When it comes to the House Democrats, I've come to realize two things. One, John Murtha always looks mad. And, two, they're not that swift on the uptake. After the MoveOn "Betray-Us" ad fiasco blew up in their faces and how the Senate Democrats got smacked around by Rush Limbaugh, you would think the Democrats would have had a huddle and told people to take a break and let the heat die down.
Enter California Representative Pete Stark. During a speech concerning President Bush's veto of funding for the SCHIP program, Stark made the following comment:
You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement.
Nevermind the fact that Bush would be out of the White House by the time the children Stark talked about would be of age to join the military. Nevermind the fact that the "innocent people" Stark is talking about may not be as innocent as he thinks they are. The very fact he suggested the President enjoys soldiers dying in Iraq is at best ignorant, at worst slanderous.
I've seen the President consoling the families of the slain. You may not like him, you may not like his politics, you may not like the way he's run the Presidency, but you had better recognize that George W. Bush is a human being and he cares. No President takes war lightly, and no President takes joy at soldiers dying. To suggest otherwise is partisanship at its lowest.
As a result of Stark's comments, House Minority Leader John Boehner and other House Republicans sought to get Start censured. By a vote of 196-173 today, that vote failed. Out of the House Democrats, only five broke with their party and voted for censure. Some might call the censure motion partisan, and they would have a point, but it's about time that someone stepped up and tried to put a stop to the kind of crap people like Stark have been allowed to get away with under the cloak of dissent. If you disagree with the President, fine. But a lot of what passes for dissent is nothing more than slander wrapped in the First Amendment and the American flag.
Stark apologized for his comments about Bush, saying, "I hope that with this apology I will become as insignificant as I should be." Personally, Representative Stark, I hope you do, too. And you will have earned your one-way ticket to obscurity by using vile and spiteful rhetoric to try to score points for your side. Yes, Representative Stark, you do deserve to become insignificant because you've shown America that you're not fit to be a Representative.