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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Voinovich Supports, Brown Opposes Senate Resolution Condemning MoveOn.org

This is absurd and outrageous. In an act of ideological posturing, the GOP has engineered a Senate resolution condemning MoveOn.org for an act of pure political speech, i.e., its newspaper ad criticizing Gen. David Petraeus on the eve of his Congressional testimony in support of staying the course in Iraq. Sen. George Voinovich (R) voted in favor of the resolution, of course. Twenty-two Twenty Democrats joined the GOP, but to his great credit Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) voted against.

Among Democratic presidential contenders, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) did not vote and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) voted against. If Clinton becomes the Democratic presidential nominee, this vote will certainly be part of the GOP arsenal against her. On the other hand, Obama's decision not to vote won't help him with progressive voters (such as myself) in the Democratic primaries. On the GOP side, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) voted in favor.

It is a dark day when our government condemns political speech. Whether tasteful or outrageous, expression of political opinion is fundamental to democracy and is at the core of our most cherished freedoms. This brouhaha over MoveOn.org is not just a despicable diversionary tactic to deflect attention from popular opposition to the war, it is an affront to our basic civil liberties.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who voted against.


At September 20, 2007 3:43 PM , Ben said...

It is absurd and outrageous that the ad was run.

If HRC had voted to condemn the ad, then it couldnt have been used against her, correct?

"Sen. George Voinovich (R) voted in favor of the resolution, of course." yes, he is such a party line guy these days, who would have expected anything else from him.

At September 20, 2007 3:54 PM , Jeff said...

Hey, Ben, thanks for stopping by!

I was ticked off when I wrote this, can you tell? I try not too let myself get too demagogue-ish, but it's hard ... it's so hard ...

The ad was intentionally outrageous, Ben, they were trying to get attention. They were being strident. My point is they get to be, our constitution protects it.

You are totally right that if HRC had voted to condemn the ad it could be used against her. I, for one, would have been VERY pissed off about it. People would have criticized her for it, absolutely.

I'm thinking that the whole point of this GOP exercise was to get her (and the others) on the record one way or the other. My only point in the post was to convey my certainty that the GOP will use it down the road (if she is the nominee).

You're being sarcastic in the last paragraph - but yeah, I think it is an "of course" that he voted in favor. For one thing, all the GOP senators did. But as to Voinovich, this reputation of being moderate or "independent" is really not deserved -- he always seems to go along in the clinch.

At September 20, 2007 7:11 PM , Nothwest Territry Blogger said...

Jeff...attacking political speech is the name of the game these days and has happened more often then I care to admit. At least we don't have members of Congress physically attacking each other any more. Do a Google on "bully" Brooks and Charles Sumner. Those days before the Civil War were really touch on those guys.

At September 24, 2007 3:33 PM , Ben said...

I disagree..the point was to point out how shameless the ad was.

BTW nice job on the PD gig


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