08/12/2005: Damn.... a sensible conservative. Who'da thunk it?
This is the best commentary I've read on the Cindy Sheehan matter in a long time: Decency Is Not In Them
If one needed any further proof that this incarnation of "Republicans" and alleged conservatives includes a faction that has gone completely and tragically over the edge, the smear campaign against Cindy Sheehan is it. For those who might not be familiar with the details of this and are looking for an accurate, factual account, a good summary appears here.And as if that wasn't great enough, the comments to this post are most heartening as well:
The essence of the right-wing smear machine's "outing" of Cindy Sheehan is her supposed flip-flop from supporting President Bush in 2004 to disapproving of him in 2005. As details of this have become clearer, it's obvious the flip-flop is nothing more than a canard. But setting aside the Sheehan story for a moment, have any of the shameless smearsters seen the public opinion polls recently? Here's some breaking news for them: a whole lot of Americans who supported Bush a year ago---including an increasingly large part of his "base"---have turned against him. And that includes many millions of people who haven't lost a parent, child, or sibling in Iraq.
There are so many side issues of shamelessness and crass opportunism in this story it makes my head spin. Think about the gall of a political and media machine "accusing" a private citizen of changing her mind (imagine that!) about an elected and supposedly accountable public official. When did a private citizen supposedly changing her opinion about something rise to the same level as a flip-flop about firing anyone involved in the leaking a CIA agent's name? At what point did the ability to change one's mind about a politician become something to be ridiculed and accused of instead of cherished as a basic right? And it's not as if in the past year we haven't learned anything about the pre-war manipulation of intelligence, as well as the incompetent planning, that resulted in the death of Cindy Sheehan's son and thousands of others like him.
Something else about this story that infuriates me is the vision of feckless, smarmy smearsters and cowards hiding behind keyboards in cities like Washington and New York (and yes, Miami), punching out electronic missives in a pathetic and desperate attempt to impugn the integrity of a woman sitting in the dust and August heat of Texas---a woman who, along with her dead son, embodies everything that's right about this country. The growing division between the professional class of spinning punditry and the vast expanse of Middle America that actually does the working, the fighting and the dying so the pundits can spend their time chattering has never been more clear than with this story.
If I had lost a parent, child or sibling in Iraq, I'd be right next to Cindy Sheehan sitting in that dust and heat. And I wouldn't budge until the president---ensconced within that reassuring bubble of faith, brush-clearing and mountain bike-riding---found a few moments to come listen to me. I hope as many people as possible join her protest and offer her food, water, and whatever legal or media assistance she may need.
For all their talk of disliking lawyers, the republicans seems to operate like them. Whatever issue arises in politics, the tactics are the same as in litigation: deny even the undeniable, brazenly create alternative versions of history, and attack the character and motives of any witness against you.Some days, I think there just might be hope....
The reaction to Sheehan is just the latest in a string of such episodes. Remember during Schiavo when Governer Bush demanded an investigation into whether Michael Schiavo had caused his wife's brain injury, hinting at dark deeds without any evidence to back up his suspicions? It's all part of the same playbook.
I am a the brother of someone serving in Iraq. Thank the stars that she is currently alright. My greatest fear everyday is that she won't come home. So even though my sister is still alive I can empathize with Cindy Sheehan.
I am appalled at the smear campaign against. How dare anyone one of those talking heads comment on something they know nothing about?! Has Bill O'Reily or Rush Limbaugh lost a son in the Iraq war? Hell, neither one of them did service yet they felt they could criticize Kerry record during the campaign. All of them need a good dose of STFU!!
Furthermore, I am ashamed that the President would made a reference to Cindy is a speech yesterday(or day before), but he won't meet with her to talk with her directly. He sends out some White House aides. That is a coward right there.
Oh, BTW, WTF does the President need 5 weeks vacation for? The rest of us working class people get along with 2, maybe 3 weeks. My sister fighting in Iraq may not even get her 2 weeks leave that she is due. If she, a sargeant in the Army, doesn't get to get a vacation during a time of war, then neither should the Commander-In-Chief.
I see the people you describe as essentially a parasitic class of people. I can't think of anything they have ever done that is genuinely useful to humanity. It is incredible to me that NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM has any doubts about their position. They must believe their own propaganda.
As a 'lefty' and a veteran, I thank you for this post.
I believe that there are some things that the spinmeisters should leave alone and one of them is a mother grieving for her son. Why would the people paying the price for Bush's Folly want to have the president or his attack dogs to be rude to a mom who lost her son?
As a lefty, I have no desire to emulate the idiots from Phelps' "Church" who now come to celebrate at the funerals of those fallen in Iraq. In fact many of us 'lefties' when to protest these people ourselves.
Common sense would have the president invite the woman onto the ranch, and have her private meeting. Then she and the president would each say what they have to say afterwards.
Who knows, maybe we would actually find out what the 'Noble Cause' actually is.
I watched George W. Bush mention Cindy Sheehan in his press conference and it is obvious with his 'smirk-whimper-laugh' delivery that he and his advisors don't seem to comprehend just how foolish, narrow-minded and crass they make themselves look.
Dissing the troops' moms and hiding out from them is 'not gonna cut it'.
Len on 08.12.05 @ 11:50 AM CST