fallibilist

"I may be wrong and you may be right, and by an effort, we may get nearer to the truth." (Karl Popper)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Murtha and Gohmert

The following exchange took place on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives between Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) and Rep. John Murtha (D-PA):

Rep. Gohmert: Let me close by saying some have not had nice things to say about our colleague Mr. Murtha, and others wanting to pull out of Iraq quickly. I understand the faithful visitation that he does routinely. So i say thank god for his big heart. I say thank god for his compassion. Thank god for his visits to the wounded. Thank god for his ministering to grieving families. But thank god he was not here and prevailed after the bloodbaths at Normandy and in the Pacific or we would be here speaking Japanese or German. Thank you.

Rep. Murtha: Was the gentleman at any of those locations? Either at normandy or any of those locations?

Rep. Gohmert: You want to know which locations?

Rep. Murtha: Yeah. Normandy?

Rep. Murtha: I say were you there?

Rep. Gohmert: No, sir. I wasn't.

Rep. Murtha: Were you in Vietnam?

Rep. Gohmert: No, sir.

Rep. Murtha: Iraq?

Rep. Gohmert: No. I have been over there. I haven't been fighting.

Rep. Murtha: Boots on the ground?

Rep. Gohmert: I do admire the gentleman's compassion and all he has done for
our wounded. He has done a great service that would be you, Mr. Murtha.

This is taking the (specious) argument that in order to have a valid opinion on a war one must have fought in one to bizarre lengths. After all, Louis Gohmert was born in 1953 (nine years after Normandy) and, although he would have been (barely) old enough to fight in Viet Nam but did not, he was in the Army for a time, being a captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps. But he didn't join until 1978, after he finished law school, and also after conscription had ended. All of which is beside the point in a way, because the argument Murtha and others have been making is just nonsensical in itself.

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