It's fortunate that, in the tidal wave of change and good news we got with the start of the new, Democratic-controlled Congress on Thursday, it was largely missed that one new Democratic Congresswoman went on television and looked like an idiot, who doesn't understand why she was elected and, from the looks of that interview, might as well have an (R) next to her name.
Appearing with Charlie Gibson on ABC News Thursday, newly-elected Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, who defeated five-term Republican Jim Ryun 51% to 47% in Kansas's 2nd Congressional District in November, said she would vote for funding for any troop surge George W. Bush initiates, saying of Bush "He is the Commander-in-Chief..."Here's the full exchange:
To quote my friend, John Amato at Crooks and Liars, "Is she kidding me? Earth to Bodya, we just had another election and the American people realized they made a mistake and voted YOU in to make a change. You're supposed to be part of the solution now, not another Rubber Stamper."
Gibson: Would you vote in favor of money to support another 20 to 40 thousand troops in Iraq?
Boyda: I think we're going to vote to support what the commander in chief and head of military asks to do. At least, I am certainly going to vote to support it.
Gibson: If he wants the surge, he'll get it.
Gibson: If he wants the surge, he'll get it.
Boyda: He is the commander in chief, Charlie. We don't get that choice. Congress doesn't make that decision.
Gibson: But the polls would indicate, and indeed, so many voters when they came out of the ballot box, said, "We're voting because we want something done about the war and we want the troops home."
Boyda: They should have thought about that before they voted for President Bush not once, but twice.
While technically accurate in some ways -- it is indeed up to Bush to be "the decider" on sending more troops -- Boyda answered that question in a way that indicates she was in a coma for the election season and has no clue about why she was elected -- and the very fact she was even elected in such a conservative area was because of the across-the-board opposition to this war from the American people.
What you don't see in the YouTube clip (of Boyda) everyone is watching is that freshman Congressmen Heath Shuler (D-NC) and Patrick Murphy (D-PA) were also in the interview and didn't seem to have a problem being diplomatic, but still talking like Democrats.
Said Murphy, who is an Iraq war Veteran:
Gibson then asked Shuler how the Democratic majority in the House will react if Bush does indeed call for escalating America's involvement in Iraq.
"The fact is, we know that we need to change. Now, as someone like myself who served over in Baghdad with the 82nd Airborne Division, I saw with my own eyes what's going on over there. And the fact is, we need a change in direction with what's going on in Iraq. We need to listen to the military experts -- people like General Colin Powell, General Abizaid who say, 'listen, the surge isn't going to work.'"
"I don't think that's the solution," said Shuler. "With the exception of if that's what our military leaders say -- that the increase in troops is the answer then that would be more acceptable. But not just one person saying -- even the President -- not just one person saying that increasing our troop levels is going to create that sense of security in Iraq."
Even a conservative Democrat like Shuler doesn't seem to take well to the idea of an all-powerful, Unitary Executive.
But Boyda sounds even more like she doesn't know what the hell she's talking about when she follows her colleagues' statements by saying she's not comfortable voting to enable a troop surge "without a clear mission" -- and then turns right around and basically says she'll be a rubber-stamp for whatever Bush wants.
You can see the clip of the entire interview at Crooks and Liars.
I have no idea how these things work in the House, but Nancy Pelosi has a sharp staff surrounding her and I would guess that someone from the Speaker's office has already been on the phone to Boyda with the message to just shut up if she doesn't understand the Democratic agenda and what voters demanded on November 7.
Maybe she even heard "Congresswoman Boyda, Mr. Murtha is on line two."
Boyda represents a (D) in the House of Representatives numbers game and that's very good but, at this point, she's started with one foot in the hole in showing that she may not be any better than the Republican who used to represent that Kansas district.
You can read more from Bob at BobGeiger.com.