Twenty three Senate Democrats today showed that they are cowards and will bend to the slightest threat by the right wing. They all joined every single Republican Senator in censuring MoveOn.org's advertisement in the New York Times. The add, now famously known as the "General Betray Us" ad, asserted that General David Petraeus had a record of carrying the political water of the Bush administration and that a less than honest assessment of the situation in Iraq was a betrayal of trust.
It's not rocket science. In fact, none of the people attacking MoveOn even bothered to take issue with the facts contained in the advertisement. Not one. I challenge you to prove me wrong.
Instead, one after another, pathetic, cowardly Democrats allowed the not-so-invisible hand of Karl Rove to make them fear that they would yet again, be questioned as to whether or not they support the military. Seriously, HOW MANY TIMES WILL THEY FALL FOR THIS?
Here"s the list of cowardly Senators:
Max Baucus, Evan Bayh, Ben Cardin, Tom Carper, Bob Casey, Kent Conrad, Byron Dorgan, Dianne Feinstein, Tim Johnson, Amy Klobuchar, Herb Kohl, Mary Landrieu, Pat Leahy, Joe Lieberman (not that he really counts, anyway), Blanche Lincoln, Claire McCaskill, Barbara Mikulski, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Mark Pryor, Ken Salazar, Jon Tester, and Jim Webb.
Senate Democrats running for President that voted AGAINST this ridiculous waste of time include Chris Dodd and Hillary Clinton. Clinton has taken her fair share of criticism from the Netroots and deserves some special attention on this. However, Joe Biden and Barack Obama were nowhere to be seen. Interestingly, Obama voted on another resolution immediately before this, then disappeared. I'd like to know why he didn't hang around to stand up for the Netroots. (Update: Matt Stoller has the answer here at Open Left.)
So far in the 110th Congress, the Democrats that the Netroots worked tirelessly on behalf of, have been one disappointment after another. The support they gave this resolution condemning MoveOn is an embarrassment.
MoveOn has done more than anyone else in this country to bring an end to the war. Anyone. (I can already hear the bitching that folks on the Hill will be doing about this statement.) The fact is that all summer long, MoveOn worked with a coalition of organizations throughout the country to target Members of Congress to influence their vote on ending the war.
Meanwhile, the White House ran circles around the Democratic Leadership in the PR game leading up to the conclusion of August recess. In advance of the Petraeus testimony, MoveOn set to frame the expectations in a provocative, fact-based way.
What MoveOn hasn't told you is that the "General Betray-Us" moniker isn't their invention. It's been reported in the British press to be coined by a retired General.
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.
But, the Democrats in Congress didn't take the time to look past the baseless finger pointing and elementary name-calling. Instead, they gave in to cowardly instinct and said a big "F@*# YOU" to the millions of Americans who call themselves a part of the Netroots Movement and have worked side by side with MoveOn to end the War.
If the Senate Democrats can't be trusted to stand up to simple attacks like this, there is likely no way they can be trusted to end this war. What are we to do?