MoveOn Defends Ad, Dodges Furor

Attack on Petraeus pains Dems, but group is unrepentant
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2007 10:22 PM CDT

(Newser) – MoveOn's ad attacking Gen. Petraeus on the war in Iraq may have backfired, igniting a furor that united the GOP and flustered anti-war Democrats, but MoveOn founder Eli Pariser is unapologetic, writes Politico's Ryan Grim. Dems have worked all week to distance themselves from Monday's  full-page Times ad referring to "General Betray Us." But they're not actively denouncing it, either.

That could be attributable to MoveOn’s money-raising  clout. Or it could be because the ad raised the issue of credibility in a way no politician could feel comfortable doing. "Sometimes you have to call a spade a spade, even if it’s a respected general,” says Pariser, pointing out that putting generals on pedestals hasn't always worked in the past. "If folks had challenged Colin Powell on his facts in 2003, we wouldn't be in this situation."