The Spectacle Blog

Rep. Jim Moran Disparages Col. Patrick Murray’s Military Service

By on 10.22.10 | 9:58PM

Many military veterans have been enraged by video of Rep. Jim Moran disparaging his Republican opponent, Patrick Murray:

What [Republicans] do is that they find candidates -- usually stealth candidates -- that haven't been in office, haven't served or performed any kind of public service. My opponent is typical. . . .
And of course, for 24 years, he's taken a government check because, frankly, the military still is part of the Federal government, uh, and, yet, his principle platform is to cut government spending.

Patrick Murray served 24 years in the Army, rising to the rank of colonel, and was deployed to Baghdad in 2007 as part of the Iraq "surge." But that's not "any kind of public service," according to Jim Moran.

Moran's remarks are a knee to the groin of the military, says my blog colleague Smitty, an Annapolis grad who very much considers his forthcoming deployment to Afghanistan to be "any kind of public service." Smitty resides in Virginia's 8th District and has spent weeks as a lowly volunteer for the Murray campaign, manning the phone banks, assembling yard signs and so forth.

Experts don't consider the 8th District "competitive" (having gone Democrat by more than a 2-to-1 margin in 2008), but in a year when Republicans are fired up, the economy's down and Congress is unpopular, no Democrat incumbent should be counted as entirely "safe" -- and certainly not an obnoxious lout like Moran. Bill Kristol writes at the Weekly Standard:

If donors step up, and if GOP leaders and committees and independent groups come forward to support the troops and do a good deed for the country -- and if there are therefore resources for TV, radio and mail making Moran's slander as infamous as it deserves to be -- then we can look forward to lifting a glass to our troops as we bid farewell on Nov. 2 to Jim Moran.

Those wishing to bid Moran farewell can contribute online at the Patrick Murray campaign Web site.

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