The political action director of the eight-million member Internet action organization, MoveOn.org, is warning that the Republican-led Senate could be starting down the path to a new war in the Mideast and that a handful of Democrats could join the GOP in tipping the nation over the edge.
The warning, in a statement issued late Friday, came after some media reports that the U.S. Senate is now just one vote away from a veto-proof majority on a Republican bill that could put the United States on a path to war and that it will be up to a handful of Democrats to prevent this from happening.
Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer-a front-runner to replace Sen.Harry Reid as the Senate Democratic leader-is supporting a Republican bill “that could very well undermine President Obama’s negotiations with Iran. And a small group of Democrats are joining him,” Ilya Sherman, MoveOn’s political action director, said in a statement he sent out over the Internet Friday and Saturday.
“Now, it’s possible that if even one more Democrat joins with Republicans and overrides the president, we could be on a path to war,” he said.
To stop this march to war in its tracks, MoveOn has set an ambitious goal to get the organization’s members to withhold at least $1 million in donations from Democrats if they undermine President Obama on Iran.
“Can you pledge to withhold contributions from Democrats – if they undermine President Obama’s diplomatic efforts with Iran?” MoveOn asked its members across the nation in an email Saturday.
Members have been asked to say, “Yes, I’ll pledge to withhold contributions from Democrats who succeed in undermining the president’s diplomacy with Iran-and any party committee that supports them” and then to tell how much money that amounts to between now and Election Day.
The email asks that if a member’s answer is “No” that he or she share their reasons.
There is already some good news in the fight to stop the Senate’s rush to war, according to Sherman:
“As the Republicans have overplayed their hand, the tide may already be turning in our favor,” he said Saturday. “Democratic Senators Chris Coons and Mark Warner-who had previously supported the Republican bill-are now undecided about whether or not to undermine President Obama with legislation.
“Our activism is working-and we need to keep the pressure up. But we can’t leave this to chance-or rely on our normal type of pressure campaign. Not with so much on the line.”
Sherman said that threatening to withhold campaign money is a powerful way to let Democrats know they will be held accountable in a big way if they succeed in derailing diplomacy.
MoveOn members donate millions of dollars to candidates each and every election cycle. “.A public threat from MoveOn members to withhold $1 million or more from Democrats who would recklessly put us on a path to war will carry real weight,” Sherman said.
Photo: Obama speaks on the nuclear deal with Iran. | AP