I’ve been thinking about what to say about the nasty, deliberately insulting Moveon.org ad and found Andrew Sullivan just said it for me. Sullivan is a conservative blogger who renounced the neocons a while back and has the scars to prove it. He’s also one of the most eloquent bloggers around.
The depression one feels at the state of American politics these past two weeks is only intensified by the news that Moveon.org has managed to raise $500,000 off the opportunism of Bush, McCain and those elements of the pro-Bush blogosphere who think attacking Moveon is somehow an alternative to figuring out how to move forward in Iraq and the Middle East. The Moveon ad was dumb and crudely hyperbolic. In other words, it was Coulteresque. Moveon.org would have opposed this president in this war whatever he did. But they are now the president’s unwitting ally in deflecting responsibility from his criminal negligence in Iraq.
This is how it goes. And when you consider the prospect of a Clinton-Giuliani race next year, you know that in wartime, the major parties will be far more interested in tearing this country apart for their own Rovian purposes than in uniting us against a deadly and increasingly successful foe. This is how democracies perish – by picking short term polarization over long-term strategy, by deciding to fight each other as a distraction from intelligently fighting our real enemies. And when the next attack comes, it will divide us more profoundly than ever before. If that’s what you want, then Rudy and Hillary are your candidates. They will keep this cycle going; in fact, they need it to succeed.
It is a cycle to hell.
The Moveon.org ad was designed to slime Bush and Republicans. The aim was to build support for Democrats. This is not the way to put an end to war, nor was that even their primary intent. And it was Coulteresque, seeking to deliberately polarize for short-term partisan political gain. Unless we as a country decide to put an end to these vile attack ads and do so quickly, then the next fourteen months will be filled with incessant rage-inducing ads and they will grow nastier and nastier as the election date nears. Until, presumably, we are all foaming in rage against Them. And nothing will be solved.
Sullivan is quite correct. This kind of polarization is precisely what both parties want, and neither can exist without the other doing it too. Sick.