From The Boston Globe:
Last week, the Republican Party tied its political hopes to one man: General David H. Petraeus.
President Bush made a rare prime-time speech endorsing Petraeus’s recommendations. Congressional Republicans spent much of their time at last week’s hearings lionizing Petraeus and condemning the liberal group MoveOn.org for its ad headlined “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?”
On Friday, four days after the MoveOn.org ad ran, GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani unveiled a Web video accusing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton of engaging in “orchestrated attacks” with the liberal group. Clinton’s offense: She said, at a Senate hearing, that Petraeus’s report requires “the willing suspension of disbelief.”
But Giuliani and some other Republicans have suggested that all complaints about Petraeus are unwarranted personal attacks – part of what Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, called “a smear campaign” that seeks “to impugn the name of a highly respected man of integrity.”
If so, much of the American public is apparently complicit. On the eve of Petraeus’s testimony before Congress, an ABC News/Washington Post poll indicated that 53 percent of Americans were expecting the general to exaggerate progress in Iraq. And even after Petraeus’s testimony, Fox News found that a plurality of 40 percent thought Petraeus’s case was slanted toward the Bush administration, while only 35 percent thought it was “truthful and objective.” The remaining 25 percent didn’t have an opinion.
Now, Petraeus is proclaiming success – based largely on his statistics showing that in “eight of the last 12 weeks” violence has dropped in Baghdad. The president and his party are hoping that the general’s optimism will breed confidence in the war. But the American people have reasons to be skeptical, and the polls show that they are.
From The New York Times:
Mr. McCain ended a three-day stump in South Carolina […] There, he gave his current stump speech in praise of General David Petraeus and the current war effort and against the Democrats in Congress and Moveon.org, the activist and anti-war organization.
From the Baltimore Sun:
“Like most Americans, I admire the integrity and the candor that Gen. Petraeus showed in his hearings before Congress,” Cheney said at a fundraiser for Rep. Sam Graves in Kansas City today. “And the attacks on him by MoveOn.org in ad space provided at subsidized rates in The New York Times last week were an outrage.
From Editor & Publisher:
NEW YORK It started with a full-page ad in The New York Times from MoveOn.org Political Action which accused Gen. David Petraeus of “cooking” the numbers that allegedly indicated success for the “surge” in Iraq.
This outraged many Republicans, who said they objected to the “Betray Us” charge in the text. Some accused the Times of giving MoveOn a deeply discounted ad rate. The paper said that anyone can get a reduced rate for a non-guaranteed date and position, and non-profits also get a discount.
As always, if you can’t dazzle ’em with brilliance, baffle ’em with bullshit.