Let's salute him for his service in the Marine Corps (that's "core", not "corpse", Mr. President!), if nothing else...
Military service was in Murtha's blood. He said his great-grandfather served in the Civil War, his father and three uncles in World War II, and his brothers in the Marine Corps.
He left Washington and Jefferson College in 1952 to join the Marines, where he rose through the ranks to become a drill instructor at Parris Island, S.C., and later served in the 2nd Marine Division.
Murtha moved back to Johnstown and remained with the Marine Reserves until he volunteered to go to Vietnam. He served as an intelligence officer there from 1966 to 1967 and received a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.
....In 1990, he retired from the Marine Reserves as a colonel.
Of course, he turned against the Corps by using his high-profile bully pulpit to spread leftist disinformation about the Marines' work in Iraq:
Murtha's criticism of the Iraq war intensified in 2006, when he accused Marines of murdering Iraqi civilians "in cold blood" at Haditha, Iraq, after one Marine died and two were wounded by a roadside bomb.
Critics said Murtha unfairly held the Marines responsible before an investigation was concluded and fueled enemy retaliation. He said that the war couldn't be won militarily and that such incidents dimmed the prospect for a political solution.
"This is the kind of war you have to win the hearts and minds of the people," Murtha said. "And we're set back every time something like this happens."
The AP article doesn't admit to - and nor did Murtha, unless he did on his death bed - the fact that all charges against the Marines "involved" in the Haditha incident were dropped. Nor was there ever any admission of the fact - by Murtha or the AP - that there was a military solution to the Iraq war, and George W. Bush delivered it.
Unfortunately, despite his fine service to the nation, Congressman Murtha was a trend-setter as far as sacrificing truth, justice, and the safety of American soldiers engaged overseas in exchange for political expediency. Semper Fi for me and not for thee, I guess. Still, if his aim was to overthrow Bush and the Republicans, he succeeded, although at the current time his victory appears to have a quite limited lifespan.
And speaking of which -
Murtha's Pennsylvania 12th District is the only one in the country to have been won in 2004 by John Kerry and in 2008 by John McCain...
According to state law, the governor has ten days once the vacancy is officially declared to decide on the date for the special election, which can come no sooner than 60 days following that proclamation.
That likely means the special election will be held on May 18, which is the date already set for federal primaries around the state.
...Cook Political Reports now rates the race for Pennsylvania's 12th a toss-up....
So the residue of Mutha's final, ugly years will likely be a Republican takeover of his seat. Expect to see ex-serviceman Bill Russell win this seat; in 2008, Russell ran against Murtha and got 42 percent of the vote holding Murtha to 58 percent. That was the smallest percentage for Murtha since 1974.
Rest in peace, Congressman. And I will rest easier, knowing you will be doing no further harm to Americans in uniform, and that your pork-sucking liberalism will be (hopefully) replaced with some common-sense conservatism...