The strangest thing happened yesterday. No, I don't mean that John Murtha endorsed Hillary Clinton, thats not strange whatsoever. The strange thing is that long time war hawk John Murtha has been reborn in the media as a dove. The Washington post is running a story in which they refer to him as "a prominent anti-war Democrat".
Like Hillary, Murtha has a history as a right wing pro-war House Democrat whose views have often been barely discernible from most Republicans. In 2001 he co-authored the "Flag Desecration Amendment" with Republican Duke Cunningham. In 2005 Senator Clinton followed suit by co-sponsoring anti flag burning legislation along with Republican Bob Bennet of Utah. Both Clinton and Murtha voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 though Senator Clinton later implied that she thought it was a vote for inspections. However, I would argue that the name of the resolution should have been sufficient to clear up any questions about the intent of the bill's authors. As late as 2005 Murtha still argued that the problems in Iraq were due to lack of planning, refusing to admit that the invasion was a mistake. Dick Cheney referenced John Murtha saying "One of my strongest allies in Congress when I was secretary of defense was Jack Murtha, a Democrat who was chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee."
The media was shocked by Murtha's sudden about face on the Iraq occupation mainly because of his long time record as a war hawk. Now his endorsement of another right wing war hawk has been used to re-write history and recast both he and Hillary as doves.