Here’s a really bad idea: name a United States Navy after Representative John Murtha (deceased), the man who cheerfully, and without any credible evidence, castigated American Marines as cold-blooded killers in the wake of the Haditha massacre. The Marines, of course, were all exonerated but for Frank Wuterich, who accepted a slap on the wrist plea bargain, something he no doubt did because he has three small children at home and could not risk the vagaries of a full trial. Add to that Murtha’s history of political corruption, and it sounds to me as if any ship that bears his name is going to be an unlucky ship indeed — not to mention a ship that is an insult to both our military and our taxpayers. *
My feeling is that, if you have a bad idea, and it’s been brought to your attention that it really is a bad — indeed, indefensible — idea, you should retreat as quickly and as gracefully as possible. Of course, that’s not how political bureaucracies work, so Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus is standing strong behind his bad — indeed, highly offensive — idea.
Some Navy vets, accustomed to battle, are not walking away from this specific engagement. They’ve started a website called “No Murtha Ship.” If you go there, you can get the story about Murtha, obtain contact information for the Office of the Secretary of the Navy (please, be polite), sign a petition, and make a donation.
I made a donation, and that’s thanks to you guys. As I’ve mentioned before, because my husband is the major breadwinner in the family, and because he’s hostile to my political views, I’ve always thought it tacky to take his salary and donate it to the political causes I support. I know it’s community property and I know that I contribute to the community by doing everything but make lots of money, but he’s a bit territorial, so I don’t do it. When I want to donate to causes, I go to my little PayPal account, which you guys fund when you make a donation to this blog. Yes, I know that is also community property, but I’m territorial too, and the money in there feels like mine, mine, mine. I consider it good money, and I use it to go after bad ideas or, even better, t0 support good causes.
*And yes, I know that Murtha served bravely in Vietnam, but the steel backbone he developed there seems to have rusted away in the swampy air of Washington’s Foggy Bottom.