Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Friday, December 23, 2005

"Melissa and Tim's Excellent Iraq Adventure"

Congresswoman Melissa Hart of Western Pennsylvania, apparently hoping to follow in the boots of her nearby battle-weary buddy Tim Murphy, is off to Iraq for the Christmas holiday.

She'll be, according to her spokeswoman, "speaking to soldiers about whether they have all the necessary equipment such as adequate protective armor for their mission," as well as assessing how the training of Iraqi troops is going. Of course, Ms. Hart probably wouldn't know the receiver from the firing pin of a rifle, but her keen insights into troop training will certainly be worth the trip!

Tell you want this is. This is CYA.

Hart may actually face a real, legit opponent for her seat next year, and she's probably getting antsy. Since she first took office, she's been a total GOP sycophant and, under George Bush, she's risen (on the strength of her ability to takes orders) to a position of some power. It is Ms. Hart who has been a big part of stalling the work of the Congressional Ethics Committee. That's a resume point that only King George (and Tom DeLay) can really appreciate!

But back to Iraq. What Melissa is doing is just what Murphy did, and what thousands of pols have done before in times of war; they are using it for political gain. I can almost guarantee you that none of the soliders in Iraq give a hoot whether some clueless Congresswoman shows up in fatigues and asks "meaningful" questions. They know the score. Don't ask. Don't tell.

But the comment about armor is an interesting one. Of all the issues she could have mentioned, this was clearly near the top of the Hart campaign's list of talking points. Why? Because they've done research and found out that the lack of armor for our soliders pisses off a lot of people; people on both sides of the idealogical breach. Hench, Hart will cross her arms in stern consternation and will, in the coming election year, make a faux stand against the Administrations "delays" in getting armor to the troops. I can bet you that, upon her return, the Hart campaign will issue a press release which "calls for more aggresive action to supply the needed armor to our troops." Hell, it's probably already written.

Melissa may not be as lucky as Dr. Tim was, when his vehicle went off the road and he hit his hard head hard against some steel plating, but nothing stops her from hoping for a Christmas miracle....