Friday, August 12, 2005

The Right's Misguided Campaign Against A Grieving Mother

How do conservatives smear Cindy Sheehan without directly attacking the mother of a fallen soldier? By claiming guilt by association. Now Sheehan is in bed with "anti-American, anti-military, terrorist sympathizers" as Michelle Malkin , Japanese internment apologist, has characterized Michael Moore, and other organizations that are against this war.

How Malkin or any conservative can claim to suppport the military while impugning Sheehan's integrity and sincerity is a mystery to me. She's always been against this war and she's never hidden that and, in fact, she has been speaking out for months and months without support from anybody but the like-minded progressive blogosphere.

But a few events converged that inspired Cindy Sheehan to take her activism to the next level: The first 5 days of August saw 30 or so US military deaths in Iraq; George Bush went on vacation but took time to assure the American people that we are there fighting for a "noble cause"; and the Veterans For Peace convention was in Dallas in early August. And so the lightbulb went off in Cindy's head to camp outside of Bush's ranch in Crawford until Bush spoke to her to explain exactly what the noble cause is that her son died for. Is the media circus that has resulted probably the best result Sheehan could have hoped for? Yes. Is it what any sane person would have expected of the media? No. The media has never shown any interest in the anti-war movement, let alone the "get out of Iraq now" perspective that Sheehan endorses. But now a majority of Americans believe that the war in Iraq has made us less safe. The mainstream of America (and the media with it) has moved toward Cindy Sheehan on this issue, she has stayed right where she always has been.

Yet she is being called a media whore by Michelle Malkin and a tool of the radical left by Bill O'Reilly. Now I do give Bill O'Reilly credit for inviting her on his show and, in her absence, inviting another mother of a slain soldier who is against the war and contemptuous of Bush. But the constant drumbeat of anti-Sheehan rhetoric being spewed on the right is merely a desperate ploy to marginalize her and the whole movement, which wouldn't be nearly as strong as it is, and hence require such effort to squash, if the war had been prosecuted in anything resembling a competent manner.

The fact that such a hawkish and nationalistic nation has turned so against the war is a tribute to just how horribly Bush and his neocon pals have fucked it up, yet for some reason, the right forgives and forgets, doesn't think Bush holds any culpability whatsoever and labels anyone who seeks to hold him accountable as anti-American. I'm no anti-war activist, but the administration lost my support for this particular war effort, a bit of which was still hanging on by a thread hoping things would improve, about a year ago and they've done nothing to win it back since. The fact is that all the war skeptics, all the doves, all the "radical left" have been correct in their pessimistic prognostications, and the war apologists, the hawks and the neocons have been wrong. And all Bush has to say is "stay the course?" Everyone knows that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. The war plan is literally insane. It's about time the right acknowledges this and deals with the reality of the situation. So far all they can do is smear and attack their opponents, since, unfortunately for us and the many who have died in Iraq, day after day, the facts and the news fuel the opposing viewpoint. The best way to marginalize an opposing viewpoint is to be right and unfortunately for them, the right is so so wrong.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Todd is big on definitions, here's one he might take the time to look up:


It's hard to say what's worse, what Todd describes as the right's "misguided campaign against a grieving mother", or Todd's own craven exploitation of Cindy Sheehan grief to advance his own partisan and ideological agenda.

What's amusing (well, amusing in a sad and pathetic sense) in all of this is that while the media can be given some benefit of the doubt in giving air play to this poor, grief-stricken parent, I know full well that Todd knows all about the different stages of grief (since he learned about them in the same high school Jesuit theology classes as I did.)

Have you forgotten those lessons, Todd? Or have you just become such a pathetic, bitter partisan hack that you don't recognize that you are cynically taking advantage of this poor woman's suffering?

Or just don't you care?

Have you lost all sense of shame?

When it comes right down to it, Todd, you've become the exact thing that you decry so loudly in these recent posts. You (and your fellow ideological travellers) are just the flip side of the same coin.

I say this not as a Republican, but as someone who has had friends who have served in combat in Iraq. Who HAS friends serving in combat in Iraq. Who has hosted Iraq-war COMBAT veterans in my home.

Can you claim the same thing, Todd?

Here's a humble proposition - instead of posting things like this on your blog where they are read mostly by people who agree with you and will pat you on the back for thinking just like they do in an orgy of partisan/ideological self-reinforcement (or whom you can just dismiss with a wave of you left hand), why don't you go out to a place where you can present your views to actual servicemen and see what they think of them, and you.

Like here.

I'm not presenting this so much as a dare as an opportunity for you to demonstrate the open-mindedness, tolerance, etc that you like to claim for yourself.

8:54 AM  

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