Congressman Jack Murtha (D-Reality) was on "Face the Nation" this morning. The video of his appearance -- which is available, as always, from the good people at Crooks and Liars -- should be required viewing for every single Democrat.
While most congressmen hem and haw about the ever-more-apparent failure of Operation Awesome Kickass™, Murtha just cuts through the bullshit. Admittedly, he has a lot of personal credibility on military issues to take this kind of stand, but some of his framing can be used by anyone out there.
Right off the bat, Bob Schieffer threw out a quote from Gen. Peter Pace insisting that the war is going well. Rather than fall into platitudes about how he hopes it all turns out well, and inserting the federally-mandated statement that he does in fact support the troops, Murtha simply shot back "Why should I believe him?" and then rattled off all the mischaracterizations and miscalcuations that have come out of the administration these past few years. That's exactly the right attitude. They've lied time and time again, and the burden of proof is on them.
Schieffer tried to press the point, noting that this was a Marine general saying this and not some civilian flack. A weaker Democrat would've folded there, of course, but Murtha stuck to his guns. "Why would I believe him?" And then he bolstered his case by citing polls that said the American people and the American troops both want out. Rather than letting it be Democrats against the war, it becomes sane people versus the crazies and the incompetents.
Murtha then employed a little political judo, turning the Republicans' strengths against them. He argued, convincingly, that the only people who want us in Iraq are al Qaeda, Iran and China. As he noted, the war is draining our resources, our manpower, and our standing in the world's eyes, and that only helps those who wish to see us weakened. In other words, he made a strong case that our presence in Iraq isn't helping our national security but is instead hurting it. These arguments have all been out in the blogosphere for ages, of course, but it's nice to see them communicated -- clearly and convincingly -- by someone not writing from their couch.
Absolutely brilliant. Be sure to watch the whole thing.
Update: For added enjoyment, check out this Think Progress post. It seems that John Hinderaker issued a typically idiotic rejoinder to the Murtha appearance, a rebuttal that consisted mostly of going "nuh-uh!" and sticking his fingers in his ears. But the Think Progress folks help him out with facts and figures that back up every one of Murtha's claims. Priceless.