Sheehan

Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) – Man Of Principle

When Capitol Police dragged Rep. Young’s wife out of the SOTU because she was wearing a "Support Our Troops" T-shirt, Rep. Young was outraged.  Even though Mrs. Young was not handcuffed, fingerprint, and thrown in jail (like Cindy Sheehan), Rep. Young took to the floor of the House and denounced the actions of the police.

But later on, to reporters:

Young said he wouldn’t be so mad if it were just Sheehan. "I totally disagree with everything she stands for," he said.

Oy.

Cindy’s Story

As you probably know, Cindy Sheehan was arrested lat night just before Bush’s State of the Union speech.  She blogged the full account here, but this is how it begins:

This afternoon at the People’s State of the Union Address in DC where I was joined by Congresspersons Lynn Woolsey and John Conyers, Ann Wright, Malik Rahim and John Cavanagh, Lynn brought me a ticket to the State of the Union Address. At that time, I was wearing the shirt that said: 2245 Dead. How many more?

After the PSOTU press conference, I was having second thoughts about going to the SOTU at the Capitol. I didn’t feel comfortable going. I knew George Bush would say things that would hurt me and anger me and I knew that I couldn’t disrupt the address because Lynn had given me the ticket and I didn’t want to be disruptive out of respect for her. I, in fact, had given the ticket to John Bruhns who is in Iraq Veterans Against the War. However, Lynn’s office had already called the media and everyone knew I was going to be there so I sucked it up and went.

I got the ticket back from John, and I met one of Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s staffers in the Longworth Congressional Office building and we went to the Capitol via the undergroud tunnel. I went through security once, then had to use the rest room and went through security again.

My ticket was in the 5th gallery, front row, fourth seat in. The person who in a few minutes was to arrest me, helped me to my seat.

I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled; "Protester." He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. I said something like "I’m going, do you have to be so rough?" By the way, his name is Mike Weight.

The officer ran with me to the elevators yelling at everyone to move out of the way. When we got to the elevators, he cuffed me and took me outside to await a squad car. On the way out, someone behind me said, "That’s Cindy Sheehan." At which point the officer who arrested me said: "Take these steps slowly." I said, "You didn’t care about being careful when you were dragging me up the other steps." He said, "That’s because you were protesting."  Wow, I get hauled out of the People’s House because I was, "Protesting."

I was never told that I couldn’t wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things…I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately, and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for "unlawful conduct."

Wearing a T-shirt is "unlawful conduct"?  Of course not.

Glenn Greenwald does the legal research (even though — let’s be honest — common sense and a rudimentary knowledge of the First Amendment answers all questions):

The law is clear that Sheehan did nothing illegal and there was no legal basis whatsoever for removing and arresting her for wearing that t-shirt.

In Bynum v. U.S. Capitol Police Bd. (Dist. D.C. 1997) (.pdf), the District Court found the regulations applying 140 U.S.C. § 193 — the section of the U.S. code restricting activities inside the Capitol — to be unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. Bynum involved a Reverend who was threatened with arrest by Capitol Police while leading a small group in prayer inside the Capitol. The Capitol Police issued that threat on the ground that the praying constituted a "demonstration."

That action was taken pursuant to the U.S. Code, in which Congress decreed as follows: "It shall be unlawful for any person or group of persons wilfully and knowingly . . . to parade, demonstrate or picket within any Capitol Building." 140 U.S.C. § 193(f)(b)(7).

As the Bynum court explained: "Believing that the Capitol Police needed guidance in determining what behavior constitutes a ‘demonstration,’ the United States Capitol Police Board issued a regulation that interprets ‘demonstration activity,’" and that regulation specifically provides that it "does not include merely wearing Tee shirts, buttons or other similar articles of apparel that convey a message. Traffic Regulations for the Capitol Grounds, § 158" (emphasis added).

UPDATE:  The Capitol Police apologize with this lame statement:

"The officers made a good faith, but mistaken, effort to enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol. The policy and procedures were too vague," Gainer said. "The failure to adequately prepare the officers is mine."

Too vague?  What part of "does not include merely wearing Tee Shirts" is so ambiguous?

Bush To Bestow Honor On Cindy Sheehan

This is, uh, interesting.  Keep in mind as you read, that on the weekend of September 24-25, there will be a huge anti-war rally in Washington, D.C., in which Gold Star Mom Cindy Sheehan will play a vital role.

America’s Gold Star Mothers carry a great burden of grief,  yet they show a tremendous spirit of generosity in helping their fellow citizens.  With kindness and understanding, they support members of our Armed Forces and their families, provide vital services to veterans, help to educate young people about good citizenship and our Nation’s founding ideals, and bring comfort to many in need.  We commend these proud women for their compassion, commitment, and patriotism, and our Nation will always honor them for their sacrifice and service.   

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 115 of June 23, 1936 (49 Stat. 1895 as amended), has designated the last Sunday in September as "Gold Star Mother’s Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in its observance.  On this day, we express our deep gratitude to our Nation’s Gold Star Mothers, and we ask God’s blessings on them and on their families.   

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Sunday, September 25, 2005, as Gold Star Mother’s Day.  I call upon all Government officials to display the flag of the United States over Government buildings on this solemn day.  I also encourage the American people to display the flag and hold appropriate ceremonies as a public expression of our Nation’s sympathy and respect for our Gold Star Mothers.

From Tapped, who adds the following:

[I]f Bush meets with any Gold Star mothers on Sunday and not Sheehan, it will be perceived as a snub to a whole subset of Gold Star moms (those who oppose the war), and certainly that can’t be the message the president wants to send on the day he’s asked people to honor them.

Related: Donahue vs. O’Reilly.

Pro-Bush Supporters Attack Themselves

OopsProtest Warriors is a conservative activist group.  Their tradmark is to show up at progressive rallies posing as liberals and carrying signs that say things like: "Communism has killed only 100 million people; let’s give it another chance!" and "The ACLU – we don’t hate religions – we just hate Christianity!"

Get it?  Because people will read the signs and say . . . "Hey, wait!  You’re not one of us!"

Thus proving . . . um . . . I don’t know.

Anyway, according to this report, they showed up at an anti-Sheehan rally in Crawford, Texas.  They were carrying signs that said: "Say NO to war (unless a Democrat is President)!"

And then…

In one heated moment, members of the pro-Bush crowd turned on what they mistakenly thought were a group of anti-war protesters, cursing them, threatening them and tearing down their signs. A police officer rushed the group to safety.

Heh.

UPDATE:  Ohmigod!  It happened again!  Can’t the right just learn to get along?

The Other Crazy Pat

WorldNutDaily has an exclusive.  The old headline, as reported here, was

"Rock Legend Shreds Cindy Sheehan ‘Peaceniks’"

but apparently the editors at WND had second thoughts about being on the side of someone involved with rock (aka "the devil’s music").

And who is that "rock legend"?  Why, Pat Boone, of course, who became famous for taking songs from black musicians like Chuck Berry and Little Richard, adding whole milk, and whiting them up for the suburbs.

Anyway, Pat Boone apparently thinks that Cindy Sheehan and her co-horts are "the very same people that were the dropout, turn-on, anti-war peace activists back [in the Vietnam War era]", which is one of those silly laughable lies based on, well, nothing. 

First of all, Cindy Sheehan is roughly my age, which means she was about ten years old — tops — during the Vietman War era.

Secondly, prior to the Iraq War, Sheehan was:

no rebel. The mother of four was a youth minister at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in quiet, conservative Vacaville.

But I’ll let others skewer Pat Boone and the WND article.  People like World O’Crap and Sadly, No.  Read them.

Swiftboating Sheehan Fails To Pay Off

Frank Rich:

THIS summer in Crawford, the White House went to this playbook once too often. When Mr. Bush’s motorcade left a grieving mother in the dust to speed on to a fund-raiser, that was one fat-cat party too far. The strategy of fighting a war without shared national sacrifice has at last backfired, just as the strategy of Swift Boating the war’s critics has reached its Waterloo before Patrick Fitzgerald’s grand jury in Washington. The 24/7 cable and Web attack dogs can keep on sliming Cindy Sheehan. The president can keep trying to ration the photos of flag-draped caskets. But this White House no longer has any more control over the insurgency at home than it does over the one in Iraq.

Republicans Nervous, And With Good Reason

The NY Times:

A stream of bad news out of Iraq, echoed at home by polls that show growing impatience with the war and rising disapproval of President Bush’s Iraq policies, is stirring political concern in Republican circles, party officials said Wednesday.

They are referring to Republican party officials, as in:

"There is just no enthusiasm for this war,” said Representative John J. Duncan Jr., a Tennessee Republican who opposes the war. “Nobody is happy about it. It certainly is not going to help Republican candidates, I can tell you that much.”

Representative Wayne T. Gilchrest, a Maryland Republican who originally supported the war but has since turned against it, said he had encountered “a lot of Republicans grousing about the situation as a whole and how they have to respond to a lot of questions back home.”

***

Grover Norquist, a conservative activist with close ties to the White House and Mr. Bush’s senior adviser, Karl Rove, said: “If Iraq is in the rearview mirror in the ‘06 election, the Republicans will do fine. But if it’s still in the windshield, there are problems."

Why the sea change?  Ezra Klein says it is partly because of Cindy Sheehan, partly because of the Iraqi Constitution deadline failing, partly because the bad news from Iraq (the death toll rate for August is the worse it’s been since April 2004, sixteen months ago).

Maybe so, but I prefer Shakespeare: “the truth will out!”

Ann Coulter: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I love her:

To expiate the pain of losing her firstborn son in the Iraq war, Cindy Sheehan decided to cheer herself up by engaging in Stalinist agitprop outside President Bush’s Crawford ranch.

I don’t think she went to Crawford to "cheer herself up".  But note that we’re only one sentence in, and we have more amature psychology from the smear merchants.

It’s the strangest method of grieving I’ve seen since Paul Wellstone’s funeral. Someone needs to teach these liberals how to mourn.

There’s only one way to do things in the land of the free, you see.  Ann’s way.

Call me old-fashioned,

Oh, I can think of many things to call you, Ann, but "old-fashioned" isn’t one of them.

but a grief-stricken war mother shouldn’t have her own full-time PR flack. After your third profile on "Entertainment Tonight," you’re no longer a grieving mom; you’re a C-list celebrity trolling for a book deal or a reality show.

Interestingly, on Ann’s website (as it is now), this sentence appears about four inches below an advertisement for Ann’s new book.  Troll.

We’re sorry about Ms. Sheehan’s son, but the entire nation was attacked on 9/11. This isn’t about her personal loss.

Well, you see, Ann, it is about personal loss, for Sheehan.

America has been under relentless attack from Islamic terrorists for 20 years, culminating in a devastating attack on U.S. soil on 9/11. It’s not going to stop unless we fight back, annihilate Muslim fanatics, destroy their bases, eliminate their sponsors and end all their hope. A lot more mothers will be grieving if our military policy is: No one gets hurt!

Fortunately, the Constitution vests authority to make foreign policy with the president of the United States, not with this week’s sad story.

Damn.  And I so wanted Bush to appoint Sheehan as Secretary of State.

But liberals think…

When you see the phrase "lilberals think" coming from a conservative, you know that the next words are going to be pure gold.

…that since they have been able to produce a grieving mother, the commander in chief should step aside and let Cindy Sheehan make foreign policy for the nation.

Bingo!

As Maureen Dowd said, it’s "inhumane" for Bush not "to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute."

I’m not sure what "moral authority" is supposed to mean in that sentence,…

Ann Coulter, who advocated bombing the New York Times building, struggles with moral authority in general.

…but if it has anything to do with Cindy Sheehan dictating America’s foreign policy, then no, it is not "absolute." It’s not even conditional, provisional, fleeting, theoretical or ephemeral.

I’m not quite sure why Ann thinks that Cindy Sheehan is applying for a job with the Bush Administration, but I wish she would get off it.

The logical, intellectual and ethical shortcomings of such a statement are staggering. If one dead son means no one can win an argument with you, how about two dead sons? What if the person arguing with you is a mother who also lost a son in Iraq and she’s pro-war? Do we decide the winner with a coin toss? Or do we see if there’s a woman out there who lost two children in Iraq and see what she thinks about the war?

Mmmmm.  Who was it who just tried to out-grieve Cindy Sheehan by pointing out that thousands died on 9/11?

Dowd’s "absolute" moral authority column demonstrates, once again, what can happen when liberals start tossing around terms they don’t understand like "absolute" and "moral."

Mmmmm.  Who was it who just said she doesn’t understand what "moral authority" means when used in a sentence?

It seems that the inspiration for Dowd’s column was also absolute. On the rocks.

Get it?  Because Dowd is a drunk!  What a card!!  Ann should do the Catskill circuit.

Liberals demand that we listen with rapt attention to Sheehan…

And those liberals are…?

…but she has nothing new to say about the war. At least nothing we haven’t heard from Michael Moore since approximately 11 a.m., Sept. 11, 2001. It’s a neocon war; we’re fighting for Israel; it’s a war for oil; Bush lied, kids died; there is no connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. Turn on MSNBC’s "Hardball" and you can hear it right now. At this point, Cindy Sheehan is like a touring company of Air America radio: Same old script and it’s not even the original cast.

Yes.  It’s the same argument.  Unlike the neo-cons who keep shifting the reasons why we invaded Iraq in the first place.

These arguments didn’t persuade Hillary Clinton or John McCain to vote against the war. They didn’t persuade Democratic primary voters, who unceremoniously dumped anti-war candidate Howard Dean in favor of John Kerry, who voted for the war before he voted against it. They certainly didn’t persuade a majority of American voters who re-upped George Bush’s tenure as the nation’s commander in chief last November.

But they have persuaded a majority of Americans, who now believe we wrong to get into Iraq.

So Ann’s point, I guess, is that if people were fooled once, they should shut up and continue to be fooled.

But now liberals demand that we listen to the same old arguments all over again

I don’t make any demands at all.  In fact, I’m willing to bet that Coulter of her own volition has probably heard and read more about Sheehan than I have.

…not because Sheehan has any new insights, but because she has the ability to repel dissent by citing her grief.

Well, she doesn’t have that ability.  Witness your own column.

On the bright side, Sheehan shows us what Democrats would say if they thought they were immunized from disagreement. Sheehan has called President Bush "that filth-spewer and warmonger." She says "America has been killing people on this continent since it was started" and "the killing has gone on unabated for over 200 years." She calls the U.S. government a "morally repugnant system" and says, "This country is not worth dying for." I have a feeling every time this gal opens her trap, Michael Moore gets a residuals check.

Hahahaha!  Becauase Michael Moore is a liberal, too!  Get it?

No, neither do I.  Someone call Coulter’s agent and cancel that Catskills thing.

Evidently, however, there are some things worth killing for. Sheehan recently said she only seemed calm "because if I started hitting something, I wouldn’t stop ’til it was dead." It’s a wonder Bush won’t meet with her.

Yeah, it would be an embarrassment if a rough-and-ready brush-clearing Texan got beaten up by a frail, emtionally-weary woman. 

Of course, hiding from her because he’s afraid of getting the crap beat out of him is much more of an embarrassment.  Kinda like the way he handled service in Vietnam, I suppose.

Lessons Not Learned

Paul Begala is talking here about the smears of the right wing against Sheehan (although it is hard to tell).  He’s nailed it:

It seems to me the American people never really forgave the Democrats for being right about Vietnam.

The left was right, of course, about Vietnam.  Even my CNN colleague Bob Novak, who was extraordinarily hawkish on Vietnam, now admits America should have pulled out years before we did.

And yet, despite being right, the left lost politically when America lost militarily.  Why?  And what can we who oppose President Bush’s war in Iraq learn from that?

One of the grave sins of the anti-Vietnam War movement was, I think, a conflation of the conflict with the combatants.  Instead of focusing their fire and their ire on the commander in chief, too many liberals wound up blaming the conscripts who so bravely fought Mr. Nixon’s war.  This was a tragic error.  First, and most important, because decent, honorable men were smeared.   Some were called "baby killer."  Others were tainted by popular media that depicted them as unstable.

So one important lesson of Vietnam is, the first casualty of an unwise and unjust war are the American troops called on to fight it.  Their service should be honored.

Second, what we political consultants call the "optics" matter.  The popular memory of the anti-war movement calls to mind (even for those of us too young to clearly recall it) the indelible image of young Americans burning the American flag.  Cops were called "pigs."  Cherished American icons were trashed.

It seems to me the new anti-war movement has learned these lessons well.  And it is the pro-war right that is repeating the mistakes of the past.

Read the whole thing.

Can Dish It Out But . . .

… can’t take it, apparently.

It has been 10 days since I first posted on Cindy Sheehan, and after sticking my neck out and taking massive amounts of ongoing abuse and ridicule for giving her the scrutiny she deserves, I am more than happy to let others pick up the slack.

Then she links to others who continue continue slamming Sheehan

Yes, Michelle.  Smearing grieving mothers is, to quote Bush, "hard work".

Compare — Cindy Sheehan, on Wednesday:

The right wingers are really having a field day with me. It hurts me really badly, but I am willing to put up with the crap, if it ends the war a minute sooner than it would have.

NOTE: Cindy actually has left Crawford, to attend her ill mother who had a massive stroke.  She hopes to return soon.

Sheehan Bigger Than Schiavo

From Blogometer (a good daily resource by the way):

Each time this week we’ve visited Technorati, the popular blog search engine, the "Top Searches This Hour" feature has placed "Cindy Sheehan" at the very top. At one point this a.m., "Sheehan" was also #5. The Blogometer is trying to remember the last time this happened, but no person or event — not the fight over Terri Schiavo, not the 7/7 bombings — stands out.

Wingnuttia Of The Day

Moonbat_5A.W. at Freespeech.com has been on trial lately (he says), so he’s been a little late in playing the Cindy Sheehan smear game.  But what he lacks in punctuality, he make up for in both verbosity and wingnuttery:

I’ll lay out my evidence shortly, but here are the pertinent points in my book.  The proper reaction, I think, should be driven by Christian compassion. 

"Christian compassion" — keep that phrase in mind as we get further into A.W.’s post.

UPDATE:  A.W. below questions the patriotism of Sheehan and her supporters, yet it was a member of the anti-Sheehan crowd (A.W.’s people) who desecreated a memorial of crosses dedicated to fallen soldiers.  Said Sheehan:

"It’s so ironic that I’m accused of dishonoring my son’s memory by doing what I’m doing, by the other side, and then somebody comes and does this," Sheehan said.

Ironic, yes.  But given some of the sentiments of the pro-Bush-at-all-costs crowd (see below), not entirely surprising.  They’ll desecrate anyone — or anything — just to make their point.

A Soldier’s Letter To Cindy Sheehan

From Daily Kos:

Fort Hood, Texas
12 August 2005

Dear Mrs. Sheehan:

I am a Soldier stationed at Fort Hood who is scheduled for deployment to Iraq (soon).  Like you, I do not support the war because I believe it represents a horrible waste of lives and lucre that is bankrupting our nation.  However, I am sworn to obey my orders and I will serve to the utmost of my ability when called upon.

Your actions in Crawford have served to galvanize the American people and to remind them of the sacrifices being made by its Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines during what seem to be prosperous and lazy times here at home.  It is too easy for the average American to forget that the seemingly low casualty figures seeping in from Southwest Asia are represented by human faces – like the face of your son.  While the nation dozes, ones and twos turn into hundreds and thousands of young lives forever squelched – 1,846 thus far, to say nothing of those whose lives have also been forever changed by being wounded and maimed in the conflict.

Whatever the rationale for the war in Iraq was and is, I cannot tolerate the sight of the huge quantum of vehicles I see on the highways with yellow "Support our Troops" magnets on them.  Citizens who support us in the military don’t need to buy a magnet.  They can contribute to causes benefiting soldiers and their families.  They can inform themselves about the conflict in the Middle East and ask themselves what role, if any, the United States needs to play there. Most importantly, they can drive less, and drive smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. That would reduce our dependency on foreign oil by which, ultimately, the desert wastes of Arabia and Mesopotamia are transformed into "vital United States interests."

Lately you have attracted the attention of the right-wing smear machine, wielded by those who use the people’s innate sense of patriotism and loyalty to serve its own selfish interests.  This is a sign that you are awakening the sensibilities of decent Americans everywhere to the bloody-minded folly of the war in Iraq.  Now more than ever, you must find your strength, a strength which you must have given young Casey in spades, and I am equally sure that today his strength of his spirit is animating and reawakening yours.

As a soldier, I am asking you to stand fast, and to stick to what you know is right and true.  For me, those are the principal duties every civilian citizen owes to his or her nation.  For my part, I am not allowed to participate directly in the political process.  But I wrote this letter to you today to let you know that on Fort Hood, and on military installations across the United States and around the world, there are simple servicemen and servicewomen like myself who are praying for you, and who wish you well.

The duties of a soldier are a little bit different than those of civilians.  Mostly they center around living the Army Values.  Those values are:

LOYALTY
DUTY
RESPECT
SELFLESS SERVICE
HONOR
INTEGRITY
PERSONAL COURAGE

I have no doubts that your son Casey lived those values to the fullest measure.  I will remember him as I begin my own trial by fire in Iraq.  Please accept my deepest condolences for your loss and my prayers for you and all of your entire family circle.  Also, please accept my thanks for awakening the conscience of our nation.

In deepest sympathy,

OREGON GUY
(RANK), USA

Michelle’s Lame Response

As I reported yesterday, intellectually dishonest Michelle Malkin reported about Cindy Sheehan’s divorce claiming that "like it or not, it is news", a seeming contradiction of her previous "hands off" policy when it came to the mentioning of Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter and the New York Times inquiry into John Roberts’ kids.

Today, Malkin lamely responded to the obvious hypocrisy:

Unlike Cindy Sheehan, Dick Cheney and John Roberts did not cite their family members’ political or ideological positions to support their campaigns.

And while it is true that John Roberts did not cite his family members’ ideological position to support his campaign, it is also true that John Roberts, like all court nominees, isn’t campaigning!  And clearly, Malkin is stepping away from her "like it or not, it’s news" rationale.

More importantly, Dick Cheney did mention his lesbian daughter with respect to his campaign, before Kerry raised it in a debate.  Here’s the quote:

"Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it’s an issue our family is very familiar with . . . The question that comes up with the issue of marriage is what kind of official sanction or approval is going to be granted by government? Historically, that’s been a relationship that has been handled by the states. The states have made that fundamental decision of what constitutes a marriage"

Will Malkin issue a correction?  Don’t hold your breath.

The Lower Depths

Just when you think Michelle Malkin can’t get any lower in her smears of Cindy Sheehan, she does:

Like it or not, the dispute between Cindy Sheehan and some of her family members is news.

Malkin then goes on to note that divorce proceedings have been filed by her husband against Ms. Sheehan.

Others have pointed out what I’m about to say, but it bears repeating.  Before I get into it, let’s look at what Malkin wrote when John Kerry mentioned Cheney’s daughter’s homosexuality in a debate, in a post entitled "Abusing DIck Cheney’s Daughter":

John Kerry stooped to the lowest of the low with the shameless, invasive line that will be played over and over again on the news in the next 24 hours…

Now, Michelle… "like it or not", Mary Cheney’s sexuality was "in the news" before Kerry brought it up, right? Right?  Can you possibly explain the double standard?

And "like it or not", Supreme Court nominee John Robert’s kids were "in the news" too, so why, Michelle, did you get so outraged when the New York Times checked into Roberts’ adoption records?

Your spineless "well, it’s in the news" rationale only seems to work in one direction, and casts a spotlight on your hypocrisy. 

But even that’s not the issue here, Michelle.

Here’s the thing: even if Ms. Sheehan’s marital problems are "news", which is questionable, is it relevant to anything?  Is there any reason for you to bring it up, other than to embarrass her?  What is it supposed to prove, other than the well-known fact that losing a child tends to fuck up families, because parents don’t expect to bury their children?

Michelle, your meddling into this family tragedy for the purposes of  scoring (what you think are) political points is among the most vile and reprehensible things you’ve ever done.  I’m with John Cole:

It is goddamned disgraceful. Knock it off, take down that post, and then apologize.

And if you can’t do that, then don’t whine when you get emails calling you a "fucking cunt".  Such language is uncalled for, but the sentiment behind it surely isn’t.

Wingnuttia Of The Day

From a commentor at The Poor Man Cafe:

I know this isn’t going to [be] popular on this website, but may I just point something out?

A soldier’s #1 job is to stay alive. If you die, you can’t accomplish the mission, and you weaken your team and put your buddies in danger.

Obviously Sheehan’s son, I forget his name at the moment, didn’t die on purpose, and he may well have have had no control over the circumstances that let to his death.

BUT.

In war, there are no excuses. You find a way to stay alive, whatever it takes — if you’re a good soldier. Sheehan’s son didn’t do that. He paid the price. but he als failed the mission and let down his buddies.

As a soldier, he was a failure. He was brave (maybe), but he was also incompetent.

So, really, how much exactly are we supposed to grieve over this guy? Isn’t a certain amount of disapproval in order for the guy — and by extension his mom, for making such a fuss over a person who was, in the last analysis, by definition a loser?

So shouldn’t Mrs. Sheenhan be showing a little more shame about the situation and maybe not wanting to get her son and his shortcoming splashed all over the media?

Something to consider, anyway.

While reading this, I couldn’t help but think of these monuments to incompetent failures:

Wwii20plaza_1

Vietnam_flowers

Lowered Expectations

It’s interesting.  At the very moment, when Cindy Sheehan is asking Bush (or trying to ask Bush) why her son died, the Bush Administration is changing its answer:

U.S. Lowers Sights On What Can Be Achieved in Iraq

Administration Is Shedding ‘Unreality’ That Dominated Invasion, Official Says

The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months, according to U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad.

The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.

"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we’re in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."

Over 1800 soldiers dead, and only now is the Bush Administration embracing realities. 

UPDATE:  Frank Rich says, "Somebody tell the President the War is over."

Report From Crawford

The anti-Cindy Sheehan protesters have shown up at the Bush ranch, and like their online counterparts, they’re nothing but ugly:

Alex just called, and some counter-protestors showed up in a bus. Don’t know with whom or what they’re affiliated. A diary on DailyKos says it’s the Mike Gallagher group. They’re not obeying the strict parking rules the police have been demanding of the Sheehan supporters.

After they arrived, the Sheehan supporters stood and sang "God Bless America."

The response?

A repeated chant of "We don’t care. We don’t care. We don’t care…"

Just chew on that image for awhile.

Sheehan

There’s so much out there on the left blogosphere about Cindy Sheehan, and it’s all good.  But Steve Gilliard focuses on the predictable smear tactics of the right, and how it is backfiring:

The thing about the Right Wing noise machine is that it only has one tactical mode. Full bore attack. Which against a woman who lost her son, is a bit fucked up. Just a bit.

Michelle Malkin can now read the minds of the dead by suggesting that Casey Sheehan wouldn’t want his mother to protest. Which is a crock of shit. I think it’s safe to say if he has any divine power, it’s making sure his friends got home alive. If Sheehan launched after Malkin with a bat, I can’t say I’d agree, but I’d understand.

The wingnuts are scared. They think the script is that she is supposed to be greatful for Bush getting her son killed. And she is anything but.

They are so scared of her that they are doing oppo on her. So scared, the machine is trying to discredit her.

But she’s not John Kerry. He’s a politician. Cindy Sheehan is an average woman who wants to talk to her president. Nothing more. She could be anyone of 1800 parents.

How low are these people? Clear Channel was going to drag Cav troopers up to some picnic to denounce her. Oddly enough, the Cav served in Sadr City while in Iraq.

But the more they demonize her, the more of a hero she becomes.

The issue is that the right wants to make this political and it is anything but. The more they use politics against Sheehan, the bigger their mistake becomes.

She’s becoming, as Gary Hart and Tom Hayden indicate, a true folk hero, and everything the right does to blast only makes her — and her cause — stronger.

UPDATE:  True to the chickenhawk epithet, it looks like Bush is using a helicopter to enter, leave Texas ranch to avoid confrontation with Sheehan:

Yet there was no sign Mr. Bush intends to meet Ms. Sheehan. In fact, there were reports he is travelling solely by helicopter when he leaves the ranch in an effort to avoid racing past the protester in a limousine.

UPDATE: Maybe Bush shouldn’t be using his helicopter. CBS in Chicago is reporting about Marine One’s Near-Miss at O’Hare Airport.

Walk_away

Worst. American. Ever.

With good reason, Atrios is calling Michelle Malkin "possibly . . . America’s Worst American" for "shitting" all over Cindy Sheehan, Bush ranch protester and mother of Casey Sheehan, her son killed in Iraq.  Here’s something from Crooks & Liars:

Bill O’Reilly: I think Mrs. Sheehan bears some responsibility for this [publicity] and also for the responsibility for the other American families who lost sons and daughters in Iraq who feel this kind of behavior borders on treasonous.

Michelle: I can’t imagine that Casey Sheehan would approve of such behavior

You gotta love it when Michelle puts words into Cindy’s fallen son’s mouth. You know Michelle we would all certainly love to ask Casey how he feels. Weren’t you leading the charge on the Terri Schiavo case? Seems Randall Terry is your kinda guy. I guess he doesn’t count as a nut in your book. I never did hear you apologize to Michael Schiavo.

Yup.

Quote Of The Day

Maureen Dowd, speaking tongue-in-cheek about Cindy Sheehan, the 48-year-old mother of a dead U.S. soldier, who says she will camp out in the dusty heat near Bush’s ranch until she gets to tell Mr. Bush face to face that he must pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq:

If only her husband were an undercover C.I.A. operative, the Bushies could out him.

Sadly, I’ll bet that’s what many of the Bushies are thinking.

Gandhi In Crawford

28001645_f_tnIf you are not following the story of Cindy Sheehan, the bereaved mother of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq, you ought to be.  She’s set up camp outside the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas (where Bush is taking a record-breaking long vacation), hoping just to meet him and ask him questions.

And you should be reading her diaries at Daily Kos.

Also:

Boston Globe editorial

The Gold Star Families for Peace website

Updates at The Lone Star Iconoclast

Show your support through The Crawford Peace House.