MoveOn vs. Rudy: Hillary Gets It Right, Elizabeth Edwards Gets It Wrong

This post, written by Jane Hamsher, originally appeared on FireDogLake

It seems like only yesterday I wanted to put my head through a wall when Hillary Clinton decided to pile on John Kerry on the eve of the 2006 election, just as the right wing was swarming him over his bad joke. It's just such a basic, elemental principle at play here -- you don't help the right wing out by repeating their talking points, ever. Why was this so hard to grasp?

But here we are, almost a year later, and Hillary seems to have internalized that principle very well. Because when baited by Rudy Giuliani and offered the chance to frag MoveOn over their Petraeus ad, she thought the better of it:
Rudy Giuliani is dropping in the polls and is unable to defend his own support for George Bush's failed war. Instead of distorting Senator Clinton's record in the campaign's first attack ad, the Mayor should tell voters why he thinks sticking with the Bush Iraq strategy makes sense. The country wants change and while Hillary Clinton is focused ending the war, Mayor Giuliani is playing politics.
Bravo. Hillary seizes the opportunity to pivot and attack -- forcing Rudy into embracing George Bush and his horribly unpopular war. She sticks the landing.

Elizabeth Edwards? Not so much. You would think that she of all people should know about the asymmetrical intimidation problem that Paul Krugman talks about -- the one where the media is afraid to go after Rudy Guiliani for claiming he's a rescue worker, but they'll try to demolish John Edwards over a haircut because they know that they'll get hammered by the right wing noise machine for the former and pay no price for the latter.

But I guess not, because she decided instead to join with such leading moral barometers as Diaper Dave Vitter and John "McCarthy" McCain to attack MoveOn. So did John Kerry, whom one would expect to know better by this point in time. Granted, we really don't expect much better from Joe Biden -- somehow he continues to find the obvious quite elusive. So I guess we have to say it once again until everyone gets it -- you never repeat right wing talking points to attack your own, ever. You never enter that echo chamber as a participant. Ever. You never give them a cudgel to beat the left with.

Just. Don't. Do. It.

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