'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Foe Patrick Murphy Turns Up the Heat

Rep. Patrick Murphy wants lawmakers to risk their safe political seats and vote to overturn Don't Ask.

By and + More

By Amanda Ruggeri, Washington Whispers

Rep. Patrick Murphy has two pieces of advice for his fellow congressmen: Do what's right, not just what's political. Oh, and don't cross him. The Pennsylvania Democrat is currently trying to whip up support for H.R. 1283, which would repeal "don't ask, don't tell," and he's working hard on getting the 218 votes it'll need to pass the House. One of the problems he might run into is the backlash back home. "I'm a congressman, but I have some criticisms about Congress. And I think some folks in Congress are afraid of keeping their own seats, and that's affecting the change that we all know needs to happen in our country," says Murphy. He ought to know. Murphy won his seat by just 1,521 votes in 2006. "This is something I don't take lightly, neither," he said, but he's going ahead with pushing for an end to "don't ask" because "we need congressmen and congresswomen and legislators to stand by the courage of their conviction and not worry about the political cycle or when the election is."

Murphy is also giving his fellow lawmakers a warning. "When they look me in the eye and say, 'I'm going to vote for this when it comes up for a vote,' no matter if they get hit from the left or the right in their own congressional districts, whether they're a Democrat or Republican, I'm going to hold them to their word," Murphy said. "And if they lie to me, it's not going to end well for them. I'm the chair of Red to Blue, so if they're a Republican, I'll go get Democrats that run against them. If they're Democrats, I'm going to have some not-nice words to say to them."

Check out our Whispers political caricatures.

View recent political cartoons.

Follow Paul and Nikki on Twitter.

Read more Washington Whispers.