The Senate passed the Jon Cornyn amendment condemning the MoveOn.org ad that called General David Petraeus a liar and potential traitor, 72-25. All 25 Senators who voted in support of these smears against an American military commander that they unanimously promoted to four stars came from the Democratic Party. It includes two declared presidential candidates and the top leadership of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
Those who voted to support MoveOn's smear:
It's a particularly sad commentary on the Democratic Party that they cannot bring themselves to support the very commander they sent to lead American troops in battle by a unanimous vote. It's not a case of a few fringe politicians like Bernie Sanders or Barbara Boxer, either. The Majority Leader, Harry Reid, and his chief deputy, Dick Durbin, refused to condemn the smear on Petraeus' honor. Hillary Clinton and Chris Dodd, both of whom want to become Commander in Chief over the military, chose to endorse MoveOn's smear campaign against a man who has dedicated his life to defending this nation and serving presidents in a nonpartisan manner.
MoveOn has the right to free speech. Congress has the responsibility to defend the honor of the man they unanimously endorsed for the difficult task of bringing security to Iraq. Almost half of the Democratic caucus would rather participate in a smear campaign against the commander than stand up to MoveOn. It's a pathetic, embarrassing, and ultimately revealing moment.
UPDATE: Mitt Romney's response sums it up:
"Hillary Clinton had a choice. She could stand with our troop commander in Iraq, or she could stand with the libelous left wing of her party. She chose the latter. The idea that she would be a credible commander-in-chief of our armed forces requires the willing suspension of disbelief."
UPDATE: Greg Sargent at TPM Election Central takes the glass-half-full approach ... almost literally. I guess (less than) half of the Democrats is better than none.