Roger L. Simon

Why Did the Congressman Jump the Shark - a Just-So Story

To be perfectly honest, up to a few months ago I never paid any attention at all to Cong. John Murtha, D-PA. He was just another back-bencher to me, if I even recognized his name, which I doubt. And I assume this was the case for most people. Now he seems to be all over us like the proverbial cheap suit – he just won’t go away. This weekend we find the gentleman opining once again: “American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said to an audience of more than 200 in North Miami Saturday afternoon.”

Well, okay, John, “it is so, if you think so,” as Pirandello once said [hint to Murtha: that’s a deceased Italian playwright]. But reading the Congressman’s latest made me wonder why he would say something so obviously asinine. Does he actually believe it? More likely he has convinced himself of his great profundity because he is getting his fifteen minutes and then some. The minute Murtha starts sounding like a reasonable fellow he will disappear into the anonymity he has always had and so richly deserves. So my suggestion is we start to ignore Mr. Murtha. He will do either of two things: 1. Go away. 2. Become even more outrageous to get our attention and get voted out of office in the process. Failing these, we can always “fix an ass’s head” on him like Lysander (scratch that – Bottom) in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As the cliché goes – it’s all good!