ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sheehan - The More She Speaks, the Worse for the Dems

Mark Steyn has an excellent column on the Sheehan fiasco - and it's a fiasco for the Dems, not Bush. Read the whole thing:

Hold your tears
Mark Steyn
[...]
But in the wreckage of Pat and Cindy Sheehan’s marriage there is surely a lesson for the Democratic party. As Cindy says, they’re both Democrats, but she’s ‘more liberal’ and ‘more radicalised’. There are a lot of less liberal and less radicalised Dems out there: they’re soft-left-ish on healthcare and the environment and education and so forth; many have doubts about the war, but they love their country, they have family in the military, and they don’t believe in dishonouring American soldiers to make a political point. The problem for the Democratic party is that the Cindys are now the loudest voice: Michael Moore, Howard Dean, moveon.org, and Air America, the flailing liberal radio network distracting attention from its own financial scandals by flying down its afternoon host Randi Rhodes to do her show live from Camp Casey. The last time I heard Miss Rhodes she was urging soldiers called up for Iraq to refuse to go — i.e., to desert — and entertaining theories that 9/11 was Bush’s Reichstag fire.

On unwatched Sunday talk shows you can still stumble across the occasional sane responsible Dem. But, in the absence of any serious intellectual attempt to confront their long-term decline, all the energy on the Left is with the fringe. The Democratic party is a coalition of Pat Sheehans and Cindy Sheehans, and the noisier the Cindys get the more estranged the Pats are likely to feel. Sorry about that, but, if Mrs Sheehan can insist her son’s corpse be the determining factor in American policy on Iraq, I don’t see why her marriage can’t be a metaphor for the state of the Democratic party.

Casey Sheehan was a 21-year-old man when he enlisted in 2000. He re-enlisted for a second tour, and he died after volunteering for a rescue mission in Sadr City. Mrs Sheehan says she wishes she’d driven him to Canada, though that’s not what he would have wished and it was his decision. As to whether he died in vain, the Associated Press reported this week:

‘The capital’s Sadr City section was once a hotbed of Shiite Muslim unrest, but it has become one of the brightest successes for the US security effort. So far this year, there has been only one car bombing in the neighborhood, and only one American soldier has been killed.’

Cindy Sheehan is a woman whose grief has curdled into a narcissistic rage, and the Democrats cheering her on are cheering their own marginalisation. Most Americans will not follow where she’s gone — to the wilder shores of anti-Bush, anti-war, anti-Iraq, anti-Afghanistan, anti-Israel, anti-American paranoia. Casey Sheehan’s service was not the act of a child. A shame you can’t say the same about his mom’s new friends.
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ARC: Brian adds

You beat me to it Saint. Man, can ol' Steyn write.

This part really stood out for me:
It was suggested by the columnist Cal Thomas that Bush should agree to a (second) meeting — in public. Cindy Sheehan could let rip, but there would also be other bereaved moms of soldiers who don’t feel as she does, and maybe some bereaved Iraqi moms to tell of their gratitude for the liberation of their country from a psycho regime. It’s a fine idea, and I’m sure the reason Bush won’t do it is because he understands that Mrs Sheehan is having a mental breakdown in public and it would be cruel to take advantage of that. If only the Michael Moore Left had that much decency.

Wow can you imagine such a townhall? It would be like a caged deathmatch on the war issue, once and for all.

Of course, I understand politically why it would never happen. Neither side would consent to such a spectacle, nor should Bush be so cruel to Ms. Sheehan as Steyn rightly points out.
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Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler