Politico's Martin: “Is Code Pink to the left what the Westboro Baptist Church is to the right?”

In a September 10 blog entry, Politico senior political writer Jonathan Martin compared the anti-war group Code Pink: Women for Peace to the "virulently homophobic" Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), asking: “Is Code Pink to the left what the Westboro Baptist Church is to the right?” According to Martin, the groups are comparable because of their “bizarre tactics” that are “so self-defeating as to give credence to conspiracy theories that they're not what they seem.”

As Media Matters for America has noted, members of the WBC, based out of Topeka, Kansas, have gained notoriety for protesting the funerals of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, claiming that their deaths are inflicted by God to punish the United States for accepting the “sin” of homosexuality, and carrying signs reading “God Hates Fags.” The WBC has been classified a “general hate” group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Martin's blog entry was subsequently highlighted in Politico chief political correspondent Mike Allen's September 11 "Politico Playbook."

From Martin's September 10 blog entry:

Is Code Pink to the left what the Westboro Baptist Church is to the right?

While the anti-war group and the anti-gay church denomination could not have more different politics, the bizarre tactics that both use seem so self-defeating as to give credence to conspiracy theories that they're not what they seem.

The Topeka-based church, of course, is best known for attending the funerals of U.S. soliders [sic] with signs asserting that God is incurring His wrath upon America because of the country's tolerance for homosexuality. “God hates Fags” is a perennial favorite among Westboro's subtle sign-wavers.

But just as the church would seem to be an outlandish and extreme caricature of how some on the far left view the the far right, the Code Pink protestors almost seem to be a parody of a liberal protest group.

To show up and unfurl signs that read “Generals Lie Soldiers Die” outside the House offices where Gen. David Petraeus is testifying today and have a guy prancing around Independence Ave in a W-as-devil mask holding a sign that reads “I've got Petraeus by the soul?”

Karl Rove, Lee Atwater and Donald Segretti couldn't put their heads together and come up with such a dream scenario.

Oh, and that doesn't even include their standing up and repeatedly screaming during Petraeus's testimony.

More than a few Democrats probably said to themselves what House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton whispered to Ranking Member Duncan Hunter before a hot mic as yet another of the protestors was dragged out. “That really pisses me off, Duncan,” Skelton complained. “Those assholes.”

From Allen's September 11 “Politico Playbook” :

The Politico's Jonathan Martin wrote about why the MoveOn.org ad, which was mentioned by nearly every Republican who questioned Petraeus and Crocker yesterday, appears to have had an unintended effect:

“For the GOP, the ad was a helpful reminder that, despite all the bad news of late, they still have friends on the left that are always glad to help them squeeze the Dems in the middle. Polls show Americans are skeptical of the Petraeus report and the surge policy, but attacking a decorated general is the sort of tactic that, in the words of Jesse Jackson, allows many Republicans to Keep Hope Alive for '08.”

JoMa (that's for you Steel) on Code Pink, the most visible of the ejected demonstrators: "Is Code Pink to the left what the Westboro Baptist Church is to the right? While the anti-war group and the anti-gay church denomination could not have more different politics, the bizarre tactics that both use seem so self-defeating as to give credence to conspiracy theories that they're not what they seem. ... To show up and unfurl signs that read 'outside the House offices where Gen. David Petraeus is testifying today and have a guy prancing around Independence Ave in a 'W-as-devil mask' holding a sign that reads 'I've got Petraeus by the soul?' Karl Rove, Lee Atwater and Donald Segretti couldn't put their heads together and come up with such a dream scenario. Oh, and that doesn't even include their standing up and repeatedly screaming during Petraeus's testimony."