Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Bucket of Ice Water

From Salon.com:

So it turns out that we were all wrong about Jean Schmidt. The Ohio Republican isn’t a coward. She’s a victim!

“I am amazed at what a national story this has become,” Schmidt said in a statement Monday after dodging the press for a couple of days. “I have been attacked very personally, continuously, since Friday evening.”

Of course, one might say that Schmidt has been attacked because she attacked. On the House floor Friday night, Schmidt said she had just spoken with a constituent back in Ohio. “He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do.”

In an interview with the Washington Post, Schmidt said: “There’s no way that I remotely tried to impugn [Murtha’s] character.” In an interview with Cox New Service, Schmidt said that she “was not implying” that Murtha was a coward. “The media wants to make me sound like that, but in no way did I imply he was a coward.”

While she complained about the harsh response to her floor smear, Schmidt said in her statement that she is “willing to suffer those attacks if in the end that policy I so strongly oppose is exposed as unsound. First and foremost I support the troops. They dodge bullets and bombs while I duck only hateful words.”

As for the hateful words she directed at Murtha? If she had to do it all over again, the courageous congresswoman says, “I would have left his name out.”

So what did she actually say that raised such an uproar?

Yesterday I stood at Arlington National Cemetery attending the funeral of a young Marine in my district. He believed in what we were doing is the right thing and had the courage to lay his life on the line to do it. A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do. Danny and the rest of America and the world want the assurance from this body—that we will see this through.

Okay, fair enough…that quote was from a newspaper account of her speech, so technically, yeah, the media is making her sound like she implying Rep. Murtha was a coward because it reported what she said. Well, that will teach us.

I’m reminded of Calvin and Hobbes:

Calvin: Nothing I do is my fault. My family is dysfunctional and my parents won’t empower me! Consequently I’m not self-actualized! My behavior is addictive, functioning in a disease process of toxic codependency! I need holistic healing and wellness before I’ll accept any responsibility for my actions!

Hobbes: One of us needs to stick his head in a bucket of ice water.

Calvin: I love the culture of victimhood.

It seems to be working for Ms. Schmidt.