Thursday, June 24, 2010

Murray...Lack of Respect or Lockstep

by Bryan Myrick

In 2007, when Petraeus came before Congress to testify on the progress of the war in Iraq, his honest report was preceded by choreographed howling from the rabid anti-war Left.

As soldiers risked their lives executing a surge campaign that would ultimately be effective, Democrats and their allies were conducting a different kind of surge to undermine the military mission and attack leaders like Petraeus. Murray was a dutiful lieutenant in the overall effort to erode public support for the war, going so far as refusing to vote to condemn personal attacks against Petraeus.

While coordinated the anti-war media campaign – punctuated by its infamous full-page “General Betray Us” ad – Murray worked hard to make use of the negative public opinion it generated.

In September 2007, Murray and 24 other Democrats voted against an amendment to show full support for Petraeus and “condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.”

For the record, Obama did not vote on the measure. Shocking.

Murray’s upcoming vote on Obama’s appointment of Petraeus, therefore, will say a great deal about her principles. She cannot claim to have voted against supporting Petraeus simply because of who the commander-in-chief was at the time, because that truly was not the question put before the Senate.

The vote taken in 2007 was an up or down referendum on the character and fitness of the same man that stood beside Pres. Obama Tuesday morning in the White House Rose Garden, and if she saw serious deficiencies in his ability to lead at that time it is implausible that she would not find the same features in him today.

Neither can Murray claim to have changed her mind about Petraeus in light of the fact that he succeeded in radically reestablishing the kinetic advantage American-led forces had in Iraq and thus bringing greater stability to a country that had at one point been on the precipice of civil war.

The Petraeus plan was the same plan supported by Pres. George W. Bush, and admitting that Bush owns the victory in Iraq is political suicide for a Democrat.

So, will Murray risk breaking ranks with Obama on an issue in which national security is at risk? Or will she simply pull an Obama and vote “not present?”

That is within the scope of possibility, but as the Senate has a key role in foreign affairs any failure to weigh in at a critical moment for the country would be fair game in the upcoming election. The disgrace of Gen. Stanley McChrystal has become a catalyst for renewed debate concerning the Afghan mission. It will be an issue in the Senate campaign.

Whatever course Murray takes in devising a compromise between her lack of respect for Petraeus and her lockstep record of voting with Obama and her party, watching it unfold will be an old-fashioned, popcorn-eatin’ good time!

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