If that last post was too depressing for you, here is someone who has a more optimistic take on politics and John Murtha's intentions.
"Ghost of Habu the Pit Viper" is a frequent commenter at Blackfive. From his comments, and his "nom de blog" in relation to some of Uncle Jimbo's Special Forces stories, I'd wager a great deal of money that "Ghost" is a former SF teammate of Uncle J's who is now deeply involved in Washington congressional politics (perhaps as a lobbyist or staffer?).
Here's what he said in comments a couple days ago about the possible effectiveness of Murtha's "slow bleed" plan to stop the Iraq war:
You can pull this in the House, but not the Senate. These types of stupid ideas tend to die out fairly quickly, because you're hitting way too close to home with too many other members of both the House and the Senate.
As an example - let's say Johnny Boy decides to cut back in funding of the military in specific areas which he thinks will limit down the deployment of forces by this President.
Well, the advent of those infamous congressional "earmarks" means that each time he pulls this stunt, he's pissing on somebody else's parade. Before long, NOTHING gets done because working relationships all over the place are being shattered. And once those relationships go "bye bye" due to this type of a money/budget issue, it's pretty close to all-out open warfare. Believe me, won't take long at all for that situation to develop. And there will be some really interesting political partnerships formed up (you will not believe...).
Actual truth of the matter is, that if I wanted to get rid of congressional earmarks 100% now & in the future, this would be just the way to accomplish it. Anybody who thinks this open budget warfare would just stay in the national defense side of the arena is just flat out crazy - it will spread accross the entire budget in no time.
And if you know the history, you know that Johnny Boy is more addicted to congressional earmarks than most. The PA congressional delegation meetings will turn out to be really interesting if "John Boy" Murtha pulls this type of stunt (just once will be all it takes).
Everybody remembers Tip's old dictum:"All politics is Local". But there's a little known corollary to that one, which is "Don't let national politics control your local politics".
Murtha will come quickly to understand the latter part.
And just today he wrote the following in response to the fury many are feeling about the House's vote:
But the House resolution's meaningless. The resolution that passed the House won't even get close in the Senate.
I guess my whole point is that let's save our outrage for when it's really useful, because otherwise we're going to be serving up a steady & constant diet of "Outrage" any time the US House does literally anything. The House is going to be doing this type of thing alot, just not getting much accomplished in the end. Save our outrage for when it counts, this isn't one of those times. [snip]
If Mike Yon and others like him who are over in Iraq are right and General Petraeus and his team pull this one off, does that mean that the congressional Democrats are guilty of using and relying on incorrect intel? (or maybe ignoring alternate points of view and conflicting information)
(Political) Lesson Learned: You never make your political allies vote on a truely contentious issue, when the outcome is totally out of your control. Can end up making your allies look bad, and your decision making suspect.
And more on Murtha's plans:
First off, this isn't the way John Murtha normally operates. He's not normally big into flouting these types of actions in advance, because that gives opponents more opportunity to devise ways to make his life miserable. He's more of a "shiv in the back in the middle of the night" type of guy.
There's actually several schools of though going around on what he's really trying to accomplish.
1. Democrats can pretty much do as they please in the House. Senate's a totally different story. Some folks feel Murtha's trying to build leverage in the House's eventual dealings with the Senate. Conference committee's will be coming a callin.
2. House Democrats had their first "100 hours" burst, but now it's "What have you done for me lately?" And the answer is, "It's out of their hands, and it's not looking good". They get their work does ASAP, and then get to sit and watch while everything they promised and dreamed about either dies, gets changed, and there's basically nothing they can do about it. Impotence is not what these folks are into, but that's the game they get to deal with - Want to elbow their way back into the game.
3. He's trying to buy time for Nancy and the rest of team with the far left. The very last thing the Democrats need is for their own civil war to break out, going into a presidential primary season to boot. Those folks get too crazy, and the Democratis party's chances in 2008 are in trouble. 1968 was a very ugly year for the Democrats.
Food for (happier) thoughts...