A lefty friend told me yesterday she thought the NRSC’s response spot was unfair because multiple Democrats did, in fact, denounce the “Betray Us” ad. Did they, though? Let’s see what we’ve got. Waffles called it “over the top” and said he didn’t like it, a weak denunciation but a denunciation nonetheless. Score one for my friend. How about the party leaders, Reid and Pelosi? Quote:

“I would have preferred that they won’t do such an ad,” Pelosi said. The Speaker said it is not her prerogative “to say how people express themselves” and that the ad is “a demonstration of the frustration that people have about the war.”

That’s not condemnation, it’s excuse-making. At best she’s saying not that the ad’s unfair but that it’s not “helpful” to the Democrats politically, which is both true and beside the point. As for Dingy Harry:

Asked early Monday if this was the right message for his party to send, a member of the Democratic leadership, speaking on background, curtly answered, “No.”

I can’t prove it to you but I swear when I linked that story in headlines on Monday it specifically identified Reid as the source. The gutless tool must have called up CNN after they published it and told him to remove his name lest his masters at MoveOn be displeased.

Here’s the real money quote, though, which I’ve linked before and which my friend doesn’t seem to grasp the significance of. Politico, last Friday:

“No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,” noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. “The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.”

It’s good cop/bad cop. The Democrats can afford to (very mildly) chastise MoveOn because they’re on the same team playing the same game. MoveOn carries water for them to the base while the “mainstream” Democrats profess (again, very mild) shock, shock for the benefit of the independents they need to win the election. It’s so transparently phony they’re willing to talk on the record about it to political newspapers. Like MM says in the clip, “The extreme has become the center,” which makes the liberals willing to call the ad what it was the real fringe.

The Times, under pressure, apparently agreed to run Rudy’s ad for the same rate as they gave MoveOn. Not everyone was so lucky.

Tags: Democrats