Yesterday, Vice President Cheney spoke on behalf of Rep. Graves (R-MO). Cheney took the opportunity to pep up the partisan crowd by trotting out the latest boogey man from the evil left, moveon.org.
I think it's worth arguing whether moveon.org should have employed the rhyme "betray us" in an ad in the New York Times criticizing Gen. Petraeus. What's clearly not worth arguing is whether the Times gave moveon.org some kind of benefit in the rate charged for the ad. In an report on Friday by Katharine Seelye, the Times itself explained that the rate moveon.org says it paid was the usual rate for that kind of ad requested by the advertiser on a "standby" basis, i.e., no guarantee that it will run on the preferred date.
[The 9/24/07 Wash Post reports that the New York Times admitted it should have charged full price for the ad because the date of its running was promised to moveon.org. Moreover, the ad's content violated NYT policies on personal attacks. While I still think Tom Davis was grandstanding, in this case, it appears he was right.]
Here's what Cheney said yesterday: The attacks on Gen. Petraeus by moveon.org in "ad space provided at subsidized rates in the New York Times last week were an outrage."
Today, Tom Davis wrote House Government Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman calling for hearings on "the New York Times's possible in-kind political contribution to moveon.org in the form of a discounted advertising rate."
I can only guess that because the GOP can't directly tie the Democrats to moveon.org, and because the GOP thinks that attacking only moveon.org won't sufficiently rouse the rabble, the GOP wants to shift the focus to their longstanding presumed liberal enemy, the New York Times.
Can we please put to rest any notion that Tom Davis isn't, and hasn't been (see Schiavo subpoena), a reliable flunky for the worst kind of right-wing propaganda?
Arguably, Davis is simply signaling his willingness to lean hard to the right in anticipation of facing competition in next year's quest for the GOP nomination for John Warner's Senate seat. I don't think it matters what Davis' motivation is. Tom Davis is all too willing to talk and act contrary to the ideological sentiments of his constituents.
I'll end as I have in previous posts here. Tom Davis is literally running around campaigning for his wife to be re-elected to her VA Senate Seat. He's put off officially announcing his plans for next year. Tom and Jeannemarie Devolites Davis would like their mutual constituents to believe that they're moderate. Maybe Jeannemarie is more moderate than Tom. Maybe not. Regardless, Chap Petersen is clearly in the mainstream of a majority of his would-be constituents. A vote for Chap not only will give us a better State Senator next year, it will send an unmistakable signal to Tom Davis that we're fed up with entrenched politicians saying one thing and doing another.
Vote for change! Vote for Chap!