Sen Chris Murphy Continues One-man Mission To Defend Biden's Afghanistan Evacuation
Calmly, factually, Connecticut Democrat proves to be administration's biggest cheerleader
His is a sometimes lonely voice — as recently members of his own party have found reason to criticize President Biden's actions following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
But Chris Murphy — Democratic senator from Connecticut and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism subcommittee — continues to carry on defending the Biden administration's handling of the collapse of the Western-backed government and the subsequent urgent need to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies out of country.
Dogged as ever in his defense of the administration, Murphy carries on with his mission often right from his Twitter account, where through a mix of retweets and his own, the Nutmeg State's junior senator calmly and factually makes his case.
“There is this fantasy that has been constructed by the media and members of both parties that we could leave Afghanistan, amid a collapse of the Afghan army and government, in a neat, clean way,” Murphy told Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent.
Often Murphy will simply retweet important facts and milestones which seemingly get lost in all of the breathless analysis and quarterbacking-from-afar which too many in the media and elected politics are busy engaging themselves with.
It's doubtful that most Americans were even aware that nearly 60,000 Americans and vulnerable Afghan nationals needed evacuation — nevermind the fact that they've been all airlifted to safety.
But Murphy will upend the paradigm by fact-checking journalists, when warranted, as he did with one recent dour assessment by Clarissa Ward, CNN's correspondent on the ground in Afghanistan.
Kate Sullivan @KateSullivanDCCNN’s @clarissaward in Kabul: “I'm sitting here for 12 hours in the airport, 8 hours on the airfield and I haven't seen a single US plane take off. How on Earth are you going to evacuate 50,000 people in the next two weeks? It just, it can’t happen.”
“In fact, it didn’t take 2 weeks to evacuate 50,000. It took 10 days,” Murphy corrected via tweet. “Lots of work still to do, but it might be time for a bit of a reassessment by the media of this operation given the actual results.”
Neither is Murphy heedlessly optimistic or looking at the challenge with rose-colored glasses.
As he has since the Western-backed government fell, he's also been popping up on television, as he did Monday evening with MSNBC host Chris Hayes.
“Of course it would be better to get all of this done by the 31st,” Murphy said of the Biden administration's Taliban-imposed deadline. “But it may be that we have to call the Taliban’s bluff here.”
There's no doubt that among all of the administration officials tied in with the events in Afghanistan, the spokespeople have usually worked their level best to provide timely and accurate information to the American people while working the longest, most stressful days of the administration thus far.
Folks are tired and working on adrenaline.
But it's fascinating that the Biden administration's probably most-effective cheerleader isn't even a member of the administration.
When this is all over — and everyone's home safely — the White House would do well to pick up a phone and call Chris Murphy to help tell the voters the good news.
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