Larry Schweikart: Murtha Will Hurt Dems

Roundup: Historians' Take

Pay no attention to what the MSM says about this [House] vote ("Fox and Friends" mindless twitterers were already saying, "Well, of course we can't just pull out now," which, of course is exactly what Murtha recommended and what the Dems want to do). This was a huge vote, a potentially landscape-altering vote. The GOP forced the Dems to choose between the general election next year and the primaries, and the Dems chose the general election.

The result will be threefold: 1) a dramatic decrease in funding of the Dems across the board, but especially the House members' campaigns (as if Dean wasn't hurting them enough in that area anyway); 2) a decrease in the committed volunteers from the Michael Moore/Moveon wing; and 3) probably the most serious, intense challenges in the primaries for many of these incumbents from the left. By the way, for all the Rush Limbaugh bashers on the board, this was precisely the strategy that Rush recommended before he left on break: MAKE the Dems become more extreme and cater to their base even more.

When you add to that the sound bite gifts that the Dems gave the Republicans who can use it in all campaigns ("Our soldiers have become the enemy," for example), this tactical maneuver not only recaptured all the lost momentum from the last two months, but put the Dems on the defensive on their worst issue, and the one currently costing Bush the most at the polls. (BTW, get inside the "guts" of ALL the polls and you find that every one is now oversampling Dems by about a 40-42% margin to Republicans 30-25% margin, and if you adjust for average numbers of registered voters, Bush is about where he has always been, somewhere around 50%).

As if all this weren't enough, several Republicans emerged as stars through their actions and speeches, including J.D. Hayworth of Arizona and Sam Johnson of Texas. Others severely damaged their credibility by either praising Murtha (Curt Weldon) or taking the opportunity to nip at Bush (Tom Tancredo). But anyone watching the incredible debate had to come away with a sense that in fact these Democrats are not "patriots" and that they indeed wish we could somehow lose in Iraq. It is interesting that to my knowledge not one Dem read a single letter from a soldier at the front (I think Murtha read one from a guy in a mental ward). ALL the GOP letters were from soldiers at the front.

My take on this is that it possibly could cost the Dems up to 30 seats in the House in 2006. You heard it here first.

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More Comments:

Stephen Kislock - 11/26/2005

As a Marine, we do not Run. We backup and regroup.
Mr. Alvarado, one of words from the safety of your home.
Go Camp Lejeune Stand Tall and Tell the Marines they Run with their Tail between their legs.
Go to the base Hospitial and tell the young United States Marines, that have no Legs, that they Run Away from a Fight.
Please do not start questioning a United States Marine on following Orders.........................

Steven R Alvarado - 11/26/2005

Marines and Soldiers in our democracy follow the orders of their civilain leaders. The Marines in Beirut left because they were ordered to. Your swipe at Marines only reveals your own lack of cojones.

Mike Schoenberg - 11/26/2005

I'm not sure if anyone has posted this anywhere else but just the statement that the Marines never run had me recall what happened in Lebanon under Reagen when 240 were killed.

Jonathan Dresner - 11/26/2005

As near as I can understand you, you're right. That doesn't change the fact that Republicans see this vote as a tactical victory. Since tactics is all they have left, this is very important to them.

Stephen Kislock - 11/25/2005

The same Soldiers g.w. bush used in his "Rehearsed" Live TV interview.
It's was this is how you will Answer the c-i-c, now it's this is what you will write, or go to bed Hungry.
The Marine Colonel from Ohio, did Not Say, what was Read into the Congressional Record and Later, when the TRUTH, was Reveled, she some ohio repug had to apologized.