Monday, February 08, 2010

RIP John Murtha (1932-2010)

Porkmaster General Buys the Ranch--for the Last Time

I generally regard it as inappropriate and in horrendously bad taste to badmouth someone on the day he dies. But I'm making an exception for this clown, a guy who singlehandedly seemed dedicated to giving Congress a bad name. (Not that he didn't have an awful lot of help.)

Yep, Congressman John Murtha is dead at the age of 77, due to complications from gall bladder surgery. The AP obit is here. It's a largely congratulatory pocket bio of a very bad man, and only glosses over his career of graft and theft in the last couple of grafs. And never gives even a mention of his outrageous  statements about our US Marines serving in Iraq. Among other things, Murtha was perhaps, until today, the best living example of why we damn well need term limits on members of Congress

This vicious, irascible, highly partisan leftist Democrat and Kleptocrat kept his Johnstown Pennsylvania Congressional district wallowing in pork for a good 36 years, wasting bucketloads of taxpayer dollars on boondoggles to nowhere, like a huge, mostly unused airport that would be impressive even if it were built outside of New York City. It's named after Uncle John Murtha, too. Surprised? It's always interesting the way that public building projects get named not for someone who's done something important for society but for someone who's stolen money from the taxpayers to pay for a monument to himself and buy his re-election.

On one level you could argue that Murtha was "just doin' his job." His district, by and large, has been mired in poverty for decades and one supposes he was just trying to "help." But if you probe a little deeper, an awful lot of the tens of millions of dollars Murtha extorted from the taxpayers went to defense contractors and subcontractors who ultimately added to the Congressman's own bottom line. Given the Democrat control of the current Congress, there was no way they were going to investigate this powerful and intimidating senior member for his alleged kickback schemes, one of which came to a head just last month. So it looks like the Almighty (or Fate if you will) finally had to step in and do the job.

Had enough? Making matters worse, irony of ironies, this miserable excuse for a human being was not only a veteran U.S. Marine, but collected a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts for bravery in the process. Where's the shame in that, you ask? He obviously served our nation honorably, once, way back when he was in the Corps.

Well, here's the kicker: why it was so easy for a decorated, battle scarred Marine vet to instantly "convict" some US Marines of "murdering" Iraqi civilians in cold blood even before the military had had a chance to investigate these allegations? I can imagine what kind of choice words Murtha would have had if some idiot Congressman had popped off half-cocked at his own service in Vietnam.

Here's the original accusation by Murtha:
Early in the investigations, based upon unknown evidence, Democratic Rep. John Murtha (PA) stated that “there was no firefight, there was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”
There's patriotism for you. How easy it is to forget.

Of the eight Marines ultimately charged in this case, seven have been acquitted or have had the charges dropped as of this date. The remaining case has dragged on in spite of urgings that it, too, be dismissed. The Congressman, of course, was unapologetic for his asinine, inappropriate outburst. Makes me wonder whatever happened to "Semper Fi?" (Or due process for that matter, something the current Administration really cares about--when it comes to terrorists.) Apparently Congress will do that to you.

In any event, this miserable miscreant has been removed from Congress the only way, it seems, that Congressmen from certain districts can be removed. He's passed on to his Final Judgment. I hope there are a few ex-Marines on that Pearly Gate panel along with God and St. Peter.

Who knows what machine Democrat Murtha's district will arrange to get elected now? But whether you live in Johnstown PA or anywhere else, it's time to pause and think before you re-elect the same guy you've been pulling the lever for during much of your adult life. He (or she) is always telling you about the swell projects he's bringing into your district every year. But he (or she) never tells you how it's done--by stealing taxpayer money from some other state and "redistributing" it to yours.

Now, for better or ill, Johnstown will have its turn seeing what this feels like. Whomever replaces Murtha, whether Democrat or Republican, will have to start all over again on the bottom rung of Congress' corrupt seniority system. So the massive pork barrel money Johnstown grew to depend on will start disappearing as of the next fiscal year. It'll be tough for Murtha's cronies and minions to get used to this. But I guarantee you, it will also be some other district's gain.

Until we actually get angry enough to impose term limits on the dozens of Murthas in Congress and start paying attention to whom it is that we're voting in every two or six years, the pork barrel, always a moveable feast, will lurch on to the next Congressional district on deck in the seniority sweepstakes. The same sweepstakes that cursed this nation with John Murtha for over 30 years.

Tea Party, anyone?

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