Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Little People Should Shut Up

I'm an admirer of Gen. Wesley Clark. Which is why I'm disappointed by the following exchange:

Wes Clark Interview, Part One: The Petraeus Ad:

Matt Stoller: Chuck Hagel called his performance 'a dirty trick on the American people... It's not only a dirty trick, but it's dishonest, it's hypocritical, it's dangerous and irresponsible.' Admiral Fallon was reported saying that he thinks Petreaus is 'an ass-kissing little chickenshit' for the way he sucks up to politicians.' There are a lot of rumors that David Petraeus wants to run for President. My question is, um, is their criticism a mistake as well?

Wes Clark: Well, I think for Chuck Hagel, who's a sitting Senator who wants to criticize a General, that's fine. That's his right to do so. As far as Admiral Fallon was concerned, if he's got a personal quarrel with Petraeus, you know, that's between the two of them. Petraeus works for him, obviously he feels cut out and to some extent I've known situations like that, but, um, as for, it was a mistake.

Matt Stoller: But why can a sitting Senator criticize a General and millions of grassroots activists not do that? That's really what Moveon is, it's not like it's an entity.

Wes Clark: Moveon's an organization, and when it does that it distracts from the dialogue that the Senator's trying to have. ...

The "you kids go away and let the grownups take care of it" mentality is so pervasive in Washington that even progressive heroes like Clark are susceptible to it.

MoveOn represents a considerable portion of the electorate. Their mailing list is larger then the constituencies of some Senators. As such, they have every right to make their opinion known in this most vital of debates. And the polling suggests that they represent the opinions of America better than Congress does.


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