A day earlier, Murtha introduced a resolution calling for the deployment in Iraq to end “at the earliest practicable date.” He also called for a rapid reaction force to stay in the region and for diplomacy to be accelerated to stabilize the region.

The Republican-sponsored resolution, by contrast, stated only that “it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.”

Murtha, who received a standing ovation from Democrats when he took his seat in the chamber Friday, said he would vote against the Republican version, putting himself in the position of voting against a policy he had advocated a day earlier.

Other Democrats, many of them eager to respond to declining support for the war, resented being forced to vote for a resolution, the meaning of which could be easily misconstrued in future political advertising.

Murtha “introduced a bill yesterday that I don’t entirely agree with . . . but to take his proposal and trash it, trivialize it, is . . . beneath contempt,” said Rep. Jack Spratt (D-S.C.). ~The Chicago Tribune