PA-08: Pat Murphy is the genuine article
by DanielUA, Wed Apr 12, 2006 at 07:29:13 PM EDT
Cross Posted at Young Philly Politics
Today at school, I met Patrick Murphy for the first time. Murphy spoke to a group of law students about both his experiences in Iraq, which were pretty incredible, and his campaign.
Before I get into this deeper, which I do below, I want to stress one thing: Patrick Murphy is the real deal.
My early impression of Murphy, before I met him, was always good. The issues he talked about were important, and people that I trust, like Anne Dicker, spoke glowingly about him. And his GOP Democratic opponent, Andy Warren, has run a pitifully negative campaign, that has guaranteed my eternal scorn. So, I was going in hoping to like Murphy. In the end, I not only liked him, I was sincerely impressed. He has the intelligence, the skill, and the energy to walk up to Mike Fitzpatrick on election day, look him in the eye, and rip the Congressional seat from Fitzpatrick's lobbyist loving fingers.
Murphy's discussion of his time in Iraq was pretty incredible. I won't do it justice by trying to summarize what he said, and instead, I hope we can conduct an interview on YPP where he can talk about what he saw, on the ground in Baghdad.
At something like 28, Murphy was a professor of Constitutional law at West Point- their youngest professor on staff. The infusion of young "Fighting Dems" is an important one. But given that George Bush's agenda is to use the Constitution to get the mud from the soles of his feet, the addition of a professor in Constitutional law is equally as important, and far more unique.
In about twenty minutes, Murphy allayed any concerns that I had going in about whether he was a "true" progressive. He talked bluntly and passionately about education, choice and a few other issues before he had to hurry out to his next campaign stop.
Before he was leaving, Murphy was asked a quick question from one my classmates about how he felt about gay adoption. In a way, the issue of letting gay and lesbians adopt is a little bit of a softball for Democrats. It is going to be pretty hard for a Democratic candidate to realistically be against that. So, Murphy could have said he is for letting all adopt, and move on. But, he went further than that. Instead, he answered yes, and then discussed the absurdity and stupidity of the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. He reminded us that in the 1950's, the military was ahead of the curve on social change, when they desegregated the army during the Korean War. Now, they are behind it. He then talked about the Defense of Marriage Act, and how it seemed pretty clearly to be Unconstitutional. It was a quick answer. But in that 90 seconds he showed 1)progressive values, 2)an understanding of the Constitution and 3)an ability to talk about it in a quick, concise way.
We will have more on Murphy coming up soon at YPP. At only 32, I think Patrick Murphy is going to be someone who will be representing Pennsylvania in one office or another for quite some time.