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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

MoveOn: Don't Move On

Category: Iraq War
Posted: 09/21/07 16:13, Edited: 09/26/07 14:29

by Roxanne Mindeman

It is a genuine outrage and embarrassment that a United States Senate that can't pull itself together to deal with war funding, adequate leave for repeatedly redeployed soldiers, and health care for children living in poverty, chooses to spend it's time passing judgment on the content of a political ad. Never mind that it's an ad not a fraction as offensive as ads routinely run against Democratic candidates is the last 2 election cycles.

A whole new crop of Democrats has been sent to Washington to address shameful and previously unimaginable administrative incompetence, interminable institutional lethargy, indifference, elitism, not to mention a total disregard for the opinions of the American electorate.

Democrats, I am one of the last people I know to still be defending you - but even I am about to give up. You are failing miserably in the critically important task you have been sent to accomplish. I am having a very hard time seeing how the "work product" - if one can call it that - of this Democratically controlled Congress is in any significant way, different from that of the Republican controlled Congresses of the past 13 years. You're giving away your power to bullies who make their way by sacrificing truth to "spin". And you just let them keep doing it. Why would they ever stop? It works beautifully - and for reasons incomprehensible to the American electorate - almost always with your acquiescence, if not outright assistance.

How many Republicans have you seen running from the shamefully dishonest and dishonorable Swift Boat and "Cleland is Bin Laden" ads? Quite likely, not a single one. But here you are running from MoveOn, like it was some kind of cancer - even though many of you owe no small part of your electoral success to the grassroots energy and activism MoveOn has created in this country over the past 2 election cycles. Has it occurred to any of you that you are being played by amoral opportunistic opponents who regard every moment that government focuses on totally insignificant minutia, as a success of sorts, in that it makes government less productive? You have become the willing puppets of the neocon philosophy of starving and shrinking government until it is small enough to "drown in the bathtub".

Many activists who devoted not inconsiderable resources of skill, time and money, to your most recent campaigns, are starting to wonder if you were worth the effort. Sadly, it's getting harder and harder to argue with them. Have you no memory of the commitments you made, and the reasons you were sent to Washington? Well, we remember. We will continue to remember, and we will not be told to sit quietly and let you hide from the commitments you made to all of us. And frankly, I hope that MoveOn is, even as I write this, working on another ad that is just as confrontational and unrelenting toward Bush Administration neocons, as the ad you chose to try to hide from today. I for one, will gladly contribute to the cost of running it.
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Senate Business?

Category: Iraq War
Posted: 09/21/07 16:03

by Paul Bartlett

It is indeed perplexing that the U.S. Senate is now in the business of critiquing (MoveOn.org) advertisements. But if that is now one of their official duties, I suggest that they also denounce the slew of
Freedom's Watch TV ads.

Twenty states, including Minnesota, have been targeted by this 'Swift Boat' style group. Former Bush spokesman, Ari Fleischer, is their mouthpiece. They're running shameless propaganda ads, aimed at stifling opposition to the Iraq war, while bullying Congress into toeing the pro-war line. It's all reminiscent of the 2004 'Swift Boat' smear campaign against John Kerry.

The Senate's denunciation of MoveOn.org smacks of censorship, with obvious First Amendment implications. My suggestion: Cancel their subscriptions to the New York Times and install TiVo. Then, the Senate can avoid both the MoveOn.org and Freedom's Watch ads and get on with the business of ending George Bush's war.

Norm Coleman is predictable; Amy Klobucher is a huge disappointment.
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The Real Betrayal

Category: Iraq War
Posted: 09/20/07 17:50

by Dave Mindeman

There is a lot of controversy about the MoveOn ad regarding General Petraeus... but one thing is for certain, no one should let that controversy distract us from the real betrayal. I think Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican and Vietnam veteran, said it best:

The Administration is perpetrating a "dirty trick on the American people when you send a military man out there to basically do a political sell-job...It's not only a dirty trick, but it's dishonest, it's hypocritical, it's dangerous and irresponsible."

It's pretty difficult not to notice the pattern. President Bush used Secretary of State and former General Colin Powell to sell the invasion of Iraq. He fired General Shinseki for speaking out about troop numbers. He made General Pace back off of his suggestion that we reduce our forces by 1/2 over the next year. And the administration highlights favorable portions of the "report" from General Petraeus weeks before he actually gives it, in order to rally the base for the President's Iraq policy.

Maybe General Petraeus' report wasn't the real betrayal, but there was a betrayal none the less. The President is shamelessly hiding behind the uniforms of those he puts in harms way.... attempting to make the nation think that disagreements with his policy are directed at the military commanders.

Maybe MoveOn should have focused on the "man behind the curtain" rather than the General in the chair. But that is water under the bridge.

Democrats who cower in the corner when Bush uses his military smokescreens had better stand up to the real policy problem.

Our troops are being abused by this President... not only are they put in harm's way for dubious reasons, but they are also becoming policy shields to prevent the President from being confronted about his failed strategies.

The President's betrayal is more worthy of the "disgust" he wishes on others.
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