…and rank and file Democrats too.
Once you get past Matt Taibbi’s penchant for sexist imagery, he can actually commit some very good reporting (boldface mine):
Rather than use the vast power they had to end the war, Democrats devoted their energy to making sure that “anti-war activism” became synonymous with “electing Democrats.” Capitalizing on America’s desire to end the war, they hijacked the anti-war movement itself, filling the ranks of peace groups with loyal party hacks. Anti-war organizations essentially became a political tool for the Democrats–one operated from inside the Beltway and devoted primarily to targeting Republicans.
This supposedly grass-roots “anti-war coalition” met regularly on K Street, the very capital of top-down Beltway politics. At the forefront of the groups are Thomas Matzzie and Brad Woodhouse of Americans Against the Escalation in Iraq, the leader of the anti-war lobby. Along with other K Street crusaders, the two have received iconic treatment from The Washington Post and The New York Times, both of which depicted the anti-war warriors as young idealist-progressives in shirtsleeves, riding a mirthful spirit into political combat — changing the world is fun!
…What the Post and the Times failed to note is that much of the anti-war group’s leadership hails from a consulting firm called Hildebrand Tewes–whose partners, Steve Hildebrand and Paul Tewes, served as staffers for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). In addition, these anti-war leaders continue to consult for many of the same U.S. senators whom they need to pressure in order to end the war. This is the kind of conflict of interest that would normally be an embarrassment in the activist community.
Worst of all is the case of Woodhouse, who came to Hildebrand Tewes after years of working as the chief mouthpiece for the DSCC, where he campaigned actively to re-elect Democratic senators who supported the Iraq War in the first place. Anyone bothering to look–and clearly the Post and the Times did not before penning their ardent bios of Woodhouse–would have found the youthful idealist bragging to newspapers before the Iraq invasion about the pro-war credentials of North Carolina candidate Erskine Bowles. “No one has been stronger in this race in supporting President Bush in the War on Terror and his efforts to effect a regime change in Iraq,” boasted the future “anti-war” activist Woodhouse.
With guys like this in charge of the anti-war movement, much of what has passed for peace activism in the past year was little more than a thinly veiled scheme to use popular discontent over the war to unseat vulnerable Republicans up for re-election in 2008.
I am sickened, and I have no idea how to stop this. If you vote for Republicans, you enable the war even further. And how the hell is anyone going to mount a credible challenge from within the Democratic Party against Chuck Shumer or Harry Reid?
Cynical-Wise-Beyond-Your-Years Troll-Be-Gone: Rants against the system or how Everything Is Corrupt and Beyond Repair aren’t a solution. I might even have to take the extreme step of disemvowelment.