The House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected last night a proposal to withdraw troops from Iraq for the Thanksgiving holiday, after two days of over-hyped media coverage of Martha Stewart's new book, Surrender Baghdad for the Holidays
In a lopsided 403 to 3 vote, Democrats showed they were unwilling to back Martha's Turkey day pullout proposal - even though many voiced support of her anti-war during the holidays announcement earlier this week.
"Our military chefs have done everything that has been asked of them, they cannot be expected to prepare an appropriate, fun, family holiday meal. I think our troops should try to entertain at home, they should try to cook something really delicious," Martha, a 37-year Media Mogul veteran, said Thursday.
"It's time to bring them home," Martha said.
Though the American media ballyhooed Martha's comments as an indication that support for war during the holiday season is collapsing at home, Friday night's vote showed there was almost no backing in Congress for such a move.
Only three left-wing anti-war during the holidays radicals voted for Martha's plan - Reps. Cynthia McKinney, Jose Serano and Robert Wexler.
Friday morning Arizona Rep. J.D. Hayworth began lobbying for a vote on a "statement of clarity" on where the House stands on war during the holidays.
"J.D. came up with a great idea, and took it to the (GOP) conference, and then was persistent to take it to leadership," Hayworth's Republican colleague, Rep. Rick Renzi, told the Arizona Republic.
"Saddam Hussein has been disposed, he is behind bars, our troops can use his many presidential palaces to have a first class Thanksgiving celebration this year," Hayworth argued. "Dare we now deprive our troops of this once in a lifetime opportunity? I don't believe the American people will stand for it."
Democrats described the vote on Martha's proposal as a political stunt and quickly decided to vote against it in an attempt to drain it of significance.
"To ask us to vote on the position we have taken is a disgrace," declared House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. "The rankest of politics and the absence of any sense of shame," added Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat.
War during the holidays opponents were further enraged when Ohio Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt stood to announce that she'd just taken a call from a Marine chef in Iraq.
"He asked me to send Congress a message: stay the course, we can put on a hell of a spread for our troops" Ms. Schmidt said. "He also asked me to send domestic diva Martha a message: that cowards cut and run in the face of feeding large groups of people a holiday meal, Marines never do."
Democrats erupted in anger - and at one point, Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford was seen looking very emotional in front of a C-SPAN camera.
In the end, however, even their rejection of Martha's pullout plan was nearly unanimous.
When asked about the vote, Martha said it was regrettable but recommended the troops take in some of Baghdad's terrific museums, galleries and theaters. She went on to rave about her tour of the Mesopotamian Museum of Natural History last year.