Saturday, August 13, 2005

A mother's right

For anyone who isn't up to speed on the Cindy Sheehan discourse that's currently running its laps within the blogosphere, here's the summary.

Cindy Sheehan lost her son in Iraq. And while the big brouhaha is over her efforts to meet with President Bush, face-to-face, in the hopes of asking him just what exactly her son's death was for, there's something more about this mother's protest that's gathering attention. Her disallusion, dissent and its lens-like focus of the antiwar movement is proving to be a major sticking point with the GOP neo-McCartheyites, to the point that they've begun attacking her from every angle they can find. Up to and including summoning the opinions of her dead son to oppose her.

I only wish I was exaggerating.

So while it's good to see at least one conservative's honest smackdown of the vitriol machine in action and Sheehan's right to change her mind...
The essence of the right-wing smear machine's "outing" of Cindy Sheehan is her supposed flip-flop from supporting President Bush in 2004 to disapproving of him in 2005. As details of this have become clearer, it's obvious the flip-flop is nothing more than a canard. But setting aside the Sheehan story for a moment, have any of the shameless smearsters seen the public opinion polls recently? Here's some breaking news for them: a whole lot of Americans who supported Bush a year ago---including an increasingly large part of his "base"---have turned against him. And that includes many millions of people who haven't lost a parent, child, or sibling in Iraq.

...it's a bit disappointing to see another conservative, John Cole, whose blog I make a habit of reading, being a bit disingenuous when he says:
So what do I think of the whole situation? I think she should be left alone and ignored. She is a grieving mother, and she can do or say what she wants, and hopefully, some day, she will find her peace.

But she doesn’t have the right to set policy, she doesn’t have the right to make demands of the President, and she most certainly doesn’t have the right to be used as a weapon by people, who, like herself, want only to savagely attack this administration and expect that every0ne will just sit back and take it and not respond.. And that is what is going on right now. She has been adopted by the anti-war left, their surrogates in some sectors of the media, and in whole flanks of the blogosphere as a club to attack the President.

She can't possibly be coming to these conclusions on her own, conclusions most Americans have come to already. No, it has to be because the big bad Left is using her. Like a club. Honed by some phantom Left-wing media enterprise into a perfect weapon by which to attack the White House. Yeah, that's got to be it exactly.

When the did asking the White House "what's our purpose there" become synonymous with some evil machinations from the Radical Left? With disrespecting the troops? Or supporting 'the enemy'? Hell, given the imbedded softball journalism of guys like Jeff Gannon and FOX News, isn't it a bit dishonest to think she's crazy when she argues that "Since Congress is not holding George Bush accountable and the media is not doing their jobs and holding George Bush accountable, we the American people need to hold him accountable for lying to us to get us into a disastrous war"? Sounds like a fair fucking statement to me.

John forgets that Cindy Sheehan's right as an American citizen allows her to change her mind about an incompetent war and voice her opinion accordingly. John forgets that Cindy Sheehan's right as a mother of a fallen soldier affords her reasonable demands of accountability from this President, especially as it involves the lives of other mothers and their children. And I'd say asking the POTUS the following sits well within the realm of reasonable:
"He said my son died in a noble cause, and I want to ask him what that noble cause is."

God forbid the president be asked a sincere and piercing question from a mother who lost her son in his war. A president who has not attended a single funeral of any of the men he's sent to die but who has the gall to say, very cheaply, "I understand the anguish that some feel about the death that takes place". Was that before or after "Bring it on"?

Yeah, I'd say Cindy Sheehan has certainly paid up with the right people. Certainly enough to ask the simple question of, "why Mr. President, did we go?".

John also conveniently forgets, as was the case with Michael Schiavo, that opposing the neo-conservative rhetoric is met with immediate character assassination from the Right Wing smear machine. Given that she's actually questioning the reasoning behind this war and doing so publically (making it doubly egregious in the minds of these chickenhawks) in the words of old Turd Blossom, "she's fair game".

And, baby, it's in high gear right now. So it's no surprise to me the anti-war Left have adopted her and taken up a common cause (despite the crazy Leftist-must-have-brainwashed-her nonsense coming from conservative pundits). God knows Powerline and Little Green Footballs aren't about to defend her. Certainly not now, anyway, since she left the Bush-love reservation.

'Anger pimps' indeed.

10 Comments:

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Saturday, August 13, 2005 1:16:00 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Anybody who tries to paint the despicable Michael Schiavo as some kind of martyr threatens to discredit himself or herself.

Your ignorance about the case is appalling.

Not everybody who was against this lowlife is a neo-con, fanatically religious, right-to-life nut.

It just may be that, despite an incompent judge's ruling upheld by higher courts, that supporting Terri's right to live was the correct position.

Real progressives do not support the killing of the disabled.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 1:44:00 PM  
Blogger the author said...

First off, I think you're missing the context of my statements, Susan.

Second, Terri's autopsy vindicated Michael Schiavo and discredited the malicious falsehoods and outright lies spun from Terri's parents and Michael's critics.

Those mendacious accusations that Michael abused Terri or strangled her or injected harmful drugs into her?

Completely false.

Given that no evidence exists of Michael physically hurting Terri, I have to ask... from what basis do you make the judgment that he was a 'lowlife'?

__________________

Examiner John Throgmartin said there was no evidence of trauma or strangulation prior to Schiavo's collapse.

The 41-year-old was found not to have suffered a heart attack or been administered harmful drugs or other substances before her death. She died of dehydration.

The report also said her brain was only half its normal size at her death.

She was incapable of surviving without her feeding tube, Mr Throgmartin said, adding that she was blind and incapable of thinking, feeling or interacting with her environment.

"This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons," he said.


___________________

Strange, isn't it, that seven other neurologists reached that same conclusion about her PVS prior to the autopsy?

Now... returning to my post and its subject matter, the very same distortions, fabrications and strategies of character assassination are being wheeled out in attempt to silence Cindy Sheehan.

Do you want to discuss Cindy Sheehan and her protests in Crawford, Susan? Or would you prefer to talk about an issue even Bill Frist walked away from?

Saturday, August 13, 2005 2:48:00 PM  
Anonymous John Cole said...

Wow. I have seen some misrepresentations of what I have said, but this is up there with the best of them. Since there are so many straw men and distortions, I will just break them down and name them:

Strawman #1:

She can't possibly be coming to these conclusions on her own, conclusions most Americans have come to already. No, it has to be because the big bad Left is using her. Like a club. Honed by some phantom Left-wing media enterprise into a perfect weapon by which to attack the White House. Yeah, that's got to be it exactly.


I never said she didn't come to her own conclusions. I think she fully and completely blames bush for 'killing her son,' as she puts it. I never said anything about a left-wing media enterprise. The media is covering this because it is a story, this is grand political theatre, and it is August.

That doesn't mean, however, that she isn't being used to further the cause of a bunch of people. Of course she is. That is what she wants. That is what she meant when she said this in an open letter to Bush:

The 56,000,000 plus citizens who voted against you and your agenda have given me a mandate to move forward with my agenda. Also, thanks to you and your careless domestic policies, I am unemployed, so this will be my full-time job. Being your political downfall will be the most noble accomplishment of my life and it will bring justice for my son and 1125 (so far) other brave Americans and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis your lies have killed.

Outright Fabrication:

When the did asking the White House "what's our purpose there" become synonymous with some evil machinations from the Radical Left? With disrespecting the troops? Or supporting 'the enemy'?

Show me where I said any of that.

Strawman #2 & 3

John forgets that Cindy Sheehan's right as an American citizen allows her to change her mind about an incompetent war and voice her opinion accordingly. John forgets that Cindy Sheehan's right as a mother of a fallen soldier affords her reasonable demands of accountability from this President, especially as it involves the lives of other mothers and their children.

I never said she didn't have a right to change her mind, and I never said she didn't have aright to voice her opinion. I said she doesn't have a right to dictate policy, which is what she wants to do. She has said so- she wants Bush to withdraw the troops.

I don;t even know what to label this:

God forbid the president be asked a sincere and piercing question from a mother who lost her son in his war. A president who has not attended a single funeral of any of the men he's sent to die but who has the gall to say, very cheaply, "I understand the anguish that some feel about the death that takes place".

No President goes to military funerals. This is just a slur that was cooked up recently to attack Bush.

You know what? I am tired of typing. If you read me every day, and respect my opinion, you ought to be decent enough to honestly represent my opinion. And you fdailed miserably, if you even attempted.

The sum total of my feelings are:

Cindy Sheehan deserves our sympathy.

Cindy Sheehan is now a political figfure, and we are entitled to question her political opinions.

I am sorry that offendsyou so greatly.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 8:59:00 PM  
Blogger the author said...

My issue continues to concern your rather weak defense of the Right Wing and their decision to impugn Cindy Sheehan the person, instead of sticking to the actual issues she raises.

You glancingly chide the conservative blogosphere, specifically Redstate.org, for their phraseology and then turn around and use the same idiom when you condemn Atrios and the others working with Sheehan as "pimps". Aren't you sick of political discourse becoming a marathon of who can trash the messenger instead of who can challenge the message on its merits?

It's not the political opinions, or the issues regarding troop withdrawal that are being addressed. Instead, in the high school level of invectives from most conservative blogs, it's Cindy Sheehan the "media whore" or Cindy Sheehan the woman with "a few screws loose and her family knows it" or in the comment some idiot on Polipundit made, Cindy Sheehan the woman who's been "out in the sun too long". This is standard operating procedure for these sonuvabitches and standard operating procedure for the left wing blogs to defend her.

As for the opportunism from the Left, if Cindy Sheehan is the wedge this country needs to start really examining Bush's protean reasons for why we invaded Iraq, you bet your ass progressives will hop on for the ride. Whatever it takes.

I'll reiterate. The support coming from MoveOn or from Huffington or from Michael Moore or from Code Pink has nothing to do with the legitimate concern of why our soldiers were sent to Iraq in the first place. Cindy Sheehan just happens to be the right person for the right cause at the right time. Which is why I find Sheehan's quote regarding Congress and the press and their refusal to hold Bush accountable completely apt. Somebody has to do it and if it's going to be a mother who lost her son in the war, hey more power to her.

Why you're unable to seperate the people involved from the message they're involving themselves with, I simply don't understand.

You're also flat-out wrong when you state that "no president goes to funerals" and that the idea has been "recently cooked up" to attack Bush.

Absolutely inaccurate.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous John Cole said...

You're also flat-out wrong when you state that "no president goes to funerals" and that the idea has been "recently cooked up" to attack Bush.

Absolutely inaccurate.


Well this is going to go nowhere fast, because that is trhe exact same article I was going to give you to show that Presidents DON'T go to funerals.

My issue continues to concern your rather weak defense of the Right Wing and their decision to impugn Cindy Sheehan the person, instead of sticking to the actual issues she raises.

Then why not mention that, rather than simply create the list of things I mentioned in my previous comment and attribute thewm to me. You made up a bunch of stuff, engaged in a bunch of specualtion and projecxtion, and then wrapped it all up in a 'I can't believe John Cole would say all this stuff' post, when I said nothing of the sort.

As for me claiming that she is is being used by a bunch of groups, I am not sure how you can state she isn;t when you pen this:

As for the opportunism from the Left, if Cindy Sheehan is the wedge this country needs to start really examining Bush's protean reasons for why we invaded Iraq, you bet your ass progressives will hop on for the ride. Whatever it takes.

Well, whatever it takesthen. Including making up a bunch of stuff I didn't say. High school level of debate, indeed.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger the author said...

Well this is going to go nowhere fast, because that is trhe exact same article I was going to give you to show that Presidents DON'T go to funerals.

Is there any particular reason why you're being so disingenuous here? Evidence of presidents attending SOME funerals for fallen soldiers (mass ceremonies do count as a funeral ceremony, John) is not in any way similar with the statement that "No President goes to military funerals". Reagan most certainly did it for the soldiers killed in Beirut, Lincoln most certainly did it for those fallen at Gettysburg. It's a tenuous argument on your part and one that simply isn't substantiated by history.


Then why not mention that, rather than simply create the list of things I mentioned in my previous comment and attribute thewm to me. You made up a bunch of stuff, engaged in a bunch of specualtion and projecxtion, and then wrapped it all up in a 'I can't believe John Cole would say all this stuff' post, when I said nothing of the sort.

Save for my statements addressing your direct quote or my addressing you directly by name, none of the peripheral statements are cited as yours. What they are directed to is either apologism from your end regarding conservative attack machine or squarely at the neo-McCarthyites that malign Americans who disagree with the White House talking points. If I haven't made that context clear enough, then I apologize.

But I most definitely take issue with your muted condemnation and your quiet assent regarding the ad hominems and character attacks made against Cindy Sheehan for making her opinions public. Something you still aren't willing to engage with me on.

As for me claiming that she is is being used by a bunch of groups, I am not sure how you can state she isn;t when you pen this:

As for the opportunism from the Left, if Cindy Sheehan is the wedge this country needs to start really examining Bush's protean reasons for why we invaded Iraq, you bet your ass progressives will hop on for the ride. Whatever it takes.

Well, whatever it takesthen. Including making up a bunch of stuff I didn't say. High school level of debate, indeed.

I just don't understand where you get this idea that she's being used or exploited, John. Where does support for a common cause become synonymous with 'using' someone? You just stated prior that you have no doubt that "she fully and completely blames bush for 'killing her son,' as she puts it" and that she believes in her cause. How does that indicate evidence of 'use'? Was Zell Miller being used by the GOP during the Republican Convention? No. The man supported an opinion that coincided with other like-minded folks. He wasn't being used. He was in agreement with others who gave him the platform to make himself heard.

Many of us understood the insanity of this war long before Cindy Sheehan found her discontent with it. Now that she understands the slapdash reasoning behind it, I see no reason why she shouldn't be given every resource and ounce of support progressives have to insure that her voice is heard along with the rest of us. Why is that an issue for you?

Sunday, August 14, 2005 2:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not surprising that John Cole feels that Cindy Sheehan must have some devious reason for wanting to ask President Bush what noble cause her son died for; after all he couldn't possible emphathize with the simplicity of being a mother and feeling duped.

When has a victim ever gone against their attacker and not been put on trial.

Most of us know going to war is profitable to any administration, in many forms. We are all merely "collateral damage".


Beverly,
Another mother, that CAN empathize with Cindy Sheehan

Sunday, August 14, 2005 2:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I said she doesn't have a right to dictate policy, which is what she wants to do. She has said so- she wants Bush to withdraw the troops."

Isn't that our job as voters and as a democracy to dictate policy with our own opinions and voices? That's the beautiful thing about the country I live in. I wonder John, do you see the irony of saying a woman can't change policy with her voice yet completely ignoring the countless companies and special organizations that do consistently change policy with their checkbook. Maybe this is the way democracy should work -- a voice; or many voices, can make a difference. I'm sorry that doesn't work for you John.

Monday, August 15, 2005 1:39:00 PM  
Blogger marcos41justus said...

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Thursday, August 18, 2005 9:27:00 PM  

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