Bloggers on D.C.'s latest spat.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
June 19 2006 6:01 PM

Murtha vs. Rove

Bloggers discuss John Murtha's targeting of Karl Rove's "big, fat backside." They also react to North Korea's missile test plans and a high school that anointed 41 valedictorians.

Murtha vs. Rove: Stepping up the recent rhetoric regarding the Iraq war, Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha ridiculed Karl Rove on Meet the Press Sunday. Rove gave a speech last week in which the president's senior adviser criticized Murtha's call for a quick withdrawal and rebuked the Democrats' "old pattern of cutting and running." In response, Murtha said, "You can't sit there in the air-conditioned office and tell troops carrying 70 pounds on their backs, inside these armored vessels hit with IED's every day, seeing their friends blown up-their buddies blown up -- and he says stay the course? Easy to say that from Washington, D.C."

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In Washington, the Iraq war debate has intensified in recent days as Republicans seek to capitalize on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's death and Democrats, on the defensive, propose a Senate resolution seeking a timetable for a phased withdrawal. 

Murtha's latest rant may rally some on the left—"If EVER there was someone deserving to be the Speaker of the House (it's) Jack Murtha," writes commenter Curlew on Daily Kos—but his reasoning is giving ammunition to others.

"I don't seem able to speak 'Murtha,' " concludes Colorado blogger Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom. "John Murtha has now made the transition from gutless Congressional peace activist to outright laughingstock," writes Froggy at military blog Blackfive.

Murtha critics are seizing on other exchanges in the Meet The Press interview, including when Tim Russert pointed out that, in 2004, Murtha cautioned against a premature withdrawal. Russert also asked where withdrawn American troops could redeploy and be close enough to aid the nascent Iraqi army. Among other places, Murtha mentioned Okinawa.

"Okinawa?" conservative Ed Morrissey writes incredulously at Captain's Quarters. "Okinawa is five time zones away -- over 5,000 miles from Baghdad. ... The question for Democrats is why they keep putting Murtha out as their defense expert when he can make statements like this with a straight face. It reveals the utter lack of military scholarship on their part when their two most hailed experts on military affairs are a man who cannot see why Okinawa might be a bad place for a staging ground for Southwest Asia, and a man who wants to turn over Iraqi sovereignty to Iran and Syria."

But on the Huffington Post, Rachel Sklar reviews Murtha's performance and gives him two thumbs up: "I mean, did Murtha stick it to them or what? Boom! They have no plan. Boom! It's lipservice from Washington. Boom! History will prove them wrong. Boom! Karl Rove has a big, fat ass. It almost makes you weep."

Read more about Murtha.

Getting testy: North Korea may soon test an intercontinental ballistic missile. U.S. officials said Sunday that North Korea appears to have completed fueling a long-range missile, indicating a test might be imminent. The United States and others are urging against it, so much so that State Department officials directly contacted North Korean diplomats at the United Nations.