Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"At least she's being honest about it." - Much has been made as of late about Cindy Sheehan's abrupt resignation "as the 'face' of the American anti-war movement." I must be forgiven for observing that her missive reads more like a suicide note than a two-week notice. Although she now lives in a hell of her own design, it can be said in her defense that she definitely has much over which to be distraught. By her own admission, she has lost not only her son, but has weathered several other storms in her personal life.

I have spent every available cent I got from the money a "grateful" country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. I have sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Casey’s brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings. I have been called every despicable name that small minds can think of and have had my life threatened many times.
I suspect that the most grievous emotional injuries came from her being the object of Democratic disdain. Her letter goes on to detail the vituperation that came her way from both ends of the political spectrum.

... I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a "tool" of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our "two-party" system?

However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of "right or left", but "right and wrong."

I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on.
Sheehan specifically mentions some of the verbal slings and arrows that she suffered at the likes of "'liberal blogs' as the Democratic Underground."
For its part, Democratic Underground was so scandalized that they felt it necessary to issue a response.

The drama of Mother Sheehan vs. the "Soros-crats" neatly circumscribes a few essential truths about progressives. First, it appears that the Left intends to establish and maintain an orthodoxy every bit as totalitarian as they imagine conservatism to be. The arcs of liberal thought seem to be converging on a few essential themes: George Bush, et al. lied and continue to lie about Iraq, the war itself cannot be won and U.S. troops must be withdrawn immediately, and the entire span of Republican policies enacted over President Bush's two terms must be reversed forthwith. All of this occurs while conservatives seem to be less certain than ever about the future of their movement (as articulated in the Wall Street Journal.)

To be sure, some standard-order issues remain easy for both sides. Democrats instinctively want to repeal the Bush tax cuts, establish government supervised universal healthcare, and impose greater regulation on trade. Just as instinctively Republicans wish to extend the Bush tax cuts, find market mechanisms to broaden health care coverage and reduce limitations on trade.

But on non-standard issues--involving dramatic changes in national security and foreign affairs, the power of medicine and technology to intervene at the early stages of life, and the social meaning of marriage and family, the partisans show a clear difference: the left is more and more of one mind while divisions on the right deepen.

Secondly, Cindy Sheehan (and by extension, the New Left) was/is certain that the traditional rules of public citizenship do not apply. To be sure, Cindy herself can be forgiven for making this assumption, as the media did everything that it could to ignore her equally abundant and outrageous faux pas and not challenging her absurdities, as mentioned elsewhere.
By draping herself in the sackcloth of the grieving, Cindy was hoping for a suspension of the rules of discourse. I guess she thought that we would ignore her casual lobbing of the "F-grenade" in reference to the President. Perhaps she hoped that we would not ask ourselves how "the universe" chose such an imperfect instrument to spark massive political upheaval, as she was more Patty Hearst than Rosa Parks. Maybe she vainly hoped that her media acolytes would not find out about her long stint as an anti-war activist, one minute delivering rants to ABC's Nightline regarding "neo-con PNAC agendas" to defend Israel, and sidled up all cozy with Rep. John Conyers at the mock hearings on the Downing Street Memo the next.

The truth that eventually came out was that far from simply being a grieving mother, Ms Sheehan had sold herself out to the likes of MoveOn.org long before her stints as Honorary Chairwoman of the Crawford, TX Chamber of Commerce. The nature of her allegiances became more evident as Ms. Sheehan made common cause with Venezuela’s left-wing autocrat Hugo Chavez during a January 2006 appearance at the sixth annual World Social Forum in Caracas.
Third, liberalism has maintained its obsession with self as opposed to kind. The fact that the Left is more concerned with feeling good than doing good renders it unable to concern itself with much more than mere ego maintenance, and as such it often appears to be merely fratricidal, if not overtly cannibalistic. We need look no further than to the words of Cindy Sheehan herself to establish the truth of that statement.
I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won’t work with that group; he won't attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.
Lastly, by way of liberalism's essential nature - that is of favoring emotion over thought, "resignation" is the logical end of liberals' efforts to be "anti-" everything. The Left's confused thinking is made plain by the fact that good liberals abhor the deaths of Iraqi civilians (but only if they are killed by U.S. firepower), Darfurian refugees and Mumia Abu Jamal, while simultaneously being unperturbed by the deaths of Iraqi civilians (as long as they were killed by a brutal dictator), countless unborn children, and Terri Schiavo. The Left is constitutionally unable to proffer an affirmative political agenda that is intellectually consistent. As such, they will seldom be able to
garner electoral majorities in as much as voting is an act of affirmation for most Americans.

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