When Curtis LeMay accepted George Wallace’s invitation to be Wallace’a running mate on October 8, 1968, he made extremely outrageous statements and was quickly marginalized for those statements despite his extraordinary record of service and personal courage demonstrated time and time again through his long career in the military.
Now Congressman John Murtha is making statements every bit as outrageous as LeMay’s were in 1968, but from the far left, not the far right, and the media is not only not marginalizing his political views, the MSM is attempting to elevate those views to some sort of significance. His comments today along with his call for immediarte withdrawal of a few weeks ago mark Congressman Murtha as a member of the very far left, just as LeMay’s comments of October 1968 marked him as a member of the very far right. Millions of people admired LeMay and agreed with his positions, but that was still a very tiny percentage of the American electorate. Millions of Americans agree with Murtha’s extreme views, and most of them have blogs. They are also a very small part if the American electorate.
Both LeMay and Murtha served in uniform, courageously and honorably, and both decided to close their political careers on the far margins of American politics. It is unfortunate in both cases, and the sympathy of the MSM to the politics of one and hostility to the other does not change the outlandishness of either, but it does illuminate the politics of the MSM.
Democrats hope that Murtha will provide camouflage for their cut and run campaign, and teflon against the charge of becoming the Defeatocrats.
It seems to work for members of the Beltway press corps. I don’t think it has any more chance of providing respectability to defeat and retreat than LeMay did to Wallace’s camapign.
When ABC’s Terry Moran confessed on my radio show that there was a “deep anti-military bias in the media, one that begins from the premise that the military must be lying and that American projection of power must be wrong,” Moran was being candid. And when Timesman Hiltzig casually throws off the line that “[t]he military is not always known for being always truthful,” he was letting slip confirmation of the deep anti-military bias that Moran acknowledged.
It is that bias that protects Murtha from the ridicule that instantly descended on LeMay. Except that it protects him only among elite media and members of the left. It doesn’t protect his from the ridicule and anger of the country and his fellow vets. That has been restrained though unmistakenly noted in many places. It is growing deeper. And the credibility collapse of a great patriot is a very sad thing to watch.