As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Congress To Be Closed Until MoveOn Produces More Ads

Otherwise they'd have nothing to do. The House voted to condemn an ad in a newspaper overwhelmingly today. Markos lists those Democrats in the House and the Senate who have our backs in the progressive movement. It's a short list. One of them, who's not on there because he's not yet elected, is Al Franken.

On Tuesday, Sen. Norm Coleman took out an ad in this paper criticizing me for criticizing a Senate resolution that criticized for taking out an ad in the New York Times criticizing Gen. David Petraeus.

It is, of course, ridiculous that the United States Senate spent a day debating and voting on a resolution condemning an advertisement while our troops remained in Iraq, fighting a war with no end. And it's doubly ridiculous that Coleman, of all people, is still playing politics with this issue.

After all, he voted last week against a resolution that condemned personal attacks on anyone who had served our nation honorably. That would include Democrats like Max Cleland, John Kerry and John Murtha -- proud American veterans who were the targets of political attacks not just on their character, but on their patriotism. In 2004, when Murtha (a Silver Star winner) called for better armor for our troops, Coleman himself accused him of "emboldening the enemy" and "undermining the morale of our troops."

And as his reelection campaign gets underway, it's worth noting that Coleman has hired the same media consultant who ran ads in Georgia that juxtaposed pictures of Cleland, who lost two legs and an arm in Vietnam, with Osama bin Laden.

I guess now it's my turn to be attacked. I've been to Iraq four times to visit our troops; I know the incredible sacrifice our men and women in uniform make every day in service to our nation. But Norm Coleman is who he is -- so he's accusing me of "undermining our troops."

Frankly, I'm used to this kind of smear -- it's what happens when you speak truth to power in George W. Bush's America. But I think Minnesotans have had enough of this kind of political gamesmanship. As I go around the state, I don't hear a whole lot about ads in the New York Times. What I do hear is that Minnesotans want this war to end, and that if this president won't end it, they want the Senate to force him to end it.

In addition, everyone's worried that Congress will retroactively immunize telecom companies from prosecution in releasing their data to the NSA for warrantless spying. We know that this is a priority of the telecom industry, which is why they're sending an army of lobbyists to Washington to argue for immunity, including some top Clinton-era officials like Jamie Gorelick. Michael McConnell of the NSA has been lying to Congress repeatedly to get expanded powers for the executive branch and immunity for the telecoms, and yet useful idiots like Dianne Feinstein sing his praises and agree with his basic premises. Matt Stoller reports that the markup on a new FISA bill has been delayed due to public outcry, but Democrats haven't exactly inspired confidence on this front lately.

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