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MoveOn.org, the ad and the Dems
Posted by: McQ on Friday, September 21, 2007

I keep watching the left publicly pooh-poohing the Petraeus ad and the right doing its level best to keep it in the forefront and understand that both doing so is a natural part of the politics played in this nation. When one side or the other gets a political bone thrown to them, they worry it to death, especially if it casts the other side in a bad light or into turmoil.

And despite the fact that official line of the left seems to be "much ado about nothing", it appears the ad, or at least its political value, still has life. Witness the fact that a sense of the Senate resolution passed overwhelmingly yesterday.

My sense is this ad will continue to be used by Republicans as long as it is an embarrassment to the Democrats. And since the Dems are cooperating (see Cornyn resolution "nay" list), that will be quite a while. Clinton has set herself up to be constantly reminded of not only her treatment of Petraeus ("willing suspension of disbelief") but of her refusal to condemn the ad (voting no on the resolution, but giving herself some cover, and you can be assured she'll use it, by voting yes on the Boxer amendment which included a condemnation of the MoveOn ad, as well as "GOP" attack ads of the past).

Additionally it can be argued, and is being argued, that the ad caused wavering Republicans to abandon the thought of compromise with Democrats and made it almost impossible for the Democrats to advance their agenda concerning Iraq.

I believe the defeat of the Webb amendment by the same numbers as it was previously defeated point to that reality.
Many Democratic strategists were privately furious at the group for launching an attack on a member of the military rather than Bush, arguing that it gave Republicans a point on which to attack the Democrats and to rally around the administration's war policy.
For an anti-war group which thinks it has the temperature of the country and the politics all figured out, it couldn't have given a greater gift to the Republicans with its ill-timed ad. But MoveOn doesn't agree with that assessment.
But, [Eli] Pariser said: "We're not accountable ultimately to the Democrats. We're accountable to people who want a swift end to the war, and that's the end goal here."
Parsier, of course, declared a while back that MoveOn owns the Democratic party anyway:
"We bought it, we own it, we're going to take it back."
And, of course, why should he and MoveOn worry about the Dems:
"For years, the party has been led by elite Washington insiders who are closer to corporate lobbyists than they are to the Democratic base," said the e-mail from MoveOn PAC's Eli Pariser. "But we can't afford four more years of leadership by a consulting class of professional election losers."
Indeed. Yet given this attitude, the suck-ups in the Democratic leadership still can't seem to stay away:
MoveOn, after its rather guerrilla start, has increasingly become part of the Democratic establishment in Washington. It has donated money and lent its Washington director, Thomas Mattzie, to a coalition of liberal groups with major funding from wealthy donors that organizes in an office on K Street to promote opposition to the war.

The group's conference calls often include aides to House and Senate Democratic leaders, and executive director Eli Pariser and Mattzie have also had meetings with some of the party's 2008 presidential candidates, although MoveOn is not likely to endorse in the primary process. Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and former vice president Al Gore have spoken at MoveOn events.
MoveOn is unmoved by the criticism and is most likely to continue the type of politically destructive behavior such as the Petraeus ad that ultimately hurts more than helps the cause they claim to be so involved with. Obviously Republicans hope that is the case.

How will Democrats handle MoveOn as they move toward the primaries and general election? It may not hurt them that badly in primary elections, however the organization could indeed become the proverbial political albatross in the general.

MoveOn, with over 3 million members, thinks it has the Dems by the short and curlies. I think they're right. Harry Reid was offering an olive branch to wavering Republicans last week, he then met with MoveOn and other activist groups and the next day withdrew the olive branch, again taking on the hard-line which MoveOn advocates.

The confusion and disarray of the Democratic leadership is evident and is one of the reasons Congressional approval ratings are so low. I don't see that improving as long as this relationship continues. The real question is what effect the relationship will have when it comes to vote counting time in the general election?
 
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Comments
You’re in political fantasy land, McQ. Moveon.org is a relatively minor organization compared to the Democratic party, and these sideline issues aren’t even noticed by over 95% of the public. Hell, most people wouldn’t know who Petraeus is if you gave them his name. You are engaged in wishful thinking, projecting your own emotional reaction to things like the Petraeus ad to a public that is almost completely apathetic. I think Stephen Colbert responded best (quote not verbatim but from my memory) "They take out a full page ad, and that’s the best taunt they can think up, ’betray us?’ That wouldn’t even be creative enough for the school yard. How about David Butt gay us, that would be a taunt.’ For all the silliness about ’he’s accused of treason,’ it was just an immature taunt and that’s why very few took it seriously. The GOP is grasping at anything to divert attention from the real issues, hence they demand a vote. The Democrats go along and life goes on, and like the Beauchamps story, this gets quickly forgotten.

And that is as it should be. This isn’t a real issue. The real issue involves choices in Iraq, the budget, and things like health care, taxation, and energy.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
This isn’t a real issue.
Erb, what are you now, an apologist for MoveOn? MoveOn keeps its name in the news with the tactics it employs. If it is not an issue in the politic of the day then how does it command the attention of someone like Reid? If it is not an issue of the day then why do so many Democrats "stand to" its banner when challenged? It is an issue of the day because of the perceived power it brings to the table. Too many Democrats fear a left-wing lynching like was handed to Liebermann in the Democratic Primaries. Are you contending this is not in the back of the Dem’s minds?
The real issue involves choices in Iraq, the budget, and things like health care, taxation, and energy.
Really? Could Reid have been successful offering the olive branch to the Republicans in the attempt to reach a compromise? We will now never know. And if MoveOn’s influence kept some form of compromise from being reality, then it becomes the real issue.

MoveOn’s motivation is not the war in Iraq but the accumulation of power - and the real story here is the Democrat’s fear of MoveOn and the resultant power given to MoveOn as a result.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
You’re in political fantasy land, McQ. [...] You are engaged in wishful thinking, projecting your own emotional reaction to things like the Petraeus ad to a public that is almost completely apathetic.
Perhaps Scott, but methinkes you are ’guilty’ of engaging in wishful thinking as well.
Moveon.org is a relatively minor organization compared to the Democratic party, and these sideline issues aren’t even noticed by over 95% of the public.
For a relatively minor organization, MoveOn (and Kos, another supposedly minor group) sure has the attention of Democrats. Think not? Then why were a good number of Dem Senators afraid to offer any opinion?
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Typical tactics from Erb: when he cannot defend the actions on the left, he claims they’re only a small minority, a minute faction that nobody pays attention to.

I’m wondering when everyone else will cease to take this nincompoop seriously.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
For a relatively minor organization, MoveOn (and Kos, another supposedly minor group) sure has the attention of Democrats. Think not? Then why were a good number of Dem Senators afraid to offer any opinion?
Not to mention lock-step boycotting of Fox sponsored debates....and Edwards always being the first to jump whenever they snap their fingers.
 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
...he claims they’re only a small minority, a minute faction that nobody pays attention to.
3 million members who vote in primaries and whose leadership has daily conference calls with the Congressional leadership.

Yup, absolutely no one pays any attention to them.
I’m wondering when everyone else will cease to take this nincompoop seriously.
It is important to have the talking points from the left reflected here as a counter-point (I do believe I opened with comment about ’the left publicly pooh-poohing’ all of this and right on cue, there he is doing precisely that), but, once that is done and you have the opportunity to see how absurd the talking points are, you’re right, that ends any need to take him seriously.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McQ, it doesn’t matter how many people are in MoveOn.org, Erb merely claims that they are unimportant. It’s the only way he can deflect the subject, because he cannot defend the actions. He did this with the Scott Beauchamp story as well.

The sad thing is that we actually have some intelligent lefties come by. But folks like Erb give them a bad name.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Speaking of Erb and his ability to understand credible sources:
A small non-monetary wager JWG. It’s now May 22nd and we had this exchange on Q&O blog comment 6053. On October 1 we’ll look at the situation in Iraq...If the surge is continuing and there is little no move to internationalize in the manner described, I’ll admit you are right and I read the article with bias. In a little over four months we should know how credible the source is.
Now that we’re one week away from Erb’s deadline, I wonder where he stands on his wager?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I wonder where he stands on his wager?
Somewhere in Wales, I imagine :)
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Incisive, even-handed analysis. I hope to see the same when a Republican/RightWing group goes off the rails.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Incisive, even-handed analysis. I hope to see the same when a Republican/RightWing group goes off the rails.
You probably will, but I doubt you’ll admit it when it happens.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
You probably will
We’ll see. McQ used to be reasonably non-partisan. Not so much now.
but I doubt you’ll admit it when it happens.
I won’t "admit" it; I’ll applaud it.

 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
I won’t "admit" it; I’ll applaud it.
Otay spanky, expect to be held to that.
I’ve already seen it happen here too many times to think I’m just whistling past the graveyard on this one.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Otay spanky
Finally, language he understands!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
"We bought it, we own it, we’re going to take it back."


Now that Hsu and Lerach are going to Federal prison that isn’t too much of an exaggeration. It might be more accurate, though, to claim co-ownership woth SEIU and AFSCME.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
The net result of this is that MoveOn raised $500,000 yesterday in reaction to being attacked by the president. What it works out to politically is that the needle remains in the same place. Dems who support MoveOn still do, Republicans who don’t don’t. The average voter doesn’t know what a MoveOn is and won’t vote based on that come 2008, while MoveOn’s list will be bigger and better funded to support progressive candidates.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
The net result of this is that MoveOn raised $500,000 yesterday in reaction to being attacked by the president.
The negative publicity is worth more than the donations. The cold light of day needs to be shined on these radicals whenever possible so that Joe Sixpack doesn’t mistake this for a benign pro-Democrat group. This will help Joe Sixpack understand who pulls the strings of Moveon’s progressive candidates.
 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
MoveOn’s list will be bigger and better funded to support progressive candidates
Heh, let’s see how that support worked out in Connecticut in 2006....

WASHINGTON - May 26 - Ned Lamont has won MoveOn’s endorsement for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in the organization’s online Connecticut primary by a margin of 85 pct. to 14 pct.
Dear MoveOn member,

The race for U.S. Senate in Connecticut is a fight for the heart and soul of the progressive movement and the Democratic Party. As we stand on the brink of a majority in Congress for the first time in over a decade, Democrats need to stand up for our progressive values and provide a clear contrast between our party and the Bush Adminstration. Unfortunately, Joe Lieberman has gone out of his way to undermine progressives on issue after issue. I invite you to watch a short video introduction about our campaign’s historic effort....


Whups!


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The net result of this is that MoveOn raised $500,000 yesterday in reaction to being attacked by the president. What it works out to politically is that the needle remains in the same place. Dems who support MoveOn still do, Republicans who don’t don’t. The average voter doesn’t know what a MoveOn is and won’t vote based on that come 2008, while MoveOn’s list will be bigger and better funded to support progressive candidates.
Perhaps true as to MoveOn itself which is a partisan organization throwing red meat to its partisans. But this could re-surface for national candidates. The ad was disgraceful (not to mention puerile) and should have been disavowed by all. Then everyone could have moved on. Since that didn’t happen, who knows? By the way, you must be pretty inept to be out-maneuvered by a president with a 20% approval rating and 60% of the country wanting out of Iraq. Too bad the Deomcrats aren’t the enemy. Anybody could beat them, it seems.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
The net result of this is that MoveOn raised $500,000 yesterday in reaction to being attacked by the president.
Translation: it’s okay to defame an honorable general as long as the cash rolls in.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Oliver will be the first one to admit he supports winning political issues at all costs (including playing dirty). He’s proud of it.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Oliver will be the first one to admit he supports winning political issues at all costs (including playing dirty). He’s proud of it.
Since that is his MO, why does he have any problems with what Bush does, up to and including believing he "lied" to get us into Iraq? Anything to win afterall right Ollie?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I just admit what so many others pretend to not believe. But I don’t think it’s defamation to express and opinion, especially one backed up by data.

MoveOn would love you to consider them harmless and use the ill-fated Lamont campaign as a barometer of their success, and have you ignore the numbers they’ve helped move in other races across the country. Heck, I would love it too.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Translation: it’s okay to defame an honorable general as long as the cash rolls in.
Yeah, he is a sleaze bag so that should not surprise anyone. He supported Byrd for years because of the money.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
I wonder if this the first political campaign in history based on a rhyme?
 
Written By: emmess
URL: http://
It’s "No big deal" until 2008 rolls around. Then, if Iraq is looking much better, and Gen. Petraeus is a hero, that ad will seal the dems fate.

If Iraq is about the same, then it won’t matter so much.

If Iraq is worse, it won’t matter.

The Dems have doubled down on failure.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Though the MoveOn ad in itself is little more than a childish and ham-handed swipe by a hyper-partisan advocacy group, it illustrates a real problem for the Democratic party and one that remains its Achilles heel even now, during the decline of Reagan-originated Republicanism. Rot set into the Democratic party during the ’70s because its good ideas had reached fruition, yet it remained in power. To compensate, Democrats developed a kind of moral superiority: The belief that their ideas were so noble and progressive — so good — that societal norms did not apply to those who espoused them. This, of course, is not unique to the Democratic party and, indeed, is right now happening within the Republican party, whose great ideas bore fruit already and which is now in a phase of decline. Still, Democrats do tend to elevate causes to moral status and quite easily separate the actors from their personal actions. Hence, Bill Clinton. It is more problematic for Republicans who, because part of their platform is personal morality, are subject to claims of hypocrisy that don’t stick to Democrats. For that reasons, Democrats feel immune to such criticisms and, as a matter of logic perhaps, they are correct. However, that merely underscores the problem Democrats face in re-uniting their political values with ther personal values. Falling to their knees to pray in public is a mis-guided, not to mention phony, sop to the general public. Disavowing the venom inherent in MoveOn’s attack ad would have been a good start, but it was an opportunity largely missed, which makes me think the Democrats still don’t get it.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
You guys really crack me up. You’re still on this? Is there no end to the phony "outrage" and "umbrage."

Besides that, what do you think you know that Adm. William Fallon, Patraeus’ immediate senior doesn’t?
 
Written By: Richard Nikoley
URL: http://www.uncsense.com
Besides that, what do you think you know that Adm. William Fallon, Patraeus’ immediate senior doesn’t?

Why don’t you go back to the first time you asked this and read the answer?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Bruce:

Uh, I could not find my comment from the first time, so I assumed that for whatever reason, your or one of your other administrators deleted it, which would be fine (your blog, and you owe no explanations). I thought maybe because I also referenced a post at my own blog.

I’ll got back and check; see if I can find it and your response.
 
Written By: Richard Nikoley
URL: http://www.uncsense.com
Alright. Found it. Guess I had forgotten which entry.

Fair enough. It’s unsubstantiated. On the other hand, it really resonated with me, particularly after reading this bit you linked.

I served on a staff (7th Fleet; 3-star with a O-6 COS) and conflicts between flag officers, while common, are usually dealt with in stride. But when there are deeply serious conflicts it’s unmistakable, everybody knows about it, and it spreads all over. This sounds exactly like that, and it’s probably exacerbated by the fact that Patraeus is essentially reporting directly to the President rather than through Fallon, his Army Lt Gen deputy commander, and his USMC Maj Gen COS.

I’ve seen this exact thing, after the USS Stark attack in the PG, and the 2-star that my boss, ADM Paul D. Miller (3-star at the time — later USACOM), sent to the scene tried endlessly to go around the COC. I heard far worse come out of Miller’s mouth many times.
 
Written By: Richard Nikoley
URL: http://www.uncsense.com
I just admit what so many others pretend to not believe. But I don’t think it’s defamation to express and opinion, especially one backed up by data.
Thanks for showing us your true colors, Ollie. It’s okay to question the patriotism of someone who supports the war, but it’s not okay to question the patriotism of those who don’t.

You’re a hack, and everyone who has read your work for more than 15 minutes knows it.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
"But I don’t think it’s defamation to express and opinion..."

Think again.

"DEFAMATION - An act of communication that causes someone to be shamed, ridiculed, held in contempt, lowered in the estimation of the community, or to lose employment status or earnings or otherwise suffer a damaged reputation. Such defamation is couched in ’defamatory language’. Libel and slander are defamation."
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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