So I know I’m behind the times on the blog-feast on the Cindy Sheehan incident but, for an event such as this, I have spent a few days processing how I feel as a moderate. I’ve also been drinking. A lot. But some processing may or may not have been done in that time.
Alcoholism aside, it’s August. Which means college students like myself are savoring our last few weeks of freedom and President Bush takes his own vacation on his Texas ranch. Things are slowing down on Capitol Hill for the time being and the media has three things it can focus on right now: Israel, Iraq, Irate Mother.
Irate Mother pwn3d the media.
I am not a liberal. I am not a conservative. And it’s times like this that I’m glad I’m neither of the above, for the simple reason that both are crazy. And more importantly, I think Cindy Sheehan’s crazy. Now, before you start beating me with blunt objects, let me safely say that as a mother she has every right to grieve the loss of her son. It is a tragic and unfortunate loss. It’s also a loss that hundreds of families across the nation are dealing with.
And yet, you only see Cindy Sheehan parked outside the President’s Texas ranch, reminiscent of the hippie pothead who would sit outside the Union in college and sell hemp bracelets and psychedelic rugs. Except the hippie pothead didn’t try to force his opinions on other people, except for the opinion that marijuana is delicious candy.
While Cindy Sheehan has the right to freedom of speech, and has the right to grieve however publicly she wants, the simple question is: Is this what her son, slain Army specialist Casey Sheehan, would have wanted?
A dedicated serviceman who went to Iraq in the name of his country, dedicated under the leadership of President Bush? I think Casey Sheehan would be embarrassed.
So Ms. Sheehan has opted for the more public, passionate grieving process. Okay. So then she’s jumping on board with MoveOn.org, Michael Moore? I’m sorry for your loss, Ms. Sheehan, but the minute you turn your crusade over to the hands of Michael Moore, you immediately lose legitimacy points. The left is using her as a poster child for the big evil war. Granted, Iraq’s a mess — I don’t need the left parading Sheehan around; it’s called the 6 o’clock news. And I sure as hell don’t need Michael Moore telling me what to think politically.
That’s not to say the right is blameless. They’ve gone on an all-out smear campaign. In a press release, the family of Sheehan stated that they disagreed with the way she was handling the whole thing. You can bet the Drudge Report cats were busting a load over that one. They’ve all but gone on record saying, “She’s crazy! Look at the crazy woman! Poke her with a stick!” My kid brother did the same thing when he found a near-dead raccoon on the side of the road.
The right end of the spectrum is lifting up evidence against her, smearing a bereaving mother. The left end is lifting her up as the trophy child against the Iraq War. So Cindy Sheehan has gone from grieving mother to political pawn with a cool tent.
And incidentally, it seems as though everyone’s forgotten what this was even about. Argue what you will about the legitimacy of the Iraq War — fact of the matter is, a soldier was killed. A tragic event that deserves solemnity and respect. Not a three-ring media and political circus, which in turn is just polarizing the nation even more. Not to mention something tells me Casey Sheehan would have never wanted this kind of attention turned onto something he obviously cared deeply about.
I wonder if she has any cool hemp bracelets in that tent…