I cannot tell a lie. When I heard the news of the death of John Murtha (D-PA) after complications from gall bladder surgery, I did not have one moment of concern. Quite honestly, what did come to mind was Murtha’s words describing his own constituents as “rednecks” during the 2008 presidential campaign.
“There’s still folks that have a problem voting for someone because they are black. This whole area, years ago, was really redneck.–John Murtha
Comments like the one above are what made me despise the race baiting and sparring between the high brow liberal elites and so called “Joe Six Pack” common folk. If you initially refused to vote for Barack Obama , John Murtha and the Democrats were going to white guilt you all the way to your local polling station.
My second response to the death of Murtha involves his lack of respect for our troops fighting in the Iraq war. Listening to Mutha’s hasty remarks in May 2006 branding a squad of Marines who stormed a house in Haditha, Iraq after a roadside bomb attack as “cold blooded killers” it was hard to believe that Murtha, a military veteran himself would utter such things before an official investigation was launched.
Still we mush honor the lives of the dead and I would like to included an interesting except from Vanity Fair magazine December 2006. A simple Proust questionnaire which shows the Murtha behind the controversial remarks. As we on the right wonder what will become of his vacant House seat, we can only be amused by such light hearted trivia before the ensuing political hailstorm.
What is your greatest fear?
I fear for the future of our country because of the direction this administration is taking us in with the debacles in Iraq. We’ve lost our credibility around the world, and our young people are going to have to foot the bill for this war well into the future.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Teddy Roosevelt as president: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Tip O’Neill as Speaker of the House: “All politics is local.”
Which living person do you most admire?
The wounded troops I visit almost every week in the hospitals. These young veterans inspire me because of their immense courage, their dedication to their country, and the obstacles they overcome every day.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What is your favorite journey?
I’ve been all over the world during my 32 years in Congress, but my favorite trip is traveling back and forth from Washington to my district, in western Pennsylvania. I enjoy the solitude and peacefulness of the beautiful countryside. The real beauty of the trip comes during the fall months, when the leaves change their hues.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Reticence: the unwillingness to speak out when you feel it’s the right thing to do.
Which living person do you most despise?
I can’t imagine taking the time to actually despise anyone.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I say yes too often.
What is your greatest regret?
I have no regrets. I always look ahead.
When and where were you happiest?
I enjoy every day.
What is your current state of mind?
I love my job.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’m comfortable with who I am. I try to use my God-given resources to the best of my ability every day.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Yet to come …
What is your most treasured possession?
I have several: the letters and memorabilia I’ve been given over the years by people I’ve helped, my great-grandfather’s Civil War hat, two golf clubs President Clinton gave me on January 19, 2001—his very last day in office.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Early in my career, I used to sit by myself on the floor of the House to learn policies and procedures. Wilbur Mills, former chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, asked me why I was always by myself and what I was doing. When I told him, he gave me two pieces of advice that I’ve tried to live by and that I’ve become known for: specialize in one area, and always keep your word.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
Who are your favorite writers?
Leo Tolstoy, Winston Churchill, and David McCullough.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Winston Churchill. He just couldn’t have been real.
What is it that you most dislike?
Exploitation, mischaracterization, and weakness.
What is your motto?
“Live every day to the fullest.”