Republicans Seeking to Condemn Rep. Stark's Remark

In remarks on the House floor this week, Congressman Pete Stark (D-Fremont, Calif.) blasted President Bush for his veto of the SCHIP reauthorization, citing the continued war in Iraq, that sparked a chorus of outrage from Republicans and may land the 18-term congressman in hot water come Monday.

Stark said:

First of all, I'm just amazed that the Republicans are worried that we can't pay for insuring an additional 10 million children. They sure don't care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where are you going to get that money? You are going to tell us lies like you're telling us today? Is that how you're going to fund the war?

You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement.

The remarks set off a firestorm of outrage from Republicans. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-West Chester, Ohio) immediately demanded that Rep. Stark apologize for his comments as other Republicans issued statements of rage to the press. If you happen to be a FOX News viewer, you probably have the inflections of Stark's voice memorized by now.

Republicans weren't alone, however. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco, Calif.), stopping short of seeking an apology from Rep. Stark, called his comments "inappropriate."

But as the conservative cable programs find yet another reason not to cover actual news, sources say Republicans are gearing up for a resolution on Monday condemning Rep. Stark's comments.

Now, I don't agree with Rep. Stark's comment, but wasting the time to draft, debate and vote on resolutions condemning what boils down to free speech is, to me, a much more serious transgression. It was dumb when they did it to MoveOn.org and would have been no better to do it to Rush Limbaugh over his "phony soldiers" nonsense.

Plus, didn't you hear? We're in a war. Two, in fact. And we're not winning either of them. Nearly 50 million Americans are without health coverage. And we've got bridges and roads collapsing all over the place. New Orleans is still a mess. But hey, let's forget the First Amendment exists. Then, all of our problems are solved.

What happened to the Party of Eisenhower? It is fascinating how Republicans enjoy parading around as tough on crime and strong on national defense and rail against "political correctness" but become unglued and turn into a bunch of seven-year olds demanding their political enemies "take it back!"

It is the only card the Republicans have to play. A desperate effort to change the story from the GOP's relentless smearing of a 12-year old kid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blatantly lying about his office's involvement in the smear campaign, and outright lies about the SCHIP program from cover to cover.