Democratic Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylavania,
a Vietnam veteran, is also the chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He also happens to be one of the biggest hypocrites in Washington D.C. today. A staunch enemy of the war in Iraq, and a man whose opposition comments have bordered on being so ludicrous at times as to be beyond belief, Congressman Murtha will have a dinner for defense contractors on February 27 at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City in Virginia, across the Potomac from Washington. Yes, you read that correctly. I have to say that as skeptical as I am of many of these long-term career politicians this one actually surprised even me. I thought of Murtha as honorable and completely decent, even if his record is not one I would support. But this did it for me.
John Murtha, also a close adviser of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is one of the leading earmarkers, or pork spenders, in U. S. Congress. These defense contractors who are his special congressional earmark recipients will be paying $1,500 a person for admission to "An Evening with Jack and Joyce Murtha." The dinner is timed to coincide with the anniversary of John Murtha’s first special election to Congress in 1974, but as columnist Robert Novak pointed out,: "Invitations for it were mailed just before the annual deadline for earmark applications."
Democrats are not alone in this hypocrisy. One of the reasons that the voters removed so many Republicans in the 2006 mid-term elections was for this kind of hubris and inconsistency. This is also why the numbers for approval of the congress are so low, much lower than for President Bush. This is also a reason why I think Obama and McCain are winning in their respective parties since both strike many voters as above this kind of foolish pandering for votes. I wish the voters of the 12th district in Pennsylvania would remove John Murtha but it appears his seat, as always, is "safe." This is a major problem—too many congressional seats are just too safe. So long as people like John Murtha can get away with this they will, human nature being what it is.
This news made me even more thankful for my congressman, the honorable Peter Roskam of my own Illinois 6th district. Peter is a fiscally responsible leader and a man who is not building a coalition on earmarks. Following Henry Hyde is not an easy task but Roskam shows real promise of becoming, over the course of time, one of our great leaders in the U. S. Congress. He is a man of high ideals and solid character as well. It is because of men like Peter Roskam that I do not favor term limits, even though the concept is appealing to some of my friends. But there has to be a better way to get men like Murtha out of Congress. I hope the good people of Pennsylvania will take note. You can still vote against this man in your primary or again in the general election in November.
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