Despite the lofty name, this movement is designed to cajole Congress into withdrawing from an unpopular war. Before we ever invaded Iraq, taking a stand against that war meant something. Now it's just the latest flavor of the month. It doesn't take a hell of a lot of moral courage to agree with popular sentiment.
When 300,000 Persians tell 300 Spartans to surrender their arms, and they respond, "Come and get them," that's taking a stand.
Van Bittner Hall, with its strong union presence, is the proud site of many Democratic rallies. But according to Cammie L. Croft, the national director of today's "Take a Stand," the event is completely nonpartisan. She tells me that turning this into a Dent-bashing affair would threaten the nonprofit status of her group, Americans Against Escalation in Iraq.
"It absolutely is not a partisan campaign," Cammie assured me last night.
Well, guess who's winking at those silly nonprofit rules ... again?
You got it on the first try! It's Sam Bennett. After getting caught financing her congressional campaign with a ridiculously excessive salary at nonprofit Properties of Merit, she's using nonpartisan Americans Against Escalation in Iraq to stage a free campaign rally.
She was busy today, sending emails on her campaign letterhead to her pals on the Democratic committee, trying to stack the union hall. She's telling them to bring their friends, too. "I look forward to seeing you there." She closes by referring everyone to her campaign web page, where they can give her lots and lots of money.
Several committeemen tell me she's implied that she's even one of the featured speakers. National organizer Croft denies this, and told me late last night we'll be spared a Sam Bennett late night monologue.
Pity. I was looking forward to a few "RoyBoys."
But regardless whether Bennett speaks, this is yet another instance in which she is using a nonpartisan group to advance her personal goal - her quixotic quest for Congress.
Looks like Sam got a little help from local organizer Aaron Swisher. While pretending this event is nonpartisan, he gave Bennett permission to notify her pals on the Democratic committee. In fact, it looks like he drafted most of her letter, or provided a template. He purposely snubbed Congressman Charlie Dent, even though Dent has already met Swisher and has agreed there are no good options in Iraq.
This town hall is supposedly intended "to pressure targeted members of Congress to vote to bring a safe end to the war." You don't persuade people by thumbing your nose at them. Thanks to Aaron Swisher and Sam Bennett, the original purpose of tonight's town hall has been perverted. It will instead be a thinly-veiled campaign rally at a union hall, packed with Democratic committeemen.
I'll be there as a member of the non mainstream media, along with my digital camera. Should I ask Joe Long for permission? I'm sure he won't mind.