The Dying Horse

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Iraq War, Republican Party

Ryan Grim writes a post for The Politico titled “‘Betray Us’ ad unites GOP, distracts Dems“:

To judge from the wall-to-wall coverage of MoveOn.org’s full-page ad in the New York Times Monday, the liberal group strolled to the 18th hole up by two strokes, pulled out its driver and shanked one deep into the woods.

Wow, that sounds like a disaster for the Dems. But wait …

The solidifying beltway consensus is that the ad, which refers to General David Petraeus as “General Betray Us,” was a blunder of the highest order, uniting Republicans and distracting Democrats at a time the party could instead be pressing for an end to the war.

Yes, Virginia, there are two Americas — inside the Beltway, and everywhere else. Outside of blog aficionados, Rush’s dittoheads and the zombies who watch Faux News, did “everywhere else” even notice?

Still, the Right is flogging the dying horse as hard as it can, because at the moment it’s all they’ve got. They can’t attack the Dems for wanting a quicker withdrawal from Iraq, or for being opposed to President Bush’s Iraq policies, because the public is overwhelmingly on the Dems’ side. So they are working as hard as they can to whip up public outrage over the “betray us” ad, attempting to turn it into a weapon of mass destraction.

Right before the midterm elections last year righties tried to turn a badly phrased joke by John Kerry into a national scandal that would tilt the elections in their favor. As former Republican congressman Dick Armey explained on MSNBC’s Hardball (October 31, 2006), “You misconstrue what somebody said. You isolate a statement, you lend your interpretation to it and then feign moral outrage.”

In that case, the feigned moral outrage seems to have persuaded John Kerry not to attempt another presidential run. But Dems won the midterms, anyway.

Steve M:

Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post — which, during Giuliani’s mayoralty, served as City Hall’s second press office — is parroting remarks Rudy is making about Hillary Clinton’s response to the Petraeus dog-and-pony show. Giuliani and the Post are working in tandem to sustain the dissipating outrage about the MoveOn ad, and are desperately trying to tie it to Hillary.

A bit of the Post editorial that Steve quotes —

Clinton not only couldn’t bring herself to criticize it [the Moveon ad], she also attacked Petraeus’ honesty: “The reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief,” she huffed to the general Tuesday

Giuliani, by contrast, had it exactly right.

He called the MoveOn ad “one of the more disgusting things that has happened in American politics.”

Added America’s Mayor: “The failure of the Democratic candidates to really condemn that, given how much money MoveOn.org spends on behalf of Democratic candidates, is unfortunate.”

See how it works — so much as criticizing General Petraeus is an outrage. It wouldn’t surprise me of Bush’s speechwriters work an oblique reference to the Moveon ad into tonight’s speech.

Perhaps no one should tell Rudy what other people have said

In sharp contrast to the lionisation of Gen. David Petraeus by members of the U.S. Congress during his testimony this week, Petraeus’s superior, Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM), derided Petraeus as a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, according to Pentagon sources familiar with reports of the meeting.

Fallon told Petraeus that he considered him to be “an ass-kissing little chickenshit” and added, “I hate people like that”, the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to ingratiate himself with a superior.

I predict the Right will continue to feign outrage over the Moveon ad for another week or so, which is about the time it will take for them to realize the horse is dead and nobody cares.

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10 Comments

9 Comments

  1. merciless  •  Sep 13, 2007 @12:02 pm

    I was thrilled last night to see that my loathsome hometown paper had the ad boxed on the front page. They were dissing it, of course, but there it was.

    It’s all publicity, and considering the current mood of the country, it might just backfire on those hyping it. They sound an awful lot like the bullies in the schoolyard who finally have to take a punch. They always run straight to teacher, whining and sobbing those crocodile tears.

  2. SteveIL  •  Sep 13, 2007 @12:16 pm

    Perhaps no one should tell Rudy what other people have said …

    In sharp contrast to the lionisation of Gen. David Petraeus by members of the U.S. Congress during his testimony this week, Petraeus’s superior, Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM), derided Petraeus as a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, according to Pentagon sources familiar with reports of the meeting.

    If these anonymous “sources” are as good as the ones that told that goon Jason Leopold that Rove would be indicted in the Plame non-scandal, then this story is just as false.

  3. Pat  •  Sep 13, 2007 @12:24 pm

    Yes. Almost as obvious as the nose on one’s face — That’s all they’ve got.

    People need to be reminded that the hysteria they generate is intended to dstract us from the actual package. Meanwhile we must endure the litany of whinings about the wrapper.

    Childish, petulant, an unwillingness to engage and not what Americans really want right now. Who’s going to say that? Who doesn’t believe that to be true?

    They are fanning the resent of a minority. Who’s going to tell that truth? It doesn’t seem as if too many are willing to step up to that task.

  4. maha  •  Sep 13, 2007 @12:27 pm

    If these anonymous “sources” are as good as the ones that told that goon Jason Leopold that Rove would be indicted in the Plame non-scandal, then this story is just as false.

    By the same token, then, Ryan Grim should have deleted this paragraph from his Politico article linked in the post above —

    “MoveOn has thrown the Democratic leadership under the bus,” said a GOP leadership aide who asked not to be identified. “The only one benefiting from MoveOn.org’s tactics is MoveOn.org.”

    If all anonymously sourced information is false, then the Moveon ad didn’t hurt the Dems one bit. Thanks for pointing that out for us.

  5. Swami  •  Sep 13, 2007 @12:29 pm

    I wonder if Bush is going to mention in his speech tonight that his trophy pawn Abdul-Satyr Abu Risha got whacked?

  6. joanr16  •  Sep 13, 2007 @1:26 pm

    Also, Steve, anyone who still calls the Plame debacle a “non-scandal” must have been in a coma for the past couple of years. It wasn’t just a scandal, but it bred others as well.

    You can go back to sleep now.

  7. felicity  •  Sep 13, 2007 @5:07 pm

    And so it begins, the dumbing down of what should be political discourse to a level where the substance of what is represented is defined by the label it’s wearing. The Democratic Party defined by an ad in a newspaper.

  8. paradoctor  •  Sep 13, 2007 @5:43 pm

    “Betraeus” is a nick-name that’ll stick closer than glue; and in a way it’s a shame, because his fault is not exactly disloyalty; it’s more like excess of spurious loyalty. From his and Bush’s point of view he’s faithful.

    And his admitting that he doesn’t know if the ‘surge’ made us safer; why, that’s almost honest.

    Petraeus should consider the fall of Powell, and re-evaluate W’s value as a patron.

  9. moonbat  •  Sep 13, 2007 @6:11 pm

    paradoctor #8 – it would’ve been so much better if Petraeus had a name such as “Beyer”, which could’ve been morphed into the more accurate “Liar”. Apologies to any readers named Beyer.

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