Senators Betray Us

5 comments September 20th, 2007at 09:42pm Posted by Eli

The Senate’s appalling 72-25 vote to condemn MoveOn for its “General Betray Us” ad is yet another reminder that not only do the Democrats have the narrowest of majorities in the Senate, but that progressives (or reasonable facsimiles thereof) have the narrowest of majorities in the Democratic caucus. Only 25 Democrats voted against the MoveOn condemnation, with two or three abstaining or absent.

Although individual members have varied, the totals have been very similar on other key votes where the Democrats have totally folded, such as the authorization to attack Iraq (77-23), the bankruptcy bill (74-25), the Roberts confirmation (78-22), the Alito cloture vote (72-25), and now this. (The Military Commissions Act was almost as bad, at 65-34.) There’s a reliable pool of 10-25 Democrats who are willing to side with Republicans for even the most heinous and unpopular of causes, but never more than a handful of Republicans willing to cross the aisle for votes to end the war, or restore habeas corpus, or support our troops by giving them fair leave time.

Republicans will vote against popular opinion to please their base; Democrats will do it to defy them.

And this anti-MoveOn vote is even worse than all those previous votes, because it explicitly repudiates the base. They didn’t just ignore the wishes of the netroots like they usually do; they actually condemned us. I don’t think this vote discredits MoveOn – hell, I can barely even find any mention of it on the NYT, WaPo, or CNN homepages – but it does discredit the Democrats. If they wanted a “Sistah Souljah moment” where they could demonstrate their independence from the crazy liberal hippies, they should have picked an issue where the overwhelming majority of the population doesn’t agree with us. They should remember that just because that Republicans are shouting and wringing their hands at the incivility of it all, that doesn’t mean anyone else is.

Even more stupidly, by condemning MoveOn, the Democrats not only make it very hard for the progressive netroots to support them, but they also make it very problematic to accept that support if offered. Now that they’ve called us a bunch of irresponsible mudslinging outlaws, they have to keep their distance.

If the Democrats have a strategy, it must be so refined and subtle that only dogs can hear it.

(Please join MoveOn’s I Will Not Be Quiet petition – at least let the Democrats know that we won’t sit down and shut up.)

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Iraq,Politics,Wankers,War


  • 1. shoephone  |  September 21st, 2007 at 1:01 am

    I’m so furious with the spinelessness and, yes, betrayal, of the Democrats on this non-binding piece of shit that puts them squarely in anti-constitutional territory. They are proving themselves to be just as hostile to the first amendment as the worst of the Republicans.

    I feel angrier because I contributed about $1,000 of my hard-earned money to seven different campaigns last November (Ned and Darcy got the biggest chunks). I gave $100 each to Jon Tester and Claire McCaskill. I called both their D.C. offices today and basically screamed at the people on the phone that I feel utterly betrayed and I want my $100 back.

    I’m certain it will be decades before we ever get our country back, but I even have grave doubts about that.

  • 2. Eli  |  September 21st, 2007 at 10:10 am

    I think Ned was the only Senate candidate I gave to (well, except Pennacchio in the PA primary), but I’m still seriously disgusted and pissed off. This was just all kinds of stupid; the only saving grace is that the media doesn’t seem to give a shit. Although I assume the wingnutosphere is collectively taking a victory lap, and the media will probably decide that that means they should pick up on it.

    Besides, it’s really hard to imagine the media passing up a chance to marginalize MoveOn, which is what this whole sorry episode is about: depicting MoveOn and the netroots as fringe lunatics instead of emissaries of the people’s will.

  • 3. Cujo359  |  September 22nd, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    My take on this is that it’s disgusting for two reasons. First, it’s tantamount to the government telling us what we ought to be thinking or saying. Second, it’s those 20 or so idiotic Democrats who think they gave themselves cover by voting in favor of a nonsensical, un-American resolution when everything we’ve seen in the last five years has shown it will do no such things.

    Heinous and stupid is such an unattractive set of attributes in a politician.

  • 4. Eli  |  September 23rd, 2007 at 10:22 am

    Yep. What I forgot to mention and should have was that *all* the Democrats except Feingold voted for the Boxer version, which would have “strongly condemned” *any* “personal attacks” against anyone in uniform, or formerly in uniform.

    In other words, as long as someone’s in uniform or a vet, you can’t call them a liar or an administration puppet, even if they obviously are.

    Of course, if a Democrats wins the presidency,we can expect to see Republicans doing so with regularity, and no-one will mind.

  • 5. Multi Medium » Plea&hellip  |  September 26th, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    […] nays here or there.  It just doesn’t matter how godawful the Republican bill or nominee is, roughly half the Democratic caucus will support it.  The individual members change from vote to vote, but the total number is always […]

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