by Taylor Marsh
A little good old political theater is what was in order today. Senate majority leader Harry Reid should have gathered Democrats together and when the Cornyn amendment came up they all should have walked out. Then on the Capitol steps Reid should have given a short speech on Republicans voting against the Webb amendment, which actually aided the troops, and that while soldiers are dying in battle he would not allow the Senate to be used for a political show. Not on his watch. End tape.
But that was not to be.
John Edwards didn't have the spine to stand up to the wingnut attacks, any more than he had the nerve to speak out against MoveOn.org himself. He sent his wife out to do it for him.
Now Barack Obama, when the moment to prove leadership was ripe, walked out of the Senate chamber and ducked his responsibility to be counted.
One congressman from California showed more spine than Edwards and Obama combined.
"I commend MoveOn for their ad and for speaking truth to power," said Stark. "Up is not down, the earth is not flat, and the surge is not working. General Petraeus betrayed his own reputation by standing with George Bush in opposition to the timely withdrawal of all of our brave men and women from Iraq. I thank MoveOn for their patriotic ad and call on Petraeus to help Bush end a war the President should have never started." - Pete Stark
I've said it before, so it's time to quote someone else saying the same thing. Take it away Jane:
The only one who got this right was Hillary Clinton. She's been on the receiving end of mock right wing outrage before, she knows how it works and she didn't get played by the typical GOP charade that even THEY aren't sincere about. Every word coming out of their mouths on the floor of the Senate this morning was pure santcimonious hypocrisy, dancing on the head of a pin as they tried to distinguish between this and the outrageous things it was perfectly okay to say about Abizaid or Kerry or Max Clelland. But thanks to the willingness of human Gumby dolls like Bill Richardson, Barack Obama and John Edwards who thought it best to bow down before the right wing when it gets its bluster on, the PR blitz nobody would have otherwise cared about kept gaining momentum until it reached this shocking abrogation of free speech with the help of 25 Democrats.
I should actually qualify that -- it wasn't Edwards who bagged MoveOn, he had his wife do it. I suppose that's better somehow. Maybe not as good as Barack "I never met a fight I couldn't duck" Obama who was there to vote on the Boxer Amendment, but couldn't be bothered to stick around and vote against Cornyn. But close. ... ..
It's hard for the partisans, the people in their respective presidential campaign camps to take it, because I've not seen any evidence that any of them can handle the truth. They're blinded by their own political choices. But those of us without a dog in the primary fight can see it clearly. The truth is that when things get tough in these types of battles only certain people understand what the fight is really about. Believe it or not there is something bigger at stake than your own personal political fortunes. Like Clinton or hate her, there is one thing that is incontrovertible. She can smell a right-wing smear campaign a mile away and there is no way she's going to fall for it.
The trap was laid a long time ago, but it had nothing to do with the MoveOn.org ad. It was about pimping a political campaign targeting Democrats, with Republicans reaching in to grab the hearts of Americans hoping to get them on board for one more fight for Mr. Bush. It was about reaching people's emotions with that tired old snapping towel that Democrats do not support the troops, look at this negative ad! See. See. That the Cornyn vote came on the heels of the Webb amendment going down was naked proof of the Republican hypocrisy. Still some Democrats fell for it, collapsing in tired, old fear of what Republicans might do to them come election time. Let's see how they handle it when no one is there to come to their aid, because believe it, they could be next. Even Harry Reid voted against the Cornyn amendment.
Bush knew exactly how to play some of the Democrats, and he gathered his minions to get it done.
This from a man who didn't have the time to serve his own Guard duty. He doesn't care about General Petraeus. This is a save his legacy campaign. But if there's one thing Republicans know how to do it's stick together. They may have to hold their nose to do it, but getting Democrats is always more important than each of their personal political agendas.
Hillary Clinton gets it. Even in the middle of a brutal attack launched by Rudy Giuliani, which will only get worse because of her vote today, Clinton stood up, stood proudly and cast a vote against the Cornyn charade. No doubt she remembers well when Democrats wanted to flee from Bill Clinton during the Lewinski witch hunt. No one sanctioned what her husband did, least of all her. But Hillary knew what was at stake and what Republicans were really after, so she didn't flinch, gathered herself and the Democratic party and fought back against the right-wing who was after only one thing, same as they were today.
Never give in. Never give up. And above all else know who is the real enemy. Clinton knows -- as sure as she saved Bill Clinton's presidency -- that the enemy of Democrats is not MoveOn.org. Today Clinton proved why she's the frontrunner. She left the boys in the dust.