Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I'm glad someone else said this

Ok, did anyone have a really big problem with the stupid MoveOn ad thats been getting waay too much coverage? My instincts were strongly against it- not necessarily on the merits of their argument, which I think are questionable but not terribly outrageous.

But we're in politics here, and we have to be smart about what we say. I don't pretend to be some sort of Lakoff-like messaging/framing sage, but I feel like attacking our military commanders, rather than the real culprits in Washington, is really the only way we lose the public opinion fight over Iraq. Anyways, I wanted to share my frustration with that, and share Kleinman's post over at RBC, which succinctly put everything I was thinking.

While we're on the subject- does anyone think MoveOn is slowly becoming less relevant to our party? They started off so well- against Clinton impeachment, against the war in Iraq, running ads around the country on corruption. But I think shit like this puts them back on the fringe of the party, the part that understands nothing about strategy and is blinded to the mood of our country by its ideology. Thoughts?


Curtis said...

I think their message was a little off, but Petraeus' testimony was utter bullshit. The numbers were verifiably cooked according to the Washington Post. Does that mean liberal groups like MoveOn should run ads accusing him of betraying the country? Well, I think the answer is yes and no. Yes in the sense that Petraeus is indeed giving politicized and misleading testimony to leaders in Congress, and therefore to his country. If he is willing to give politicized testimony, then he is consequently entering the political fray and rightly open to attack. At the same time, though, this is terrible political messaging that plays right into the hands of the Republican Party. Unsurprisingly, the RNC took the offensive on us in the wake of this ad. They rhetorically linked liberals to hippies who called American soldiers "babykillers" during Vietnam. We have had control of the Iraq debate for some time now. It's unfortunate that we gave the rightwing ground at the precise time that we were supposed to deliver a fatal blow to the case for staying in Iraq.

Curtis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristina said...

Although Petraeus' testimony is definitely suspect, I think saying that he betrayed us makes us just sound whiny. Like he talked behind our back or hooked up with our significant other. It reminds me when some conservatives call people who question the war traitors. I know that Democrats are working on appealing to people's hearts instead of heads (because our policy wonkiness doesn't fly either), but it just sounds so high school.

There were much better ways to frame the issue, but alas, the "shock and awe." For better or worse, the "left" isn't as good as doing it as the "right."

Kyle said...

I liked what John Kerry said about this - he was the first out of the gate to call BS on this.

I personally think it makes us look like tin-foil hat wearers. As for whether or not he's 'betrayed' us, I don't think there's much question as to whether he has a point of view that the war should continue. Does that constitute betrayal, however, if one pursues what one believes is the best course of action for one's country?

I doubt it.

Plus come ON, he's a freaking general that's served his country in the military his whole life. Where do birkenstock wearing hippies get off questioning his patriotism?

BruinKid said...

I'll echo what Iraq War vet Brandon Friedman had to say about the ad:

Well, it’s pretty over the top. It’s certainly not what I would have said. In fact, I wish they hadn’t done it. But then, does it make me question my support for MoveOn.org? No. And I’ll tell you why: Yeah, I think they went too far. I think MoveOn crossed a line. But you know what? I’d rather see my allies cross a line being too aggressive rather than never crossing a line because they’re too passive. Or too afraid. I’d rather see Democrats overstep their bounds in going at the throats of the people who brought us this war in the first place. It means they’re angry. It means they care. It means they’re trying to get something done. Did MoveOn go too far? Yeah. But who else right now is willing go after the 28-percenters so aggressively in a full-page ad in the New York Times?

Not many people inside the Beltway, I’ll tell you that.

NYkrinDC said...

The ad was misguided to say the least. All it did was provide ammunition to the most radical part of the right to tar moderate republicans, who are about ready to jump ship, with the brush of the worst of lefty lunacy. The ad just proves what I've been saying all along, we are allowing the radicals on both sides to define the debate and set the tone. If anything is going to change, we have to begin by sidelining them on both sides.