We all understand and accept principled opposition to our beliefs and opinions. When pressed, your scribe will also allow that strong dissent, well reasoned, can help us achieve a stronger, more balanced position on any issue.
Where the disgust level, and the suspicion meter, rise is on those occasions when opposition and disagreement seem based on petty politics and/or gross ignorance.
John Murtha, D-PA is witness number one in the case listed above. Leading the charge against the Administration’s policy in Iraq, he proposes "solutions" that reek of politics and are void of principle. Known in the Congress as an "operator" and an "appropriator", his term in office has been defined by his sailing up to, and sometimes across, the line of ethical propriety. Known not for legislation, but for his skill in using the "process" to curry friends and favors, he does not seem to be the shining example that the Democrats in the House would push forward.
The proof of this assumption comes from the Washington Post, certainly no supporter of the Administration in the War in Iraq, in an editorial in today’s paper:
Mr. Murtha’s cynicism is matched by an alarming ignorance about
conditions in Iraq. He continues to insist that Iraq "would be more
stable with us out of there," in spite of the consensus of U.S.
intelligence agencies that early withdrawal would produce "massive
civilian casualties." He says he wants to force the administration to
"bulldoze" the Abu Ghraib prison, even though it was emptied of
prisoners and turned over to the Iraqi government last year. He wants
to "get our troops out of the Green Zone" because "they are living in
Saddam Hussein’s palace"; could he be unaware that the zone’s primary
occupants are the Iraqi government and the U.S. Embassy?
This portrait of misinformation brings to mind the utterances of the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Silvestre Reyes, D-TX, who has had a bit of trouble understanding the nature of the conflict.
Principle or politics? Is there any difference? Does it matter?