Patty Murray Meets Post-Intelligencer Editors
Does "Mom-in-Tennis Shoes" Senator Know When to Quit?
US Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) has a long history of putting her foot in her mouth, particularly about world issues, that reflects both a difficulty in grasping them and a desire to parrot what she thinks is her party's public line.
She doesn't always get it right, sadly, with embarrassing results.
From falling for a Spy Magazine stunt asking for her support for the liberation of the Republic of Fredonia (not a real country, from a Marx Brothers movie) to her asinine comments about Osama bin Laden, Murray is not known as an intellectual heavyweight.
Here's what was reported in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on December 21, 2002:
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Patty Murray intended to be provocative when she told a group of high school students terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is popular in poor countries because he helped pay for schools, roads and even day care centers.
"We haven't done that," Murray said. "How would they look at us today if we had been there helping them with some of that rather than just being the people who are going to bomb in Iraq and go to Afghanistan?"
Murray's remarks, to a group of students in Vancouver, Wash., started even more discussion than she expected after they were published Thursday in The Columbian newspaper of Vancouver and then picked up by The Associated Press.
By Friday, the Murray story was the lead item on the "Drudge Report" Web site and a main topic for talk show host Sean Hannity and other conservative pundits.
Murray's comments sparked national debate on talk radio and prompted readers to bombard the Web site of The Columbian, the Vancouver newspaper that first printed Murray's remarks.
"Between (Murray) and Baghdad Jim (McDermott) I'm surprised the rest of the country even lets Washington send reps to DC anymore," wrote one e-mailer, identified only as robertb.
Now, Murray's at it again:
(Seattle Post-Intelligencer Editorial- Thursday, March 31)
(Item linked at Orbusmax)
We'll focus on her observations about the war and Iraq. Murray called it "a daunting place to be."
As Murray was flying in a helicopter from Baghdad's airport to the "Green Zone," she witnessed extreme poverty, devastation and raw sewage on the ground. She concluded that Iraq's reconstruction is going to be expensive -- and a long-term venture.
That message needs to be repeated -- Iraq is a long-term venture. That prospect means Congress should fund the Iraq war and reconstruction as a regular budget item (rather than a blank-check supplemental request) so that the American people have transparent accounting of the enterprise.
Murray said the elections moved the country forward, but she's concerned that the rights of women and minorities are in danger in the new Iraq.
Iraqi women never were required to wear headscarves, but the veil is becoming common because women see it as a way to camouflage themselves from fundamentalists.
Notice Sen. Murray seems to have nothing positive to say about the situation in Iraq, only focusing on difficulties in establishing the new government and how unfair it is that more women are wearing headscarves?
Patty, an FYI: under Saddam, women were burned alive or dipped in acid if a relative was merely suspected of crossing the regime. Many were elected to Iraq's parliament in the recent successful elections.
It's hard to imagine when women ever had the rights they enjoy in today's Iraq.
Even Patty should be able to recognize this, but her desire to sound like she knows what her Democrat supporters want to hear is in the way, once again.