When Rhetoric Clashes with Reality…

The Press works to Spin 403 - 3 House Vote

Written by JB Williams



Visibly tired of the outright lies and seeming to finally be fed up with Democrats’ relentless politicization of the war against international terrorism, House Republicans forced House Democrats to put up or shut up! But that’s not how the so-called American press saw it…


The Chicago Tribune reports WASHINGTON – “House Republicans struck back forcefully Friday against a senior Democrat and decorated veteran who reversed his former support for the Iraq war.” As if the call for a vote to pull out of Iraq was some personal vendetta against one of few House Democrats Republicans still respect.


The House of Representatives is the federal government body closest to the people. They are the people’s voice in Washington, more so than the Senate or the Executive branch. With the Democrats voice of dissent against finishing the job in Iraq growing more shrill by the hour, it was nothing short of perfectly appropriate to ask for a House vote on the matter, allowing the peoples Representatives to go on record concerning the hottest issue of our day.


The Tribune column says “The House overwhelmingly rejected the GOP resolution late Friday in a 403-3 vote,” a poorly veiled effort to imply a Republican failure of some sort. But what really happened? 


Although Democrats have worked the nation into a frenzy of division over the mission in Iraq, repeatedly calling for retreat and withdrawal of our troops for benefit of their friends in the press, when push came to shove, given the opportunity to act in favor of what they had been demanding for months, their formal position was shall we say, somewhat different than all their heated rhetoric.


Democrats tried desperately to avoid going on the record (taking a stand) by voting against even having the vote. (They voted to silence themselves on the matter) But that effort fell short 211 to 204. Once forced to put their vote where their mouths had been for more than two years now, the House voted 403 to 3 NOT to pull our troops out of Iraq immediately.


Right away, the mainstream spin-machine launched into action, searching for just the right words to frame the incident for their adoring public. Rhetorically, they drew an immediate distinction between Representative Murtha’s call to withdraw troops in six months and Republicans call to withdraw them right away. But get real – if pulling our troops out of Iraq in six months is good, then pulling them out right away is even better. I mean, an arbitrary withdrawal date is just that, arbitrary. As such, the sooner the better, no?


Democrats screamed foul as they were dragged kicking a screaming to their moment of truth. When Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), recounted a conversation with a Marine colonel on the House floor telling her colleagues, "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," the House erupted into a shouting match with Democrats taking obvious offense to the message.


But Democrats had been reading anti-war messages from home on the floor of congress, parading anti-war poster-mom Cindy Sheehan from sea to shining sea for months and not a single Republican squealed foul. The hypocrisy of today’s Democrats is unbelievable. They make the psychedelic Democrats of the 60’s look sane…


For months – years, they had been accusing Republicans of not listening to their voice of dissent. Yet the minute Republicans give the voice of dissent real power by offering a vote on the matter, they cry foul and run from all of their Meet the Press talking points, voting 403 – 3 against their own demands to pull out of Iraq. They really got the Republicans on the run here…


Democrats publicly rushed to rhetorically support Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat and well-respected Vietnam veteran, who had presented a resolution that would force the president to withdraw the nearly 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq "at the earliest predictable date," whatever that means.


But when given the opportunity to support the real idea of immediate withdrawal from Iraq in a House vote, they turned tail and voted 403 – 3 against the measure, crying foul, leaving Murtha standing alone with his shorts around his ankles. Even this writer believes Murtha deserved better than that…


It’s deja vu all over again. When the people’s House was asked to authorize the war in Iraq in 2002, despite heated verbal dissent, they voted 296 – 133 to authorize the action. The Senate voted later that same day 77 – 23 to authorize the mission.


Since then, Democrats in both houses of congress have worked around the clock to undermine that mission. They have repeatedly stated that they were misled by the administration’s use of manipulated pre-war intelligence concerning Iraq. Yet the individual statements of both the Administration and the members of congress indicate something quite different.


Regardless, every time congressional Democrats have been given an opportunity to formally “change direction” in Iraq, even now, they have voted overwhelmingly to support the administration’s position. One would think that would silence the rhetoric…


Their verbal assaults against administration policies in the war against international terrorism have been in many cases, over-the-top, becoming more shrill and heated by the day. But once again, when given yet another opportunity to change course, their official voice, their votes are not at all consistent with their rhetoric.


FOUL!!! How dare Republicans force us to commit to our rhetoric! This is Bush’s war! Really? The House voted 296 – 133 to authorize “Bush’s war”, many of whom were Democrats. The Senate voted 77 – 23 to authorize the mission in Iraq, many of whom were Democrats.


Cowboy Bush wanted to take down Hussein no matter what! Really? The Clinton Administration is who authored and passed a congressional resolution in 1998 making regime change the formal US policy on Iraq. Bush only finished what Clinton started…with the support of congress I might add.


These are the facts. But don’t expect the press or Democrats to ever see it this way. The hot button issue of Iraq has been their most profitable campaign tool. So don’t look for the rhetoric to stop just because they once again voted to support the policy on the record.


They can say anything they want to the press, it isn’t official. But the vote is the lone record of their official position. No matter how Democrats and their mainstream spin-machine try to frame the House vote, the simple fact is in 2002, 296 members of the House voted to authorize use of force to effect the Clinton policy of regime change in Iraq and now in 2005, after all their politically motivated divisive rhetoric on the topic, all the talk about how we need to pull out of Iraq immediately, 403 members of the House voted NOT to pull out of Iraq. Only 3 House Representatives voted to pull out now…3!


What happens when members of the House take a motion seriously? They call it to a vote, that’s what. If the mission is failing, if our troops are ready to quit, if the American people have lost their will to win and want our soldiers back home ASAP, then why did the House vote 403 – 3 not to bring them home immediately? If six months was good, immediately should have been great!


What happened to all those voices of dissent when it really counted, on the record? The liberal mainstream spin-machine is pulling double duty to frame it any other way. But can the events be legitimately framed any other way?


Was it a political stunt? Only to the degree that it called the bluff of numerous political stunts across the aisle. Was it an attempt to embarrass Rep. Murtha? No… It was an event that should embarrass every member of the House who has had the audacity to undermine the troops in Iraq, but not the guts to vote their fleeting conscience.


Russert and Mathews, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, PBS, MSNBC and NPR all have their daily talking-points fax from the DNC in hand. But does it really matter now?

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