Another day, another call for somebody to condemn something somebody else said regarding the war in Iraq.
There must be a Senate race in the offing in Minnesota.
On Wednesday, it was something Rush Limbaugh said on the radio. To wit: suggesting that troops who support Iraq withdrawal are Ã¢â‚¬Å“phony soldiers.Ã¢â‚¬Â
This prompted a call Friday by Americans United For Change, an anti-war group that wants to defeat Norm Coleman, demanding that the Minnesota Republican Ã¢â‚¬Å“denounceÃ¢â‚¬Â LimbaughÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s remark.
If it sounds like an echo of the flap over MoveOn.OrgÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s New York Times ad attacking Gen. David Petraeus as “Gen. Betray Us,Ã¢â‚¬Â well, it is.
For the past two weeks, Coleman has been pressing Al Franken and Mike Ciresi, the leading Democratic contenders for his seat, to denounce the MoveOn.Org ad, much as the Senate did with a bipartisan vote, including Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar.
Not only did the two DFLers decline, but Franken called the Senate action Ã¢â‚¬Å“ridiculous,Ã¢â‚¬Â suggesting that the upper chamber of Congress might have more important things to do than condemn a newspaper ad. Coleman responded with an ad criticizing Franken.
Then the House joined in the condemnation of the MoveOn ad. Again Democrats joined in overwhelmingly, including all Minnesota Democrats, with the exception of Rep. Keith Ellison.
Again Coleman called on Franken to reject the ad, saying Ã¢â‚¬Å“this is an issue that impacts the men and women serving over in Iraq.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Again Franken declined, positioning him to the left of much of the Congress — but perhaps not to the left of the majority of the DFL delegates he needs to woo for the partyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nomination next year.
All of which proves one of two things:
Either voters can take the candidates at their words and believe that Coleman is truly indignant about FrankenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s silence over MoveOn, and that Franken considers the flap truly silly.
Or, they can suspect that thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s politics being played on both sides: Base politics, each side playing to the folks who brung them to the dance.
Which do you think it is?
– KEVIN DIAZ