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Thursday, September 20, 2007


Profiles in Courage

The Senate has just voted 72-25 for an amendment condemning the ad from MoveOn.org which referred to "General Betrayus." On first glance, the "liberals" mostly voted against it (Kennedy, Boxer, etc.) while the other Democrats (e.g., Feinstein) and all the Republicans (including such supposed "good Republicans" as Collins) voted for it. Hillary Clinton voted against it, as did liberal Barbara Boxer, but Barack Obama abstained. Was he not there? No, because there's more to the story:
Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, another contender for the Democratic nomination, did not vote, although he voted minutes earlier for an alternative resolution by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. That resolution condemned the MoveOn ad as an "unwarranted personal attack," but also condemned political attack ads that questioned the patriotism of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and former Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga., both Vietnam veterans.
The bizarre part of this story, aside from the "profiles in courage...not" of the Democrats, is what is unsaid. Of all the institutions in this country which are untrustworthy, and deserve personal "attacks on the honor, integrity, and patriotism" (certainly the first two), it's the U.S. military. Jessica Lynch, Pat Tillman, Haditha, "no civilians were killed" (match that quote to a thousand different incidents) - the U.S. military has an unmatched record of lying and covering up. The idea that challenging the integrity of one of their representatives is beyond the pale is, well, beyond the pale! At least my pale.

Update: Just as a point of interest, looking at the list it appears that Sen. Russ Feingold was the single member of the Senate who took the principled stand of voting against both of these amendments. And, just after I wrote the post above, I sat down for lunch and turned on CNN, only to see a MoveOn.org ad about how George Bush has "betrayed us" because there will be the same number of troops in Iraq in 2008 as in 2006, after Americans "voted to end the war." Of course the ad placed all the blame on Bush and none on the Democrats, in typical MoveOn fashion, but their quick "counter-attack" and reuse of the "betray us" meme is to be commended.

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