A full-page ad run by MoveOn.org today in The New York Times attempting to discredit General David Petraeus is unfortunate and inappropriate. In the long run it could alienate moderate voters and delay the end of the Iraq War that MoveOn sincerely wishes to bring about.
These moderate and swing voters are the key to the future make-up of the Congress and White House. These voters are the key to the 60 vote plurality the Democrats seek in the Senate. Most were probably alienated by this ad thought up and paid for by a special interest group like MoveOn. I consider myself liberal and I found the ad distasteful, a personal attack, and completely off target. MoveOn and other “eat your young” attack and destroy liberal organizations need to stop acting like the people they supposedly detest the most, the character assassinating right wing nut bars . Personally attacking anyone, even their supporters, who don't tow the MoveOn party line. MoveOn can only marginalize itself with such actions and public relations blunders like this ad.
Patraeus is not the problem here. The ad shows a photo of Petraeus in front of a bank of microphones with the headline: General Petraeus or General Betray us?
This man is perceived by most of the public as a competent general officer who is trying to implement an impossible policy in Iraq to the best of his ability. If you watched his testimony as I did today before the congress you see he is not the one who created the mess here but a soldier who, I believe, is trying to rule over an impossible war and the foreign policy mistakes brought about by incompetent politicians on both sides of the idle. Of course the White House and Frat Boy Bush are the major culprits. But many democrats also voted to open the Iraqi Pandora's box that we now are asking soldiers like Petraeus to get closed again. This attack on Petraeus can be easily leveraged as political fodder by the right. It is seen as an attack on a brave general and by association, god forbid, our troops in the field.
Liberals and organizations like MoveOn need to realize that they are not just preaching to the choir when they run controversial and misleading ads in the New York Times. They need to moderate their tone to attract the voter in the middle, who in the end will elect candidates in the coming elections who can change the course of the war and bring about its conclusion in a way that best serves the peoples interests.