Republicans can't seem to get a break this election season. They've been reduced to hype and propaganda, normally strengths of theirs, but this year overwhelmed by successive waves of news they can't control. It's been lovely.
The month of October came and went without anything that could be reasonably termed an “October surprise” on the part of the Bush administration. That in itself is something of a surprise. You'd expect the Bush White House to be ready to trundle out some terrorist alert or other ploy to distract the electorate from its failings. Perhaps this year their great coup de main will be a November surprise instead—a dramatic last-minute sleight of hand. Some people think it will be the verdict in the Saddam Hussein trial, but perhaps the master stroke will come from another direction.
The reliable right-wing shill, Melanie Morgan, is doing her best to deliver the goods. People on the mailing list of her political group, Move American Forward, got a hint earlier in the week:
This is to notify you that on Saturday, November 4, 2006 Move America Forward will be making a major announcement that you will want to know about—we will have complete details posted to our website at http://www.MoveAmericaForward.orgNaturally, I've been on tenterhooks ever since. Today, of course, the news broke. Oh, this will win the election for the Republicans for sure!
We will be making this announcement online and to the media at 10:00 AM Eastern // 7:00 AM Pacific. The major news event we will be unveiling pertains to America's foreign policy, and because of security concerns we cannot divulge the facts involved before Saturday morning.
We will need your help in getting this major news story told throughout the nation, so please be sure to check in Saturday morning at the Move America Forward website.
WE HAVE MADE A HISTORIC TRIP TO IRAQThat's it. Some people went to Iraq. In secrecy, of course, because Iraq is bloody dangerous (despite all that “progress”). Move America Forward found some people who lost family members in Bush's war and are still willing to express their support for it.
For over 1 year now Move America Forward, the nation's largest grassroots pro-troop organization, has been working to put together a trip to Iraq for a delegation of “Gold Star Families”—the parents of troops who have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Under complete secrecy our delegation has made a historic trip, traveling through the Middle East and now are entering Iraq. No other such coordinated trip to Iraq among Gold Star Families has ever taken place. (This trip is an “advance” planning trip that will be followed next year by a much larger delegation of Gold Star Families.)
The purpose of this trip:
- To Rebut Senator John Kerry's recent criticisms of U.S. troops in Iraq.
- To Report to the American people about progress being made in the war in Iraq.
- To offer our 100% backing and support for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.
That's interesting. After all the abuse the right heaped on Cindy Sheehan for supposedly exploiting the death of her son as a platform to oppose the war, Move America Forward thinks it's all right to similarly “exploit” other bereaved parents. And here I thought that playing the victim was a much-disdained gimmick from the Democratic arsenal. But it's okay if Republicans do it.
Morgan, by the way, has even gone so far as to co-author a book attacking Sheehan with lurid accusations, so it appears that some Gold Star mothers are worthy of contempt. I'm sure the people with the Move America Forward caravan are all exemplary folks instead.
In fact, they probably are. And I expect they are entirely sincere in wanting the war to be a meaningful and worthwhile endeavor. How else would you want to regard something that claimed the life of one of your loved ones? I can't imagine.
But they are playing their dutiful roles in a shabby little publicity stunt timed to influence the election. These poor people are just more dupes of the Bush administration. Unfortunately for the president, dupes are in shorter supply this year.