Archive for Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Boyda defends decision to step out of Iraq hearing

July 31, 2007


— Kansas Rep. Nancy Boyda is defending her decision to step out of a hearing room last week while a retired Army general testified about U.S. progress in Iraq.

But Republicans on Monday accused Boyda of refusing to listen to the positive aspects of the Bush administration's new Iraq strategy.

Boyda, a freshman Democrat from Topeka, said she left the House Armed Services Committee hearing on Friday for about 10 minutes during the testimony of retired Gen. Jack Keane.

"There was only so much that you could take until we in fact had to leave the room for a while," Boyda said after she returned, according to a transcript of the hearing. "So I think I am back and maybe can articulate some things - after so much of the frustration of having to listen to what we listened to."

Keane had testified that since the troop surge began, U.S. forces "are on the offensive and we have the momentum." He also said that security has improved in every neighborhood and district in and around Baghdad, and that "cafes, pool halls, coffee houses that I visited are full of people."

When Boyda returned to the hearing, she ridiculed Keane's description of Iraq "as in some way or another that it's a place that I might take the family for a vacation - things are going so well - those kinds of comments will in fact show up in the media and further divide this country instead of saying, 'Here's the reality of the problem.'"

The National Republican Congressional Committee issued a statement Monday criticizing Boyda for trying to ignore positive news about Iraq.

"Clearly Representative Boyda believes that only the 'bad' news about Iraq should be reported," NRCC spokesman Ken Spain said.

Boyda's chief of staff, Shanan Guinn, said Monday that Boyda left the hearing "to kind of compose herself because she's understandably frustrated with the way the war's going."

"She was frustrated with how the administration is handling the war, that no one wants to have a real conversation about ways to move forward and our brave men and women oversees are being played like a political ping pong ball," Guinn said.

The NRCC has made Boyda a top target for defeat in next year's election. She narrowly unseated Republican Rep. Jim Ryun in 2006.


jmadison 10 years, 10 months ago

Boyda is another in congress not up to the task.

karensisson 10 years, 10 months ago

Good for Boyda. We should protest the lies of this administration and its puppets in any and every way we can. It's time to stop being cowed by them. All the Democrats need to grow a backbone.

ihatelv 10 years, 10 months ago

What does Tillman's death have to do with this discussion?? Tillman's death has nothing to do with Iraq, terrorism, nothing...... This discussion is about Boyda and why she is not worthy of being in congress........

Michael Throop 10 years, 10 months ago

Nancy must have been paged by to leave the room....

staff04 10 years, 10 months ago

Members come and go from committee meetings all the time for a number of reasons. This is totally insignificant and I don't think it is newsworthy. The committee offices are set up so the members can watch from waiting rooms on the side where the meeting is broadcast live on CCTV.

topekan7 10 years, 10 months ago

In the words of Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom yesterday (7/30/2007):

"Let me just stress that we're in a generation-long battle against terrorism, against Al Qaida-inspired terrorism. And this is a battle for which we can give no quarter. It's a battle that's got to be fought in military, diplomatic, intelligence, security, policing and ideological terms. And what we have to face - groups of terrorists operating in Britain - and other countries have seen, perhaps, in 17 countries terrorist attacks over the last few years, when we in Britain have faced 15 of our own since September of 2001, and, of course, when America, itself, faced in September 2001 and showed such bravery, resilience and courage in standing up against terrorism then, we know we are in a common struggle and we know we have to work together, and we know we've got to use all means to deal with it. So we are at one in fighting the battle against terrorism. And that struggle is one that we will fight with determination and with resilience and right across the world."


"Our aim, as is the aim of the United States government, is threefold: security for the Iraqi people, political reconciliation, and that the Iraqis have a stake in the future. And I can say also that I have proposed to the Iraqi government the offer of new finance that, for Basra and the surrounding areas where we have responsibility, that we invite the Iraqis to set up, with our support, a Basra economic development agency so that there are jobs, businesses, the chance of prosperity and economic hope. We know we are in a common struggle, and we know we have to work together and we know we have to use all means."

What a relief to know that the new Prime Minister does not share the cut-and-run philosophy of American liberals like Nancy Boyda and the "We Hate Bush" ilk in Congress. When I hear Boyda's surrender-at-all-costs mentality, I can be reassured that President Bush and our allies across the Atlantic will not let murderous thugs destroy our culture and values of freedom and opportunity for all. Americans will only die in vain if our withdrawal from Iraq is based upon a timetable rather than victory and opportunities for peace for all. Bush will serve out his complete term and history will remember him as a defender of democracy in the face of those who wish to destroy liberty across the globe. Boyda won't be remembered beyond her pending defeat in 2008.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 10 months ago

So, tokekan7, will you be quoting Gordon Brown when he announces the imminent pullout of British forces from Iraq?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 10 months ago

It's ok for Republicans to refuse to speak to Democrats, and walk out on them, but not vice versa. Double standards again.

Ceallach 10 years, 10 months ago

Boyda clearly stated her reason for leaving, and said nothing about a bathroom break. Whether a US Representative is Democrat or Republican, I believe they should listen to all submitted testimony before making a public statement. If one does not have the stomach to do so, they are ill equipped to handle the many sources of stress that go with the office. Too many, from both sides of the aisle, miss hearing, votes, etc. Of course they always have an excuse, hers is just as weak as all the others.

RiverCityConservative 10 years, 10 months ago

Submitted testimony is "submitted," which means it's on paper, too, with individual copies for each legislator. She had access to the guy's testimony and her response demonstrates that she does indeed care about Kansans and Kansas families being affected by the delay in ending the Iraq war. She did well in this case.

Lonestar1 10 years, 10 months ago

The Iraq war was uncalled for, has been mismanaged and has been glossed over by too many lies to count. The last "good news" story I heard talked about how much better things were, on a day when bodies were being pulled from the river and only 3 US troops were killed by snipers and IEDs. To report propaganda is one thing, to report it and believe what you are spreading, is another thing. I would have walked out too.

janeyb 10 years, 10 months ago

Boyda is getting good press in other states for her legislation to put restrictions on the I-69 corridor--which according to Bush is a "myth". I was just visiting near Indianapolis and saw the construction at Terre Haute, which is the alternate route if they can't get through Bloomington. Bloomington (the Lawrence, KS of Indiana) is fighting it in the courts in Indiana, because I-69 construction will take out 1500 acres of forest land and ruin wetlands there. In February the Bush administration announced a "Pilot Project" allowing Mexican trucking--unrestricted--all over the U.S. The war-funding bill limited the number of trucks, required safety inspections, driver's license verification, U.S. insurance, scale boys at the border and a three year limit of the "Project". Other states gave Boyda much of the credit for this, but, of course, Kansas and Republicans criticized her "yes" vote on the bill. Walmart has huge plans to expand the port in Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico and haul Chinese goods all over the US via Mexcian trucking companies who aren't required to have the same safety/license/insurance as American trucking. She is doing her job. I'm glad to hear she has difficulty listening to the updates on the war--Ryun certainly never seemed to care, and Brownback is never in Washington. Sam wasn't even there to vote on the war-funding bill. Noone will ever say Brownback couldn't stomach what was being said and walked out--he doesn't even bother to show up.

nell 10 years, 10 months ago

Since Boyda is firm about continuing to 'support the troops' by approving funding and is disgusted by the glib euphemisms passed as general truths about the war, I hope she will recognize that the only way to effect a change of course is through impeachment.

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

"speak truth to power."

Boyda and her party are the "power." They can't take it when truth is spoken to them.

psa188 10 years, 10 months ago

James Taranto summed it perfectly here:

Begin quoted material: Boyda, it seems, wants to suppress information about success in Iraq, because such information would "divide the country." Better that the country be united in defeatism. Along similar lines is this report from yesterday's Washington Post :


House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Monday that a strongly positive report on progress on Iraq by Army Gen. David Petraeus likely would split Democrats in the House and impede his party's efforts to press for a timetable to end the war. . . .

Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be "a real big problem for us."


What does it say about Clyburn's party that if things go well for America, it would be "a real big problem for us"?

End quoted material

Mr Taranto says it perfectly. Why are the Democrats actually rooting for us to lose?

c_dubya 10 years, 10 months ago

Boyda is completely invested in defeat. If we win the war, or at least stabilize the country enough to draw down our troops, she and many of her Murtha-buddies in Congress will look like total fools. They cannot allow victory now. This is why many of them don't want to wait for Patreaus' report in September. They know the news will be improving across the board and they cannot allow that to reach the American public. Suppression of information is exactly what this is all about. Shame on Nancy Boyda for walking out on this meeting and shame on Jack Murtha for completely ignoring every single bit of positive information that comes out of Iraq.

Thom1s 10 years, 10 months ago

Representative Nancy Boyda, described as "a freshman Democrat from Topeka", has arrived in the very NICHOLAS of time to prevent any number of gutless GOP Congressional RINOs from taking a final header into the abyss of political extinction. Indeed she and all those pampered, preachy, presumptious, precious snivelers of the Cry Baby Boom elite (who now constitute the vast bulk of the once honorable Democrat Party) are going to help America rediscover its patriotic roots in ways they cannot now imagine . . . and with a result most certainly the opposite of what they intend. The louder and more extreme the 1968 Chicago era Party of Treason cohort becomes in its effort to trash America and heap scorn on the efforts of our brave young men and women in harm's way, the sooner will be discovered the perils of using perfidy as an expedient route to ever increasing power. But by that time the Cry Baby Boomers will have crawled so far out onto the limb in their effort to sell America short, they will find there is no crawling back. Hark! Is that the sound of a chainsaw I hear? Like drinking Old Milwaukee, it don't get much better'n this. The 40 year long free ride enjoyed by the draft dodging cry babies of the Vietnam era is OVER. They better learn how to suck it up and drive on . . . like NORMAL people have had to do. (Thom1s, Big Island, Hawai'i)

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