Obama walks on anti-MoveOn.org Senate vote: The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted September 20, 2007 3:58 PM
The Swamp

by Jill Zuckman

When Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) cancelled a campaign trip to Rock Hill, S.C., his web site said it was “due to crucial votes in the Senate concerning the ongoing war in Iraq.”

So, why did Obama miss a key vote denouncing MoveOn.org’s recent advertisement about Gen. David Petraeus? The ad stirred outrage nationally for suggesting Petraeus was a lackey for the White House and disloyal to the country. “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” it asked.

Obama voted for the Democratic alternative offered by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) reaffirming strong support for all men and women in the military and condemning attacks on the “honor, integrity and patriotism” of any individual who is serving or has served in the Armed Forces.

But he skipped the vote that came next. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) offered a “sense of the Senate” resolution that Petraeus “deserves the full support of the Senate” and said the Senate “strongly condemns personal attacks” on his honor and integrity.

Cornyn’s resolution was a direct swipe at the anti-war group, MoveOn.org, a powerful factor in the Democratic presidential primary. Senators Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) - both of whom are running for president - voted against the Cornyn amendment. (Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), who is also running for president, missed all three votes today.)

Obama didn’t vote at all on the Cornyn amendment to the Defense authorization bill.

That left lawmakers scratching their heads. “I thought it was curious,’’ said Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), the Minority Whip.

Cornyn noted that it would not have taken Obama much more time to have voted on his amendment after voting for Boxer’s. “I don’t know why he had to leave,’’ Cornyn said.

Republican presidential candidates have made hay on the campaign trail as they demand that their Democratic counterparts denounce the Petraeus ad.

Obama managed to cast a vote on the other two amendments of the day, including an ‘aye’ for Sen. Russ Feingold’s amendment to start withdrawing troops within 90 days. But his campaign was insistent that he skipped his Rock Hill, S.C. event to do his work in the Senate.

“On a personal level, the Senator wanted us to relay his sincere regret for having to postpone this town hall event in such an important part of the Palmetto State, but, knowing how crucial today's vote on the war in Iraq is to the future of the country, he knew South Carolinians would understand,’’ Obama’s web site said.

“The campaign will be rescheduling the Senator's planned town hall in Rock Hill as soon as possible,” the message continued. “However, until then, South Carolinians should rest assured knowing that, while Barack may not be able to join us tomorrow in SC, he's doing so only to play his role in ending the war he's opposed since before it began.”

Aides to Obama had no immediate response to queries about why the senator took a pass on the Cornyn vote, but the senator made his objections clear.

"The focus of the United States Senate should be on ending this war, not on criticizing newspaper advertisements,'' Obama said. "This amendment was a stunt designed only to score cheap political points while what we should be doing is focusing on the deadly serious challenge we face in Iraq.''

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That left lawmakers scratching their heads. “I thought it was curious,’’ said Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), the Minority Whip.

Did Trent actually scratch his head for emphasis? The ad was a dumb move that accomplished nothing and was actually counter-productive. That being said, can guys like Trent be indignant about something that will make a difference in the end. Get to work!

Good for Senator Obama. It's only a freaking newspaper ad and the Rethuglicans are wasting our time again.

What's next from Republic Party drones? are they going to bring an amendment to the floor that requires everyone to put a yellow "support the troops" magnet on our vehicles and requires all men to wear a flag lapel pin on their suitcoats, punishable by death?

Bawk, buk, buk

I'm missing something here. Didn't a pentagons report just come out and show that things aren't quite as good as Petreus said they were? Didn't the General refuse to elaborate on how they came up with their numbers? Didn't the GAO leak a report because they feared the administration would materially change it?

Didn't Moveon have a bit of a point? Sure, their language was outrageous, disgusting even. But wasn't their message valid? The General couldn't tell us what he really thought, he should never have been Bush's mouthpiece, and before you Righties get all upset yes, he is Bush's mouthpiece. He doesn't set the policy, Bush does. He doesn't even know if this mess in Iraq is making us safer, my guess is he (like many other people in the military) thinks it is weakening us. If he thought it was making us safer he would have said so.

Moveon went over the top. That is how you turn a 75K add buy into a week long media blitz. OJ is in jail again and Moveon is getting almost as much coverage as OJ. That's amazing! I bet the make a lot of money off this add.

The same Obama who inserts the word "leadership" in his every speech should retitle his memoirs, "Profiles in Cowardice".

Come on, Obama. Vote against Cornyn's amendment and show the Repubs what free speech is about. How they can get up in their shorts about this when they have the likes of Coulter and Limbaugh spewing their bile day in and day out. Many of us were counting on you, Barack.

Move On certainly got a great bang for their buck with this ad. Think I'll send them $100. Great job guys.

it shows Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) truly believes that anything the USA does to protect its own people and come out a winner in this war is wrong.....I mean his name is Obama after all

Americans are free to say whatever they want. Its our right. I dont support move-on.org, but they have the right to say whatver the hell they want.

This vote is another sign that the senate votes on stupid issues.

Well, we all now know where to look anytime a Republican member of the Senate misses a vote - they'll be propositioning folks at their local shady men's room - or hittin' some meth with their pastor.

sure you'll send a hundred bucks to them..you'd better multipy that by a million if you want to be in the MO croud


Obama unlike the rest may feel that Freedom of Speech is a Constitutional right.


For the Senate to even contemplate a vote on this is a slap at the Constitution of the United States, and your Fifth Amendment. I din't know the Senate leaders were voting on Freedom of Speech in year 2007.

PUT DOWN THE POT GEORGE, AND LET AMERICAS KIDS COME HOME, their parents would love to see them.




My donations will go to Moveon.org.

I assume that Obama didn't vote because the motion was a stupid waste of time. Advocacy groups criticize politicians (including top military officers)--that's how things work. If Congress-members can't handle it, they should take a different job.

I haven't been this disgusted with the Republicans in Congress since they turned Terry Schiavo's case into a national spectacle and threw federalism out the window.

I get the feeling that they're just trying to distract us from something important...

Amazing . So this is what the Repugilican Party is reduced to? Who gives a crap what Congress thinks of the ad? That they voted down Webb's amendment to give our troops more relief time from active duty to be home with their families pretty much tells me all I need to know.

General Betrayus. Did anybody respond this way when another war hero, John Kerry, was maligned for his Vietnam War record? General Betrayus: that's right,and he knows it is. I wish the toads in the senate could quit posing and vote against Bush's war and Bush's lies. Or are they all bucking to join the Betrayus family?

Obama did the right thing in voting for the Democratic alternative offered by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) reaffirming strong support for all men and women in the military and condemning attacks on the "honor, integrity and patriotism" of any individual who is serving or has served in the Armed Forces.

The Boxer alternative coveres all instances, past, present, and future. I assume it includes previous Karl Rove attacks on various veterans running for public office. Not to mention any names.

Oh wait - maybe that's why the Republicans preferred the Cornyn version, which was limited to MoveOn.org. Ya think???

What are we paying these people for? This vote is supposed to help the American people how? Why don't they quit wasting time and our money and do some work for a change. Stop the politicking in the chambers. How about figuring out how to fix all those bridges that are ready to fall apart??? Need I go on?

Why do Republicans portray themselves as more patriotic than Democrats. It's alway the bottom line with them even though there is no evidence of it. It's pathetic.

All this whining from the people whos' first attack on the left is to question their patriotism, means do do to me.

Thankfully we have a group af people with the guts to say what a lot f us feel. Colonels are promoted to General politically. I think we owe a debt of gratitude to Move On. Keep up the good work Eli. The troops should have been home yesterday...

Gee, the republicans are now the ones filibustering... What happened to a straight up and down vote that they so favored for Bush's appointments?

And, in a burst of politcal correctness, they condemn the, admittedly rather sophomoric, MoveOn ad.

So, to recap... The republicans are now the obstructionists and the supporters of political correctness.

Why does this not surprise?

Good for Obama! What a stupid stupid stupid amendment. They should pay back the taxpayers for all the time they wasted today. LOSERS.

I don't like Moveon.org's message on the general.. I think it was poorly done and of a tone I don't approve of.

But - since when did our elected lawmakers get in the business of attacking the first amendment rights of any group or individual?

What? Whenever somebody or group stings some public official - who works "for" the public or should anyway - we see if it hits a certain mark on some meter and elected officials do some show vote?

This is America a__holes

Barak Hussein Obama is a coward. Is a Dhimmicrat similar to a "republican"? Libs say the darndest things!

Kerry became open game when he called Viet Nam veterens a bunch of baby killers back during his Winter Soldier testimony.
He also demanded through his vote that the General give testimony when he thought things would be going badly.
Even still he wasn't so womanly as to not vote. Agree or not even Hillary showed more leadership. She will never accept that sissy boy as v.p. either.

Senator Dianne Feinstein's vote I understand-her family has made millions from the Iraq war before she was forced to resign from the Milcom board for improper behavior. But Obama?-even Hillary Clinton (no favorite of mine) has more balls than him.

He "chickened out", period...

Question: What ever happened to the "nuclear option" the Republicans threatened the dems with so many times? Why don't the dems do it?

Answer: The senate is basically 50/50. I doubt they have the power. Even if they did, Bush would veto any bill they sent him.

The GOP is being a bunch of whiny little babies. More so than the dems were when they were in the minority.

And since when are the Republicans the authority on nasty adds? Sure, the nasties adds and tactics come out of the GOP, so maybe they have the experience doing the adds. But the dems have the experience when it comes to crying about how unfair things are.

The Republicans should leave the crybaby stuff alone. It only makes them look as weak as they are.

The same Obama who inserts the word "leadership" in his every speech should retitle his memoirs, "Profiles in Cowardice".

Posted by: Bruce | September 20, 2007 4:27 PM

Only Bruce would call voting twice on the difficult war issues and deciding to skip the wasteful political theater "cowardice". Speaks volumes of what "honor" must mean to a political hack like Bruce.

How can we be fulminating about "decorum" in an AD when bombs are maiming and killing civilians and US soldiers; and depleted uranium is sentencing the unborn to birth defects and cancer? No wonder Congress has about a 10% approval rating....

Do our policy makers not have anything better to do with their time? Get a grip and get some real work done - This knee jerk reaction is typical - such indignity about a load of crap. Every American has the right to speak out about contemporary issues...what is the stink about?

Amazing that this is something that our Senate is voting on. Condemning ads in the newspaper? How about focusing on things that are much more important and relevant. A vote like that is just a vote to either condemn/support a future nominee. Good for Obama for not even acknowledging it.

So our Senate is writing and voting on laws condemning free speech. Why couldn't the Dems table this indefinately, like the Republics did to so many of our bills? Cause this is clearly a waste of time. Are they going to vote on a bill condemning hurting the president's feelings next?

Although the ad was childish, it was, unfortuneately, accurate; as Petreaus is a paid lackey for the admin. Just look at his freakin presentation on an abject military failure.

Hey Dems, you think maybe some group are making Obama's vote an issue to capture headlines like this one, and just maybe overshadow the fact that the other side just voted for (against) something that they don' want noticed? I don't want to sound all tin foil or anything, just a thought. Are you taking the bait?

Did anyone really think that Senators Obama, Clinton, Dodd or anyone else running for President on the Democratic ticket would ever vote for the resolution? That's not very realistic. They get money from MoveOn.org. They are not going to bite the hand that feeds them.

It is expecting too much from the culture of corruption to have those in Congress buck their money sources.

The commander-in-chief wannabe (Obama) can't even stand up to a lefty kook web site and vote one way or the other.
What a chicken!



A Senate Resolution is not a law. It doesn't have the force of a law because it never received bicameral approval or the signature of the President. Therefore, it is not a law against free speech.

To the contrary, it is just one way in which the Senate, as a collective body, gets to vent its own views. It is just more free speech.

So relax.

What a bunch of mental midgets, those who think the Republicans are opposing Moveon.org's right to free speech. They can say what they want, and so can the Republicans. The ad was offensive and disrespectful, and that's what this is all about. Those predisposed to assume the general was wrong in his assessment, are going to leap on every report that varies from him. Either resoltuion suits me. 75 senators voted for the one Obama skipped...that's 27 dems...is he afraid of Moveon.org?

Dumb MoveOn Your Part, Obama.
This would have been a golden opportunity to show your debate skills by filibustering this measure in the staid tradition of Saint Strom Thurmond, but apparently you felt a vote condemning a newspaper ad wasnt worthy of the time of Elected Officials of These United States.

I suppose there are more important things that Congress should be focusing on?

Would you care to name one?

"Republican presidential candidates have made hay on the campaign trail as they demand that their Democratic counterparts denounce the Petraeus ad."

moveon does what it wants.
why should the democratic party be expected to denounce an ad by moveon?

where are the howls for the republican party to denounce any objectionable material put out by those who sometimes support them?

in all the coverage about moveons ad i dont think i've seen a story that went any further than the headline.
how many ppl would still be condeming it if they'd actually read it.

Obama and Clinton are shamelessly political.


Like I've said a while back-the almighty George will do as he pleases, no matter what anyone thinks. He wanted to be president and he achieved it. He wanted to show up his old man and he thinks he did. He told all of us -citizens- to kiss his ....... And Congress obliged for us. They are a bunch of wimps.


Obama is a gutless putz. Too chicken to vote against a meaningless resolution.

I'm actually starting to like Hillary. When people come after her, she comes right back. Unlike Mr. Obama who can't seem to find a spine.

Do you ever see any of the Republiscum condemning Ann Coulter or Rush Libmbaugh?

Oh, and Generalissomo Betrayus is a Republic. party hack who couldn't manage his way out of a wet paper bag.

I suppose this means the Democrats will finally ask for condemnation of the RNC for the Ads calling Max Cleland, John McCain, and John Kerry traitors. They are ALL decorated veterans. It is ALL about politics! Only the Republicans are better at being malicious. Petraeous IS playing politics. They can't use that as a reason he shouldn't be called to task. The party that condones and laughs at the slurs from their right-wing nuts never say they are sorry. Never!

Obama just earned his "profile in courage," right next to Ted Kennedy's swimming lessons. At least we know how gutless Hillary is to fall in with a bunch of Extreme Left Kooks and Soviet want-to-be's. For Obama, we just have to guess his reason for not voting. Let's see: he needed a Starbucks. His parking meter was running out. His hair stylist was waiting. He missed the Senate train. The dog ate his staff direction card on how to vote. They all work. Which is more than can be said for Obama.

Give me a break. Doesn't the senate have real work to do?

And meanwhile.......our kids are getting killed, gas is a "bargain" at $2.80 (wait'll you see your winter oil prices), our constitution is getting ripped to shreds, our educational system is a mess, 80 million americans have no medical insurance, people are losing their homes in droves while CEOs are retiring at a half a billion dollars, and OJ and Britney grab the headlines.............oh yes...we are the greatest country on earth!

Move On.org is nothing but a bunch of rich limo liberals who hate America. Too bad Barak Obama was not man enough to stand up to them.

Hilarious commentary:

So, how does it feel, boyo? Working at Starbucks, putting off getting that killer tat so you can send some cash to end the War in Iraq and maybe impeach Chimpy McBushitler. You give up valuable time you could have spent grooming your soul patch or creating mystical Celtic weavings in your underarm hair passing out literature on behalf of Democrat candidates. You feel important. The candidates go to your freakfests and pay attention to your theories and ideas.

Then, finally, your team is in power and you gotta know this war is going to end yesterday with a Truth Commission just waiting in the wings. Who knows. Maybe Al Gore will be given the presidency for two terms as compensation for Bush v. Gore.

But it doesn't play out that way. Just yesterday Harry Reid admits that he doesn't have the votes to do anything about Iraq until next summer. Maybe. At the earliest. If he can get around to it.

And what gives with this 60 vote stuff?

Then today the Senate votes 72-25 to condemn MoveOn for the ad they bought in the New York Times labeling General Petraeus as General Betray Us. 72-25. They can't muster 60 votes to end the war but they can find 72 votes to condemn MoveOn for exposing Bush's sockpuppet.

The republitards can't talk about anything else. People don't believe we'll accomplish anything in the illegal occupation of Iraq. They don't trust them on keeping Americans safe. They aren't convinced the economy is doing all that well. The only thing they have left is outrage. So since the can be outraged at an ad, they can get outraged here about not voting for a time-wasting bill. Talk about wasting taxpayer dollars - this boondoggle says all you really need to know about the republitards.

You're right-on about B.Husein Obama!

But,Petraeus was confirmed by a Senate vote of 82 to 0....So,all the democrats voted for him too.

Why doesn't the lefty kook weirdo's in the democRAT party like to win?...Oh,that's right,your party is invested in defeat....I forgot.

Yep...that Hillary will make a great president and she will cut the military to the bone,like her husband[?] B.J. did.
If you want a successful jihad in America...vote for a lefty dem.
Too bad weinerdog43,you can't see past your computer screen.


I have said before that I was against MoveOn.org and the "Betrayus" ad. And it was a shameful tactic.

However, I am pleased with the democratic leaders who decided not to vote on this measure.

Cronyn's resolution was nothing less but a "vote for censorship" and should not be tolerated or condoned at any measure.


Please remember that the "cutting to the bone" began with Georgie's daddy - not with Clinton.

Meanwhile, let's get Admiral Fallon up on Capitol Hill to tell all of us what he thinks of Petraeus - after all, he is his boss.

Obama, it seems, is an ordinary politican with extraordinary rhetorical skills. He didn't want to aliente the democratic base for the upcoming primaries, but he also wanted to seek political cover in case he has to run in the general election. The same goes for Jena. he needs to stay clear of Jackson et, al and sent a letter.

I am as disillusioned as the rest of them. Obama has no courage, period. And you don't become leader without it. At least we know that Hillary can take stand and that is what we ask of our leaders If Obama make a symbolic vote, how will he stand up to terrorists and dictators. I am so disappointed

He missed one event to vote on bills directly related to the Iraq war. But in order to attend another scheduled event, he missed a silly vote about an advertisement, for cryin' out loud, a vote that was clearly brought in order to further divide America. As he said himself, "The focus of the United States Senate should be on ending this war, not on criticizing newspaper advertisements,'' Obama said. "This amendment was a stunt designed only to score cheap political points while what we should be doing is focusing on the deadly serious challenge we face in Iraq.''

Thanks CONs for showing your true colors. The vote was NOT about honoring the military. If it was Boxer's amendment would have passed. The vote was distraction and a feeble attempt to silence dissent. General Betrayed US and the troops.

Why do the Republicans and Neocons want our congressmen to vote AGAINST free speech and the First Amendment to the US Constitution?

Oh, I forgot - only Republicans are allowed to have free speech under the current administration.

Where was the Senate resolution condemning the Republican attacks on the patriotism of Max Cleland (D-GA) in 2006? You know, a guy who lost both arms and one leg serving this country in Vietnam...

The vote was a silly waste of time and everybody knows it. Walking away from it is in no way the definition of cowardice. "Picking your battles" is a well known strategy for a leadership position. I am convinced that if the General needed his hand held or ego stroked then President, I mean Senator Obama wold have done just that.

For the many months that this interminable campaign has been running, I've been searching for a reason to choose between Obama and Hillary. I found one.

It seems that Hillary has the strength of her convictions and Obama doesn't.

ps ... I think Petraeus deserves the MoveOn criticism. He did cook the books. MoveOn called it what it was.

I find it very sad that Obama is showing what a coward he is. He should have voted the way he felt, not pulling a "texas democrat" move by simply running from the vote.
What a worthless coward.

Hey Moveon.org? Even the Democrats hate you! LOL

What a waste of time! I hope Obama was doing something more important. I did not like the ad. Think we can be decent and still be effective. But really, does the senate not have more important issues to spend time on than condemming name calling? How about working on improving the situation in Iraq, healthcare, education??? Any of those issues could use some attention.

please someone please get the story out about the paul vs hilary trial coming up in a few days in california
if anyone has it please get it to the news media today

You people are brain dead and That idiot Obama wants to turn us over to the UN- You need to crawl back into the hole you crawled out of and take that balless piece of shit Obama with you. You have ruined this great country enough.

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