Tina Richards, identified as a military mom: (Introducing herself to Obey). Tina Richards. I had left a poem that my son had written (unintelligible) and I was wondering if it had ever gotten to you. He’s a United States Marine. He’s done two tours in Iraq. And he’s ready to be deployed for a third tour.
OBEY: I honestly don’t know…
[Richards discusses son’s suicide attempts and problems with the VA.]
Richards: Are you going to be voting against the supplemental?
OBEY: Absolutely not. I’m the sponsor of the supplemental.
Richards: For the, um, to continue to the war?
OBEY: (Getting agitated). It doesn’t–we’re trying to–the President wants to continue the war. We’re trying to use the supplemental to end the war. But you can’t end the war if you vote against the supplemental. It’s time these idiot liberals understand that. There’s a hell of a difference between de-funding the troops and ending the war. I’m not gonna deny body armor. I’m not gonna deny funding for veterans’ hospitals and for defense hospitals so you can help people who have medical problems. And that’s what you do if you vote against that bill.
Richards: But there should be enough money in the regular defense bill…
OBEY: Well, there isn’t…
Richards: …without continuing the funding for the war.
OBEY: There isn’t. There isn’t. That’s not the way it works. The money in the defense bill — it pays for a standing army. But it doesn’t pay for these recurrent costs. We’re going to add over a billion dollars more to it than what the President was asking for in that bill so we can deal with some of exactly the problems here you’re talking about. How the hell are you going to provide money to the hospitals if you don’t provide the money?
Richards: Well, then, are you going to be in support then of–
OBEY: I HATE THE WAR! I voted against it to start with. I was the first guy in Congress to call for Rumsfeld’s resignation. But we don’t have the votes to de-fund the war. And we shouldn’t. Because that also means de-funding everything that you’ve got in that bill to help the guys who are victims of the war.
Richards: Well, there’s an amendment to the supplemental that’s being proposed to fully fund the withdrawal of the troops–
OBEY: THAT MAKES NO SENSE! It doesn’t work that way.
Richards: Well, so that the funds–
OBEY: (Gesturing with arms wildly) The language we have in the resolution ends the authority for the war. Makes it illegal to proceed with the war. You don’t have to de-fund something if the war doesn’t exist!
Richards: Oh, I didn’t know that was in the–
OBEY: That’s the problem! The liberal groups are jumping around without knowing what the hell is in the bill! You don’t have to cut off funds for an activity that is no longer legal. We’re shutting it off.
Second man in hallway interrupts: Congressman, what about the Church Amendment that helped end the Vietnam War in, what was is, ’72-’73.
OBEY: It took us 31 different efforts to get there. I was here for that!
Man: Didn’t that help end the ground war in Vietnam?
OBEY: No, it didn’t. The political pressure on the administration finally ended the war. The amendment that finally ended the funding was the [unintelligible] amendment. I was the sponsor of that–
Man: But if you pass a resolution, isn’t he still the commander-in-chief?
OBEY: (Gesturing wildly again) WE DON’T HAVE THE VOTES TO PASS IT! WE COULDN’T EVEN GET THE VOTES TO PASS A NON-BINDING RESOLUTION ONE WEEK AGO! How the hell do you think we’re gonna get the votes to cut off the war?!
Man: Stop the funding.
OBEY: (Shouting) HOW IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE VOTES?! It takes…
Read the rest of the transcript at Malkin’s. Priceless. One of the far left’s own is essentially telling them that they are stuck on stupid.
Wonder if he’ll be the next target (after Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher, D-CA) of the Nutroots now?
PM Update: Obey has since apologized over the incident, but not without this caveat:
“So many of these liberal groups don’t adequately inform their members. They don’t have the full story about what we’re trying to do and they wind up not being able to distinguish their friend from their enemy. These people won’t take yes for an answer.”
He said he and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Reps. John Murtha (D-Pa.) have been spending “night and day” trying to figure out a way of the war in Iraq. Instead of trying to help them in the task, the members of liberal groups are viewing them as the enemy rather than their friends, Obey said.
“When you have misinformation or lack of information put into their head’s, it’s a disservice to them and to me” Obey said. “I respect their views. But I would hope they would also respect mine and others on the Hill who are working so hard to find a way out of this.”
Unless you’re a proponent of getting the troops out NOW, they won’t. Haven’t you learned that already, Rep. Obey?