E.J. Dionne looks at the Swift-boating of Rep. John Murtha.
What’s maddening here is the unblushing hypocrisy of the right wing and the way it circulates — usually through Web sites or talk radio — personal vilification to abort honest political debate. Murtha’s views on withdrawing troops from Iraq are certainly the object of legitimate contention. Many in Murtha’s party disagree with him. But Murtha’s right-wing critics can’t content themselves with going after his ideas. They have to try to discredit his service.
What’s surprising is that Mr. Dionne is surprised. The minute Mr. Murtha made his statement we were bracing for the personal attacks and the questioning of his medals. The only surprise here is that it’s taken two months for the evil little hypocrites to get geared up. Maybe they’ve been distracted by other events, like, oh, say, having some of their people plead guilty to bribery, the revelation of illegal domestic spying and wiretapping, and bracing themselves for another round of indictments from Patrick Fitzgerald over the CIA agent leak case. Yeah, I guess that would throw you off your game.