John Murtha Dies

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seal.jpgRepresentative John Murtha (D-PA) took on the Swift-Boat crowd. He was an old-line, earmark oriented defense industry hawk who eventually opposed the Iraq War. He died today at 77.
From an official release from his office:

Congressman John P. Murtha (PA-12) passed away peacefully this afternoon at 1:18 p.m. at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA. At his bedside was his family.
Murtha, 77, was Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in February of 1974, Murtha dedicated his life to serving his country both in the military and in the halls of Congress. A former Marine, he became the first Vietnam War combat Veteran elected to the U.S. Congress.
This past Saturday, February 6, 2010, Murtha became Pennsylvania’s longest serving Member of Congress.

John Murtha, rest in peace.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

12 comments on “John Murtha Dies

  1. Trish says:

    He was as corrupt as they come….bad karma perhaps…yes I hope he rests in peace, but I have a feeling he will NOT rest, because of his sins on the American people and our troops….

    Reply

  2. David says:

    Good point, MarkL. As far as US military policy is concerned, that has taken on a life of its own and is so imbedded in the American mindset that any politician who would stand against it has to either have been in Congress so long that her or his seat is safe, or else must represent a district or a state that is not completely beholden to that mindset. No President can stand against it. At best a President can slowly alter somewhat the trajectory of the Ship of State, as Obama has correctly observed.

    Reply

  3. MarkL says:

    Look, I don’t know enough about Murtha, but if he was an old-time politician who was a little corrupt in the way he brought home the bacon, so what? The new generations give hundreds of billions to big business ever so ethically.
    I know Murtha was on my side, and that’s what counts.

    Reply

  4. dave says:

    RIP John. But, when FOX29 in Philly says millions are mourning his death I think that is stretching the truth and blurring the line between news and opinion. Death does not erase what you did in life.

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  5. Sand says:

    Some of Murtha’s ‘record’ as a Democrat:
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/6/9/213748/6756

    Reply

  6. David says:

    When John Murtha had both the intellectual integrity and the courage to take the only honest stand possible on the Iraq War, he earned his place as a congressman worthy of respect as a public servant. Another is Walter Jones. All of Murtha’s wrongs pale in comparison to that right. May this old school Democrat who took that stand deservedly rest in peace.

    Reply

  7. Kathleen says:

    This man had put his own life on the line for what he thought was fighting for his country. May he rest in peace and I am so glad that he passed in a restful state. Prayers for his family.
    Folks this is ot. But bet Murtha would agree with what I am about to ask. Over at Firedoglake (FDL action) there is a contest going on for which progressives ACT BLUE will be giving money to) Right now Rep Grayson is in first place, with Kucinich running in second, then Rep Weiner, Rep Grijalva and Rep Massa in fifth place.
    I am encouraging folks to vote for Kucinich and Grijalva because their votes reflect progressive values across the board. Kucinich of course has supported and voted for progressive values across the board. I point out that Grayson, Massa and Weiner all voted to condemn the Internationally recognized Goldstone Report. With this vote to condemn the honorable Judge Goldstone report they have essentially blocked this report from getting the recognition and full consideration it deserves. Our Reps should read the report and invite Goldstone to the hill to discuss his findings
    Kucinich and Grijalva voted NO against the lestialtion to condemn the Goldstone Report
    Grayson, Massa and Weiner voted for the Iran Sanctions Act last fall. More warmongering legislation with unsubstantiated claims in it. Kucinich and Grijalva voted against the Iran sanctions act.
    I want our Reps to know that we are fully aware of this huge contradiction. Progressive on health care, education etc. Warmongering and lopsided on Iran and the I/P conflict.
    Please go vote for Kucinich and Grijalva. The are true progressives across the board

    Reply

  8. WigWag says:

    Love him or hate him, John Murtha was an old-school, “bring home the bacon” kind of politician. He reminded me of Tip O’Neill or even Lyndon Johnson.
    The thing about Murtha, is that “what you saw was what you got” there wasn’t alot of artifice and whatever his virtues were, “slickness” wasn’t one of them.
    Murtha represented one of the poorest districts in Pennsylvania (the Johnstown area). Unemployment is rampant since the collapse of the steel industry and without all the “pork” Murtha brought home one has to wonder what would have become of Johnstown. With Murtha gone, prospects for that area are sadly, worse than ever.
    During Murtha’s criticism of the Iraq War that had so much resonance throughout the country, the Repbulican right swiftboated and smeared Murtha in the same manner that they tried against John Kerry. Of course, they only exposed their own feckless attitudes and their own moronic behavior.
    Murtha was interested in many issues other than military affairs. Three years back, a young family with autism visited the Congressman in his home office. He was so touched by their story that along with Mike Doyle (Democratic Congressman from the Pittsburgh area) he championed a $10 million earmark to be specially dedicated to autism research. This occurred during the last few years of the Bush Presidency when “ear-mark” was a dirty word. It was hard for a new cause, even one as worthy as autism research, to get special funding. Murtha’s seniority and tenacity made it happen.
    When the Democrats took over the House and Nancy Pelosi was elected speaker, she supported John Murtha for Majority Leader over Steny Hoyer. I doubt Murtha would have done a good job in that position but who knows? Perhaps with Murtha in the Democratic Leadership the state of the Democratic Party might have been alot better than it is now; it could hardly be alot worse.
    Murtha may have been a hawk and a supporter of the military, and he may have gotten along well with Republicans on his subcommittee, but he was a Democrat through and through. The Democrats running the show today from Obama on down look weak and frankly pathetic compared to Murtha.
    May God bless his soul.

    Reply

  9. Kathleen says:

    This man had put his own life on the line for what he thought was fighting for his country. May he rest in peace and I am so glad that he passed in a restful state. Prayers for his family.
    Folks this is ot. But bet Murtha would agree with what I am about to ask. Over at Firedoglake (FDL action) there is a contest going on for which progressive ACT BLUE will be giving money to) Right now Rep Grayson is in first place, with Kucinich running in second, then Rep Weiner, Rep Grijalva and Rep Massa in fifth place.
    I am encouraging folks to vote for Kucinich and Grijalva because their votes reflect progressive values across the board. Kucinich of course has supported and voted for progressive values across the board. I point out that Grayson, Massa and Weiner all voted to condemn the Internationally recognized Goldstone Report. With this vote to condemn the honorable Judge Goldstone report they have essentially blocked this report from getting the recognition and full condiseration it deserves.
    Kucinich and Grijalva voted NO against the lestialtion to condemn the Goldstone Report
    Grayson, Massa and Weiner voted for the Iran Sanctions Act last fall. More warmongering legislation with unsubstantiated claims in it. Kucinich and Grijalva voted against the Iran sanctions act.
    I want our Reps to know that we are fully aware of this huge contradiction. Progressive on health care, education etc. Warmongering and lopsided on Iran and the I/P conflict.
    Please go vote for Kucinich and Grijalva. The are true progressives across the board

    Reply

  10. Mr.Murder says:

    A friend had Murtha for his Rep. for many years. Union card carrier, local boss. Always appreciated Murtha’s service, said the man got things done for people who contacted his office.
    He was Decorated, and people here respected the things he had to say, and the tone he was able to bring into the conversation of politics.

    Reply

  11. Steve Clemons says:

    …, thanks for noting the comment that previously ran at the top of the page. I removed it.
    Listen folks, I don’t mind those of you outlining your problems with Congressman Murtha — but vileness is not cool when someone passes. You can describe all of the reasons that this person disturbed your “wa” without going into the gutter if you need to.
    So, let’s keep it civil. I’m not censoring your feelings — but my team will censor language on this one.
    all best, steve clemons

    Reply

  12. ... says:

    slagging someone when they die is pretty cheap… we all have faults, politicians maybe more so, but may he rest in peace regardless…

    Reply

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