Michele Catalano ran a quiz on her site, A Small Victory, yesterday. Guess which one of the following is not a genuine quote from a contributor to Democratic Underground:
1. Contractors wear hardhats and carry lunch pails - These guys are mercenaries.
2. Death to ALL mercenaries. The beer is on me.
3. Sad, if I were the wife I would have said hell no you won't go; the wife must have said great pay-check and the hubby, yeah, can buy a Hummer when I get back.
4. These swine were MERCENARIES. Paid Hessians. Murderers for hire.
They're worse than Al-Queda. At least Al-Queda is fighting for a cause.
I say "too bad, so sad, bye-bye."
5. They are Mercenaries - They are in it for the money, they are thugs and hoodlums, working outside the boundaries of the law. And yesterday the Resistance got even with 4 of them in a barbecue ceremony, that alas pushed the bounds of good taste.
6. Mercenaries - These men are just serial killers with a good retirement plan. They deserve what they get.
Well, actually it was a trick question. The quotes are all genuine. They were all posted by Democrats.
The scandal doesn't end there. The biggest Democratic blogger is Markos Zuniga, whose Daily Kos is said to get more hits than any other liberal site. Zuniga is a player within the Democratic Party, too; he is a principal in the Armstrong Zuniga political consulting firm.
This is what Zuniga had to say about the atrocity in Falluja:
Let the people see what war is like. This isn't an Xbox game. There are real repercussions to Bush's folly.
That said, I feel nothing over the death of mercenaries. They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.
Zuniga later took down this post and tried to spin his hateful reaction to the murders; Michael Friedman has the whole story.
A number of Democratic candidates advertise on The Daily Kos; Friedman sent emails to them asking them to remove their ads in light of Zuniga's hate speech. So far, three have done so; Congressman Martin Frost of Texas was the first. But as of this morning, Jane Mitakides, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are all advertising on the site.
There's more: In the last few days, there has been a lot of news about John Kerry's successful use of the internet for fund-raising. Who is Kerry's number one online fundraiser? Yup. The Daily Kos.
So far, John Kerry has done nothing to disassociate himself from Zuniga's hateful reaction to the Falluja massacre. For him to do so might be dangerous; the truth is that Zuniga's hateful extremism represents the mainstream of the Democratic Party. Certainly the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are in no hurry to disassociate themselves from Zuniga's "screw them" sentiment.
As to Kerry, there is an interesting pattern here. In 1971, Kerry never publicly condemned his close friends and associates in Vietnam Veterans Against the War who were, at meetings he attended, plotting to assassinate Senators. It will be interesting to see whether Kerry has changed. Will he, today, publicly distance himself from those in his party who express contempt for Americans who are brutally murdered, and whose bodies are burned, broken to pieces and strung up from a bridge? For most of us, this would not be a difficult decision. Let's see how Kerry handles it when his number one internet fundraiser is involved.