House Anti-Murtha Leader Flip-Flops To Attack Iraq Plan

Top House conservatives have teamed up with right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt and other bloggers to launch a campaign attacking Rep. John Murtha’s (D-PA) new Iraq plan, which would attach measures to a defense spending bill requiring that all U.S. forces sent to Iraq are well-trained and well-equipped.

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) is “leading the effort” to force a House vote on a “binding measure to prevent cutting or restricting money for the war.” During last week’s Iraq debate, Johnson attacked Iraq war critics relentlessly:

Debating non-binding resolutions aimed at earning political points only destroys morale, stymies success, and emboldens the enemy.

The grim reality is that this House measure is the first step to cutting funding of the troops…Just ask John Murtha about his “slow-bleed” plan that hamstrings our troops in harm’s way.

But as Digby first noted, Johnson had a much different view of the “power of the purse” when President Clinton sent U.S. forces to Bosnia in 1995. Here’s Johnson on the House floor on 12/13/95:

I wholeheartedly support withholding funds… Although it is a drastic step and ties the President’s hands, I do not feel like we have any other choice. The President has tied our hands, gone against the wishes of the American people, and this is the last best way I know how to show my respect for our American servicemen and women. They are helpless, following orders. But we, we are in a position to stop this terrible mistake before it happens.