"Staunch Conservative" John Murtha?

More misleading labeling on anti-war hero Rep. Murtha by reporter Carl Hulse.

There's more of the "staunch conservative" (and anti-war hero) Rep. John Murtha, Democratof Pennsylvania. On Thursday, Carl Hulse looks into the bitter race for majority leader between Rep. Steny Hoyer and Murtha, a surprise candidate backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (Hoyer won easily in a vote by the Democratic caucus Thursday afternoon.)

In "Many Say Leadership Race Damages Democrats' Image," Hulse acknowledges early problems for the Democrats as they try to settle into their unaccustomed role in the majority.

"House members acknowledged on Wednesday that the increasingly bitter contest for majority leader was sullying the image of unity and new direction that Democrats hoped to convey....The race has not broken along conventional ideological lines. Mr. Murtha, a staunch conservative on most issues with the exception of his highly publicized opposition to the Iraq war, enjoys support from some of the most liberal Democrats. Mr. Hoyer, the more liberal of the two, has attracted strong backing from moderates and centrists, as well as some of the most seasoned House Democrats."

Rep. John Murtha isn't a "staunch conservative" on much of anything, judging by his actual voting record, as opposed to his gruff disposition. The American Conservative Union rates him a 33 out of 100, making him only the 2nd-most conservative Democrat out of the seven Democrats currently representing the Pennsylvania delegation.