Democrat Congressman Accuses Washington Post of Helping Drive Nation to War
As NewsBusters reported, the Washington Post published an editorial Friday that was highly critical of the bribery tactics employed by House Democrats to get their pork-laden Iraq withdrawal bill passed.
As surprising as this event was, even more shocking was a Democrat Congressman so angered by this paper disagreeing with his Party that he said “[the Post] helped drive the drumbeat that drove almost two-thirds of the people in this chamber to vote for [the Iraq war]."
Displaying such unbridled disgust was Rep. David Obey (D-Wisconsin) who had rather harsh words for the Post on the House floor Friday (video available here):
Let me submit to you the problem we have today is not that we didn't listen enough to people like The Washington Post. It's that we listened too much. They endorsed going to war in the first place. They helped drive the drumbeat that drove almost two-thirds of the people in this chamber to vote for that misbegotten, stupid, ill-advised war that has destroyed our influence over a third of the world.
Dontcha just love it? Do Democrats have any responsibility for the decisions they make in Congress? After all, when it comes to this vote, what we’ve been hearing for years is that it was all the Bush administration’s fault. Now, it’s also the media’s fault?
Are these children that have been elected to serve the nation, or adults that are supposed to take responsibility for their actions and their decisions without pointing at others while saying, "He made me do it?"
Regardless of the answer, Obey wasn’t finished:
So I make no apology if the moral sensibilities of some people on this floor, or the editorial writers of The Washington Post, are offended because they don't like the specific language contained in our benchmarks or in our timelines. What matters in the end is not what the specific language is. What matters is whether or not we produce a product today that puts pressure on this Administration and sends a message to Iraq, to the Iraqi politicians that we're going to end the permanent long-term dead end babysitting service. That's what we're trying to do. And if The Washington Post is offended about the way we do it, that's just too bad.
Hmmm. But isn’t that a bit of a double standard, Congressman? After all, for quite some time, your Party and its representatives have been telling the American people that the President manipulated intelligence reports to mislead legislators and the public. In fact, you’ve all made a big deal about “specific language,” even so far as criticizing sixteen words in a State of the Union address, correct?
As such, isn’t it somewhat hypocritical to be taking such a Machiavellian position whereby the specific language of this bill, and its atrocious bribery tactics, are irrelevant if they accomplish the goal your after?
Congressman, heal thyself.
*****Update: The Washington Post wasn't as gung ho about the Iraq war as Obey claimed on Friday. In fact, one of the strongest antiwar mainstream media voices in March 2003 was the Post's Walter Pincus. Take a look at his March 16, 2003, article entitled "U.S. Lacks Specifics on Banned Arms," as well as his March 18, 2003, article entitled "Bush Clings to Dubious Allegations About Iraq" for example.
It appears that Obey isn't familiar with Pincus' work, although facts don't seem very important to many folks who are trying to make a dubious point.