Jonah Goldberg misquotes John Murtha, truncating his statement in a manner that substantially alters the meaning. Following up, he justifies his action by noting that The New York Times did the same thing later. We’re not even in “two wrongs don’t make a right” territory here. I suppose this is the logic by which so many people feel comfortable misrepresenting what Al Gore said about the Internet. Since everyone’s misquoting him, it’s okay for everyone to misquote him. Something like that.
Shorter Matt – Jonah is a serial liar but then that’s the job description when you write for the National Review. Well it seems Goldberg is at it again:
But my first reaction to the news that Murtha intends to run for Majority Leader if the Dems take back the Congress was that it’s a shrewd calculation to rev-up the base. Murtha is the leader of the bug-out of Iraq caucus. If Murtha makes it clear that a vote for a Democratic Congress is a vote for a bug-out leadership, that might rally the Democratic shock troops and/or leftwing donors. If they took back Congress, they could claim, openly or with some nuance, that the ’06 election was a referendum on the war.
Let me admit that I’ve been with Howard Dean all along on this issue, which put me on the opposite end of the spectrum from Murtha. Dean realized in 2002 two thing that Jonah Goldberg is incapable of understanding: (1) President Bush and his team were lying to us about the imminent threat nonsense; and (2) our invading Iraq was a victory for Osama bin Laden. But after this utterly stupid decision was made, it did seem prudent to follow the Joe Biden lead of finishing the task.
But Biden, Dean, and yours truly were making one rather stupid assumption – that this Administration might be capable of finishing the task. Murtha has shown great courage – something else beyond Goldberg’s ability to comprehend – in admitting his 2002 position was wrong (yes- Howard Dean was right in 2002). And I have changed my mind – the Bush Administration has so badly managed the post invasion process in Iraq, for us to stay allows for more victories for Osama bin Laden.
I’ll admit that bugging out will also be seen as a victory for Osama bin Laden. But some of us were saying back in 2002 that invading Iraq would be us precisely in the lose, lose situation that permeates the discussion today. For our wisdom back then – the demagogues who support this White House called us traitors. Stupidity as patriotism and foresight as treason. Par for the course at the National Review.
Footnote: In case you are wondering how the New York Times got dragged into the discussion of Goldberg’s dishonesty, look at this:
So all day, I’ve been getting what I think is pretty baseless and silly grief from lefty readers ridiculing my lack of integrity … I guess that right wing New York Times is part of the problem, too.
We accurately cite Goldberg’s own post and he calls this baseless? The problem with blaming his dishonesty on the New York Times goes back to what Goldberg linked and it was not the New York Times inaccurate characterization of the interview but another source that did accurately capture what Murtha said. Goldberg is either being dishonest about his dishonesty or is being incredibly stupid.