering:
"I like guys who got five deferments and (have) never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done," Murtha said.
This is the point that needs to be made every time these cowards smear the friends and family of the young and men and women who are actually facing the consequences of the Bush-Cheney cluelessness and photo-op bravado.
The Bush administration has had several talking points that could be easily and forcefully smashed right back in their faces. From their strategy of blaming the troops for their policy decisions to their religious test for judges and calls for up-and-down votes unless the Neo-Luddites don't like a nominee, to their opposition to an anti-torture measure while claiming they "don't do torture," to their pledges to clean up Washington as they triple the DC Lobbyist population in just five years, to ... well, the list goes on and on.
MSM reports that Bush-Cheney have a campaign-style response to critics. Dan Froomkin, in today's WaPo White House Briefing (essential reading on any day), points out:
So what is Cheney's response to his critics? He's going to "throw their own words back at them."
That's the strategy in its entirety.
He is not, by contrast, offering to clear up, say, any one of his 51 misleading statements compiled by House Democrats on the Government Reform Committee.
Here, just for example, is what he said about Saddam Hussein in remarks on January 30, 2003: "His regime aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. He could decide secretly to provide weapons of mass destruction to terrorists for use against us."
All decent Americans need to stand up to the Bush-Cheney jackals. To do so, we have an ample catalogue of words "to throw back at them." And we have Rep. Murtha's point: Who the hell are these cowards to lecture anyone about patriotism?!