Media Politics: Trying to Change the Subject
The first thing is the sheer hypocricy of right-wingers whining when someone's military service and "character" are called into question. Remember how right-wingers questioned John Kerry's Viet Nam war service? How about Max Cleland? (All of that is especially despicable given the by now tiredly familiar story about how none of the architects of our Iraq policy availed themselves of the opportunity for active duty military service.)
The second thing is that Petraeus was selling a policy that is, charitably put, bullshit. He was in on the design of the surge and is recommending a troop "reduction" that, after roughly 18 months of surging, would reduce our forces only to pre-surge levels. That is a shell game. He ran it for the administration. He also, purportedly, ran it out of his own political ambitions.
The third thing is that it hardly is unprecedented for BushCo to send an "honorable" military man out to sell its policies in ways that hardly are straightforward. Can you spell C-o-l-i-n P-o-w-e-l-l? Rhymes with Petraeus, no?
Fourth, moveon.org cites sources for each claim in the advert on their web page. Republicans may not like the ad, but they might argue back with reasons and evidence. That could be tricky though, given BushCo's own report to Congress yesterday that called into question the extent of both military and political "progress" in Iraq.
Finally, what is at issue here is not what some liberal advocacy group says about the fiasco in Iraq but the actual fiasco. Since they cannot really talk about the dismal situation BushCo have created in Iraq, the right wants to change the subject.
My advice? Keep your eye on the ball. That means telling the right-wingers to stop whining and telling the administration (as well as the spinelsss Democrats) to end the war.