The Victory Caucus

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The Victory Caucus, created in February 2007 by right-wing bloggers, "artificially pumped up its traffic statistics by collectively and repeatedly linking to it, and then excitedly pointed to that traffic as evidence that they had tapped into latent though powerful pro-war sentiment among Americans which was spawning a new online movement.[1] That ruckus, in turn, caused easily manipulated reporters[2] to write articles[3] and broadcast stories[4] touting this new, exciting, surging Pro-War online Phenomenon," Glenn Greenwald wrote February 24, 2007, in Salon.[5]

Since, in his September 13, 2007, address to the nation, President George W. Bush appears to have dropped "victory" from his goals for Iraq, and has substituted "success" in its place,[6] will The Victory Caucus go through yet another metamorphosis and rename itself "The Success Caucus"?


Continue the war in Iraq petition

Following the September 10-11, 2007, testimony before Congress by Lt.Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, The Victory Caucus posted a petition on its website entitled "Stand By the American Mission in Iraq".[7]

"The Victory Caucus has joined with a coalition of other pro-victory groups to sponsor the Stand by the Mission petition below," it states. "We ask that you add your signature to the petition so that we can demonstrate to Congress and the world that the American public is committed to victory."[7]

"In addition to signing the petition, we urge you to contact members of Congress directly," the petition page requests. "Call 1-877-222-8001 to be patched through directly to your members of Congress."

However, this phone number DOES NOT connect callers directly with members of Congress. It is the SAME phone number used by Freedom's Watch in its phony call-in campaign beginning on August 22, 2007.[8]

Background

First launch

The Victory Caucus website was launched in mid-February 2007 in response to the success of the left's MoveOn.org. Hugh Hewitt, a member of the board of governors, wrote on February 16, 2007, that he was "seeing tremendous traffic for a site that is five days old, and an impressive commitment of resources from virtual volunteers around the country."[9]

"The effort to recruit, support, and elect victory Congressmen is going to require a great deal of effort," Hewitt wrote. "The first set of tools are there, and the Victory Caucus is not going to pursue any other agenda except victory in the war."[9]

Relaunch

The Victory Caucus web page was relaunched with a new format in late July 2007.[10]

"Rather than haranguing Republicans out of expressing doubts about the war, the 'new' idea is to become 'a one-stop-shop for anyone interested in learning about what's really going on in the war.'

"What's really going on, of course, is that US forces are winning a brilliant victory against the combined forces of Ahmadenijad, al-Qaeda, Fidel Castro, and the Cobra Commander but the liberal media is covering it all up," Matthew Ygelsias wrote July 24, 2007, in The Atlantic.[11]

Non-profit

On April 18, 2007, a viral email announced that The Victory Caucus was then "in the process of incorporating as a 501c4 nonprofit entity. After consideration among the Board of Directors, we concluded that the 501c4 structure was the best choice for TVC's mission, as it allows us to accept unlimited contributions from donors to fund our goals of educating and informing the public on the need to support Victory. ... Donations will be used to fund media campaigns promoting victory; to pay for education and outreach efforts, and to generally fight the battle of ideas in the American media marketplace against those who are espousing the politics of defeat."[12]

Victory Caucus political action committee

The Victory Caucus also announced in April 2007 that it would "not be participating in is direct funding of political candidates, which our 501c4 status will prohibit. But if you are interested in helping identify and fund victory-oriented candidates, there is a new Political Action Committee being formed that will fund candidates and also needs your help." VictoryPAC[13][14] was "launched by Marc Danziger, also known as Armed Liberal, who blogs at Winds of Change[15]."[12]

In a June 21, 2007, posting by David Weigel at Reason Magazine, comes the following information:

The PAC "never launched" and Weigel "checked with the FEC and the IRS and while there already is an organization called the 'Victory PAC,' it's been around for years—it's not the pro-war group."[16]

Board of Governors

The Victory Caucus board of governors are:[17]

Beliefs

The Victory Caucus states that its beliefs are the following:[17]

  • We support victory in the war against radical Islamists. We supported the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and we believe victory is necessary in both countries for America's self-defense.
  • We believe that the radical regime in Iran, while not representative of the Iranian people, is a menace and that it cannot be allowed to obtain or build nuclear weapons.
  • We believe that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization that has killed hundreds of Americans and which waged war against Israel in violation of every law of war this past summer, and will do so again in the future.
  • We believe Israel is our ally and friend and deserves the full assistance of the United States in its battle with radical Islamists. We believe that Israel has repeatedly shown its willingness to negotiate a just and lasting peace, but that its enemies do not want peace, but the destruction of Israel.
  • We believe that the American military is the finest in the world and indeed in history, well led and superbly trained, and populated at every level by America's best and brightest.
  • We support the troops, and those organizations which assist the wounded in their recoveries and support the families of those who sacrificed everything.
  • We support leaders who support victory.

Mission

The Victory Caucus states the following as its mission.[17]

  • Deliver the perspectives and news on the war effort which the mainstream media neglects to help the American public understand the nature of our conflict and its true progress
  • Provide tools and infrastructure to help citizens who are committed to victory organize into a recognized and influential caucus
  • Identify opportunities for the caucus to act and exert influence on America’s leaders and to directly aid and support the men and women of our military

Contact information

URL: http://victorycaucus.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=201

Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Glenn Greenwald, "Feel the surge of the Victory Caucus" (with updates), Salon, February 22, 2007.
  2. Patrick O'Connor and Josh Kraushaar, "Conservatives Target GOP War Critics in Congress," The Politico, February 20, 2007.
  3. Mark Tapscott, "Internet Gives Voice, Power to Populist Election Wild Cards Like Victory Caucus," examiner.com (NH), February 18, 2007.
  4. Tucker Carlson, Transcript: 'Tucker' for Feb. 20, MSNBC, February 21, 2007.
  5. Glenn Greenwald, "The corpse of the Victory Caucus" (with updates), Salon, February 24, 2007.
  6. "Bush redefines 'victory'," Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2007.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Stand By the Mission," VictoryCaucus.com, accessed September 13, 2007.
  8. Freedom's Watch: Call-in campaign, SourceWatch.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Hugh Hewitt, "The Victory Caucus," HughHewitt at Townhall.com, February 16, 2007.
  10. Ross Douthat, "The Cocoon," The Atlantic, July 24, 2007.
  11. Matthew Yglesias, "The New Victory Caucus," The Atlantic, July 24, 2007.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Victory Caucus to Become Non-profit," The Victory Caucus (Blackfive.net), April 18, 2007.
  13. VictoryPAC website.
  14. Note: The VictoryPAC website has been inactive since April 27, 2007, the last posting date.
  15. "The Victory Caucus," Winds of Change Blog, February 17, 2007.
  16. David Weigel, "Declare Victory and Go Home," Reason Online Hit & Run Blog, June 21, 2007.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 About, VictoryCaucus.com, accessed August 16, 2007.

External articles

External resources