Posted by: mutantpoodle | October 30, 2007

DiFi writes back

In the wake of the Cornyn amendment, I wrote my Senior Senator a note expressing my extreme displeasure with her support of same.

Today, I got her response:

Thank you for contacting me to express your views about the advertisement MoveOn.org placed in the New York Times on September 10, 2007 regarding General David Petraeus. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

I was disappointed to learn of MoveOn.org’s advertisement criticizing General Petraeus. When he testified before Congress in September, Congress and the American people were hoping to hear a new strategy on how to forge political accommodation in Iraq. While I did not agree with all of General Petraeus’ recommendations, I felt that the MoveOn.org advertisement was inappropriate and unhelpful to the larger debate about our policy in Iraq.

On September 20, 2007, I joined 71 of my colleagues in approving Senator John Cornyn’s (R-TX) amendment to the fiscal year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1585), expressing the sense of the Senate to reaffirm support for General David Petraeus and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.

Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to keep me informed of issues important to you. Best regards.

Well, bully. Here we go again.

Dear Senator Feinstein:

Thank you for responding to my letter of September 24, 2007, expressing my displeasure with your vote for the Cornyn Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

You indicate that you were “disappointed to learn of MoveOn.org’s advertisement criticizing General Petraeus.” Let me ask you – was it the nature of the criticism, or the mere fact that he was criticized that upset you? Because I read the ad, and other than the play on the General’s name, I didn’t see anything in the nature of a political attack. What I saw was an examination of the highly questionable credibility of the General who was about to make the case for our strategy in Iraq.

I personally think the ad was a mistake – but only because of the stupid use of the “Betray Us” play on the General’s name. That said, Moveon.org was well within their rights to buy the ad; the New York Times well within their rights to run it; and people reading it well within their rights to do some research and come to their own conclusions.

There are two issues here.

First, there’s lots of speech out there that I find distasteful, but I don’t vote for Senators or Congressmen to pass resolutions regarding the quality of political speech in this country. Perhaps there are one or two issues more important than that, don’t you think?

The second issue is a purely political one. As a loyal Democrat, it pains me whenever Democrats respond to the bright shiny objects that Republicans throw up to distract everyone from the disaster that their policies (Iraq, FEMA, DOJ, etc.) create. If they were sincere about their wish that the honor and integrity of members of the United States Armed Services not be impugned, they would have jumped all over Rush Limbaugh for referring to VoteVets.org’s John Soltz as a “phony soldier”, rather than – and I am not making this up – FUNDRAISING FOR THE NRCC off of the controversy.

The reason people think Democrats don’t stand for anything is that the moment they are attacked for any slight, real or perceived, most run, cowering and apologizing, into the bushes. The next time a blowhard (and while I know he’s your colleague, and there is a level of decorum in the Senate, really – is there a better adjective for the man?) like Senator Cornyn manufactures an issue like this, the correct response is something like this:

Moveon.org’s ad didn’t kill anyone, hasn’t wasted hundreds of billions of dollars of the taxpayer’s money, hasn’t helped al qaeda recruit extremists to attack American troops, and hasn’t left our military gasping for soldiers and recruits. If you want to talk about any of those issues, step right up. If you want to talk to me about a newspaper ad, then you can talk to yourself.

See? It’s easy. It keeps the focus on the real issues. It makes you look like you have a spine.

Do that over and over again, and people will start to think you have guts. In fact, if Democrats did that repeatedly, I’d think they have guts.

And that can only help.

[Had to link to Pump up the Volume one more time…]

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