In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 20, 2007 / 8 Tishrei 5768

Afraid to tell-off Moveon

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Not long after the 2004 election, the executive director of MoveOn.org sent his members an e-mail trumpeting their newly acquired influence over the Democratic Party — for which, he said, "grass-roots contributors" like them had raised $300 million. "Now it's our party," Eli Pariser crowed. "We bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back."

At the time, Pariser's words might have come across as windy braggadocio. Would the nation's oldest political party really dance to a tune called by an organization as extreme as MoveOn, a group notorious, among other things, for having once posted videos on its website depicting President Bush as the incarnation of Adolf Hitler?

But with the 2008 presidential campaign well underway, Pariser's boast is no longer so easy to dismiss. Consider the reaction by leading Democrats to MoveOn's smear last week of General David Petraeus, the top American military commander in Iraq.

On the day that Petraeus was scheduled to begin delivering his long-awaited report to Congress on the progress of the war, MoveOn ran an advertisement in The New York Times calling him a liar who betrays his country.

"GENERAL PETRAEUS OR GENERAL BETRAY US?" the full-page ad bellowed. It accused the four-star general, one of the nation's most admired military officers, of "cooking the books for the White House." As character assassination goes, it was both puerile and despicable. Puerile in its mockery of the general's name — reminiscent of Joe McCarthy's sophomoric taunt of Senator J. William Fulbright as "Half-Bright" — and despicable in its imputation of treachery to a decorated warrior-scholar who has worn the uniform with distinction for three decades.

American politicians once adhered, at least in theory, to the principle that politics in wartime stops at the water's edge. Today, political discourse has become so toxic that some politicians are happy to exploit a slander like MoveOn's. "No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV," one Democratic senator anonymously told the Capitol Hill newspaper Politico a few days before Petraeus testified. "The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us." MoveOn didn't disappoint.

To their credit, some Democrats and prominent liberals repudiated MoveOn's slur. Former New York mayor Ed Koch labeled MoveOn "vile" and urged "decent people . . . to come to the general's defense." Washington Post eminence David Broder called the ad "disgraceful" and "juvenile." The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Michigan's Carl Levin, was equally blunt. "Totally inappropriate," he said. "There is no place for that kind of personal attack on our military people."

But from the Democrats leading the race to become the next commander-in-chief, there has been only gutless evasion.

"Did you think the MoveOn.org advertisement about General Petraeus was . . . appropriate?" interviewer Charlie Rose asked Senator Hillary Clinton in an online "candidate mashup" sponsored by Yahoo and the Huffington Post. Her nonresponse: "I think that we should focus on what the problem is here. The problem is a president who has a policy that flies in the face of reality."

Asked the same question, Senator Barack Obama also ducked.

"I'll be honest with you," he dissembled. "I am less interested in the motives or what General Petraeus or Ambassador [to Iraq Ryan] Crocker are responsible for than I am for what the president is responsible for, and that is the mission that has been assigned to those people. I think the mission is the failure."

Even lamer was the response of John Edwards, who said he knew nothing about the ad. "I'm sorry, I just haven't seen it. So it's hard for me to comment on it."

The only Democratic presidential candidate unafraid to tell off MoveOn was Senator Joseph Biden. Queried on "Meet the Press," he replied forthrightly: "I don't buy into that. This is an honorable guy. He's telling the truth."

So this is what the Democrats' leading lights have been reduced to — wobbling and weaving for fear of offending the hyperventilators in far left field. Do Clinton, Edwards, and Obama really have no idea of the esteem in which most Americans hold military officers like Petraeus? (From Gallup: "The military remains the top-rated institution of Americans, with 73% saying they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it. . . . HMOs, big business, and Congress earn the least amount of confidence.") Did they learn nothing from the "botched joke" that ended John F. Kerry's presidential hopes once and for all? Is retaining MoveOn's good will so important to them that they will look the other way even when the integrity of a distinguished American general is recklessly trashed?

"If you are not tough enough to repudiate a scurrilous, outrageous ad such as that, then I don't know how you are tough enough to be president of the United States." So said an indignant Senator John McCain the other day. You don't have to be a Republican to feel the same way.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

Jeff Jacoby Archives

© 2006, Boston Globe