Apparently the anti-war movement only opposes war during Republican administrations:
In an appearance August 18 on WLS radio in Chicago, ABC News anchor Charles Gibson was asked about anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan’s plans to travel to Martha’s Vineyard next week, where she will protest the Iraq and Afghanistan wars while President Obama is vacationing there. Gibson, whose newscast and network featured Sheehan when she led anti-war protests outside President Bush’s Texas ranch in 2005, answered, “Enough already.”
True progressives (as opposed to Democrats) have by now endured the same rude awakening that true conservatives experienced when George W. Bush launched the broadest expansion of federal power since the New Deal. Those who expected an Obama administration to actually end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan weren’t paying attention to what the president said on the campaign trail and are sadly disappointed.
It’s not getting much attention, but the Netroots Nation conference (formerly known as YearlyKos, a spinoff from the left-wing website DailyKos) is going on in Pittsburgh this weekend. Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg has conducted a straw poll of the participants and found that a majority of those surveyed, 53 percent, say they “cannot support a health care reform bill that does not include a public option.” Other results include word that most of the attendees are willing to compromise a bit on environmental legislation, even though it gives a lot of benefits to big corporations, and the finding that, amazingly enough, attendees voice near-unanimous approval, 95 percent, of the job Barack Obama is doing as president.
What’s truly striking in Greenberg’s poll is the degree to which the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have fallen off the progressive radar. I attended the first YearlyKos convention, in 2006, and have kept up with later ones, and it’s safe to say that while people who attended those gatherings couldn’t stand George W. Bush in general, their feelings were particularly intense when it came to opposing the war in Iraq. It animated their activism; they hated the war, and they hated Bush for starting it. They weren’t that fond of the fighting in Afghanistan, either.
Now, with Obama in the White House, all that has changed. Greenberg presented respondents with a list of policy priorities and asked, “Please indicate which two you think progressive activists should be focusing their attention and efforts on the most.” The winner was passing comprehensive health care reform, with 60 percent, and number two was passing “green energy policies that address environmental concerns,” with 22 percent. Tied for eighth place, named by just eight percent of respondents, was “working to end our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Then Greenberg asked which one of those issues “do you, personally, spend the most time advancing currently?” The winner was health care reform, with 23 percent, and second place was “working to elect progressive candidates in the 2010 elections,” with 16 percent. In 11th place — at the very bottom of the list — was “working to end our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Just one percent of Netroots Nations attendees listed that as their most important personal priority.
War is only an issue for partisan Democrats when it’s not their war. And the major media, as always, is running cover.