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September 21, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

CHANGING THE SUBJECT....Matt Yglesias provides an insider lefty look at the "General Betrayus" ad foofaraw:

I completely agree with the dread DC Establishment that calling General Petraeus "General Betrayus" was dumb. That said, I'm staggered by the amount of emphasis that people inside this town are placing on this. One virtue of having moved to the Beltway is that I can tell you, the reader, a thing or two about the mood here and that while you might think the reverse is true, the truth of the matter is that the left-of-center establishment is being restrained in terms of expressing its absolutely fury at MoveOn over this. People seem to really think that this was not merely a misstep, but a huge blunder of world-historical proportions.

Matt thinks this view is nuts, but I guess I'd point out something else. (Aside from the fact that I'm glad I don't live in the Beltway and can therefore ignore stuff like this if I want.) If there's anything interesting to be drawn from the reaction to MoveOn's ad, it's the Republican reaction. I mean, they've practically been slathering over this ad for two straight weeks now. Am I the only one who thinks this shows a desire to change the subject so palpable as to be almost desperate? You can practically feel the flop sweat rolling down their cheeks. These guys want to talk about anything other than the underlying reality of what's going on in Iraq. Anything. It would be kind of creepy if it weren't, you know, actually important.

UPDATE: I see that Michael Kinsley got here before me. After a bit of mockery aimed at all those conservative tough guys getting the vapors over the MoveOn ad, he gets to the point:

The constant calls for political candidates to prove their bona fides by condemning or denouncing something somebody else said or to renounce a person's support or to return her tainted money are a tiresome new tic in American politics. They're turning politics into a game of "Mother, May I?" Did you say "Here is my plan for health-care reform"? Uh-oh, you were supposed to say "I condemn MoveOn.org's comments on General Petraeus, and here is my plan for health-care reform."

All this drawing of uncrossable lines and issuing of fatuous fatwas is supposed to be a bad habit of the left. When right-wingers are attacking this habit rather than practicing it, they call it political correctness. The problem with political correctness is that it turns discussions of substance into arguments over etiquette. The last thing that supporters of the war want to talk about at this point is the war. They'd far rather talk about this insult to General Petraeus. It just isn't done in polite society, it seems, to criticize a general in the middle of a war.

Kevin Drum 1:13 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (197)

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Comments

Yeah, but I'm still pissed at MoveOn for giving them such a shiny toy to play with. Why make it so easy for them?

Posted by: Royko on September 21, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

The "Betrayus" slogan was not a mistake, it was brilliant. Move On got more publicity than they ever expected, and far more than their meager advertising budget could ever create on its own.
The plain fact is, people hate this war, and they hate Bush and his sycophants. The People agree with the sentiments expressed in the Move On advertisement. If that upsets both Republicans and Democrats, they better get used to it.

Posted by: charlie don't surf on September 21, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

1)This is classic Rovian behavior. When unpleasantness rears its ugly head, change the subject.

2) MoveOn desperately needs a decent ad agency.

Posted by: cazart on September 21, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

This is just another in a long succession of things that Beltway types will froth about, but nobody anywhere else will even care about. Thank God for the professional media.

Posted by: Lev on September 21, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

People seem to really think that this was not merely a misstep, but a huge blunder of world-historical proportions.

Giving us a pretty good idea of why this same bunch (the liberal establishment) has been getting its ass handed to it for decades.

Am I the only one who thinks this shows a desire to change the subject so palpable as to be almost desperate?

The only part I disagree with is the word "almost."

Posted by: jimBOB on September 21, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

I hope Kevin is right.

Royko, focusing on MoveOn here is condemning the person who leaves the door unlocked when the house gets robbed, or the inattentive bartender whose customer gets in a drunk-driving accident on the way home.

Posted by: SDM on September 21, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously. The surprise at this point isn't that the right wing has been going so nuts over this but that a supposedly sophisticated political outfit played so easily into their hands. This is nothing new. The Republicans are brilliant at taking the slightest infraction and turning it into an epic crisis. All Dem-leaning organizations should hire someone whose sole job is to vet their materials and speeches for the obvious few words they'll jump all over (only half-kidding). Rather than defend MoveOn, the left should take it as a lesson. The war will render this whole thing moot in short time. But when the Dem nominee makes another botched joke or some such thing, they'll go nuclear all over again and maybe have a real impact, especially when the MSM is primed to run with ti. It's time to stop making it so easy for them.

Posted by: JT on September 21, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

If you think political attacks on generals who enter the political debate are out of bounds, you are not a liberal.

Posted by: Boronx on September 21, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Am I the only one who thinks this shows a desire to change the subject so palpable as to be almost desperate?

No, sir, you emphatically are not.

Posted by: shortstop on September 21, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent point, Kevin. And I mean no criticism when I say it is, or should be, superabundantly, manifestly, blazingly obvious. But the people who ought to know this and ought to be driving the point home over and over again are the Democrats. Apart from Chris Dodd (and perhaps a few others I'm missing) they're not.

Posted by: J on September 21, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

I gave up on the right-wing echo chamber a long time ago-- My suspicion is that non-stop outrage over a minor stupidity will only increase the number of people who just get tired of it. Also, there's some folk-wisdom in the back of people's minds that warns them about guys in uniform saying that things are just going swimmingly.

Posted by: MattF on September 21, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but I'm still pissed at MoveOn for giving them such a shiny toy to play with. Why make it so easy for them?

The "General Betray Us" insult originated with the troops under his command.

Posted by: Goran on September 21, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Looks to me like the MoveOn ad was brilliant.

It's received massive attention for a minimal cost, and raised the main issue of Bush's military mouthpieces similar to the issue of Powell's credibility leading up to Iraq or Greenspans credibility in promoting Bush's tax cuts. (Of course, both Powell and Greenspan have tried to weasel out of their support.)

So Washington has the vapors. What else is new?

Posted by: ferg on September 21, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

As far as the Betrayus name, I felt it was a typical kinda-corny yet catchy enough to be redeeming political slogan that all except the weird and the dorks would have said only half-seriously, and it served to express outrage. But, since it was so obvious, the right seemed to make moves to head off our using it (at least trying to make us think we were going to make ourselves look stupid if we used it, so that we wouldn't?), which I caught some allusions to online, but didn't care enough about it to look into them. If there had been some good grassroots opposition orgazined (MoveOn doesn't have to be a part of this) to the Petraeus presentation, then the Betrayus name could have been a good part of that, but now the deed is done.

Posted by: Swan on September 21, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK
I completely agree with the dread DC Establishment that calling General Petraeus "General Betrayus" was dumb.

You know what was dumb? Democrats in Congress going along with the Republicans rather than blasting them for trying to make political hay with the condemnation measure while blocking measures designed to deal with the real problems America is having.

And its that kind of failure, repeated ad nauseum, that robs the United States of effective political opposition to the authoritarian right.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly, ferg. From the quote, it sounds like Yglesias is in DC. He should get out of there before his conversion to a pod person is complete.

Posted by: Boronx on September 21, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that the ad was dumb, but the GOP look like crazed freaks. I mean, "General Betrayus" is nothing more than a stupid school-yard taunt. Yet the GOPers are still wringing their little hankies over this.

But you have them credit where credit is due; they are masters at creating these petty, tiny little narratives that "seem" to illustrate something larger but in reality don't amount to anything larger than a hill of beans. Tiny, little navy beans.

Dems could learn an awful lot from the GOP playbook, especially given that there are about 5,000 little narratives that could be played to high heaven. The fact that they can't coordinate their efforts around a single narrative is just plain sad.

Posted by: CKT on September 21, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Of course Kevin. And that is why Move On was so stupid (or smart if their goal was to be attacked by the Right and have the duped Left Blogs rally in teir defense, given the complete sellout Move On has been in defense of Democratic capitulation in the Congress on Iraq).

Has MoveOn said anything about not funding the Iraq Debacle? Hell no.

Posted by: Armando on September 21, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans are doing exactly what they should be doing. This is what the Democrats should have been doing in response to the nonsense about Edwards's hair: expressing loud, coordinated outrage for as long as anyone will point a camera at any of them. (Better: they should have done it in response to the similar nonsense about Kerry in 2004, or better yet, Gore in 1999-2000.)

The Republican reaction is the reason the Democratic establishment is in such an awkward position. Regrettably, the Dem establishment is too clueless to do this sort of thing themselves when the occasion calls for it.

Posted by: Mike Molloy on September 21, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK
I agree that the ad was dumb, but the GOP look like crazed freaks.

Which only would have mattered if enough Democrats hadn't validated their crazed freakishness to make the headlines read, e.g., "Senate Condemns MoveOn Ad".

Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

What prevents Democrats from publicly agreeing with the Republicans that "Betray Us" was over the top THEN adding, as Goran notes, the moniker was given to the general by his own troops and, more importantly, the content of the MoveOn ad has not been challenged by Republicans. Then ask, can we therefore assume Republicans agree that the Administration cooked its Iraq numbers in an effort to confuse the public? That the general is simply spouting political points handed to him by the White House?

Basically use this stupid issue to push back, to set the terms of the debate. Whatever you feel about the term "Betray Us," surely everyone has ignored the contents of the ad and its merits.

This sounds like a classic political football the Dems could easily turn to their own advantage without too much fuss.

Posted by: Fred on September 21, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

You're wrong, Kevin -- there's nothing particularly interesting about the Republican reaction. You always knew how they were going to react. What was *not* foretold, but sadly is not entirely surprising, is that the Democratic leadership let them get away with it so easily. You think Republicans are looking for distractions? Sure, but Democratic Senators are looking for an alibi, and seized upon the MoveOn ad. Henceforth they can blame the poisoning influence of radical lefties for their own capitulations. They'll say MoveOn forced Dems onto the defensive by making them look unpatriotic. Just watch -- the historical revisionism is already underway.

Meanwhile, the ad was pathetic. It was always going to be politically problematic -- inviting precisely the GOP reaction is got -- but that would have been OK if it had made some subtantive point that resonated and advanced the antiwar argument. But I'm still at a loss to understand the point of calling him 'Betrayus'. For all the convoluted arguments they might attempt, there's just no credible sense in which the man betrayed anybody.

Posted by: Ryan on September 21, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

No matter how mild the MoveOn ad might have been, the Republican reaction would have been the same.

The motivation is not just to change the subject, but to cripple MoveOn, which they view as an organization that empowers the opponents of the GOP. They will do whatever it takes to discredit any democrat or any other entity that supports any democrat.

The democrats better learn to live in this environment, or we will have eight more years of a GOP presidency, and, consequently, more wars, deaths, pestillence, and general decline of America.

Posted by: gregor on September 21, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

I sounded off on this very topic about an hour ago. I had never given money to MoveOn before, but I did yesterday. Someone has to stand up for the god-damned First Amendment, and our elected representation ain't doing it.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 21, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Just to remind us that, in spite of the histrionics, this started out as a real, flesh-and-blood issue:

It's generally understood already (ask the Pentagon?) that the "facts" that this four-star fool delivered to Congress were false. That may not make it an open-and-shut that the general has betrayed us, but it's a fair accusation if he didn't tell the truth.

For him to betray the trust that we, his troops, and the Iraqis placed in him, all he has to do is lie--to misrepresent our actions and their causes and consequences. It's not even necessary that he know that his testimony is false. It's sufficient that, as the commanding officer, he knew that he didn't know, but failed to qualify his statement.

"General Betrayus" fits. MoveOn is doing what he didn't: telling it like it is.

Posted by: Ohno on September 21, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK
What prevents Democrats from publicly agreeing with the Republicans that "Betray Us" was over the top THEN adding, as Goran notes, the moniker was given to the general by his own troops and, more importantly, the content of the MoveOn ad has not been challenged by Republicans.

If you agree up front, that's the point that people turn out. The impulse to agree with things that are beside the point, perhaps out of a misguided hope that doing so will make the speaker appear more "balanced", does not help counter the distractions from the Right, it validates them.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

You are 100% right on this Kevin. The Republicans are facing a bloodbath in 2008 and its because of the war. They are on the wrong side from the majority of Americans and tied to the most unpopular president in recent memory but, because their base is fanatical in support, they dare not move. So they will DO ANYTHING to try to change the subject.

And that's where the Dems are so lame. I also agree with Mike Molloy above. The donkeys sit there and say "please don't hurt me!" They get swift-boated. They refuse to have real debates where the rethugs have to filibuster for real. And they turn on their friends so their beltway buddies in the media will still like them and invite them over for cocktails!

We're in a world of shit with a moron for a president who thinks God will vindicate him. And Iran is next and no one will stop it. Its going to get very bad indeed.

Posted by: richard locicero on September 21, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Excuse me, but I'm damn tired of people on the left watching their language and conforming their behavior for fear of handing the Rethughlicans a pretext for attacking them. That's a suckers game we need to quit.

Do we see James Dobson, Bill Donohue, or any right-wing activist minding his or her words for fear of provoking a left-wing attack, or appearing disrespectful? After Max Cleland and the Kerry Swift Boating, it's clear that the GOP machine will generate a smear where none exists. We should stop worrying about giving the a "pretext" because THEY DON'T NEED ONE.

Thank goodness for Move On refusing to buy into the posturing that Petraeus was an impartial military man, not acting as a political operative. Democratic leaders should have been using the opportunity to highlight that problem, and confront the biased rhetorical frame of the Iraq debate, not throwing stones at the people who were pointing it out.

Posted by: biggerbox on September 21, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but I'm still pissed at MoveOn for giving them such a shiny toy to play with. Why make it so easy for them?

It's John Edwards' fault for getting that haircut when he should know his financial situation is under a lot of scrutiny.

It's Nancy Pelosi's fault for wanting to fly in a huge government airplane at taxpayers' expense.

It's John Kerry's fault for saying he was "reporting for duty" when he accepted the Democratic nomination.

It's Al Gore's fault for, well, for doing something, although we're not sure what.

It's Bill and Hillary's fault for not immediately turning over every single record that ever existed regarding a ten-year-old real estate investment.

Don't you understand? Republicans don't want to have to attack Democrats over trivia -- it's the Democrats' fault for creating the trivia in the first place!

Posted by: boots day on September 21, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Ehhh...

It was a childish taunt, really. So what are we to make of this? MoveOn is childish? Doubtful. MoveOn is so mad they don't realize how childish it is? Probably not. MoveOn knew this would attract attention, and that's what they want? Bingo!

The Republicans seize on this because it is a way to enrage and activate their base without alienating the middle. So they play along and make noise, just as MoveOn wanted.

They both get what they want, and the level of dialogue in this country drops another notch. (Just when you thought it couldn't go any lower.)

I think the Dem leadership would have done better to ignore this in public, while cautiously deploring it on background. But what do I know?

Posted by: hmd on September 21, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

You make it sound almost optimistic, Kevin.

You spin this as something good, by showing how crazed Republicans got over this. You say their reaction shows a desperate willingness to change the subject, less Petraeus be questioned.

But there's a problem with that, which is actually two-fold: the media response to the Republican outrage, and its influence on the DEMOCRATIC response.

The polls show America almost collectively YAWNING at the Petraeus report, with something that was supposed to help drum up support to 'keep winning the war' seeing a DROP in war support. Virtually no one registered real, palpable outrage at the ad.

Except the Republicans, and the media, and the pundits.

Guess who the Democrats listened to, and whose opinion they internalized in addressing this and the war votes to come.

Here's a hint: NOT US.

Posted by: Kryptik1 on September 21, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

For what the liberal establishment has gotten us over the last couple of decades, I'm all for the George Costanza-esque strategy of deciding what they would do, and doing the exact opposite. The establishment's basic strategy as far as I can see it, is "Don't make trouble." If you don't want to make trouble, get out of politics.

Remember that most households in the U.S. do not have framed pictures of Petraeus with candles and flowers adorning them. Another guy with a full salad bar and a bunch of stars. The reactions I can see from non-wingnuts are:

-Why are these nutcases foaming at the mouth about a stupid ad? I see four thousand stupid ads a day!

-Petraeus. Betray-us. Heh. Good one.

I don't think you'll see:
-What a horrid attack on our beyond-reproach general staff and by extension all men and women in uniform! I shall vote for every Republican I can find henceforwards!

Get the establishment some balls and some downers, please.

Posted by: ericblair on September 21, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

From a moderate, mom and pop American middle class point of view, the MoveOn ad would seem to force people to oppose them and support the fucking general. From my point of view, it is about the first time MoveOn has done anything I approve of. I have always been critical of MoveOn for being too concerned about the delicate sensitivies of W. Bush Republicans and the timid moderates. I think MoveOn is trying to earn my support and the support of other anti-war, anti-establishment advocates. More ads calling out war pigs may win it.

Posted by: Brojo on September 21, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

If you agree up front, that's the point that people turn out. The impulse to agree with things that are beside the point, perhaps out of a misguided hope that doing so will make the speaker appear more "balanced", does not help counter the distractions from the Right, it validates them.

cmdicely is exactly correct here, reliable as a swiss clock. Why do you think the Republicans that were trying to defend the Iraq war made sure the first order of business when debating a Democrat was to get the Democrat to concede that Saddam Hussein was a terrible man and that the world is better off without him in power?

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on September 21, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

i don't know. i tend to agree with royko that it allowed the repubs to shift the spotlight, that the same arguments could have been made in a more straight-forward way without such an over-the-top attack on petraeus that discredits the anti-war movement as extreme and the democrats as anti military and soft on security (never mind that an increasing number of republicans see the war as folly as well).

on the other hand, charlie makes a point, that a more sober approach probably would not have gotten nearly as much attention.

the problem is that it is so far over the top that that it overshadows anything petraeus actually said and focuses attention on a one word attack rather than the evidence against him. it's the kind of ad that you remember but not for the right reason. the ad speaks to the convinced and not to those who might be on the fence ready to jump to the anti-war side.

charlie is right that most people do oppose the war but being on the right side of the issue is not enough. there is an election to be won. democrats have to convince a majority of the electorate that ending the war is the right thing to do and they're the party to do it. in that sense, the ad does more harm than good.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on September 21, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

As pointed out above (but it bears repeating), MoveOn was not the first to give "Betrayus" his nickname:

"Critics, including one recently retired general, are privately calling him “General Betraeus” on the grounds that he is too ambitious to deliver a balanced report on the war."

This was reported over a month ago. Odd that Repubs didn't get the vapors then.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article2284289.ece

Posted by: pdq on September 21, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

From a moderate, mom and pop American middle class point of view, the MoveOn ad would seem to force people to oppose them and support the fucking general.

We're not even seeing THAT Brojo. The only real notable outrage over this damn ad are from the braying idiots of the media spectacle, the usual Republican suspects in Washington, and even more depressingly, the caving Democrats who take their cues from a complicit media and a Republican party that somehow still manages to bully them into cowering masses.

Posted by: Kryptik on September 21, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

No one will ever be able to say “Petraeus” without thinking "Betrayus". That is pretty handy. The Republicans have run a cottage industry working the betrayal-traitor angle for more than half a century and the Dems have never been able to neutralize this or any other of their memes. The Republicans run any kind of ugly, slanderous campaign of distraction they want and time and again the Dems play into it. It is hard to know if they are just stupid, or unorganized, or afraid, or in agreement.

This little hoi polloi circus show is like a marker dye that reveals the hidden lines in Washington. Yet again we see the Republicans writing the script and the Dems responding by following it. Newt Gingrich admonishes the Dems to attack MoveOn, one the most effective grassroots movements on the left for many, many decades, and low they get it. Seems that for the Washington establishment there are no enemies to the right but there are enemies on the left. The conventional wisdom created by years of right-wing propaganda, particularly neoliberal morsels of economic wisdom and an unquestioning embrace of militant nationalism – are accepted by the Democratic Party establishment as inevitable. It is as if the DLC wants to run the Democratic Party without a left grassroots. This is one of the most important points of this episode.

Posted by: bellumregio on September 21, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

After the dust has settled, the meme "Betray Us" will still be out in the public consciousness, and it will be attached to George W. Bush and his gang, not to previously little-known lefties. I say, let the pundits pipe of hate, in their foolish ways. We're going to see vomit-covered ballots in 2008.

Posted by: Kenji on September 21, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

"Am I the only one who thinks this shows a desire to change the subject so palpable as to be almost desperate?"

No, you're not the only one, Kevin, cause this is obvious. But the more urgent question is, why do Dem Senators let the repubs get away with that gameplay? This lazyness will come back to haunt them before the next elections! Someone (sry, forgot who) made a good point in inventing a headline for 2008: "Extremist organisation, censured by a bipartisan Senate bill, supports Senator X!". Yup, that's exactly what will happen, no doubt about that. What were those idiotic Senators THINKING, if at all?
Grrrr.

Posted by: Gray on September 21, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

I was so inspired I just donated to Moveon. from what I've heard so has thousands of others. Great Job Moveon. I'll keep donating if they keep attacking.

Posted by: DA on September 21, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

I have not seen the ad. However, judging by the reaction, Moveon.org actually might be visionary here. I guess we will see. But if we remain in Iraq, and I think that we probably will, this ad will be seen in different context a year from now. The luster of hearings will have faded, and the sad spiral downward of Iraq will be more clear, with our position in the tragic mess even worse. People will only vaguely remember what the fuss was about, but they will remember what side the Republicans took.

Posted by: DN on September 21, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

What this incident proves is that the Democratic Establishment has concluded that the MoveOn types have nowhere to go.

It also proves that the primary impetus of the Iraq War is not to attack al Qaeda or terrorists or whatnot but rather to attack MoveOn types.

Those who have not yet contributed to MoveOn should do so.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on September 21, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

It's where the Repubs are at their greatest. They have been enormously successful at keeping the focus on the Demos. Together with a sick news medium you hear "MoveOn/Petraeus, Demos FAIL, etc". It's an art form and the demos just have never learned how to top it. The Demos need to focus on each Repub Senator goose stepping enabler and make certain that it is pointed out to their constituents how he/she is avoiding the facts and are not representative of their wishes.
MoveOn has begun a move on Mitch McConnell in KY and we need more of it. They need to be EXPOSED!

Posted by: fillphil on September 21, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

i also wonder if the cable advertisers aren't also playing a role here. msnbc is especially pimping this story for the past several days. even this a.m. willieboy covering for scarborough had two separate segments -- one with medal of honor winner, ret col jack jacobs; and another with ret gen barry mccaffrey. golly, such unbiased opinions being sought.

lotsa chatter about insulting the troops and disrespecting the military -- it's a concerted smear campaign against one of the most effective progressive groups out there. can't possibly imagine why the media and political whores are in such a tizzy over this....

Posted by: linda on September 21, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

I just did something I have never done before. I made a donation to MoveOn. Not only that, throughout the rest of the month, I am donating half of every donation that is made to my blog to MoveOn, just because it will agitate the fuck out of the squawking chickenhawks on the right. I want yellow feathers to fill the air. I will not be happy if less than three foam-flecked fuckwits fall over twitching, having stroked out at the audacity of us dirty fucking hippies.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 21, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

The Republican't Talking Point machine is certainly cranked up to 11, but why, pray tell me, did any Dumbocrat in the Senate vote for the ReThuglican chastisement when the Boxer one was available, adding the slimes against Kerry and Cleland to the mix?

They should ALL at least have done what Obama did and vote for the Boxer slap and not vote at all on the ReThuglican one.

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 21, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Let's give credit where credit's due. It really is pretty remarkable how much political hay Republicans have been able to make out of the MoveOn ad.

The first time I was truly stuck by this ability to make as big of a mountain as they wanted out of a molehill was the Kerry botched joke before the 2006 election. Of course, that joke was only helped to greater prominence by the piling on of supposed Democrats, who couldn't deplore enough that Kerry might have dared to have misspoken the simply awful mistaken way he did.

I concluded that the Republicans can succeed as they do in changing the subject like this because 1) they exercise extraordinary message discipline and 2) Democrats do nothing to rally behind their own people, and are eager, in contrast, to throw them under the bus on any occasion.

Now, I'm not going to defend what MoveOn said in its ad about Petraeus. But what I think is pretty clearly true is this: if the Republicans were in a like position, they would come out in full on attack against those who would criticize their ally, even if they acknowledged that the ally overstepped a bound they themselves would respect. They would do this because they would know that the ongoing credibility of that ally was important to them, and that looking defensive had nothing but downside for their cause. They would devise a counterattack, and stick to it through thick and thin.

In short, for the Republicans, it's pretty clear that they really do understand the concept and value of teamwork when it comes to message discipline. It is this, more than anything else, that makes it so easily possible for them to make something out of nothing. It is the failure of the Democrats to do the like that makes them so very bad at getting their message out.

Posted by: frankly0 on September 21, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

The simple fact is that General Petraeus sat in a hearing and deliberately told blatant, bald-faced lies to the United States Congress and the American people -- just as other principals of the Cheney-Bush administration have done repeatedly.

My only criticism of MoveOn's ad is that "betrayal" is too soft a word. The better word for what General Petraeus did -- and what Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and others did before him -- would be "treason".

But I understand that they used "betray-us" for the sake of the wordplay on the general's name.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 21, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Could the furor over Moveon be to occlude what should be a furor over this:

"The Senate on Friday blocked legislation that would have ordered most U.S. troops home from Iraq in nine months."

or this?

"Republican members say they now remain hopeful that another year of combat will stabilize Iraq and prevent U.S. troops from returning to the region a decade later."


This country is the Titanic and I am a third class passenger in steerage waiting my turn to go up to the boats....

Posted by: Zit on September 21, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

if the Republicans were in a like position, they would come out in full on attack against those who would criticize their ally

And therein lies the rub. The Democratic Party does not consider MoveOn an ally. They consider them - us - I can say that now, I donated yesterday - adversarially because we are not compliant and complicit and quiet. No one who rocks the boat and challenges the status quo is an ally to the national party.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 21, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

30 years from now this ad will be mentioned
along with, maryjoe, vince foster, monica etc..
SOS

Posted by: apeman on September 21, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

HR 1585 is the legislation with the: Cornyn Amdt. No. 2934; To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.

To see if your senators wasted time voting on something so stupid go here then use the links to tell your senators what you think. I did; it's cheap, easy and fun!

Posted by: TJM on September 21, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Oh my, oh my, the Repugs were upset.

Well, piss on the 22 gutless Democratic Senators who joined with them.

I still like BetrayAss better.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 21, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Kevin. Although I think the surge will work in the long run, at present the war news isn't that great. Even the good news from Gen. Odierno that violence is down in Baghdad is offset by the violence still being too high in Baghdad and increasing in some other areas.

So, "Betray-us" is a great opportunity to attack the Dems. It fits the stereotype of liberals not supporting the troops. Also, the charge is obviously unfair. There's no evidence that Petraeus is anything other than a loyal, extremely compentent soldier.

It's funny to see the liberals putting so much money and effort into a campaign that makes them look bad.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 21, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Move on didn't give the Republicans a new toy to play with. The Democratic Leadership did, don't they control the calender and determine which bills go to the floor? Can you imagine a bill condeming what happened to Max Cleland coming to the floor when Trent Lott ran the show? There is such a thing as being too nice.

Posted by: aline on September 21, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

The Democratic Leadership did, don't they control the calender and determine which bills go to the floor? Can you imagine a bill condeming what happened to Max Cleland coming to the floor when Trent Lott ran the show?

Yeah, I wondered about that very point. How did this even become something the entire Senate might vote on?

Posted by: frankly0 on September 21, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

**

Posted by: mhr on September 21, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

"It fits the stereotype of liberals not supporting the troops."

My God, is this old hack still circulating?

It is such a good thing Republicans have stereotypes for classifying large groups of people who don't think like they do, otherwise they would have to wake up and actually see that that there are other priorities than war and profiteering from war or oil and profits from oil, that sort of thing.

Whoo, look at me, I am an enigma. I support the troops, and I STILL hate Bush and his war.

Posted by: Zit on September 21, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

"The Democratic Leadership did, don't they control the calender and determine which bills go to the floor?"

Indeed! I already asked myself, who tf did allow this bill to move to a vote???
Anybody here surprised if it will turn out it was Lieberman?

Posted by: Gray on September 21, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

It fits the stereotype

And that is all it is, Zit. A stereotype. There is no "there" there

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 21, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe they really are the Democrat party. I have contributed more to MoveOn this year than to the party, and that will continue after this latest betrayal. As Charles Pierce says,

"The country hates the war, hates this president, and isn't particularly fond of his party. It hates the Democratic Congress because that Congress doesn't hate the war, the president, and his party enough. The "controversy" existed only in the minds of useless political hucksters. Now, though, with the assistance of damned near half their caucus, the Democrats have managed to make a tactical blunder out of this affair a week later, cheesing off valuable friends, being laughed at by what is a despised minority party everywhere except Washington, D.C., and currying favor with a political elite that will never, EVER, give it any kind of credit for its abject self-abasement. It is an altogether remarkable feat."

Posted by: Nemo on September 21, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

"not supporting the troops"

Oh, I much prefer those who supported the troops so well by actually joining with them. Such as Cheney, Newt, Phil Gramm, Bill Kristol, Larry Craig, Rich Lowery and Jonah Goldberg, Pat Buchanan, Rush, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, John Gibson, ex-Liberal, and other fine "military macho types". Deferments R Us was very active. But, geez, with all of their exceptionally high GTs, the military would have had to create a very rarified "Intelligence" unit. Craig, himself, missed a great opportunity; he could have helped the Marines in looking for just "A Few Good Men".

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 21, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Following frankly0, would the Republicans attack Focus on the Family for some ad? Instead of seizing on the meme that the politicians and yes men in the Pentagon have undermined the military and the country (let us count the ways) they help the Republicans re-enforce their own undeserved image as defenders of the institution AGAINST a Dem activist organization to the left that gets the vote out.

Posted by: bellumregio on September 21, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Now, I'm not going to defend what MoveOn said in its ad about Petraeus.

I am. Read it. Actually read it, then tell me how outrageous it isn't.

Posted by: craigie on September 21, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Whether or not you think the MoveOn ad was a good idea, new Dem senators like Tester, Webb, etc, owe their seats to grassroots organizations like MoveOn. MoveOn gave $300,000 to Tester alone.

Now these ingrates show their gratitude by condemning MoveOn. At the very least, they could have insisted that the SwiftBoats and the Max Cleland ads be condemned as well.

I don't buy the argument that the new "Red State" Dems have to cater to conservatives. The Red States are getting Bluer by the day. Not to mention that these new Senators have five years before they have to run again. Nice display of spinelessness, fellas.

Posted by: Broken on September 21, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

I think the Move On Ad was really meant to just be a fund raiser for Move On, and in that they surpassed their goals.

Posted by: DR on September 21, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

I think the next ad that MoveOn runs will largely determine whether the Betrayus ad was the right move. I myself would not have thought it wise -- or had the balls, take your pick -- to run it in the first place. But now that they have everyone's attention, I hope they don't get cautious like the snivelling dem cowards in Congress who condemned them.

I say to MoveOn: Next time hit much harder with the conviction that the American people will be watching much more closely and are behind you.

Don't worry about the triangulating, calculating cowards in Congress for whom we mistakenly voted, expecting them to do the right thing. Not a one of them -- NOT A ONE -- is willing to act to save American and innocent Iraqi lives.

Blow right past their cowardice and save America.

Posted by: Econobuzz on September 21, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Being on MoveOn's mailing list, I saw the ad pre-publication & thought it went too far with it's grade school mentality, name calling tactics. Like most moderate voters, I deplore attack ad politics.

However, as we keep seeing, they have worked very well for the far right to gain & keep power. I love watching how they can dish it out but cry FOWL when such tactics are used against them. A year from now, the term Betray-us will still be clear in many memories as exactly what the Bushies have done to us. Such a tactic would not have worked for the Democratic Party, but coming from MoveOn, it was brilliant. An added plus is the Dem Party itself is seen as more reasonable than either MoveOn or the GOP.

Posted by: bob in fl on September 21, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Next time some bozo attacks MoveOn, ask him what he thinks of Sen Hegel.

Why? he'll rspond. What did Sen. Hegel (D-NE)** do?

Then, you can tell him.

"It’s not only a dirty trick, but it’s dishonest, it’s hypocritical, it’s dangerous and irresponsible. The fact is this is not Petraeus’ policy, it’s the Bush’s policy. The military is — certainly very clear in the Constitution — is subservient to the elected public officials of this country.. but to put our military in a position that this administration has put them in is just wrong, and it’s dangerous.”

**joke.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 21, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

This is just another in a long succession of things that Beltway types will froth about, but nobody anywhere else will even care about. Thank God for the professional media.Posted by: Lev

I do not know where you live, Lev. If I had to guess it would be somewhere between Fantasyland and the Haunted Mansion
================
If you think political attacks on generals who enter the political debate are out of bounds, you are not a liberal.Posted by: Boronx

If you think political attacks on a general who was given a mission that the Congress funded and demanded that he report to them on the condition of the mission at times chosen by Congress is not out of bounds, you are illiberal and probably living with Lev.

Posted by: majarosh on September 21, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Love Charles Pierce's comment. Here is the bit just before Nemo's quote"

It was utterly unnecessary. First of all, it's pointless to respond every time someone flings poo out of the conservative monkeyhouse. It's what happens in a monkeyhouse. You duck and walk away to go watch the penguins. Secondly, it has been argued that the MoveOn ad was a "tactical" mistake. In what way? What tactical advantage did the Republicans gain from it? Every damn poll since General Petraeus set all the dogs and ponies to dancing shows that nothing he said moved the needle an inch in terms of support for the war. The country, you should pardon the expression, had MOVED ON. Certainly, Republican poo-flinging wasn't going to change that.

Posted by: bellumregio on September 21, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus H. Fucking Christ are you people still talking about this? Drop it. MOVE ON about Move-On...soldiers are dying, Iraqis are dying, the treasury is being looted and we're here being played by the winger talking heads (as was Congress Dems yesterday). Enough already. Focus. Stop playing their asinine game and playing the fool.

Posted by: ckelly on September 21, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kinsley: "It just isn't done in polite society, it seems, to criticize a general in the middle of a war."

Oh, for cryin' out loud, Mike. Don't be a dolt. Perhaps the widespread criticism of McClennan's indolence is ancient history, but surly even you are aware of that crackpot MacAurther in Korea.


Criticize generals during war? Done all the time.

Posted by: bobbyp on September 21, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

The "General Betray Us" insult originated with the troops under his command.
If you have to explain a headline, the headline sucks. Plain and simple.

On anything else, what cal gal said. Once it was done, defend it. Never complain, never explain. Dems blew the opportunity to make Boxer's resolution the issue when they voted for Cronyn's catastrophe. Then today's headlines would be about the GOP's cherrypicking their military folk.

Since it turned out the way it did I hope bob in fl is right.

Posted by: Lynn on September 21, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

That Hagel quote:

"It’s not only a dirty trick, but it’s dishonest, it’s hypocritical, it’s dangerous and irresponsible. The fact is this is not Petraeus’ policy, it’s the Bush’s policy."

is in line with this email Goldberg posted on NRO, obviosly with his approval:

"General Wesley Clark] acts just like the vast majority of general officers that it has been my displeasure to deal with during my 16 years in the U.S. military. Generals are, for the most part, a gigantic pain in the ass and we usually accomplish our military objectives despite their chaos-inducing presence. There are a few good generals here and there but most of them are an embarrassment. […]

- Generals are ambitious in the same way that wolverines are aggressive. It’s their defining trait. […]

- Generals are dull. I don’t mean this in the cant-tell-a-good-joke kind of way. I mean the anti-intellectual, zero-curiousity, hasn’t-read-a-real-book-in-years kind of dull. […]

- Generals are arrogant. Generals truly believe that they are completely right 100% of the time and woe to those underlings who demonstrate that this isn’t so. This trait is what makes generals so dangerous. They will ignore sound advice and do the stupidest things imaginable, all because “Well, I’m a general, dammit, I know what I’m doing and. . . ugh, what was the question again?” Generals can be damn near unreasonable when they get their minds made up and it’s almost impossible to get them to see an alternative way of doing things. […]

- Generals are dishonest. This is a tricky charge to throw out, but it’s the sad truth. I’ve seen more out-and-out lies from general officers than any other people in the military. In a weird way, they are just like professional politicians in this regard."

Obviously, criticising the military is only news when Democrats do it.

Posted by: Broken on September 21, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Now these ingrates show their gratitude by condemning MoveOn.

MoveOn is going to have to recognize supporting DLC Democrats is not going to help defeat W. Bush Republicanism or end the US occupation of Iraq. Giving their supporters' donations to conservative and moderate Democrats is one reason why I have not supported MoveOn. The ad was a good ploy to reenergize their base, but MoveOn must also put the pressure on Congressional Democrats by supporting primary challengers to both the DLC choices and the leadership as well.

Posted by: Brojo on September 21, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody please help bobbyp with his spelling.

Posted by: bobbyp on September 21, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

One suggestion, bobbyp...Firefox!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 21, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

The irony is that if the democratic establishment had showed some backbone and actually tried to do something meaningful to discredit Petraeus and try to end the war, the ad would never have run, or wouldn't have been an issue if it had.

Posted by: Lee on September 21, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin -- If I were you, I'd slap a (tm) sticker on 'fatuous fatwa': It's got resonance, zing, alliteration, flags the Wingers' dogmatism. Plus, if it becomes a descriptor associated with them folks, it'll piss 'em off a whole lot.

Of course, given the nonmention of your scintillating phrase in the earlier 77 comments, maybe it's just my lunchtime burrito talking.

Posted by: MaryCh on September 21, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Actually read it, then tell me how outrageous it isn't.

What I really had in mind here was that I wasn't going to defend the headline in particular. Was that headline dumb? Absolutely yup.

But here's the real point: so the fuck what? Why are Democrats obliged to apologize for it, or even address it? Why should they or the American people give the smallest shit about it when there are all kinds of real issues banging down our doors?

What the Democrats in Congress just don't get is that they can fight back when this shit is thrown at them.

I swear, sometimes these Democratic twits in Congress remind me of an abused spouse who won't for the life of them break away from the cycle of abuse, and have internalized all the ugly things their spouse has said about them.

In the end, they just look fucked and pathetic. All they have to do is walk away from it and be a person and find their strength. But they won't do it -- and sympathy has its limits.

Posted by: frankly0 on September 21, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

After a decade of false accusations from the rabid right-wing against Bill and Hillary Clinton that ranged from the absurd (Hillary killed Vince Foster) to the preposterous (Bill ran a cocaine smuggling cartel out of Mena, AK airport), for these vermin to be incensed about a simple play on words (i.e. Petraeus/Betray Us) is the height of hypocrisy.

I am delighted to see that MoveOn has basically told Bush to go pound sand in his arse on a conference call (go to www.rawstory.com) in response to his dim-witted comments yesterday.

I plan on sending MoveOn.org a large donation this evening.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 21, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Over at Americablog is a post worth checking out:
http://www.americablog.com/2007/09/bush-raises-half-million-for-moveon.html

If nothing else, it's been a very effective fund-raiser. Almost 900% ROI!
It would appear they are getting a fair number of donations from families of military personnel previously and currently deployed.

Fatuous prediction:
MoveOn will raise more $ in the 4 weeks from their ad's date than any single POTUS candidate from any party.

Posted by: kenga on September 21, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK


ot:

ex-lib: Even the good news from Gen. Odierno that violence is down in Baghdad

a day late and a dollar short again?

the nat'l intell. estimate for iraq released in july said...that violence in baghdad was down..

(from the document)

Decrease in Baghdad violence due to sectarian cleansing:

The polarization of communities is most evident in Baghdad, where the Shia are a clear majority in more than half of all neighborhoods and Sunni areas have become surrounded by predominately Shia districts. Where population displacements have led to significant sectarian separation, conflict levels have diminished to some extent because warring communities find it more difficult to penetrate communal enclaves.

that's shorthand for..

...the sunni's lost

and the shiites won...

surge that...

Posted by: mr. irony on September 21, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK
I condemn MoveOn.org's comments on General Petraeus, and here is my plan for health-care reform."

That's like the parody (was it Saturday Night Live, or MAD TV) of Iranian TV.

Weatherman: "Put away your umbrellas, I'm calling for gorgeous weather in Tehran today, and Death to America!"

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on September 21, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

It was a fantastically dumb ad, but then it did come from Eli and Traveling Band of Boobs.

Posted by: Brian on September 21, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

I am a MoveOn member, and I support this ad. I just sent them $25 for their next project.

The Wacky Right sure likes to dish it out, but they sure can not take it, right?

Posted by: Jeff Harris on September 21, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, it was an Al Jazeera parody.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on September 21, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

I remember when we pissed off the right-wing wackos in 1968 with "General Waste more land." He had just finished his "Light at the end of the tunnel" speech. Yeah, ,just before Tet. I predict "General Betrayus" will join him on history's laugh-sheet.

Posted by: Buddy66 on September 21, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

hmph...it's all just talk anyway. When's MoveOn [or any organization opposed to the shite state of the status quo] going to actually do something?!?
Seriously, all I've heard from them for the last few years is talk talk talk...so far their chief accomplishment seems to have been scoring that great domain name for their org...

Call me when the rioting starts.

Posted by: Cognitive Dissident on September 21, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting thread. I would say that the reaction to the Moveon ad was Republicans doubling their bets on Iraq rather than Kevin's theory of changing the subject. The Democratic Congress has pi**ed away what credibility it had. Now everything depends on how Iraq goes by next summer. Republicans are getting some confidence that we are on the right track now. They want to pin the "loser" label on Democrats before 2008. Moveon helped. If Iraq goes to hell by a year from now, nothing the Republicans can do will distract attention from that fact. On the other hand, if by next October 1, Iraq is settling down and the Shia tribes are buying into the same cooperation as the Sunnis are now doing, the Democrats will have huge problems.

We will all see at the same time. The bets on each side are huge. Sort of like the 1864 election.

Posted by: Mike K on September 21, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

If the Democrats were even trying to win, they would have hammered the Republicans for the absolutely disgusting rendition of God Bless America performed at one of the Republican debates.

It was called "How Could God Bless America?", and the audience was lapping it up. Basically the song put to music Fallwell's views about 9/11. Resounding applause.

How the Democrats could ignore this opportunity and instead decide to eat their own is beyond me. Like I posted on a previous thread, I'm beginning to think they are trying not to win. They can't possibly be this stupid to get played like fools over and over and over.

Here it is:Why Should God Bless America?

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on September 21, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

I don't agree w/ Kinsley's adding "return her tainted money" to the list. Wasn't it always a given of proper representation that ours elected reps would give back money when it turned out to be from a murderer or other criminal, and not encourage it by treating the money as something they lucked into? We hardly want congressmen who villains can buy out.

Posted by: Swan on September 21, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Buddy66: I remember when we pissed off the right-wing wackos in 1968 with "General Waste more land." He had just finished his "Light at the end of the tunnel" speech. Yeah, ,just before Tet. I predict "General Betrayus" will join him on history's laugh-sheet.

Yes, I too remember the attacks on Gen. Westmoreland. (I was on the anti-war side then.) But, there's a difference. Westmoreland wasn't too swift; Petraeus is very smart and knowledgable.

Note also that none of us anti-war folks called Westmoreland a traitor. We just felt that he wasn't competent to win the war. The "betray-us" accusation is a big escalation in rhetoric.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 21, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

I think the Move On Ad was really meant to just be a fund raiser for Move On

Considering that the ad only got this much attention because of the *Democratic* overreaction to it, I sincerely doubt that.

I'm a data point myself - I'd never given a dime to MoveOn, or any politician or political organization in my life until *after* that ridiculous vote yesterday. Had that vote never even come up, I doubt I'd have given what I did to MoveOn.

Posted by: Ferruge on September 21, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with Brojo and Red Girl.

Up until now, MoveOn's (or rather the handful of people who make all the decisions for moveon) performance has been lackluster at best, and downright, well, a betrayal at worst (I stopped supporting them years ago when they insisted on using their resources to foster internecine war on the left). And while I find the name-calling juvenile, they are now finally bringing the attack to the enemy -- the war pigs -- and for that they are to be congratulated. And that the wingnuts have shown themselves to be weepy little schoolgirls over the name-calling, well, that's just an added bonus.

Posted by: Disputo on September 21, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Note also that none of us anti-war folks called Westmoreland a traitor. We just felt that he wasn't competent to win the war.

I have a sudden urge to take a baseball bat to this liars skull.

Sheesh, what f-ing crap.

Posted by: Disputo on September 21, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Great moments in personal courage - If only Kennedy were still alive, he could add a new chapter to "Profiles in Courage".

As Obama says "I first voted on something or other before the Move-On bill, then I voted on something or other after the Move-On bill."

Way to try and find your way to 1600.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 21, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

I would say that the reaction to the Moveon ad was Republicans doubling their bets on Iraq rather than Kevin's theory of changing the subject.

Of course you would. But why would you say that - given you have no evidence to support you? Polls show no movement in the opposition to the Iraq war after Petraeus' little fantasy-speak. Or are you saying this because Republicans might as well double their bets - after all it's someone else's money and blood on the line. They have no 'skins' in the game.

If Iraq goes to hell by a year from now,
Of course, you need 2 more Friedman's. Psst, Iraq already gone to hell 4+ years running now.

Posted by: ckelly on September 21, 2007 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

I gave up on the right-wing echo chamber a long time ago-- My suspicion is that non-stop outrage over a minor stupidity will only increase the number of people who just get tired of it. Also, there's some folk-wisdom in the back of people's minds that warns them about guys in uniform saying that things are just going swimmingly.

Nailed it. This is just a re-do of the desperate John Kerry flubbed joke before the 2006 election. We all know how that worked for them. It's all they got.

Posted by: Pug on September 21, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Way to try and find your way to 1600.

Posted by: thethirdPaul

It has really difficult and painful to see Obama throw away the chance of a political lifetime. So many of us had such high hopes for him.

Issue by issue, the lack of promised "boldness" and "change" has been crushing. And avoiding this vote? WTF?

Posted by: Econbuzz on September 21, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Fatuous prediction:
MoveOn will raise more $ in the 4 weeks from their ad's date than any single POTUS candidate from any party.

Their goal is to raise an additional $1M today.

The anti war majority in the US is desperate for someone to lead us out of Iraq.

The Dems had their chance and they have failed (ironically, with help and support in that failure by MoveOn).

But now in their desperate desire to talk about something, anything, but the war, the wingnut war pigs have viciously and ludicrously attacked MoveOn, going so far as to legislate against them, and turned them into a martyr and pretty much the accidental leader of the antiwar movement.

That is why so so many establishment pseudo lefties (like the big pharm lawyer upthread, Armando) are so pissed. And they'll continue to be pissed -- not because MoveOn did anything wrong, but because they finally stumbled into doing what is right, and they are being honored for that by having the guns of the mighty wurlitzer turned fully on them.

All that we peons on the Left have wanted is for someone to stand up with some guts against this admin. And we finally have it. I just hope that MoveOn actually runs with the ball, instead of dropping it like they did before. No more beltway compromises by those pseudo lefties who have been thoroughly compromised by the beltway.

Posted by: Disputo on September 21, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

LIke I said, ckelly, we'll find out.You seem a lot more sure than your fellow Democrats. Actually, the polls do show some movement and that is amazing considering the constant barrage of negative news from the MSM. We'll see, won't we.

Posted by: Mike K on September 21, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, the polls do show some movement

Yes they do -- they some movement against the war.

Posted by: Disputo on September 21, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

All that we peons on the Left have wanted is for someone to stand up with some guts against this admin. And we finally have it. I just hope that MoveOn actually runs with the ball, instead of dropping it like they did before. No more beltway compromises by those pseudo lefties who have been thoroughly compromised by the beltway.

Well, the Democrats are going to be running Hillary for president. Who's MoveOn going to be running?

Posted by: harry on September 21, 2007 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

It has really difficult and painful to see Obama throw away the chance of a political lifetime. So many of us had such high hopes for him. Issue by issue, the lack of promised "boldness" and "change" has been crushing. And avoiding this vote? WTF?

Spare me. He didn't "avoid" the vote. This is what Obama said:

"The focus of the United States Senate should be on ending this war, not on criticizing newspaper advertisements," Obama says. "This amendment was a stunt designed only to score cheap political points while what we should be doing is focusing on the deadly serious challenge we face in Iraq. It's precisely this kind of political game-playing that makes most Americans cynical about Washington's ability to solve America's problems. By not casting a vote, I registered my protest against this empty politics. I registered my views on the ad itself the day it appeared.

"All of us respect the service of General Petraeus and all of our brave men and women in uniform. The way to honor that service is to give them a mission that is responsible, not to vote on amendments like the Cornyn amendment while we continue to pursue the wrong policy in Iraq."

Obama did the right thing by not dignifying the ridiculous amendment by casting a vote. Too bad the Senate leadership didn't have the balls to keep the amendment off the calender in the first place.

Posted by: Disputo on September 21, 2007 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Who are the war pigs running, harry?

Posted by: Brojo on September 21, 2007 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Per his playbook, the wingnut Harry misses (aka avoids) the point.

So. Damn. Predictable.

Posted by: Disputo on September 21, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Spare me. Obama ... did the right thing by not dignifying the ridiculous amendment by casting a vote.

Posted by: Disputo

So he showed more courage than HRC?

Posted by: Econobuzz on September 21, 2007 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

So, how many troops have been killed and wounded since the Petraeus ad?

If we have that number, then the next time one of these Reproblicans gets lathery about the ad we can remind him that whilehe's fiddle-f**king around anther 20 troops have died, or whatever the number is.

Posted by: Danzo on September 21, 2007 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

So he showed more courage than HRC?

You're missing the point -- it's not about courage. But, yes he did. HRC's vote took no courage at all. In fact, it was dictated to her by her 2002 vote for the war. Obama, on the other hand, knew that doing the right thing was going to give more spin fodder to anti-Obama rubes like Stoller et al who predictably attacked him for not jumping into the pig sty.

Posted by: Disputo on September 21, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Check out Olbermann's take on this.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092107A.shtml

Posted by: Mardg on September 21, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Kenji: I say, let the pundits pipe of hate, in their foolish ways. We're going to see vomit-covered ballots in 2008.

Damn. Cole was a lyricist almost beyond compare, but I think this might be even better.

Posted by: shortstop on September 21, 2007 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Per his playbook, the wingnut Harry misses (aka avoids) the point.

You sure I'm the one missing the point? MoveOn.org isn't going to be seeing any of their favorite far-left candidates running in 2008. Even Obama seems to disappoint progressives, now.

So what exactly is your beloved MoveOn going to be doing next fall? Helping the Democratic candidate win? Or just shooting her in the foot with more far-left looniness?

There aren't enough socialist voters in this country to give you the people you want in Washington. There might never be. When was the last time a real "progressive" (by MoveOn standards) even managed to get as far as a national candidacy, never mind win? McGovern?

Posted by: harry on September 21, 2007 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

You're missing the point -- it's not about courage. ... HRC's vote took no courage at all. In fact, it was dictated to her by her 2002 vote for the war.

Posted by: Disputo

No HRC fan here, but you lost me ... but, on the other hand, we're probably ruining the thread.

Posted by: Econobuzz on September 21, 2007 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Let's give credit where credit's due. It really is pretty remarkable how much political hay Republicans have been able to make out of the MoveOn ad.

Um...They've made exactly none. Zero. Nada. Zilch. The country hates this war and hates the war supporters and those who don't oppose the war and its supporters. It can't really be clearer. The GOP getting the spineless to bend over backwards isn't exactly an accomplishment.

The first time I was truly stuck by this ability to make as big of a mountain as they wanted out of a molehill was the Kerry botched joke before the 2006 election. Of course, that joke was only helped to greater prominence by the piling on of supposed Democrats, who couldn't deplore enough that Kerry might have dared to have misspoken the simply awful mistaken way he did.,/i>

Once again, what good did it do them? None. The GOP got KILLED in 2006 -- and they'll do worse in 2008. Why? Because, despite their ineffectuality (and in no small part because of the past 30 years of GOP propaganda, ironically), the Democrats are the only party seen as having the desire to end the war (no matter how realistic that may be). The GOP can whine all they want about how the Democrats are anti-military -- in this environment, it helps the Democrats, because that means "anti-war".

I have ZERO confidence in the Democrats to do anything that requires sack. However, since the GOP has been screaming that the Democrats pussies who would end wars (as if that's a bad thing to these idiots), well, the public agrees and SUPPORTS THAT.

It's way, way, way, way past time for people here to understand a basic fact: the GOP can't effectively demagogue this war anymore. Americans don't give a shit about the ad. And by screaming about the ad -- which is AGAINST THE WAR -- they are once again showing how tone deaf they are.

Nothing will save them, not even the timidity of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Jay B. on September 21, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

So what exactly is your beloved MoveOn going to be doing next fall?

All you got is more from the wingnut playbook? Really, that's all you got? Really?

LMAO @ wingnuts who have forgotten that there is a war going on. I'll let you in on a little secret -- the rest of America hasn't forgotten.

Posted by: Disputo on September 21, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

MoveOn has been pushing against the Democratic Senators to de-fund the war, contrary to what a poster said earlier on this thread. It just did not appear on that ad. One of the reasons I have not supported them more is because of their focus on immediate removal of the troops, which I have not been sure is a good idea. (but it sounds a little better every day)

Just read another email from MoveOn. Yesterday they set a new record for single day donations of $500,000m much of it apparently as a result of the ad & the Senate Resolution censuring them. The ad seems to have worked well for them, &, I think, for the rest of us anti-Bushies. Stay tuned for their next ad. It promises to keep the pot well stirred.

Posted by: bob in fl on September 21, 2007 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

I heard a reading on the resolution that was passed by the senate. It doesn't actually mention General Betrayus or MoveOn by name. Instead, it is worded to include all military personnel, a group that is much better supported by MoveOn that by the Republican party. MoveOn has NEVER said anything bad about our troops. Both Bush and Rudy somebody (one of the five best known people in the world) vehemently condemmed the ad--must have struck a nerve somewhere. Right on MoveOn, you spend my money wisely.

Posted by: sparky on September 21, 2007 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK
I heard a reading on the resolution that was passed by the senate. It doesn't actually mention General Betrayus or MoveOn by name.

The literal content of non-binding, symbolic resolutions doesn't matter, what matters is the context and the message they send. The ad was the stimulus for the Republican led effort, it was what they said it was about, and once that occurred, the content of the resolution was never going to matter, if it passed, it would be a condemnation of the MoveOn ad specifically and exclusively.

The Democrats could have, and should have, condemned the resolution effort as pure political theater, blocked it, and put the Republicans on the spot for blocking efforts to something substantive for the troops.

But instead, enough of them surrendered to validate the Republicans' propaganda effort.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2007 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Each and every fucking day, the rightie blogosmear and their hate radio doppelgangers spew a constant commentary that puts the "General Betrayus" ad to shame. They call Hillary a "communist" (that's the nicest thing they say), Al Gore the "Goracle," smear Kerry, smear Edwards, smear .... well, you get the point.

Rush's long "Magic Negro" riff on Obama comes to mind. As does "Obama Osama." How is that materially different from "General Betrayus"? And where the HELL were/are your howls as that slur has been propagated throughout the media?

And you ASSHOLES wrinkle your little noses and sniff delicately that the "MoveOn ad was dumb"?

I don't know where you get your sense of fair play and proportionality, but, were I you, I would seriously consider entering drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation for a long, LONG time. How many times can the Republican Hate Machine con you?

How feeble-minded do you have to be to keep falling for the same old carney cons over and over and over and over and over ...

You get the point.

Oh wait, you DON'T ...

Which is MY point.

Posted by: Hart Williams on September 21, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

It's clear enough at this point that the repugs are sticking with Bush. It's also clear that their strategy is to create the illusion that we're winning in Iraq and tar the dems as cowards, defeatists, and traitors.

The danger here is that the dems will just ride this out, hoping that things in Iraq (as portrayed by the MSM using data supplied by Petraeus) will continue to deteriorate.

I think this is a very, very dangerous strategy. MoveOn could play a critically important role going forward in keeping the focus on the lack of success and costs of the war -- when few dems have the courage to do so.

Posted by: Econobuzz on September 21, 2007 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

To Danzo:

20-Sep-2007 NAME NOT RELEASED YET Kirkuk - At-Ta'mim Non-hostile
20-Sep-2007 NAME NOT RELEASED YET Diyala Province Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
20-Sep-2007 NAME NOT RELEASED YET Al Anbar Province Non-hostile
19-Sep-2007 Private 1st Class Christian M. Neff Baghdad (West of) Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
18-Sep-2007 Sergeant Edmund J. Jeffers Al Taqaddum - Anbar Non-hostile - accident
18-Sep-2007 Specialist Aaron J. Walker Baghdad (southern part) Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire
18-Sep-2007 Specialist Matthew J. Emerson Ninawa Province Non-hostile - vehicle accident
18-Sep-2007 Specialist Joseph N. Landry III Muqdadiyah - Diyala Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
18-Sep-2007 Specialist Nicholas P. Olson Muqdadiyah - Diyala Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
18-Sep-2007 Specialist Donald E. Valentine III Muqdadiyah - Diyala Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
16-Sep-2007 Staff Sergeant Michael L. Townes Balad - Salah ad Din Non-hostile
15-Sep-2007 Private 1st Class Brandon T. Thorsen Baghdad Non-hostile
15-Sep-2007 Corporal Terrence P. Allen Al Anbar Province Non-hostile
14-Sep-2007 Sergeant John Mele Baghdad Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
14-Sep-2007 Staff Sergeant Terry D. Wagoner Diyala Province Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
14-Sep-2007 Specialist Todd A. Motley Diyala Province Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
14-Sep-2007 Specialist Jonathan Rivadeneira Diyala Province Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
14-Sep-2007 Private Christopher M. McCloud Diyala Province Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Posted by: TJM on September 21, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

tar the dems as cowards, defeatists, and traitors...The danger here is that the dems will just ride this out, hoping that things in Iraq...will continue to deteriorate.
Posted by: Econobuzz

Copied without comment.

Posted by: SJRSM on September 21, 2007 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK
Copied without comment.

But not without meaning-distorting deletions.


Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Here is the entire quote Mike twisted...Just for the record. His excerpts are in bold:

It's clear enough at this point that the repugs are sticking with Bush. It's also clear that their strategy is to create the illusion that we're winning in Iraq and tar the dems as cowards, defeatists, and traitors.

The danger here is that the dems will just ride this out, hoping that things in Iraq (as portrayed by the MSM using data supplied by Petraeus) will continue to deteriorate.

I think this is a very, very dangerous strategy. MoveOn could play a critically important role going forward in keeping the focus on the lack of success and costs of the war -- when few dems have the courage to do so.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 21, 2007 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Just for the record, at the time I hit "enter", my post looked like it was going to go right beneath his. TJM must have simul-posted.

Since you and CMD missed the point, the point is, if you are worried about getting tarred as defeatists, you may not want to come out and publicly hope for deterioration. Kind of plays into their hands.

Posted by: SJRSM on September 21, 2007 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

sparky, too much sugar after all? See the Cornyn amendment to HR1585 I commented on at 2:40pm. Gen'l Dave is named.

Posted by: TJM on September 21, 2007 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

... you may not want to come out and publicly hope for deterioration. Kind of plays into their hands.

Posted by: SJRSM

Read much?

The point I made was "hoping that things in Iraq (as portrayed by the MSM using data supplied by Petraeus) will continue to deteriorate."

Not hoping that things will deteriorate. Pretty big difference.

Posted by: Econobuzz on September 21, 2007 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

But not without meaning-distorting deletions.

No kidding. What a revolting trick.

Posted by: shortstop on September 21, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

(Feith and the OSP) to justify war.

"In the case of Iraq's relationship with al Qaeda, intelligence was exaggerated to support Administration policy aims primarily by the Feith policy office, which was determined to find a strong connection between Iraq and al Qaeda, rather than by the IC, which was consistently dubious of such a connection...The non-IC or "alternative" intelligence analysis conducted by the DOD neatly fit the Administration's desire to build a strong case for an invasion of Iraq to overthrow the Saddam regime, particularly given the fact that the usual source of intelligence analysis, the IC, was skeptical about the existence of a close or cooperative relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda."

http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroom/supporting...

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 21, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

The rate of terrorist attacks around the world by jihadist groups and the rate of fatalities in those attacks increased dramatically after the invasion of Iraq. Globally there was a 607 percent rise in the average yearly incidence of attacks (28.3 attacks per year before and 199.8 after) and a 237 percent rise in the average fatality rate (from 501 to 1,689 deaths per year). A large part of this rise occurred in Iraq, which accounts for fully half of the global total of jihadist terrorist attacks in the post-Iraq War period. But even excluding Iraq, the average yearly number of jihadist terrorist attacks and resulting fatalities still rose sharply around the world by 265 percent and 58 percent respectively.

Posted by: consider wisely sanely on September 21, 2007 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Hart Williams: Each and every fucking day, the rightie blogosmear and their hate radio doppelgangers spew a constant commentary that puts the "General Betrayus" ad to shame. They call Hillary a "communist" (that's the nicest thing they say), Al Gore the "Goracle," smear Kerry, smear Edwards, smear .... well, you get the point.

To say Gen. Petraeus betrayed his country is to call him a traitor. That's just about as serious a slur as calling someone a communist. Making fun of his name in an infantile way made it worse.

No doubt this ad has helped MoveOn with the far left, just as the far right can gain by calling Hillary a communist. But, the ad helped the Republican party a lot. It allows them to paint the left as opposed to our fighting men.

This ad will gain votes of military people for the Republicans. It also makes it harder for mainstream Dem politicians to criticize the war. As a result of the ad, the Dems now have to bend over backward to make sure their criticism of the war cannot be interpreted as a criticism of the troops.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 21, 2007 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

As a result of the ad, the Dems now have to bend over backward to make sure their criticism of the war cannot be interpreted as a criticism of the troops.

oh right, like every gooper moron doesn't already "interpret" criticism of the war that way.

what hole have you been living in for the past three years?

Posted by: haha on September 21, 2007 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

I'm furious about the resolution and the debate itself. I've been restraining myself from wasting my time writing to Carl Levin to object to his 'yea' vote on the resolution. As has been pointed out elsewhere, and probably in this thread, the 23 Dems who voted AGAINST this resolution were pretty much the same 23 that voted against the war (never mind Carl). At least MoveOn didn't use the words of Admiral William Fallon, Centcom chief, who called Petraeus 'an ass-licking little chicken shit.' Keith Olberman had a great comment on all of this last night, pointing to the fact that historically there has been a red line between the military and policy making. Another moronic debate in DC. What's wrong with these people?

Posted by: nepeta on September 21, 2007 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

That Moveon ad is a good fund raiser for lots of people:

"Giuliani Attacks MoveOn.org [David Freddoso]
The long, oddly shaped dining room in Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel was packed. State GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis grabbed me before the speech to remark, "We've got so many people here that we've literally run out of seats. I had to give mine up for one of our donors."

Yup. It did move some money around.

Posted by: Mike K on September 21, 2007 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

oh, and the majority of Americans who believe that this war is a failure and that we should get out aren't going to change their opinion based on one stupid newspaper ad--just like the people who voted for Bush in '04 didn't change their minds because of the scumbags who ran smear ads about decorated war veteran John Kerry.

Don't remember the Senate wasting their time denouncing those swift boat ads.
IOKIYAR

Posted by: haha on September 21, 2007 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

haha: like every gooper moron doesn't already "interpret" criticism of the war [as criticsm of the troops.

Sure, we gooper morons already make this interpretation. But, as a result of the MoveOn ad, middle-of-the-road independents may now start doing so. No doubt most soldiers are proud to serve with a person of Gen. Petraeus' stature. Now these soldiers will start seeing things the way gooper morons do.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 21, 2007 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

The Head of Centcom, Admiral William Fallon, called General Petraeus "an ass-kissing chickenshit", and I don't believe the Republicans in Congress got too wrapped around the axle about that comment. I know they didn't pass some stupidass resolution about it. I guess you can insult a General, as long as you are a conservative Republican stooge.

Getting back to Dubya, I almost starting to feel sorry for him, particularly after watching that bizarre press conference of his yesterday. I think that Bush has serious psychological problems, which relate back to being raised by a mother and father who had really terrible moral values. I don't mean to come off as judgemental but can you imagine being raised by two people who inherited vast fortunes built from Nazi slave labor? What kind of family is that to be raised in?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 21, 2007 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: sounds like something you heard and repeated from Glenn Beck or Hannity or Limbaugh right wing programs and I doubt it was an original thought. Robot you...
Middle of the roaders already know the war is evil and anyone who hasn't made an opinion thus far is lost,and in your world likely

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 21, 2007 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

But, as a result of the MoveOn ad, middle-of-the-road independents may now start doing so.

I know you're really hoping that they "may", but the majority of Americans are much more intelligent than you, and don't change their opinions on big issues like this over such non-controversies.

No doubt most soldiers are proud to serve with a person of Gen. Petraeus' stature.

I await your survey results.

Now these soldiers will start seeing things the way gooper morons do.

more wishful thinking.

Posted by: haha on September 21, 2007 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Well, MoveOn reported a record fundraising day, and they got a lot of military support:

I'm currently in Iraq. I do not agree with this war, and if I did support this war, it would not matter. You have the RIGHT to speak the truth. We KNOW that you support us. Thank you for speaking out for being our voice. We do not have a voice. We are overshooted by those who say that we soldiers do not support organizations like MoveOn. WE DO.
YOU ARE OUR voice.

and

I have given a son to this country. My brother, my father, my uncle have all served honorably and bravely. I am a loyal American. I am outraged and sick to death of the tactics this administration uses to try to silence dissent to a war that is unjust, built and maintained on lies, political power, and greed. I was content to let others fight more loudly, but no more. –Sharyn W., NC and
I am a prior soldier who served in Iraq for 13 months, and am now an expecting mom with a husband who is deployed in Baghdad. I don't think I can ever forgive the Bush administration for the lies that tricked America into this war and hurt my family so badly. I am ashamed of those American politicians who would condemn an organization for practicing the Freedom of Speech that so many soldiers have died for. –Danielle B., OH
and
As a US Navy veteran and an Iraq war veteran of over a year I want to ask, What has happened to us? What has happened to our voice? Where is this country going with stopping free speech and free press? ... Every time I think of the long nights I had in Anbar remembering what I was fighting for, well here it is.... –Ahmad H., LA
and
I've had three nephews serve since 2002, one of whom was killed in Anbar Province. I have a fourth nephew at Quantico training. I want this war over before he is deployed and before any more of our soldiers are sacrificed. –Michele R., NE
and
Three members of my family are military. Two Marines have served in Iraq and an Army Lt. is deploying in November. If we had all spoken out when the administration used General Powell perhaps we would not be in this mess. –Carol B., PA
and
As a Marine I served for many reasons but one of them was to allow people the freedom of speech, whether I agreed with it or not. Wearing a uniform does not mean someone isn't a shill, is spewing propaganda, and downright lies. MoveOn has every right to buy an ad and say what they want about a public figure. This administration has lied to us, deceived us, misled us and when posed with a challenge this is how they respond? –Keith G., VA

I think the clock has run out for the GOP being the party of a strong military. You think the G.I.'s in the field don't notice that the senate couldn't pass the Webb amendment, but they could find one voice over a fucking ad? When soldiers in his command came up with the name-play in the first place? Please.


Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 21, 2007 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

Why do all those troops hate themselves, Blue Girl?

Posted by: shortstop on September 21, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

No doubt most soldiers are proud to serve with a person of Gen. Petraeus' stature.

Yeah, that's right. Everyone knows how much senior military leadership is beloved by your average 11-Bravo. Sheesh.

Posted by: ericblair on September 21, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

"political correctness" does not exist. It is a right wing frame used to demonize those who would point out their misogyny. Why does Kinsley grant them this point? What a frickin idiot.

Posted by: david on September 21, 2007 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Other than CIndy Sheehan and John Murtha, who do you think wrote those letters to Moveon ?

Pretty funny.

Lots of ex-military will be running for office the next four years. Let's see which party they choose.

Posted by: Mike K on September 22, 2007 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Count me as one more totally on the side of MoveOn. This phoney outrage over calling General Petraeus name has got me outraged... especially when the damned Democrats had 22 of their Senators support that abortion of a resolution against MoveOn. Like or not, MoveOn made a valid point, and that is what people are trying to dodge.

Posted by: Claimsman on September 22, 2007 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

How far left is the ar left?

The far left is so far left there's no room left left of the far left, right?

Posted by: majarosh on September 22, 2007 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Other than CIndy Sheehan and John Murtha, who do you think wrote those letters to Moveon? Pretty funny.

How dare you disrespect these people who are in another country putting their ass on the line so you won't wet your pants every night with fevered dreams of swarthy men. At least have the balls if not the IQ to acknowledge that a lot of people serving over there believe this endeavor to be futile and want to come home. It's no secret, they get quoted in the papers all the time.

Lots of ex-military will be running for office the next four years. Let's see which party they choose.

Yes, let's see. Your miserably childish taunts aside, so far 90% have been running as Democrats, you blithering fuckwit.

Posted by: trex on September 22, 2007 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

The point I made was "hoping that things in Iraq (as portrayed by the MSM using data supplied by Petraeus) will continue to deteriorate."

Not hoping that things will deteriorate. Pretty big difference.

We must speak different Englishes. I miss the huge change that your parenthetical remark has on the meaning. I doubt I'd be the only one.

Did you mean you're hoping the portrayal of things in Iraq will deteriorate?

No kidding. What a revolting trick.
Posted by: shortstop

OK, what do you think he meant?

Posted by: SJRSM on September 22, 2007 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

I'm still puzzling on this one. So you don't (of course) want things to deteriorate in Iraq, but you do want the MSM portrayal of Iraq to show deterioration (which you feel is ongoing, like it or not), and for that portrayal to be based on Petraeus' data. Did I get it?

Posted by: SJRSM on September 22, 2007 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

Things have already deteriorated in Iraq, but you and the MSM are ignoring it.

Posted by: Brojo on September 22, 2007 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: But, as a result of the MoveOn ad, middle-of-the-road independents may now start doing so.


Was the Petraeus report truthful and objective -or- slanted toward Bush?

40% said slanted - 35% truthful

- Fox News 9/13/07

Posted by: mr. irony on September 22, 2007 at 6:27 AM | PERMALINK

Did I get it?

Posted by: SJRS

No, unfortunately you didn't. You read my post with the assumption that we can know the true situation on the ground in Iraq. We can't. We're dealing here with a perception of progress, or lack thereof, created in large part by MSM coverage. And that perception has been one of sinking further and further into a quagmire.

Petraeus's testimony sought to reverse our perception of how things are going -- to cherry pick data in a manner that shows progress -- despite other indicators. That is, he aimed to change the narrative.

His success in doing so has been marginal at best. The reason for that, I think, is that the public (and dems) sense that things will continue to deteriorate because this is a civil war that must play out. Not that they hope things will deteriorate, but rather based on the evidence they see, that the narrative of a worsening situation will continue over the next several months.

But the public senses, correctly I think, that Petraeus is seeking to change the narrative REGARDLESS of the situation on the ground. They sense this because he has already changed the definition of progress to exclude political progress and substituted the war against AQI for the civil war in Iraq.

My point was that dems who hope that the MSM narrative of sinking further and further into a quagmire may be disappointed -- if Petraeus and the MSM are successful in changing the narrative.

I'm done. I think we're boring everyone.

Posted by: Econobuzz on September 22, 2007 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

"But, the ad helped the Republican party a lot."

No, dear, it didn't, which is why you cannot find any data to support this silly assertion. The evidence to date is that most people neither know about, nor care about, this tempest in a teapot. Neither the ad nor the response to it affected anyone's vote in the slightest, as the polls since have clearly demonstrated.

"It allows them to paint the left as opposed to our fighting men."

ROFL.... Dear heart, they've been doing that for years.

"This ad will gain votes of military people for the Republicans."

No, dear, it won't, which is why you can't support this bit of silliness, either. The average grunt came up with the name in the first place, dear.

"It also makes it harder for mainstream Dem politicians to criticize the war."

Not even remotely, which is why "mainstream Dem [sic] politicians" have continued to criticize the war. You do like making shit up, don't you?

"As a result of the ad, the Dems now have to bend over backward to make sure their criticism of the war cannot be interpreted as a criticism of the troops."

Dear heart, they've been doing that for years, since Republican shills like yourself just love those fact-free ad hominem attacks. The ad changed not one damn thing.

Posted by: PaulB on September 22, 2007 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

"Of course they've been successful."

No, dear, they haven't, which is why the general public is still firmly against the war. Opposition to the war changed not at all in response to the dog-and-pony show.

"Congressional opposition has moved from weak to weaker and the anti-war demonstrations are a parody."

See you in 2008, dear.

"The polls have moved solidly in GWBs direction"

ROFLMAO.... No, dear, they haven't. This was a particularly silly assertion to make, dear.

"and he maintains the total support of his base and increasing support among independents."

I'm afraid that you're wrong, dear. He is not gaining any support at all among independents.

"Making the heroic and shrewd Patraeus the political as well as the military face of the war was brilliant, if not exactly rocket science."

It was an act of desperation, dear, and so far, all it's done is tarnish Petraeus. It certainly hasn't changed public opinion on the war. But you go ahead and live in that little fantasy world of yours if you want to.

"Patraeus already said they'll withdrawl 30,000 troops be then"

Petraeus has also admitted that this has nothing to do with events in Iraq or the success or failure of "the Surge" and everything to do with the fact that the military is breaking.

"Presidents are rated on many things including controlling legislation. Bush will be getting very high marks in this regard."

ROFL.... You really are desperate to salvage something for your hero, aren't you? Face it, dear, the verdict's already in -- the Bush presidency is a miserable failure.

"Think back to the 06 elections and the Iraq Study Group look as what he's done to the opposition. It's quite historic."

Yup, the 2006 election was indeed historic, dear. And I cannot wait for 2008.

"It was Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi holding all of the aces yet GWB won every hand."

ROFL.... And lost the House and the Senate.

"While you were amusing yourself over his flaws he ate your lunch."

And lost the election, dear, and will cause even bigger losses in 2008.

"There's no IF my friend. The narrative has changed and for all of the right reasons."

The general public disagrees with you, dear, as the recent polls clearly show.

"The facts have changed"

No, dear, they haven't, which is why the general public's opinion hasn't changed.

"We're going to find out if the surge worked. No amount on PR will hide the truth."

We already know it didn't, dear.

Posted by: PaulB on September 22, 2007 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

"Moveon committed political suicide by attacking a uniform."

Dear heart, MoveOn.org made a lot of money and got a lot of press. In what way is this "political suicide"?

"She took the wrong side. It might help her with the 30% far left but she needs moderates and independents to win."

Dear heart, moderates and independents agree with MoveOn.org.

"Her vote against Patraeus will absolutely cost her votes in the general election."

Since she didn't "vote against Patraeus [sic]", I'm afraid that, as usual, you're 100% wrong. It's only people like you that are hot and bothered about this and you would never vote for Clinton. Moreover, by the time people start paying attention to this election, this issue will be long dead and buried.

"To the extent General David Patraeus proves to be an honest, able and honorable man you can count on the SBVs being reborn for the 2009 campaign."

Since his recent statements were not, in fact, honest, I'm afraid Petraeus is not going to be the factor you're hoping he will be. But then living in the real world never has been your strong point, has it, dear?

Posted by: PaulB on September 22, 2007 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

[Thread-derailing by RDW has been deleted.]

Posted by: Mod Squad on September 22, 2007 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

[Your history of trolling this site has sufficiently annoyed me, and all of your comments have been and will continue to be summarily deleted.]

Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

rdw...

"The strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail. So far it's working for us." - GOP Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott 4/18/07


More GOP approve of Congress's performance than Democrats..37% to 23%. - Gallup 9/20/07

Posted by: mr. irony on September 22, 2007 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

I think the MoveOn ad was a huge win for the Democrats until they shot themselves in the foot by condemming it.

It was the Republicans who had to change people's minds about Iraq, not the Democrats. They walked over the administration's message. The public was already skeptical about what Petreaus had to say, and suggesting that criticism for Petreaus was un-American only confirmed their doubts.

The Republicans were insulting most Americans, and insulting their intelligence as well. Then the Senate Democrats blew it by joining in the insults.

Posted by: david1234 on September 22, 2007 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

What's amazing about Kinsley's statement (as quoted by Kevin in the original post) is that Kinsley is just the sort of liberal sell-out who'd usually be condemning the ad.

Posted by: Barry on September 22, 2007 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

[Thread-derailing by RDW has been deleted.]

Posted by: Mod Squad on September 22, 2007 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

[Your history of trolling this site has sufficiently annoyed me, and all of your comments have been and will continue to be summarily deleted.

Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

rdw is also posting as Mod Squad so he can pretend to argue with himself? What a freaking psycho.

Posted by: shortstop on September 22, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Here is a debate between moderate Dem Mickey Kaus and liberal Dem Robert Wright. They both agree that the Betray-Us ad hurt the Dems. It's noteworthy that every Rep criticized the ad and many Dems did too. That reaction says that the ad was far out.

Even when things were going well under Bush, my Dem friends feared the Republican Party because of the influence of the Christian Right. Now there's a bogeyman on the other side -- MoveOn. E.g., the conservative Investors Business Daily ran an editorial A Party Bought And Paid For claiming that MoveOn controls the Democratic Party.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 22, 2007 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, the return of the Doofus from Drexel Hill.

Yeah, Doc Mikey, and a lot of Non-ex-military Repugs appear to be fleeing from office. Perhaps some military service would have put a touch more integrity, humanity and spine in them. You served this great nation, Mike K, why didn't so many of your compatriots?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 22, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: That reaction says that the ad was far out.

Yeah, man, I agree-- that ad was, like, far out, man!

Posted by: DFH on September 22, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

"Move-On controlling the Democratic Party"

Whew! Well, as long as Wall Street and K Street do not gain control of the Repugs..........

Posted by: stupid git on September 22, 2007 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, "far out, man" - Ah, the things FAUX-Lib learned while on K-P at Ft Ord.

And, a special thank you to Senator Wyden of Oregon for standing firm.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 22, 2007 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

I have a question...Why is the ad outrageous, and the Purple Heart bandaids weren't?

Who, exactly, doesn't respect military service?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 22, 2007 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

"Who, exactly, doesn't respect military service"

Oh, let me see - Newt, Phil Gramm, Rush, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Kristol, Mike Pence, Larry Craig, Dickless Cheney, David Reinhard of the Oregonian, Cliff May- Their motto is "Send others and fight, fight, fight".

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 22, 2007 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Blue Girl, demeaning - Like getting one after a Jolly Green Giant can fell on one's noggin. Why do you think Hard Hats were issued while crossing the Atlantic? Truly demeaning.

Ah, the Mark Steyn marathon has begun.

Posted by: stupid git on September 22, 2007 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

rdw (who is still arguing with himself as Mod Squad? WTF?): Like FDR? Like Wodrow Wilson

Apart from the fact that sitting presidents rarely join up, Wilson was 61 in 1917. What war did you expect him to fight in? The Spanish-American War, when he was 42?

FDR, on the other hand, did try to join the Navy during the Spanish-American War, but then contracted measles and was disallowed. During WWI, he was an undersecretary in the Navy until 1917, when, despite having five young children, he offered his resignation so that he could apply for a commission in the Navy. Wilson refused him.

Gosh, you're dumb.

Posted by: shortstop on September 22, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K:Obscenity does not substitute for logic no matter what you learned in junior high. I said that future candidates will include a lot of ex-military and let's see which party they choose.

Okay, let's examine some of that logic of yours:

In 2006, the vast majority of ex-military Congressional candidates were Democrats.

In 2007, the war is even more unpopular with the general public than it was in 2006. Opposition to the war now stands in the high 70s percentage-wise; continuing to promote Bush's failed war is political suicide in all but the reddest districts composed of the most low-information voters.

At the same time, the percentage of military identifying themselves as Republican has dropped from 60 to 46 in the last three years.

This change is further illustrated on the campaign contributions front:military members are increasingly supporting Democratic candidates, to the point at which Republicans have lost their 2-1 fundraising advantage among thr troops and now are just about even with Democrats. The only Republican candidate to buck this shift is the anti-war Ron Paul.

So if you're arguing that in 2008 ex-military will flock to become GOP candidates who pledge to help get the troops out of Iraq, you may have something of interest there.

But I don't really think that's your contention, is it, Logic Boy?

Posted by: shortstop on September 22, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

I think the correct reponse by Democrats is sadness and distain at Republicans being threatened by a few political activists.

The same way they are threatened out of their minds by al-Qaeda in Iraq (a tiny presence) while being distracted from the real al-Qaeda in Afganistan and Packistan.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on September 22, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Paul3 - we need a new name for Lieberman. Might I suggest Joeferment replace Joementum?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 22, 2007 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe I'm just getting old, but I found the whole Betray Us ad kind of cute. And certainly not worth working up a sweat over. I'm sure most adults know if you want something to go away, just ignore it. So the Repubs must as some posters have pointed out not want it to go away.
The way I look at it, I'm glad we live in a country where such a thing can be said in public without fear of death or prison. I think more groups should say more about everything that goes on. Thinking is good for people, we do far too little of it. Worst of all, the general public seem not to care. They know more about what happened on a TV show than what goes on in Washington. And I think our leaders in Washington are counting on that not changing.

Posted by: cbh on September 22, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

cbh: Maybe I'm just getting old, but I found the whole Betray Us ad kind of cute. And certainly not worth working up a sweat over.

The trouble is that the ad has adverse consequences for us. We want our soldiers to fight valiantly. We wan them to risk their lives for the good of their cause. Implying that their commander is a traitor can only discourage them. Emphasizing that we have little hope of winning can only discourage the troops. That's why enemy propaganda typically claims that their side's victory is assured.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 22, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, FAUX-Lib - I believe your "we want our soldiers to fight valiently, should be changed to "I want them, and have always wanted them to fight valiantly in my stead, so I do not and have never had to fight" - Yeah, it must have been tough trying to hitch hike to Nam.

You and Col Joeferment were such warriors. Did you get all in a tingle, when you passed the Army Kaserne in West Berlin? All that spit and polish of that fine Brigade turn you on? Hey, you could have come southwest and eaten some of that fine tank trail dust at Grafenwohr. Hell, boy, I would have opened a fliptop for ya. Let you play gun bunny on an eight inch self propelled.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 22, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK
…MoveOn.org isn't going to be seeing any of their favorite far-left candidates running in 2008….harry at 6:41 PM
MoveOn is a moderate group. It's only by comparison to the wild-eyed Republican moonbats that allows centrists to be called extreme. For example: In 1996, when Clinton was president, your party sold t-shirts that said, "Where is Lee Harvey Owswald when we need him?" In 2000, you said McCain betrayed his fellow POWs in Vietnam. Also in 2000, you mocked Gore for going to Vietnam when you went AWOL. In 2002, your party morphed Max Cleland into Osama. In 2004 your party mocked Purple Hearts at your convention.
I had to give mine up for one of our donors."…Yup. It did move some money around….Mike K at 9:55 PM
In Republian circs, nothing sells better than hate.
So you don't … want things to deteriorate in Iraq, but you do want the MSM portrayal of Iraq to show deterioration ….SJRSM at 1:23 AM
Here's a new data point: There is now Cholera in Baghdad. September 21, 2007 Cases of Cholera Reach Baghdad By ANDREW E. KRAMER BAGHDAD, Sept. 20 — The first cases of cholera appeared in Baghdad on Thursday, in a sign the epidemic that has already sickened thousands in northern Iraq is now spreading more widely in a population made vulnerable by war to a normally preventable disease. The World Health Organization and Iraqi Red Crescent Society reported two cases here and Iraqi television reported another case, in a 7-month-old baby, in Basra, far to the south…. Every day, in every way, their quality of life is deteriorating for Iraqis. Every day Americans die so Iraq can be a worse place. Every month, the Bush spends $12 billion so more Iraqis become refugees or suffer the effects of his invasion. Makes ya proud, eh Bushboy?
The trouble is that the ad has adverse consequences for us…ex-lax at 4:36 PM
What you want our soldiers to fight and die for is Iraq oil. You are asking them to waste their lives, the only ones they have, so Bush and his henchmen can have control of huge oilfields. What the military is supposed to do is defend the US and its Constitution in which it is not a crime but a duty for each citizen to question the acts of their government. Your pandering to a lying authoritarian demagogue is a betrayal. The facts on the ground are obvious, which is why Petraeus had to fudge his numbers: Bush is losing two wars. If that be adverse consequences, then you should get on your knees and thank MoveOn. Posted by: Mike on September 22, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl,

Like that - Remember the great film of James Jones' "From Here to Eternity"? A theme ran through it and was sung by the Sgts, called "ReEnlistment Blues" - FAUX and his buddies still croon "I got those Deferment Blues"

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 22, 2007 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the ad was a clever play on words. After that, I did not think any more about it. Now, I find all this fuss and bother much ado about nothing.

Posted by: Mazurka on September 22, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Umm...I thought these people hated the NYT.

Posted by: Daryl on September 22, 2007 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: rdw on September 22, 2007 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

The focus of outrage should be on Republicans for their typical cynicism, first and foremost. But a different kind of outrage attaches to MoveOn.org for barfing up such a gadawful pun. As an early commenter stated, what they need is a new ad agency, one that'll stand firm against MoveOn staff's penchant for truly terrible advertising judgment. This isn't the first or even second time they've laid a turd.

This isn't just style over substance. To use a pun in always bad; to toss off a dumb pun in a serious situation like this is negligently flippant.

Posted by: djangone on September 22, 2007 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

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[Persistent trolling by rdw has resulted in comments for this thread being turned off.]


Posted by: rdw on September 23, 2007 at 7:40 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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