I Take It Back

Well, some of it anyway. Having castigated the Dems for failing to get pissed off at necessary times, I find today that two of them did get PO’d, and have let fly at the logical targets.

First and foremost, Harry Reid, majority leader of the senate. Rush Limbaugh, who represents for me so low a level of political discourse that I almost never acknowledge his existence, mouthed off the other day about reports of discontent among the troops in Iraq. Military personnel in Iraq who spoke out against the war, he allowed, were “phony soldiers.” (Rush got a deferment, never served.) Today, Harry Reid stood up in the Senate and not only read the riot act to Limbaugh, he finessed the Republicans in the Senate into an awkward position.

Here’s how.

He read, on the Senate floor, a letter he sent to Limbaugh’s employers — Clear Channel Broadcasting — asking them to repudiate the “phony soldiers” comment. Then he said,

The letter I read will be available on the Senate floor for the entire day. My colleagues on both sides of the aisle will have every chance to add their names to it, and I encourage all of us to do so.

If we take the Republican side at their word that last week’s vote on another controversial statement related to the war was truly about patriotism, not politics, then I have no doubt that they will stand with us against Limbaugh’s comments with equal fervor.

I am confident we will see Republicans join with us in overwhelming numbers. Anything less would betray a double standard that has no place in the United States Senate.

All right Harry. Good move. A strong and, in context, diplomatic move. It will be interesting, and perhaps instructive, to see if any of the Republican senators sign on. Hell, it will be interesting to see how many of the Democrats will.

Second is Bill Clinton, who’s showing more guts and less gall these days, and not a moment too soon. Tagging onto Harry Reid’s ploy, Clinton is calling out the Republicans — and by implications some Democrats — for their “feigned outrage” over the MoveOn ad. In a box to the right, there’s a link to his appearance on CNN, where he mocks the GOP, saying

these are the people that ran a television ad in Georgia with Max Cleland, who lost half his body in Vietnam, in the same ad with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. … And the person that rode to the Senate on that ad was there voting to condemn the Democrats over the Petraeus ad.

Hot damn. There’s life in the old bones yet.

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