Jordan Candler / Oct. 4, 2017

The End of Tim Murphy's Legislative Career?

The Pennsylvania lawmaker's questionable character after an affair and abortion promotion should seal his fate.

Not every Republican lawmaker declares him or herself pro-life, but those who do are expected to demonstrate their fealty to that stance through words and actions. Conservatives in particular are obligated to be faithful on contentious issues. Unfortunately, a reprobate by the name of Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) has infiltrated the GOP’s pro-life coalition, putting House Speaker Paul Ryan in a conundrum

Legislatively, Murphy has done what he’s supposed to do. For example, in January, Rep. Murphy — a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus — endorsed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, stating: “I am so proud the House passed this important bill to clearly stand for the dignity and value of all human life, both the born and the unborn. Passage of H.R. 7 in the wake of the President’s executive action yesterday gives me great hope that moving forward, we will once again be a nation committed to honoring life from the moment of conception onward and ensuring American taxpayer dollars are never spent to end a life before it even begins.”

That’s all well and good. However, Murphy doesn’t really feel strongly enough against abortion to avoid promoting it at a personal level. To wit: He recently admitted to getting “involved in an affair with a personal friend,” Shannon Edwards, in 2016. A text message has been publicly revealed in which Edwards grumbles, “You [Murphy] have zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options.”

Edwards’ complaint had to do with a March for Life social media promotion from Murphy’s staff. What Murphy told Edwards in return says all you need to know about his true character:: “I get what you say about my March for life [sic] messages. I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more. I will.” The Washington Examiner’s Becket Adams says, “One wonders if Murphy also ‘winced’ when groups like the Family Research Council and LifePAC heaped praise on him and encouraged pro-life voters to support him.”

One also wonders if this spells the end of Murphy’s career, as it should. Because FRC and LifePAC certainly won’t be endorsing him ever again. House Speaker Paul Ryan should emulate his predecessor, John Boehner (yes, that Boehner), who faced a similar predicament in 2010. Then, Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) was having an affair, and Boehner and other colleagues persuaded Souder to resign. He did. Murphy should face the same fate.

Update: Murphy announced that, rather than resign, he’ll simply not run for re-election. How “noble” of him.

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