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Has Cindy Sheehan Made A Difference?

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A new Washington Post-ABC News poll suggests that while a slight majority of Americans think George W. Bush should meet with Cindy Sheehan, her vigil outside his Crawford compound has done little to change their thoughts about the war in general — 10% say they are now less likely to support the war, 10% say they are now more likely to support the war, 80% haven’t changed their minds.

I’m not much for polls, because I think people lie, not only to pollsters but also to themselves. Whether Cindy Sheehan has changed many minds at this point is debatable. What she has done is become a leader for the huge numbers of people who have disagreed with the war in Iraq from Day One but have been afraid to voice it because of “patriotic” intimidators who insist anti-war equals anti-troops.

Only someone like Cindy Sheehan, someone who has felt real loss instead of cheering or booing from thousands of miles away, has the credibility to be a real leader for those who oppose the war. Her “vigil” is likely just the beginning for those who’ve been wary of speaking out up to this point — and while I can’t imagine there will be widespread support for pulling out of Iraq entirely, those poll numbers are likely to continue shifting toward Cindy Sheehan’s viewpoint.

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  • Victor Lana

    I think Cindy Sheehan has made a difference. She speaks for those who can’t speak, like her dead son. No, not all parents of service people who have died agree with Ms. Sheehan. But that’s the point, isn’t it? I mean this is America where opposing points of view are to be respected.

    Even Al Sharpton has become involved. Unlike Rev. Al’s sometime tendency to exploit a situation (think Tawana Brawley), he clearly met with her for the simple reason of supporting her. I give Sharpton credit for that, and for seeing that Ms. Sheehan’s grief is relevant for all Americans.

  • Nancy

    Victor, how do you know Sharpton isn’t ‘using’ her? His entire history is that of latching on to whatever excitement is goin’ down & playing up to it. He’s as much of a piranha as Terry Randall or Michael Moore. I do think Ms. Sheehan has been a goad to those who weren’t happy w/the war but were too tepid or clueless to get up & start anything on their own. It’s also a good outlet for those who want to get up and exercise their rights, either pro or con. Getting involved is always good, rather than sitting on hands on the sidelines.

  • John Bambenek

    Considering the MSM doesn’t report accurately the nature of the situation, I’m not surprised that a poll shows that.

  • dogtag

    I agreree that, possiblt the media is coddleing Cindy? because the media liberals do not like Bush? just food for thought…

    most inportantly…Cindy is shamelessly using her sons boots for her own selfish propoganda…but she [Cindy] has never once carried her sons rifle…

  • Dave Nalle

    If Sharpton had simply met with her to support her, why did he hold a staged public prayer with TV cameras and 25 reporters there?


  • Marc

    “huge numbers of people who have disagreed with the war in Iraq from Day One but have been afraid to voice it because of “patriotic” intimidators who insist anti-war equals anti-troops.”

    Guess you forgot the millions around the world (including hundreds of thousands in the US) that protested before and just after the start of the war. I wouldn’t call them afraid to voice anything.

    What they mostly “voiced” was nonsense but that’s another subject.

    Sharpton does what he always does. Jet in, preen for the nearest camera and jet out. Only this time the local police busted him and his driver doing 110mph on the way to the airport.

  • ProgressiveDepot

    I would say that pre-war protests were easier than protests during the war — no one had fought and died yet before the war, but once the shooting started, that’s when anti-war became anti-troop and anti-USA in the eyes of many, making it more intimidating for those against the war to express their views.

  • cam

    Cindy Sheehan has not accomplished anything other than tarnishing her son’s good name. He is a hero who joined voluntarily and has helped the progression of Iraq from tyranny to democracy. Instead of remembering her son as a hero and the great man that he was she is instead using him as a pawn for her own political agenda. Instead of people demanding that our troops come home immediately we should first understand that democracy is not something that occurs overnight. Japan, Germany, and even the United States took time to create a consitution. In the world of the headline news we come to expect fast results but the fact is that things take time and that a deadline would be arbitrary and dangerous. So despite the fact that Mrs. Sheehan has decided the use her grief as the grounds for her political maneuvers I will respect the sacrifice that this brave soldier made, not only for his country, but for the millions of Iraqis who will benefit from the democracy which will take hold.

  • Lio,

    Is Cindy Sheehan running for president now. I think I missed something. Last I checked she was a grieveing mother whose sorrow over the Iraq catastrophe and the loss of her son had casued her to stand up.

    It is obvious that the partisan hacks who are insulting her can’t live down the fact that they supported the lying politicians on the left and right who walked us into this nightmare in Iraq. Kerry, Bush, Miss Clinton, Cheney…they all have blood on their hands for their senseless and poorly planned butchery.

    I wish there could be another real party with an intelligent voice that could stand up to all the corporate shills in Washington, DC.

    A note to Republicans: this is not a football game. There are real lives at stake here. People are dying. People are losing their children.

    You’re horrid polarized words about Sheehan and you’re insults to her and her dedication to her son is repulsive and you need to check yourselves.

    Maybe in druggy-Limbaugh’s distorted American-pie daydream Jesus is looking down and cheering you on while you kick Sheehan in the ribs as she prays in her ditch. But, I doubt that even Jesus would forgive what you’re doing.

    It’s time to have some REAL morals people, and calling Cindy names and desecrating her work for peace is making the Bushies look like the complete insenstive A-holes that many of us had suspected they were. If you want to look that way keep at it, it’s only helping the peace movement and keeping Cindy’s story alive.

  • Anthony Grande

    “What she has done is become a leader for the huge numbers of people who have disagreed with the war in Iraq from Day One but have been afraid to voice it”

    Uhh??? I don’t think and countless Hollywood celebrities were afraid to voice their opinion about the war.

    “No, not all parents of service people who have died agree with Ms. Sheehan.”

    Yeah all of them disagree with her.

  • Dan

    It’s really hard to evaluate the Cindy Sheehan spectacle without sounding insulting or insensitive.

    She talks in a pathetically regressive baby voice. She is on record parroting some kooky conspiratorial nonsense, the details of which she appears to be embarrasingly ignorant of. She seems genuinely, mentally unbalanced. Not the sort of person to enshrine as a “leader”.

    Most of us non-supporters don’t desire to “kick Sheehan in the ribs as she prays in her ditch”. I think we would be happy to honor her son’s sacrifice, express our sympathy to Sheehan, and respectfully ignore her rantings as grief inspired twaddle, and move on.

    But the left won’t let us. They exploit her grief, then use her as a shield. Not a leader, but a puppet, who mouths their inciteful rhetoric, but supposedly shouldn’t be attacked for it.

  • cam

    Dan I couldnt agree with you more. Lio you and your fellow lefties make me wonder how so many Americans can be so ignorant. Do you think we dont know that in war people die? What we know and you seem to forget is that to win a war and liberate a nation who was lead by a tyrant who killed thousands of his own people might take some time. Get some sense and post later.