Our favorite former Housemember, Melissa Hart, stopped by The Conversation this week to have a chat with the tie-dyed, long-haired, commie-pinko, hippie freak, Bill Toland.
And Missy tries to rewrite her own political history in the first coupla minutes. The interesting stuff happens early on when Toland asks about the current national political climate. Here's a transcript of that part of The Conversation:
So Melissa Hart now thinks that it was "appropriate" that the war put people on edge in 2006.
BT: It's been bad so far for republicans. Lost special elections in Mississippi, Illinois and now Louisiana. Is it a bad year for you guys? Are you hoping that'll turn around, I'm assuming, by November?
MH: Well first of all I think the Republican brand has been damaged. I don't know all the specifics of the local issues that were involved in those races. You know our race is a local race. There's six counties here that need to elect a congressman and hopefully that'll be me. My goal is to go back and reemphasize with folks the positions I take on issues. Where I stand. The priorities I have for the region. And how hard I work. A lot of folks are behind me in that campaign.
BT Why do you think that message didn't resonate two years ago?
MH: In 2006 I think it was a national election. You saw just across the board the president being unpopular, the war really putting people on edge – and appropriately. Questions that they had about current leadership. Scandals with some congressman taking bribes. Congressmen sending sexual e-mails to children. I mean, come on -
BT: That does hurt, yea.
MH: - that's not a good thing. People should be held responsible for that. I served on the ethics committee and we did hold them responsible for that. [emphasis added.]
But take a look at what she was saying before the 2006 election.
It's June of 2006 and Henry Hyde has introduced House Resolution 861 that declares in part:
that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;That meant, back then, that the House would not favor any date being set to bring the troops back home. In fact the resolution:
declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united IraqThere it is. No timeline for withdrawal and the troops will stay there until Iraq is safe and secure (How's that going, Missy? Just asking.) This Resolution is exactly the sort of stuff that put the electorate on edge back in 2006. And guess who voted in favor of that resolution? That's right. Melissa Hart, along with most of the Republicans in the House. Take a look.
Any wonder why they were voted out of power?
But there's more. Keep in mind that now she says it's appropriate for the voters back then to have been on edge about the war. But in her supporting statements for H.Res 861 (found here at the invaluable C-Span archives) she has a very different outlook on those opposing dubya's war.
Here's what she said:
Notice the insulting jabs at the people "back home in the comfort of their living rooms" "distracting" from "our mission in Iraq." She's charges that the people questioning the war didn't know what's at stake. She charges that the people questioning the war weren't committed to liberty. She charges that we cannot continue to be free if we spend all our time questioning the mission, and that the debate on prewar intelligence and WMD were just "tactical challenges" we have to "look beyond."
As I traveled with seven colleagues earlier this year to visit our troops in the Middle East and Central Asia, I learned a great deal about the American spirit, the spirit of our volunteer servicemen and women and what drives them to risk it all. It is the defense of freedom. It is the understanding that vigilance and sacrifice are requirements for our Nation's security.
Back home in the comfort of their living rooms though, many Americans lack that focus. They forgot about Iraq's violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and the mounting incidence of attacks on our Nation leading up to 9/11. They began to loudly dissent and doubt and distract from our mission in Iraq.
One of the generals who I spoke with while I was in Kuwait took the opportunity in a quiet conversation to ask a very pointed question. He said, is America fighting this war, or is it just our military who is fighting this war?
We today, together with all Americans, must answer that general's thoughtful question. We must answer it for him, for ourselves, for the rest of the world, but especially for our enemies, so they know America is truly committed to liberty and the victory of civility and opportunity for all who love freedom and support democracy.
These enemies have long been committed to robbing the world of liberty. The United States and others have been targets of these terrorists many times leading up to 9/11 because of our commitment to the ideal of freedom. These enemies include regimes which harbor terrorists, but most especially those loosely connected terrorist organizations operating outside a national framework who share an ideology of oppression, tyranny, control, hatred resentment. They value no life, no man, no woman, no child.
We Americans cannot continue to be free if we spend all our time questioning our mission. Many Americans want to debate the validity of prewar intelligence or weapons of mass destruction. Whether one nation or another supported al Qaeda, how many troops do we need? Americans have to look beyond the tactical challenges.
We must do as Tony Blair did. The people who are fighting us, he said, know what is at stake. The question is, do we?
And now those dissents are ok.
She needs to explain her flip-flop.