I think pieces are starting to come together which help explain why the GOP went so quickly and intensely on the offensive in smearing John Murtha after he suggested that troops should begin withdrawing within 6 months. It seems that this is precisely what the GOP wants to propose themselves, and the last thing they want is to have it seem that they were bowing to Democratic pressure. Thus the House resolution that the GOP put forward in an attempt to embarrass Murtha (a resolution no Dem was suggesting, i.e. no one wanted immediate withdrawal). Thus Rep. Jean Schmidt calling Murtha a coward. And then Bush saying that he will only withdraw based on the advice of Iraqi leaders, and subsequently saying that withdrawal will be based solely on advice of US officers in the field. So expect Bush to report in the next few months that they have been given the go-ahead for the beginning of withdrawals (in time for midterms), and get ready for the GOP attempting to claim that this was their idea and that Dems had wanted immediate withdrawal regardless of the consequences (obviously not true).
Murtha was on All Things Considered today.