The LA Times reports that Congressman Murtha's plea to bring American troops home has struck a chord in Johnstown, PA.
What is the meaning of the defection by a conservative, pro-military Democrat to the anti-war camp?
Pretty significant. Chris Matthews called it the "beginning of the end" on TV today. I think he's right. The Bush administration simply lost its "mojo" with Hurricane Katrina. The old tricks won't work anymore, and the old dogs like Cheney and Rumsfeld can't seem to learn any new ones. Name-calling and accusations of treason won't wash.
When I was teaching in Uzbekistan, one of the staffers at the University's international office asked me what I thought of the war in Iraq. I told him that if it worked, I supported it, and if it didn't, I would be against it. "Very cunning," he said. "Not at all," I answered. "Americans are very pragmatic."
No American wants war for war's sake (except perhaps Halliburton executives and others who benefit from Pentagon no-bid contracts). Americans supported the Bush administration's war because they thought Bush knew what he was doing. The thousand plus dead from Hurricane Katrina, the "Heck of a job, Brownie!", and the sleaze oozing out from the White House have cast doubt on that premise. Therefore, if Bush doesn't know what he is doing, it follows that no more Americans should lose their lives following him. Murtha's move is in response to a shift in the mood of the American public. Perhaps more keenly felt in Johnstown, PA, which was the site of a major flood many years ago...