Be There
August 17, 2005 6:26 AM   Subscribe

Sheehan Reality Nice video taken at the outset of the Sheehan protest -- makes you feel like you were right there before all the pundits and interpreters. See for yourself.
posted by sparky (159 comments total)
 
Nice post. Thanks.
posted by Rothko at 6:35 AM on August 17, 2005


Whoa...you mean there are "realities" that don't involve dicking around on a mountain bike on your ranch and making moronic quips to hand-selected tame members of the media? Obviously I need my reality checked.
posted by rhymer at 6:41 AM on August 17, 2005


Cool. And it inspired me to get it together and make a donation to the Crawford Peace House, via Paypal.

Last night Sheehan's movement was the subject of an AskMe thread in which, observing best AskMe etiquette, the impact and efficacy of the protest was minimally discussed in favor of the logistics of getting to Crawford. But the question of the month for me is: where is this going? After five years of this administration's abuse of power, this woman's crusade feels like the first dart to actually hit them square on the ass and stick. She's an amazing person, almost saintly in her demeanor, yet hard as steel. The Rosa Parks comparison is a little awkward and strained, but there's something to it.

Wouldn't it be amazing if this was, finally, the beginning of the end of the bastards.
posted by realcountrymusic at 6:47 AM on August 17, 2005


Be sure to attend a vigil tonight in your area to honor this effort.
I wanna have her children. I think I'm in love. And I hear sh'es gonna be available soon!
posted by nofundy at 7:03 AM on August 17, 2005


I would suggest that anyone that posts (here in this thread) a positive response to this issue, also make a donation of time, money, or effort as well...let's put our money where our keyboards are!

Those that disagree certainly have the right to do so, I hope that the discussion does not slander Ms. Sheehan, her grief is real (if you've never lost a child you probably can not imagine the pain), and I believe her intent is coming from her heart.

Moveon is sponsoring many, many events TONIGHT in support, check to see if there is one in your area.

/off to make a donation
posted by HuronBob at 7:03 AM on August 17, 2005


Oh great they're going to be protesting along a busy parkway I take home during evening rush hour. Now I'll take a different route, thanks. I don't think equating Sheehan's cause with annoyances is a good idea.
posted by geoff. at 7:17 AM on August 17, 2005


I think her ability to calmly and clearly state her beliefs makes those who would attack her look all the more unhinged. Good for her.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:17 AM on August 17, 2005


After five years of this administration's abuse of power, this woman's crusade feels like the first dart to actually hit them square on the ass and stick.

You need to get out of MetaFilter more often. Ms. Sheehan is viewed by most people I know as a figure worthy of pity, but little else. She's a mother who lost her child, and her understandable anguish has caused her to find meaning in an orchestrated partisan publicity stunt. Frankly, I think the politicos pulling the strings behind the scenes are taking advantage.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:21 AM on August 17, 2005


I'm going to dissent (and I say this as a Gore/Kerry voter who campaigned for Kerry). I find her really off-putting. Especially the refusal to pay taxes (yes, I know it's a small amount, but in theory that's taking money from the troops, schools, welfare recipients, you and me). She clearly has a "my son's death justifies anything I do" attitude. Do we have any clue what her son's feelings would be? You know, you can have opposed the war and still not want us to abandon Iraq to anarchy now that the war has happened, that seems to be the position of most troops I've heard. I don't care much about her GOP family, but I do feel bad for the husband -- he's reportedly a Dem too and seems to only want to have been able to quietly grieve for his son. I have no love for George W. Bush but if an Ann Coulter type had hounded Bill Clinton demanding a one-on-one over Somalia I'd be off-put too.
posted by popinthechops at 7:25 AM on August 17, 2005


Most people I know see her as someone who has turned her private loss into political action.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:31 AM on August 17, 2005


orchestrated partisan publicity stunt. Frankly, I think the politicos pulling the strings behind the scenes are taking advantage

I guess I would like some documentation on that statement. Seems like a huge assumption (although I understand that those in opposition would like to make such an assumption).

No doubt that many have jumped on the bandwagon, but could you please let us know how this was originally "orchestrated", and by whom?

And in terms of defining Ms. Sheehan as someone to be "pitied", I don't understand that, she seems to convey a lot of strength. I don't believe she's asking for your "pity", I would speculate that expressing "pity" for someone in this powerful a position is a way to diminish the message.
posted by HuronBob at 7:32 AM on August 17, 2005


Frankly, I think the politicos pulling the strings behind the scenes are taking advantage.

Wouldn't you say the other side's politicos took more than just advantage? I think she deserves an explanation as do all Americans.
posted by srboisvert at 7:39 AM on August 17, 2005


I have no love for George W. Bush but if an Ann Coulter type had hounded Bill Clinton demanding a one-on-one over Somalia I'd be off-put too.

The difference is that Clinton would have invited her in for dinner and read her some Leaves of Grass.
posted by brain_drain at 7:43 AM on August 17, 2005


popinthechops: I have no love for George W. Bush but if an Ann Coulter type had hounded Bill Clinton demanding a one-on-one over Somalia I'd be off-put too.

Maybe not Somalia, but as far as his action--or inaction--in Rwanda goes, I'd say a one-on-one meeting wouldn't be TOO off-putting.
posted by dead_ at 7:44 AM on August 17, 2005


I think they need an introduction to reality.
posted by Carbolic at 7:45 AM on August 17, 2005


I guess I would like some documentation on that statement.

The protest is being run by a host of political groups, including TrueMajority, which has hired Fenton Communications. Joe Trippi is involved, coordinating some of the online publicity. You don't think Sheehan organized all of this herself, do you?

I'd say a one-on-one meeting wouldn't be TOO off-putting.

That's why Bush met with Sheehan at Ft. Lewis last year, a fact most Sheehan supporters seem to have forgotten.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:49 AM on August 17, 2005


As much as I sympathize with Ms. Sheehan's loss, agree with many of her viewpoints, and admire her for her opposition, I can't help but cringe when I hear her parroting the talking points of the detached, academic left.

I realize that this perception is entirely my problem, and may not be shared by everyone, but when I first heard "grieving mother wants to confront Bush" It hit me on a very gut level and I was like "Allright... go get 'em!" and then I heard her channeling Chomsky and thought "oh... entrenched Lefty wants to confront Bush... I've seen this one before." It doesn't have the same gravitas.

Both sides of my family come from McGregor, TX (whose Subway® restaurant thanks you for your paypal donation) which is about 3 miles from Crawford. Grandfather is what they call a "yellow dog" democrat (would vote for a yellow dog if the democratic party ran one). In 1996 My grandfather learned how to operate a Xerox machine so that he could distribute the anti-Dole poems he wrote during the presidential race (the most amazing of which, "Old Man Dole" [to the cadence of "Old King Cole"] still produces wonder and amazement when my friends find it on my refrigerator).

Why do I mention this? Grandpa is absolutely amazed and rather appalled at the descent of these quasi-professional oppositionnik shit-disturbers onto his small town. He's toed the "farm and labor" democratic line for so long he's aghast at the fact that outsiders would come to his community and take away his only claim to regional political relevance in one fell swoop. He's now guilty by association and the other old farts in the coffeehouse are now sizing up another leg in the three-legged table that is the once-proud Democratic tradition in central Texas. In short... this line of attack DOES NOT PLAY in McGregor, TX.

Well, why should it? I think it should... I think that protest should be tailored to the situation, mindful and respecting of the setting it's in, and above all EFFECTIVE. I think that the protesters would say that they're trying to galvanize support for the anti-war movement and I don't know that they're doing this. If this protest has alienated the remaining 200 or so Democrats in McClennan County, it's a pretty good sign that it's not winning over anyone else.

They can do anything they want, of course, and I'm not suggesting otherwise (or doubting their intent)... just questioning the efficacy.

Also... would love to know how that hunger strike turned out. For some reason Gandhi pulled off "hunger strike" much better in a dhoti than could a woman in a broad brimmed pink haute coture hat... (I stand by this comment even if it is revealed that the hat was worn in an ironic gesture).
posted by cadastral at 7:56 AM on August 17, 2005


Hey monju_bosatsu, popinthechops, R. Mutt:

You don't speak for me. You aren't like most people I know. And guess what? Your voices will die away in the coming whirlwind.

I pity your cynical, arms-length, real politick viewpoint. I find it abhorrent. I find your attitude completely in tune with the sick shits who played our country like fools and drove us to this desperate place.

Do you support Bush and his policies? If you don't, then how can you not support Sheehan?
posted by mooncrow at 8:05 AM on August 17, 2005


Do you support Bush and his policies? If you don't, then how can you not support Sheehan?

Come on. That's ridiculous. It is possible to think for oneself and not break a shin kneejerking. I'm all for this woman and her cause but it's perfectly justifiable to not agree with her.
posted by spicynuts at 8:11 AM on August 17, 2005


Jeez mooncrow, because she already talked to him once? Don't you get it?

Ugh.

Apparently this is the best way to argue against Sheehan without addressing any of her points, and it's disgusting.
posted by dead_ at 8:12 AM on August 17, 2005


Mooncrow: enjoy your black and white world.
posted by popinthechops at 8:12 AM on August 17, 2005


If this protest has alienated the remaining 200 or so Democrats in McClennan County, it's a pretty good sign that it's not winning over anyone else.

I see your point but I'm not sure I agree. If the civil rights protests had been focused on not alienating southern Democrats, do you think they'd have gotten very far? I think there's a bigger picture than 200 or so Democrats in a Texas county.
posted by spicynuts at 8:15 AM on August 17, 2005


popinthechops- I agree with you on the tax thing, but Sheehan has accomplished what the rest of the American Left has been unable to do- put a human face on the Bush Administration's disastrous foreign policy. I don't think Sheehan's advocating abandoning Iraq, but she's been very effective at bringing the question of "why are you asking American men and women to give their lives?" to the forefront. It a question that the Administration has given at least 5 difference answers to (9/11 links, WMD, Hussein is a threat to his neighbors, spreading democracy, fighting terrorism), and she's calling shenanigans on it.

Bush can blow off the Democratic opposition in Congress until he leaves office, but there are few things more iconically sympathetic than a grieving mother.
posted by mkultra at 8:18 AM on August 17, 2005


We're in Iraq. GWB doesn't want to just pull out. Moveon.
posted by tomplus2 at 8:21 AM on August 17, 2005


Two things:
Monju- Sheehan split 10 minutes with 17 other families in her face-to-face time. Something that commenters on the right have conveniently forgotten.
Cadastral- No offense or nothin', but your gramps and Texas democrats seem to be as good at slowin' down Texas (and national) republicans as dead frogs are at stoppin' tractors. It's a shame to see Sheehan parrotting talking points, and I agree that her real strength should come from being a "jus' folks" sorta speaker, but I'm glad that this is getting traction in the media and I hope that it makes people think about the complexities of this war.
posted by klangklangston at 8:22 AM on August 17, 2005


Most people I know see her as someone who has turned her private loss into political action.

And what is wrong with that? Those that have had loved ones die from cancer sometimes become spokesmen for cancer research.

Most people I know think that it's disgusting the way the right is smearing a greiving mother, even if she has become a political activist. At least she's doing something meaningful with her life. At least she see's the imperfections in the world and tries to do something about it.
posted by surferboy at 8:27 AM on August 17, 2005


For some reason Gandhi pulled off "hunger strike" much better in a dhoti than could a woman in a broad brimmed pink haute coture hat...

Don't make me time travel on yo' punk ass. As if sacrifice means less in modern, western garb.
posted by nervousfritz at 8:27 AM on August 17, 2005


I gotta go with Cadastral on this one. I can't convey the depths of despair and disgust I have for the vapid, snickering dipshit that is GWB, but I don't think Sheehan's efforts will coalesce into anything meaningful, simply due to the fact that she isn't charismatic enough, and is just unfocussed enough in her rhetoric, that a real movement with her at the forefront simply cannot be galvanized.

That said, maybe her efforts will make it possible for someone less assailable to move into that spot.

But it is horrifying and sad to see her torn apart by the fundy/neocon punditocracy.
posted by docpops at 8:28 AM on August 17, 2005


You don't speak for me.

That's fine. I don't purport to speak for anybody but myself.

Your voices will die away in the coming whirlwind.

Again, I suggest that you get out of MetaFilter more often. There is no "coming whirlwind." This administration will suffer political consequences for bungling the war effort, but there won't be lasting political consequences for Republicans generally.

I pity your cynical, arms-length, real politick viewpoint.

While at the same time you take a "cynical, arms-length, real politick view[]" of the motivations and strategy of your political opponents. The Democrats engage in the same strategic and opportunistic manipulation of the media and public opinion that Republicans do. You can pity me all you want, but it won't change the fact that Sheehan's protest was organized and funded by connected political action groups like TrueMajority, and benefit from a carefully calculated public relations campaign run by the likes of Fenton Communications.

Do you support Bush and his policies? If you don't, then how can you not support Sheehan?

There's a false dichotomy if I've ever heard one. I don't generally support Bush's bungled implementation of the war in Iraq. I also don't support Sheehan, because she is a political pawn who has been convinced that the war was fought to serve the interests of a treasonous Zionist cabal inside the United States.

Sheehan split 10 minutes with 17 other families in her face-to-face time. Something that commenters on the right have conveniently forgotten.

I haven't forgotten that, I just don't see why she should get more. Nearly 2000 soldiers have died prosecuting this action, and many more have been injured. I don't think the family of every soldier killed and injured deserves a private audience with the President, particularly when it's clearly for partisan political purposes.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:28 AM on August 17, 2005


I pity your cynical, arms-length, real politick viewpoint. I find it abhorrent. I find your attitude completely in tune with the sick shits who played our country like fools and drove us to this desperate place.

C'mon mooncrow it's not cynical to call a spade a spade. Clearly, Ms Sheehan's personal protest has been co-opted by others for political purposes (however noble.)

What I don't get is why the Bush administration is letting it continue. If Bush gave this woman 15 minutes in a private meeting, her raison d' protestation would be gone and all the groups that have hijacked her protest would be left with a deflated balloon.
posted by three blind mice at 8:30 AM on August 17, 2005


mkultra... well put, thanks for adding that.

It seems to be easy to talk about the woman, her hat, her methods.... and in the meantime ignore the real question she's asking.

and..monju...tell me again who orchestrated this in the beginning.. You really believe that this came from someone other than Ms. Sheehan? Can you document that she didn't initiate her own protest?
posted by HuronBob at 8:35 AM on August 17, 2005


klangklangston- I agree with you completely about the Texas Democratic party's (overall, recent) ineffectiveness, but I think you miss one important point. My grandfather is not an "activist" in the contemporary parlance. One thing that the national and state democratic parties have always failed to take into consideration is the (small "c") conservative nature of the majority of their constituants. I'm not talking about "issues" conservatism... I'm talking about issues like preservation of community identity, and the like.

It's more important to most rural Americans that they preserve and uphold the values, rituals and outlook passed on to them than to advance one party or another. It's the purview of the national Republican and Democratic parties to convince those people that their organization meets these needs better than the other. This is, of course, cyclical and disturbingly arbitrary.

The whole Sheenan thing, I fear, has no positive effect outside of current Democratic strongholds and is crippled by lack of concern for winning hearts and minds of those who can and must be swayed--and can only be swayed by an approach that addresses them on more comfortable terms.
posted by cadastral at 8:35 AM on August 17, 2005


I am glad Sheehan is out there and committed. Yet I hate to say unless that protest grows to tens of thousands of pissed-off moms camping out on Shrubs doorstep it won't have much impact at all — except to the already converted. It makes a great filler news story until people get bored with it of the next kid falls down a well or get's abducted in Aruba. You will see.

she's been very effective at bringing the question of "why are you asking American men and women to give their lives?"

No. No she hasn't. Only to us, the left. This saddens me that you guys think this. First with the Plame thing and now this. Wake up. Thi is a sideshow. It took ten fucking years for Vietnam to sink in and we had lost 50,000 lives by then. C'mon.

To everybody else in America Bush HAS answered those questions with E) All of the above. Bush is giving the Mouthbreathers payback against them AY-rabs. And sadly that is good enough for them.

This war has to hurt Americans and hurt them bad before they will really care. Maybe when gas hits $4 per gallon and that nasy recession that is waiting around the corner finally hits.
posted by tkchrist at 8:38 AM on August 17, 2005


HuronBob, you're missing my point. I do believe the Sheehan is sincere and initiated her own protest. However, the only reason her protest has gained any significant news coverage, or indeed, the reason why any of us know her name, is the fact that organizations like TrueMajority and Fenton Communications have coopted her grief and turned it into a political cause célèbre.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:38 AM on August 17, 2005


" an approach that addresses them on more comfortable terms"

Do NOT throw that tea into the water!
Do NOT insist on taking a seat on that bus!

God forbid we make anyone uncomfortable. Just ask nicely, they'll come around eventually, right?

on preview: thanks, monju... I agree that others are joining the cause...but, isn't that how it is supposed to work??? Media attention is important, numbers are important...
posted by HuronBob at 8:42 AM on August 17, 2005


I have no love for George W. Bush but if an Ann Coulter type had hounded Bill Clinton demanding a one-on-one over Somalia I'd be off-put too.

The right wing has been hounding Bill Clinton for eight years at this point. For chrissakes, they want to build a "counter-Clinton museum" across the street from the real one in Arkansas.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:52 AM on August 17, 2005


Her calm speaking tone and valid questions are hard for the right-wing pundits to counter rationally.

Personally, I'm suprised that Bush hasn't met with her yet to defuse this. The longer this goes on, the worse it gets for him. But even if he does meet with her, what's to stop the next mother of a dead solider from taking her place.

Everyday it seems more and more like Vietnam again.
posted by Argyle at 8:53 AM on August 17, 2005


HuronBob- My fault for expressing myself poorly re: "comfortable terms" .

Substitute "intuative" for "comfortable" and my intent might be clearer.

Despite fierce opposition, surely the white users of public transit in Montgomery understood (ie. "were comfortable with the notion") that blacks resented having to give up their seats on the bus. Surely the British understood that it was in the realm of possibility that the American colonies were... pissed off at the tea (or whatever that little whitewashed chestnut was about).

My fault for not anticipating that misunderstanding.
posted by cadastral at 8:53 AM on August 17, 2005


Cindy Sheehan has earned her right to be where she is today; she did an outstanding job raising a fine human being. Casey was an altar boy, an Eagle Scout, a man who:

had a gentle but firm commitment to family, church and country, re-enlisting after the war started and volunteering for the rescue mission in which he and six others were killed last year.

"Casey was quiet, but he loved to serve and it didn't matter whether it was working in the kitchen, backstage or up front," recalled Steve Tholcke, who directs a Catholic youth camp where Sheehan worked as a counselor and organized youth retreats. "If something needed to be done, Casey was there to do it."


This loss to our country is something each one of us should be grieving about. Each one of us should stand next to Cindy on that dusty road and demand some accountability from our elected President. The fact that he can't take time out from his whirlwind day of biking, napping, and cutting brush to spend some quality time with a woman who did everything she could to raise a model U.S. citizen only emphasizes his normal indifference to the average (i.e. non-billionaire) American. God Love Clinton, at least he would have pretended to give a shit.

And by the way, if Bush was running for re-election right now, he would meet with her so fast your head would spin.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:53 AM on August 17, 2005


mooncrow, you're "off put" by her just because organizations like TrueMajority are supporting her? Does this make any sense at all? The woman lost a son and she wants to know why. Nothing could be simpler. The only disturbing person here is you. Your perspective has become so cynical, warped, and politicized that you instantly focus more on the media aspect of the affair than the plain heart of the matter. Unfortunately, I suspect there are a lot of people out there like you. People who need to focus on the media aspect of this because they are just too afraid to deal with the difficult questions.
posted by nixerman at 8:57 AM on August 17, 2005


And by the way, if Bush was running for re-election right now, he would meet with her so fast your head would spin.

No, he would not. Those of you who think that a Bush-Sheehan meeting would "defuse" the situation are wrong. A meeting would legitimize Sheehan's position, and would only encourage other war protestors. Meeting with Sheehan would be sign of weakness, and Bush will be careful to avoid that at all costs. Instead, Sheehan's opponents will try and paint her as an entrenched lefty with an axe to grind, attacking Bush for partisan political reasons.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:58 AM on August 17, 2005


I only knew the very basic facts behind Ms. Sheehan's camping out at Bush's ranch but in response to seeing the video I would describe her as humble. Perhaps she doesn't have great leadership potential other than in symbolic terms but to me she speaks from the heart and has a just an noble cause as a basis. If it should be that this protest contributes in even a small way towards bringing troops home earlier then I think that the apparant media circus and political coattailing that has come about will have been worthwhile. And what brain_drain said - that was one of my thoughts while watching.
posted by peacay at 8:58 AM on August 17, 2005


Argyle... you're right about Vietnam, both the war and the escalating objection to it.

I would speculate that those that didn't live through the Vietnam War and/or participate in the movement that helped bring it to an end probably have a hard time seeing protest as a viable way to make a difference....

but... it can, and hopefully it will..
posted by HuronBob at 9:00 AM on August 17, 2005


Mooncrow: Do you support Bush and his policies? If you don't, then how can you not support Sheehan?

No, I don't support Bush in the slightest. I DO support Sheehan.

I said : Most people I know see her as someone who has turned her private loss into political action. My assumption was that this would be viewed as a positive thing. (As I view it.)

Political action is a good thing Mooncrow. I should have been more clear.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:04 AM on August 17, 2005


"I haven't forgotten that, I just don't see why she should get more. Nearly 2000 soldiers have died prosecuting this action, and many more have been injured. I don't think the family of every soldier killed and injured deserves a private audience with the President, particularly when it's clearly for partisan political purposes."
But you can't see that your insistance that Bush has already met with her is disingenuous?
And that your argument that her funding is supplied by partisan operatives is an ad hominem dismissal of her viewpoint?

Cadastral: I agree with you that the Democrats should understand that much of their constituency, especially in rural areas, is deeply conservative. I think one of the best things that the party could do is articulate why Democrats are better for the poor in America, and work to deflate the myth of Horatio Algerism. People in rural areas are poorer and die more often than people in inner cities. Democrats should focus on that, rather than trotting out Al Sharpton. (In fact, Democrats should actively position themselves as the party of the disenfranchised and downtrodden. It's worked great for the Republicans, and it's something that the Dems could take away from them and will need to if they want to win elections).
posted by klangklangston at 9:11 AM on August 17, 2005


But you can't see that your insistance that Bush has already met with her is disingenuous?

How is it disingenuous? Bush did meet with her; it just wasn't the meeting she now demands.

And that your argument that her funding is supplied by partisan operatives is an ad hominem dismissal of her viewpoint?

The funding from partisan political operatives is not my reason for rejecting her viewpoint. Some of her views have merit, while others do not. I am not discussing her viewpoint here, I am only discussing the request for a meeting with the President. It is that request that I reject as a cynical partisan publicity stunt. Sheehan and the political operatives funding her know that Bush will reject any request for a meeting. Indeed, they don't want a meeting, because they see Bush's contining rejection of a meeting as more politically valuable.

As I said, some of her views have merit, and she can and should continue to express her views as protest. I just don't think the protest should be cast as a disingenuous request for meeting with the President.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:18 AM on August 17, 2005


Media Escalation Unnerves Protest Mom
"Cindy Sheehan's modest anti-war protest along the road to President Bush's ranch has evolved into a headline-grabbing national movement. That has led some Republicans to say she's being used by liberal groups hostile to Bush's policies.

They might be surprised to hear that she's worried about that, too.

'I appreciate all their help, but their help is going to have to diminish and go to the sidelines, so it's going to have to get back to a mom sitting in a chair waiting for George Bush,' she said in an interview Tuesday. Of those who suggest that her personal tragedy has become a political rallying point, she says, 'I kind of see their point that this was a grass-roots thing that grew into a monster.'"
posted by ericb at 9:24 AM on August 17, 2005


monju_bosatsu, you have absolutely zero basis for (1) claiming the request is "disingenious" when by all appearances it's quite clear Sheehan really does want to meet with the President (2) claiming that goals and methods of Sheehan and the "political operatives" supporting her coincide in any meaningful way (3) claiming that her viewpoint is somehow magically "separate" from her request to meet with the president and have him explain to her why her son was sacrificed. You are, in fact, just attempting to dismiss her ad hominem because she is being supported by certain partisian groups. Until you can provide any sort of basis for your claims you're just smearing a mourning mother which isn't particularly classy.
posted by nixerman at 9:25 AM on August 17, 2005


Well, here we have a prime example of the Republican noise machine. They cannot and will not address Sheehan's actual points, and so instead say she already met Bush and wasn't that good enough? She's just a mouthpiece for the American left. Her son volunteered and now she's insulting his memory by turning his death into political action.

Yeah, you know, just answer the charges. I realize smearing the opposition has worked in the past, but a lot of people I know find it disgusting here.
posted by maxsparber at 9:29 AM on August 17, 2005


Oh ... and the wacky words of the pill-popping, wing-nut, Rush Limbaugh:
"Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh equated the actions of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, with those of Bill Burkett, the retired Texas Air National Guard officer who provided CBS' 60 Minutes with unauthenticated documents regarding President Bush's National Guard record. Sheehan is currently staging an anti-war protest outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Limbaugh said that Sheehan's 'story is nothing more than forged documents.'
...
LIMBAUGH: I mean, Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents. There's nothing about it that's real, including the mainstream media's glomming onto it. It's not real. It's nothing more than an attempt. It's the latest effort made by the coordinated left."
As your equally nutty buddy, Bill O'Reilly would say: Rush, shut up!
posted by ericb at 9:31 AM on August 17, 2005


Mom
Apple Pie
Baseball
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:32 AM on August 17, 2005


You are, in fact, just attempting to dismiss her ad hominem because she is being supported by certain partisian groups. Until you can provide any sort of basis for your claims you're just smearing a mourning mother which isn't particularly classy.

Actually, I'm trying to do just the opposite, and it's unfortunate that perhaps I've been unclear. Let me reiterate: Sheehan has expressed several valid and powerful criticisms of the war in Iraq. I may or may not agree with all of these criticisms, but my purpose was not to discuss her views at all. Instead, my intent was to criticize the political operatives who have coopted her protest for partisan political gain. I do believe that Sheehan genuinely wants to meet with the President, but the political operatives have encouraged that request with the expectation that it would be denied. Indeed, I believe the focus on the request and denial of a meeting detracts from and has done damage to Sheehan's critique of the war.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:32 AM on August 17, 2005


this line of attack DOES NOT PLAY in McGregor, TX.

Not very relevant. As someone who's actually been to McGregor (and played well there, or at least in Belton, Temple, etc., back when I made my living doing what my handle commemorates), I harbor no illusions about the conversion of the right wing base. However, it is my impression (not formed merely on Metafiulter, Monju, nor merely on the liberal web) that Sheehan's stance is winning various kinds of supporters who had been on the fence or out of reach, including some working-class women in conservative communities, some number of military families yet to be ascertained (but not negligible), and importantly, a lot of disaffected liberals who have felt defeated and apathetic of late. It's very early to see how she'll play to the peanut gallery, but she's a story and many Americans need a story to form a political thought. The left has lacked the ability to turn issues into stories in recent years. In fact, it may be quite useful that she does alienate war supporters and Bush supporters (now down to being almost the same exact people, somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of the electorate nationally. The hardcore fundies and right-wing ideologues need to be shown as the scum they are. Mowing down rows of memorial crosses, firing off shotguns, sliming the personal reputation of a grieving mother of a fallen hero . . . . Keep it up, please. It makes it really obvious what supporting Bush alignes you with: hatred, greed, cynicism, misogyny, intolerance, violence, and lies.

Cindy Sheehan will be a famous historical figure, I believe, in 20 years. Why is the right so afraid to answer her question? What cause did we send 1860 Americans off to die for, sentence tens of thousands to suffer life-destroying injuries, waste the international stature of the United States, deflect our best forces from the war on terror as such, swell our national debt to bankruptcy levels, drive up the cost of energy dramatically, install a terrorist disneyland and guarantee a civil war in a place where we need stability, and, last and not least, torture, injure, and kill tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians? What's the fucking noble cause? Getting rid of Saddam to free the Iraqi people? There were other ways, and probably better ways to do it if it had to be done. And if so it obligates us to leave that country in better shape than we found it, which is a laugh. That's the only reason left that isn't falsified by the evidence, and lately it's getting close to where one could say that average Iraqis are worse off under the occupation (and what will follow, which is civil war) than they were under Saddam. It's a hell of a charge to make, I know. How much torture of individuals is equivalent to how much mass indiscriminate slaughter of large numbers of people? Unfortunately, we've practiced our power in ways that seem equally brutal in style, if not in systematicity (though I don't know) to Saddam. As an American, I feel disgraced and ashamed, not proud and noble, about this war.

What is the noble cause? And was it a legal basis to take our country to war and spend the lives of our sons and daughters? It's a fair question, the central question of the moment and one the Bush administration has an obligation to answer for all of us, and to keep on answering, and not only at the ballot box, but in the public forum where decisions made in the ballot box take root. Bush and his minions have stonewalled and blustered and outright provably lied about the war's justifications, prosecution, and progress so often we've become numb to it. The numbness wears off a little more every time I hear Cindy Sheehan interviewed.
posted by realcountrymusic at 9:33 AM on August 17, 2005


Apple Pie ;)
posted by ericb at 9:34 AM on August 17, 2005


So, who's coming to Union Square tonight?
posted by muckster at 9:37 AM on August 17, 2005


Judging from the reaction of people I know, her protest is having an affect. If anything, at the very least it points out how much time Bush spends on vacation.
posted by drezdn at 9:37 AM on August 17, 2005


realcountrymusic - well said!
posted by ericb at 9:38 AM on August 17, 2005


I will be in Union Square, though it is now registered as "full." There are some other NYC vigils tonight listed on the same page linked by muckster tonight. No effect? I don't think so.
posted by realcountrymusic at 9:39 AM on August 17, 2005


and thanks ericb
posted by realcountrymusic at 9:39 AM on August 17, 2005


Union Square is only listed for 575? There will be MANY more people than that there.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:39 AM on August 17, 2005


realcountrymusic, you are awesome. i've wanted to chime in on this thread with a similar sentiment, but no way could i have expressed it as well as you did in your post.
posted by lord_wolf at 10:05 AM on August 17, 2005


Clearly, Ms Sheehan's personal protest has been co-opted by others for political purposes

Actually, the way I see it: Cindy Sheehan's personal protest has served as a catalyst, allowing many Americans -- not the media, not "political operatives," but average people -- to find a way to publicly express their feelings about the current administration and their concern for events in Iraq.

After all, as Bush's approval ratings have dropped to an all-time low, a majority of Americans -- 56% -- feel that the "United States [is not] meeting its objectives in Iraq." It's not as if the protesters represent some "fringe element."

Check the news coverage tonight and tomorrow - and see how many people take the opportunity to protest here -- and around the world.
posted by ericb at 10:06 AM on August 17, 2005


Shazam realcountrymusic.

Now if you can only set that to music.
posted by three blind mice at 10:12 AM on August 17, 2005


56% -- feel that the "United States [is not] meeting its objectives in Iraq."

We have objectives in Iraq?
posted by psmealey at 10:16 AM on August 17, 2005


I feel bad for her son. She can say whatever she wants, but he made a decision based on what he thought was right, and she has no idea what he thinks in 'heaven'. But it fits in better with the story.

realcountrymusic - well said!
posted by ericb at 11:38 AM CST on August 17 [!]

and thanks ericb
posted by realcountrymusic


Translation: I agree with everything you say, so well said.

Jesus, mark him as a muse and shut up. Running around saying 'me too, me too' is getting old.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 10:21 AM on August 17, 2005


Actually, the way I see it: Cindy Sheehan's personal protest has served as a catalyst, allowing many Americans -- not the media, not "political operatives," but average people -- to find a way to publicly express their feelings about the current administration and their concern for events in Iraq.

Well ericb you've haven't been listening to AirAmericaRadio. Al Franken has been giving Cindy Sheehan reports more or less daily and she's been interviewed on-air in the last few days.

She may well be serving as a catalyst, but firing up the liberals isn't the sort of reaction that this country needs (sorry Mefites.) The people who need to wake up are the average working class - the Rooselvelt democrats of my grandfather's era - who have been fooled into thinking that the Republican party is on their side

Unfortunately, the democrats became too "progressive" and abandoned them, so there is really no place for these people to go....
posted by three blind mice at 10:23 AM on August 17, 2005


Sheehan is playing quite well here in North Idaho.

You don't fuck with moms, and particularly not moms of US servicemen in God'n'Guns country.
posted by stenseng at 10:25 AM on August 17, 2005


I've been following this story and I hope Cindy Sheehan busts W's butt. Here are some links:

Patrick Doherty at tompaine.com: "It strikes me that as Cindy Sheehan continues her vigil outside the gates of the Bush family ranch, her message is getting twisted by two large forces who want to use her courage to their own selfish, narrow ends. In my opinion, neither camp is taking into account what is best for Iraq, the Persian Gulf or the United States."

Media Matters for America has an intersting article "Cindy Sheehan 'changed her story on Bush?' Tracking a lie through the conservative media" among others.

kos linked to this interesting comment, " Decency Is Not In Them."

Here's the republished interview with her home-town paper. They have a special Cindy Sheehan section.

Mohammed at IRAQ THE MODEL has posted A message to Cindy Sheehan

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (so to speak), Army Brig. Gen. Yves Fontaine tells us, "[t]he number of roadside bomb attacks by insurgents against U.S. military supply convoys in Iraq has doubled in the past year." Recruiters are up against a no-sacrifice mentality: "Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people." "The U.S. [is] Still Unprepared for Al Qaeda Attacks." And Francis Fukuyama is looking for a way out of "the end of history."


posted by taosbat at 10:25 AM on August 17, 2005


and 3BM - you're dead wrong on the too "progressive" thing. Democrats are just now becoming "progressive" enough for working class folks to figure they're really going to work for them. It's the centrist DLC big business lapdogs that have created the problems the Dems have today.
posted by stenseng at 10:28 AM on August 17, 2005


She may well be serving as a catalyst, but firing up the liberals isn't the sort of reaction that this country needs (sorry Mefites.) The people who need to wake up are the average working class - the Rooselvelt democrats of my grandfather's era - who have been fooled into thinking that the Republican party is on their side

Large gatherings of citizens protesting -- with news coverage by all sorts of media outlets -- is one way to "wake up" those who you deem necessary for "firing up."
posted by ericb at 10:33 AM on August 17, 2005


Do you support Bush and his policies? If you don't, then how can you not support Sheehan?

I don't mean any offense to mooncrow, but this sentiment is the type of divisive, black-or-white, my-way-or-the-highway bullshit that's so frustrating about politics. Either she's a noble saint, or she's a hapless tool of the mighty left, when the truth is most likely somewhere in between.

Bush should have meet with her already to diffuse the situation. It was politically stupid to have let it get this far. And saying lots of people want to talk to the president and "it's also important for me to go on with my life," is very clumsy and inconsiderate of the 1850+ military people who don't have lives anymore.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:33 AM on August 17, 2005


I think she's doing a good thing, I think she's doing what's right for her and I support her for doing it as her right to do it.

The more focus put on the war and how badly run it has been, the better.

And the more outrageous the behaviour of GWB's neighbors, the better.
posted by fenriq at 10:35 AM on August 17, 2005


well stenseng that's the Howard Dean vision of the world. I think Howard and you are totally out to lunch. Don't forget that the centrist DLC held the White House for 8 years.
posted by three blind mice at 10:39 AM on August 17, 2005


Parents of Fallen Marine Make Plea to Bush
"The day after burying their son, parents of a fallen Marine urged President Bush to either send more reinforcements to Iraq or withdraw U.S. troops altogether.

'We feel you either have to fight this war right or get out,' Rosemary Palmer, mother of Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder II, said Tuesday.

Schroeder, 23, died two weeks ago in a roadside explosion, one of 16 Ohio-based Marines killed recently in Iraq.

The soldier's father said his son and other Marines were being misused as a stabilizing force in Iraq.

'Our comments are not just those of grieving parents,' Paul Schroeder said in front of the couple's home. 'They are based on anger, Mr. President, not grief. Anger is an honest emotion when someone's family has been violated.'

Palmer accused the president of refusing to make changes in a war gone bad. 'Whether he leads them out by putting more troops on the ground or pulling them out - he can't just let it continue,' she said." [Associated Press | August 16, 2005]
posted by ericb at 10:42 AM on August 17, 2005


Large gatherings of citizens protesting -- with news coverage by all sorts of media outlets -- is one way to "wake up" those who you deem necessary for "firing up."

Fair enough ericb, but until Rush Limbaugh listeners start joining her, nothing will change. As long as Limbaugh can show the association between Sheehan and the left, they won't be coming. Sheehan should DISTANCE herself from these people. Embracing them is a mistake and it undermines her efforts. Middle America, for better or for worse, is where the votes are. How many elections do you people need to loose before you realize this?
posted by three blind mice at 10:44 AM on August 17, 2005


I feel bad for her son. She can say whatever she wants, but he made a decision based on what he thought was right, and she has no idea what he thinks in 'heaven'.

Her son is dead. Not much point in feeling badly for him. But, the rest of what you proffer is pretty much irrelevant. She's not projecting her own views on her son. She's talking about her loss (and by extension the losses of those affected by this war). She's translating her loss carrying the torch for young men and women being sent off to be put in harm's way for unknown, dubious, shifting or just plain dishonest reasons.

To take your point to its extreme, anyone that signs up for military service is cannon fodder, so screw 'em, it's their choice, and one else need say anything about it.

On preview- 3BM: and the DLC did such a great job differentiating their party from the GOP in relatively prosperous times, that they actually lost the White House in 2000.
posted by psmealey at 10:45 AM on August 17, 2005


you have absolutely zero basis for (1) claiming the request is "disingenious" when by all appearances it's quite clear Sheehan really does want to meet with the President

Except that, from an earlier account, she met with the President and was apparently satisfied. Then she decided later she wasn't and painted a different scenario of the meeting with him than she does now. Perhaps she just felt intimidated at the time or some other reasoning, but I'm going to believe in b) she has a political axe to grind. And that's fine, she's allowed to have an axe to grind, and her cause has definitely (at least in part) a noble purpose. However it does strike some, and not just the hard right, as disingenious.

Cindy Sheehan will be a famous historical figure, I believe, in 20 years.

Time and history will inevitably tell on this one, but I think you're deluding yourself in a fantasy world. She's already starting to lose press coverage (yes, she still merits a FP story on CNN, but as of this moment, there's nothing on say, the Wash. Post's front page), media is publishing articles to counter her claims from other people who has met with the president, and her original stories about her meeting are being republished. In short, the media doesn't care, and all it will take is one hurricane to move her movement 20 lines down the "Nation" section. People have sympathy for her as a mother, and some feel politically motivated to support her (mostly on the left). That doesn't mean it's a groundswell of political movement, and just reading metafilter shouldn't fool you into thinking it.

You make valid points (and man, could I feel the anger), but they've been made before, and as soon as this "movement" (and I'm not convinced it's a major movement outside of the left) sees Sheehan's story bumped, they'll once again fade into the background - until the next story out of Iraq, when another "movement" will start up for several weeks and then another person will talk about how THAT new story is the center of a "movement". People on metafilter tend to see movements where they don't actually exist. Her movement is losing momentum. The only reason she even made CNN's front page today is because a neighbor donated land that's cliser. About a week more for that, and then they'll be out of the press.

Bush's advisors are right to not have him meet with her, one for two reasons

1) the most valid reason:how many meetings would REALLY satisfy her? She's had one - at the time she thought it was sufficient, then she changed her mind. If she meets again and claims satisfaction, and then later comes back and says "Well, I thought about the answers, and in my heart, they're not enough now.", will you come back to the "movement" to support her? Why does she get to bypass the grievance system? I'm anxious to hear from a soldier's parents who are actually going through that system to speak with the President. That would really give some perspective.

2) The political reasoning: His advisors pay close attention to the media and they'll keep watch to see if the pressure is waning. I think it is. So why meet with her when it will just disappear given time. Please understand, I'm not arguing this is the *right* thing to do

Remember all the other suppossed show-stoppers that were going to "wake people up and make them see that this war is for nothng"? This is another one. It has a lot of gravity because it is a soldier's mother, but in the end, she has too much working against her, including the parents of other soldiers and her own family. It will take the movement apart. In a way, I'm saddened by that, but this isn't the big step in a movement to end the war.
posted by Drylnn at 10:52 AM on August 17, 2005


Sheehan should DISTANCE herself from these people.

She said as much - as per reported in today's USA Today:
"'I appreciate all their help, but their help is going to have to diminish and go to the sidelines, so it's going to have to get back to a mom sitting in a chair waiting for George Bush,' she said in an interview Tuesday. Of those who suggest that her personal tragedy has become a political rallying point, she says, 'I kind of see their point that this was a grass-roots thing that grew into a monster.'"
posted by ericb at 10:53 AM on August 17, 2005


'I appreciate all their help, but their help is going to have to diminish and go to the sidelines, so it's going to have to get back to a mom sitting in a chair waiting for George Bush,'

Good for her! This woman is no dummy.
posted by three blind mice at 11:01 AM on August 17, 2005


The really asinine thing is that Bush could've defused this, and chose not to.

If he talked about the PNAC theory of the war, and how in the long run, it could make life better not only for Iraqis, but for all of the middle east (and as a side benefit, the rest of the world), I think that would extremely satisfactory.

I don't happen to believe in the theory, but that's somewhat irrelevant. It would've been a reasonable explanation for the actions that resulted in the death of her son.
posted by mosch at 11:02 AM on August 17, 2005


Drylnn: Except that, from an earlier account, she met with the President and was apparently satisfied.

This is a lie. All accounts I've seen of the original meeting indicate that Sheehan and her family explicitly avoided questioning the president about the causes for the war. For example, see here:

But in the end, the family decided against such talk, deferring to how they believed Casey would have wanted them to act. In addition, Pat noted that Bush wasn't stumping for votes or trying to gain a political edge for the upcoming election.

"We have a lot of respect for the office of the president...


So, no, the original meeting was little more than an empty ceremony where she got to shake hands and eat some cheese and crackers. The woman wants to know one simple thing: why was her son called upon to risk and sacrifice his life. And she wants a chance to ask the man who did the calling. Your assumption that she has a political axe to grind is more than likely your own frustrated axe grinding. I can see no rational basis for such an assumption.
posted by nixerman at 11:07 AM on August 17, 2005


Just so people don't get the wrong idea: I do hope her protest becomes a focal point on the right ideas, including a look at the war from a serious standpoint. I just don't see the movement that other people see. Please don't take my arguments, academic or otherwise as a sign that I'm mounting a gun rack on my car and waving a little GOP flag.
posted by Drylnn at 11:11 AM on August 17, 2005


This is a lie. All accounts I've seen of the original meeting indicate that Sheehan and her family explicitly avoided questioning the president about the causes for the war

Except you forgot this part: "I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis," Cindy said after their meeting. "I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."

I'm sorry, but to me, it sounds like she was, at the time, somewhat satisfied with the response she got, and then later decided she wasn't. I know that's a fair thing to do, but it does sound like she changed her mind later. Plus, she later gave a second account with a much greater tone of disrespect towards Bush. That part was inconsistent to myself and others. If you'd like, I'll find the link again, but it shouldn't be too difficult to find.
posted by Drylnn at 11:16 AM on August 17, 2005


mosch writes "If he talked about the PNAC theory of the war, and how in the long run, it could make life better not only for Iraqis, but for all of the middle east (and as a side benefit, the rest of the world), I think that would extremely satisfactory.

"I don't happen to believe in the theory, but that's somewhat irrelevant. It would've been a reasonable explanation for the actions that resulted in the death of her son."


"the end of history?"
posted by taosbat at 11:18 AM on August 17, 2005


I feel bad for her son.

I believe she does as well, Dennis. You do your point
of view a disservice with your utter lack of empathy.

Jesus, mark him as a muse and shut up. Running around saying 'me too, me too' is getting old.

So MeFi is only for pissing on other posters? Hey, you disagree, that's fine. Post a rebuttal of realcountrymusic's thoughtful post. Your tendency to add nothing but critiques of others' posts is beginning to convince me that you are having trouble formulating your own perspective.
posted by Cassford at 11:18 AM on August 17, 2005


Drylnn - is this the link -- "Cindy Sheehan 'changed her story on Bush?' Tracking a lie through the conservative media" -- as posted above by taosbat above?
posted by ericb at 11:22 AM on August 17, 2005


Drylnn, I don't see where you're coming from. Let's see: she wants to know one thing: (1) why did Bush send her son to Iraq. Yes, she has met with the President. No, she did not ask him this question. She still wants an answer to that question. If you read that article closely you'll see, even then, she expressed real misgivings about the war and the way it's being handled. So more than likely nothing has changed since then: she still believes the president is a man of faith and feels some pain and she believes the war was botched and she wants to know what the president was thinking. Again, your assumption that she was satisfied with a response to a question she didn't ask just doesn't make much sense. Anything you can do to clarify your claim that she has an axe to grind would help since otherwise the claim looks pretty baseless.
posted by nixerman at 11:24 AM on August 17, 2005


Instead, Sheehan's opponents will try and paint her as an entrenched lefty with an axe to grind, attacking Bush for partisan political reasons.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:58 AM EST


It's called Swift-boating and has been in progress for some time. Your contributions to that cause notwithstanding.

Except that, from an earlier account, she met with the President and was apparently satisfied. Then she decided later she wasn't and painted a different scenario of the meeting with him than she does now.

That is an inaccurate characterization of her meeting that has been pushed by the Swift-boaters. And even if it were true, as Cindy says herself, look at all the things we've learned since (hopefully I don't have to enumerate them all.)

This woman is the real thing.
posted by nofundy at 11:40 AM on August 17, 2005


until Rush Limbaugh listeners start joining her, nothing will change.

I'm not holding my breath. The more important goal is peeling away people who are apathetic and on the fence or just waking up. The hardcore war-lovers will always be with us. Even Nixon had 30 percent support at the height of his disgrace.

And as for Cindy's previous meeting with the president, when did being an American citizen come to mean never changing your mind? This is a standard tactic of the right, used against John Kerry, for example. Listen up: a lot of Americans may have had doubts about the war, but the president and his lackeys were telling us about WMDs, sponsorship of terror, etc. They fixed the facts around their objectives, to paraphrase the DSM. So Americans who now feel they were lied to and misled are supposed to just let it go because after all, they believed Bush when he lied to them? Conservatives, on the other hand, can change their minds when it suits them. Like about the reasons for fighting a war in Iraq, to take one little example.

Screw Rush and his listeners. They aren't even close to a majority of American citizens. I have seen plenty of evidence that Cindy Sheehan is causing at least some people to think seriously about what is going on here. As Paul Hackett said, calling the president a "Chickenhawk SOB" probably earned him two votes for every one he lost. Sometimes you gotta break eggs to make an omelet. Even if they are chickenhawk eggs.
posted by realcountrymusic at 1:26 PM on August 17, 2005


And to add, if firing up the base isn't effective, it will be a surprise to Karl Rove. The image of democrats as people who won't fight doggedly for what they believe in is unfair, but well-established via the wimpy DLC types and the rightwing echo chamber slime machine that managed to cast John Kerry and Max Cleland as wimps and their chickenhawk draft-dodging opponents as manly men. Cindy Sheehan is the soft-spoken mother of a fallen soldier, a hero the right doesn't dare trash (her son, that is), and she's fighting like hell. We could not have a better spokesperson on the left. Christ, she makes Michael Moore look like a punter. Frankly, I think a John Conyers/Cindy Sheehan ticket could make a credible showing if a presidential election were held today.

From what I hear, Cindy is winning the hearts and minds of a not insignificant number of military families. The right shall be hoist by its own petard if this is true.
posted by realcountrymusic at 1:38 PM on August 17, 2005


We could not have a better spokesperson on the left.

Whatever makes you think she is a spokeswoman for "the left" realcountrymusic? I would like to think she is the apolitical spokeswoman for reason. I would like to think that there are more than a few people in the country who might agree with her on the basis that she has a point instead of for the reason that she makes Bush look bad.

Get a clue. "The Left" doesn't have enough votes by itself to win an election outside of Massachusetts. "The left" could not unseat the most unpopular president in recent memory. Unless the Democrats can do more than attract "the Left" we will be stuck with "the Right" for another decade.
posted by three blind mice at 1:48 PM on August 17, 2005


a fallen soldier, a hero the right doesn't dare trash

tell that to John McCain, Ron Kovic, John Kerry and Max Cleland. I agree that it would a massive strategic blunder to dump on veterans, but that hasn't stopped them from doing it before. But when they do it alienates vets and relatives of vets and hurts them, so that's a good byproduct, but it won't make it any less difficult to see.
posted by jonmc at 1:54 PM on August 17, 2005


Tell that to John McCain, Ron Kovic, John Kerry and Max Cleland.

Well said jonmc. And those are the soldiers. The GOP could probably have gang raped John McCain's mother and gotten away with it.

Screw Rush and his listeners. They aren't even close to a majority of American citizens. As Paul Hackett said, calling the president a "Chickenhawk SOB" probably earned him two votes for every one he lost. Sometimes you gotta break eggs to make an omelet. Even if they are chickenhawk eggs.

Yeah, realcountrymusic, screw them. But those are the foot soldiers who keep the GOP in power. Paul Hackett might have won two votes for every one he lost, but HE STILL LOST.
posted by three blind mice at 2:00 PM on August 17, 2005


tell that to John McCain, Ron Kovic, John Kerry and Max Cleland

I mentioned Kerry and Cleland. And Hackett, a Fallujah vet, was called a "staff puke" by Rush Limbaugh because he was a civil affairs officer. I think swift-boating a soldier like Casey Sheehan, who actually died fighting in *this* war, would be the biggest mistake the right could make. Bring it on, schmucks. Support the troops much?

Whatever makes you think she is a spokeswoman for "the left"

I am using the term in the broadest sense, of course. And in that sense, your "only in Massachusetts" comment makes no sense. Kerry lost to Bush by what, 1.5 million votes nationally? This country does not have a Republican majority. And it needs to be pointed out again that *all* the polls, including right-friendly polls, have shown Bush's overall support drifiting into the mid to low 40 percent range. In my book, opposition to the war is the single issue defining the "left" in this country. To the extent that it becomes a galvanizing issue for Americans who once supported Bush, the left will grow. Unlike rightwing zealots, I don't expect everyone on "the left" to march in lockstep on every issue.

Hackett lost, by a couple of percentage points in an area that went for Bush by something like 30 perecent in 2004. Somehow, I don't think he would have won had he played it safe and not called Bush what he is. And I don't think he would have gotten nearly as close. Pretend it isn't raining if you support the administration, and call those who say it is wackos and extremists all you want. But your president looks wet to me. Maybe it isn't rain, but sweat.

Don't preach moderation to me. The right has practiced unbridled extremism on their march to power, and has often sacrificed broader popularity in the interest of keeping the base fired up and angry. It's a proven strategy.

I am a registered independent with some conservative and liberatarian views. Cindy Sheehan speaks for me. The old stereotypes only work as long as people believe in them. Cindy Sheehan makes them obsolete.
posted by realcountrymusic at 2:20 PM on August 17, 2005


er, libertarian . . .
posted by realcountrymusic at 2:22 PM on August 17, 2005


Paul Hackett might have won two votes for every one he lost, but HE STILL LOST.

i was under the impression that this was supposed to be a nice safe race for the repubs, but hackett managed to give them a scare.

of course, we're told to treat every republican win as HUUUUGE, proof of how awesome they are at strategy and mobilization, and every democratic defeat as CRUSHING!!!!! no matter what the margin of victory is.

similarly, every rovian tactic is promoted as absolutely brilliant, while nearly everything said or done by someone against bush or the practices of his administration (regardless of the doer/speaker's political affiliation) is nitpicked, over-examined for flaws, and criticized absolutely to death.

in light of that, i'm surprised ms. sheehan has gained any traction at all, and agnostic though i am, i pray everyday that this is the tipping point.
posted by lord_wolf at 2:22 PM on August 17, 2005


Sheehan and Schiavio - food for thought http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/08/17/121527.php

I find it Amazing how little we know about CASEY Sheehan's views, even though he's the one who died serving his country Shouldn't we be more interested in what his surviving friends in Iraq feel about when we should leave Iraq, one way or the other, than Nancy Sheehan?
posted by popinthechops at 2:25 PM on August 17, 2005


Final comment, I promise: does anyone seriously believe that George Bush (or his puppeteers) are glad Cindy's at their doorstep? That she is earning new supporters for Bush with her protest in greater numbers than she is winning converts to the anti-war position? Maybe Karl and Company are *glad* she's there? Yeah, sure. They hate this and their mouthpieces are squealing like stuck pigs trying to make it go away. That's all I need to know. Cindy is kicking ass.
posted by realcountrymusic at 2:26 PM on August 17, 2005


realcountrymusic, I agree that ShrubCo would really prefer she wasn't on Bush's doorstep making his latest vacation so much less fun.

lord_wolf, you forgot to mention that any criticism of anything Bush has done gets drowned out by the repeated bleating of approved talking points from the Republican smear campaigns. If they cannot refute it, they just smear the sayer until no one listens to them anymore.
posted by fenriq at 2:32 PM on August 17, 2005


Check out the number of vigils at MoveOn. An awful lot of people ARE committed to standing with her, despite what some commenters may believe.
posted by maryh at 2:38 PM on August 17, 2005


Drylnn - is this the link -- "Cindy Sheehan 'changed her story on Bush?' Tracking a lie through the conservative media" -- as posted above by taosbat above?

I've never seen that link. I was referring to the Washington Post talking about how she changed her message on the tone of the meeting from it being "sympathetic" to "callous" that was also discussed by MSNBC and a few others. Neither of those have issued a retraction that I can find - if they were to do so, I would reconsider. Those 2 sources are not exactly bastions of right-wing demagoguery.

You might have evidence that they're not true or you might not believe that represents a change. To me it does. I don't disregard her argument, I think she is grieving, but I think the grieving part of the message is getting lost in the political axe-wielding. Again, this is a personal belief, and nothing on metafilter in terms of opinion will change that, but I would look at evidence (and by evidence, I don't mean links to right-wing or left-wing blogs).

None of this changes the fact that there is a process for a grievance and she's staging her "protest" in part to bypass that process (from what I've read about said process). Were she to go through that process and be denied for some reason that was blatantly trying to avoid her, then I'd be more in support. I know of 2 soldier families who are trying to talk to the President about their sons' deaths who aren't out there protesting and bypassing the system.

And her message is getting lost in the political axe-wielding. Maybe she realized this with her statements that other people posted today. If so, good for her. Otherwise, she's just being used as a pawn, and they'll drop her when the wind blows another direction, and then I'll truly truly feel sorry for her, because she'll have nothing but her loss at that point.
posted by Drylnn at 2:48 PM on August 17, 2005


Check out the number of vigils at MoveOn. An awful lot of people ARE committed to standing with her, despite what some commenters may believe.

It's MOVEON. It's generally a left movement (one I've worked with, but it is generally liberal). I don't doubt there could be right wing/moderates out there supporting her through protests, but I want to see proof of THOSE individuals in numbers before I believe its a far reaching movement.
posted by Drylnn at 2:50 PM on August 17, 2005


what his surviving friends in Iraq feel

Hate to break it to ya, but a soldier who speaks against the war effort in public takes a serious risk. Unlike you and I, a soldier in theater (or on active duty) cannot freely speak her/his mind. But in any case. the relatives of dead soldiers certainly have every right to do so, and they have shared in a sacrifice most of us cannot even imagine making for this war.

I know, I said I was done commenting. Now I am.
posted by realcountrymusic at 2:51 PM on August 17, 2005


While Cindy Sheehan has every right to protest this war and demand what ever she wants how people FEEL about her is irrelevant to Bush. It's what they actually do that matters. And it's same 'ol same 'ol. Take your selves. How many of you are truly altering what you do - quitting your jobs etc - to take on this unjust war? I would wager almost none of you. And if you ain't willing - imagine Betty and Bob Sixpack out there.

During the sixties many of the basic foundations of society were coming apart - some of the assumptions the power establishment had counted on for thirty years began to unravel because of the Vietnam war and the draft. Things came apart in every sector of society. Ordinary people became activists fulltime. And still it took almost ten fucking years and massive riots, black men carrying shotguns down the streets of Compton and permanent vigil of thousands of people in the Mall to get policies to change.

We are not seeing anything close to that here. In fact we are seeing the right SOLIDIFY their hold on the machinery of power and massive gains in the direction of the culture at large is heading.

I sympathize of Sheehan. I want her there. My dad was in Vietnam. We lived on base then. I remember seeing women collapse screaming on to their porches, inconsolable, ravaged and hollow, gnashing their teeth with biblical sort of grief when the condolence Detail and the base chaplain knocked on their door.

But Sheehans more lefty rhetoric doesn'tappeal to the public at large because they are fine right where they are.

So. The issue becomes do you want to be right or do you want to effect change?
posted by tkchrist at 3:00 PM on August 17, 2005


I apologize for being unable to shut up:
The issue becomes do you want to be right or do you want to effect change?

That is a false dichotomy. What is the point of effecting change in the service of anything but what is right, good, and true? I'd rather be right. In the end, change will reflect the truth. But you can't effect change if you don't believe in your views, whether you publicly express them or not. I have no doubt that a good number of war/Bush supporters fully believe they are righteous. There are hypocrites among them -- and on the left as well. My abiding faith remains that "Joe Six Pack" is a good person, as is Jane Wine Cooler. What will it take to change what people believe? I don't know, but I admire Cindy Sheehan for making the effort. As for what one does, why is quitting one's job the requirement for mobilizing one's community, voicing one's opposition, or supporting an activist with money and words? Do what you can, and what you must. The world is not full of Cindy Sheehans. That is what makes her a powerful figure for so many.

Peace out.
posted by realcountrymusic at 3:22 PM on August 17, 2005


My abiding faith remains that "Joe Six Pack" is a good person, as is Jane Wine Cooler.

You and me both. But that Mike Sour Apple Martini can't be trusted. Actually, you're addressing some of the same ideas I've been trying to get at for awhile. So, good luck, man.
posted by jonmc at 3:25 PM on August 17, 2005


As for what one does, why is quitting one's job the requirement for mobilizing one's community, voicing one's opposition, or supporting an activist with money and words?

Because YOU are society. Every dime you spend, every dime you make that is TAXED supports this war no matter how much you donate to MOVE-On. It is the continuity of social order that ultimately matters against a foe that OWNS all the other legal elements of power. IE: the three branches of government and a significant portion of the press.

Before they could share power by maintaining the illusion of their integrity. Now THEY ARE NOT SHARING. And they no longer even maintain the illusion of integrity.

For christ sake they KNOW they lied about the war and they got re-elected. 49% said we think Bush is full of shit. 49%! And it didn't matter.

How much more proof do you need? Sending money to a hand full of protesters and email campaigns will not do shit. expressing you feelings won't do shit. Snarking on MeFi won't do shit. The MOST you'll get is more weak kneed trust-funder sell-outs like Kerry essentially committed to the same immoral war gaining a foothold here and there.

The power the right has is no longer on loan. They OWN it. And they don't care what you fucking think about it as long as they know you won't DO anything.

The only power WE have left is control of the purse strings (and they are trying to "privatize" as much of that as they can) and our adherence (or not) to the civil order.

If cindy Sheehan was joined tomorrow by 50,000 people - THERE - -in Texas for months on end - then you will see change. Talk is cheap.
posted by tkchrist at 4:02 PM on August 17, 2005


Read the blog on Cindy if you want to support her:

sweetness-light.com
posted by dand at 4:14 PM on August 17, 2005


I'm back. Sitting at a very peaceful vigil nearer to home than Union Square, about 250 people here and it keeps growing. A NYFD truck just went by, and honked its horn in short bursts as the firemen waved and saluted going by. Unquestionably it was a gesture of support and solidarity. Tell me this protest is not moving people. The NYFD has every reason to care deeply about this issue. And apparently they do. I wanted to jump in the air when I saw it with my own two eyes. Holy cow.
posted by realcountrymusic at 5:07 PM on August 17, 2005


I'm back. Sitting at a very peaceful vigil nearer to home than Union Square, about 250 people here and it keeps growing.

I'm glad your excited. You should keep going. You should enjoy yourself. I am honestly happy about all that.

Tell me this protest is not moving people.

Who siad that? Nobody. The problem is it is moving people who ALREADY care. You need to move people who don't.

And if that's it: Trucks honking. You "feeling" good. Then it won't end this war. That is just the beginning of what needs to be done. Just know that.
posted by tkchrist at 5:28 PM on August 17, 2005


Cynicism doesn't really demoralize me.

moving people who ALREADY care.

Don't know how many NYFD folks you know, but they don't tend to be raving leftists.

I don't care about people who don't care. You sound an odd combination. You seem against the war, yet you disparage any and all efforts to do something about it, from the courageous (Cindy Sheehan) to the meek (me at a candlelight vigil, though let me assure you've I've been at every major anti-war/anti-Bush protest in New York since 2000, will be in Washington on Sept. 24, have given till it hurts to antiwar causes, harangued war-supporting friends and colleagues endlessly, written letters to my congressional representatives, etc. ad infinitum. Like many others who've been trying, I was feeling defeated and cynical too. Cindy Sheehan has inspired me, and many others I met at tonight's vigil and to whom I have talked in recent weeks. You can piss on it and say "so what?" all you want. What do you suggest is to be done?
posted by realcountrymusic at 5:49 PM on August 17, 2005


Alright, TKChrist, How about you shut the fuck up about how nothin's gonna change and tell us what you're doing, or what we should be doing?
Part of the reason why things changed in the '60s is because people believed they COULD change the world. That's been sucked out in a major way. Part of that is people not feeling like they have to, but the other part is people not feeling like they can.
I'd rather be Quixote than Eeyore.
posted by klangklangston at 6:27 PM on August 17, 2005


I'd rather be Quixote than Eeyore.

That's a great line. I'm using it -- with attribution, of course! ;)
posted by ericb at 6:32 PM on August 17, 2005


I'd rather be Quixote than Eeyore.

I'd rather be Tigger.

*bounces away*
posted by jonmc at 6:36 PM on August 17, 2005


A few fisheyes I took at the Union Square vigil. All pictures tagged cindysheehan.
posted by muckster at 7:29 PM on August 17, 2005


The Power of Listening
"Why Cindy Sheehan deserves an audience with President Bush" -- by Patti Davis [Newsweek | August 17, 2005]
posted by ericb at 7:50 PM on August 17, 2005


State by state approve/disapprove numbers for the president, from SurveyUSA, 8/05. Look at Missouri, Arizona, and Georgia, Ohio . . . and then keep telling me how "Joe Six Pack" can't be budged:

Some sample numbers ("Do you approve or disapprove of the job George Bush is doing as president?"):
Approve Disapprove Net Approval
Ohio 37% 60% -23%
Missouri 38% 58% -20%
Georgia 47% 51% -4%
Florida 44% 53% -9%

From the looks of things, Bush's remaining base of support is in a mathematically significant majority only in the Mountain West and Texas.

We'll see in a few weeks what Cindy Sheehan and Patrick Fitzgerald can do to these numbers. And $3 gas. And more dead Marines. Jeez, no wonder he's itching to invade Iran.
posted by realcountrymusic at 9:00 PM on August 17, 2005


Open thread at DailyKos with peoples' experiences at the vigils. Many attendee counts in the 100's. There seems to have been a lot of positive support, and extensive media interest.

There are two stories related to Cindy Sheehan on CNN's homepage as of this posting -- one about the vigils and one with a contrasting story about a mother with an opposite opinion which dedicates a paragraph to the vigils. Those are right next to "Memo warned of post-war 'planning gaps'" mentioned in this thread.
posted by VulcanMike at 4:48 AM on August 18, 2005




What FOX news has done to belittle her is pathetic. Here is a great spoof on how FOX, and their ilk, might have handled Rosa Parks.

Hannity: “Could Rosa Parks be angling for a Senate run? What does she have to gain from her public stand? Coming up next, the incredible story of how this woman might be deceiving the whole country!”
posted by caddis at 7:43 AM on August 18, 2005


I didn't realize but Cindy Sheehan is blogging at Huffo - sorry if this is known.
posted by peacay at 7:51 AM on August 18, 2005


The best thing Sheehan has done is show how crass and pathetic people like Malkin, O'Riley, Hannity, etc actualy are. I mean, attacking the mother of a dead Iraq troup? Claiming that her own dead son would be upset with her?

Sheehan's views arn't eactly nuanced, but if she's not presenting very good arguments then you can talk about why her ideas are wrong.

But they understand that she's a symbol, and so they need to attack her as a symbol.
posted by delmoi at 7:55 AM on August 18, 2005


Its intresting that she says she didn't make the comment about her son "dying for isreal". I did think that was true based some of my opinion on her on it.
posted by delmoi at 8:02 AM on August 18, 2005


An interesting photo montage. (sloooowww to load)
posted by caddis at 8:14 AM on August 18, 2005


So slow it's d e a d - nada on adsl.
posted by peacay at 8:17 AM on August 18, 2005


Opposing war by candlelight
"More than 1,600 vigils were held from coast to coast, drawing tens of thousands of people, according to the organizers, liberal advocacy groups MoveOn.org, TrueMajority and Democracy for America. A vigil was also held at Paris’ Peace Wall, a glass monument near the Eiffel Tower that says 'peace' in 32 languages."
posted by ericb at 8:59 AM on August 18, 2005


What a lunatic. I hope she keeps going for a while. Will Kerry and Dean visit her? I can almost hear the Democrat registrations draining away, minute by minute...
posted by ParisParamus at 9:34 AM on August 18, 2005


I see someone bought the FOX propaganda.
posted by caddis at 10:08 AM on August 18, 2005


Thanks caddis - finally got through to cryptome (why does that site always post a trillion big jpegs on a single page?). Great set of pictures.

However, ParisParamus's erudite analysis and persuasive reasoning has me convinced that Cindy Sheehan must be the devil incarnate and should be jeered.
posted by peacay at 10:47 AM on August 18, 2005


I've had profound misgivings about Cindy Sheehan - some of them based on the wilder anti-zionist quotes attributed to her, the extent to which she is being tugged along by partisan groups and the usual armchair layperson shrink conjecture about whether her grief has unhinged her (well, it's possible...?).

Then I read delmoi's comment about the Hannity crowd: "But they understand that she's a symbol, and so they need to attack her as a symbol."
posted by delmoi at 7:55 AM PST on August 18 [!]

I don't think anyone would guess quite how far this has gone. How about the following for flinging her symbolic biology in her face as a insult to all women - when they've given up - as delmoi says - challenging her ideas?
Quote in italics below comes from Andrea Harris (http://www.spleenville.com/wordpress/)- who thinks it's so cute, she's taken to quoting herself in case anyone missed it as a comment elsewhere - yet she won't accept it is bile.

I've cut and pasted it here because the misogynist venom has made me re-examine my own views (and realcountrymusic has also hit one or two home truths).

Cindy She-hag needs to be driven out of town on a rail. People like her nearly destroyed our military by trying to make it into some sort of uniformed babysitter brigade. People like her have dragged the level of political discussion in this country not into the mud, but into the men[s]trual muck of the slop pail. People like her have set back the feminist cause 150 years — women are now revealed in all their glory as emotion-dominated, unreasonable, screeching nags that you wouldn’t trust to operate a toaster let alone elect into office or give the controls to a 747 to, all on live tv. I would gladly give up the vote if it got fevered hysterics like Cindy and her fans out of the public eye.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:48 AM on August 18, 2005


You seem against the war, yet you disparage any and all efforts to do something about it, from the courageous (Cindy Sheehan) to the meek (me at a candlelight vigil, though let me assure you've I've been at every major anti-war/anti-Bush protest in New York since 2000, will be in Washington on Sept. 24, ...

Disparage any and all? No I SUPPORT Sheehan. But you guys are acting like it is rattling the powers that be. It's NOT. Ok. Not much. You have to know that.

I'm glad it's inspiring people. And people are right to protest. But by and large it is inspiring people who were against the war from the get go. And I am not saying stop. More will have to be done. And there is a long long way to go.

My fear is by the time a "protest" movement get's going it is likely Bush will have declared victory and bugged out (leaving behind a nice couple of bases) and Iraq will fall apart.

And I am concerned that is the best we can hope for.

So you wanna know what am I doing? I am attending the same frigg'n vigils as the rest of you. AND I see the same people there I saw six month ago. That tells me this is not movement that will grow fast enough to do what you think.

So. What else. I volunteered two months ago at the Seattle VA. Though the Pro Bono work I have done for them rarely puts me in contact with actual Iraq vets - when it does I tell them my feelings on this war.

And. I am not spending a dime on anything that isn't purely for my own survival. This Christmas I will not purchase one thing. And I won't buy goddamned thing until this war is over. No car. No fucking iPod. Not so much as a book or CD. Nothing.

As for my vendors at work I tell them the same thing. I am holding off all major purchases of computers and software etc until this war is over.

I too am writing my representatives every day informing them of this.

I am also exploiting every legal loophole I possibly can to minimize the amount of taxes I pay. Every dime of that I am sending to foreign aid organizations that work in Iraq.

And when that fails... well... I am responsible for 10 people's livelihoods. So this is a hard decision. But I will tax protest and pray that my business and family home stays somewhat sheltered. But I will risk it if I have to.

Is any of this better than what you are doing. No. I don't know. I didn't make any claim that I had a superior method or some secret.

I am telling you the foe is already placed strategically. They have most of the cards. When they saw that 78% of Americans went along with the lies they knew they had us. They had planned for the "protest culture" - they had 30 years planning - and diffused it before it could begin. But the left just went ahead with the same old shit anyway.

It is OUR fault this happened. They said what they were gonna do ten years ago in regards to Iraq. they even got Clinton to play along. And we just fucking let it happen. And they found Bush. And it was the left that failed and got bush into office - Nader? Hello?

So yeah. I am on the cusp of being radicalized because I think that is all that's left. I just know this. The old peace vigil thing - the peace pot-luck - all that. It's like a funeral. It aint for the dead guy. It's for the living. These things. They don't really change what is happening in Iraq. But they may help us get our shit together. And yeah I don't know what else to do. But I know the bad guys PLANNED for us to do these things.

That's what I am saying. I guess.
posted by tkchrist at 12:30 PM on August 18, 2005




Her mother has had a stroke so Ms. Sheehan is off the vigil for now. I hope her mother is OK.
posted by caddis at 6:32 PM on August 18, 2005


I'm very sad to hear of her mothers stroke. I do hate to say I predict this chapter of the anti-war movement will likely pass away. As I feared we put our eggs in this one persons basket prematurely. Part of the problem with investing a movement based on an individual. They can be discredited. Or life can simply get to them. Ghandi's are very hard to find.

I never articulated my self well before. I regret that. I regret getting emotional and confrontationalwith people who's side I AM ON.

But I am so frustrated by this entire war and the left's inert response to it. When Kerry got nominated I KNEW we were doomed for the next decade or so.

People, I don't WANT to be right about this. I don't want to be cynical. Admittedly I am cynical. It is useless. The result of being hopelessly romantic deep down. But time and time again my worst instincts have been right.

I don't know what to do. All I can think of is: Boycott everything you don't need to live. You were gonna buy a car? Don't. A computer? Don't. Write the manufacturer and tell them you are not participating in this economy until the war is over. CC your congress person.

If THAT catches on somebody HAS to listen.

OIr maybe do the opposite. Don't buy American. Buy French.
posted by tkchrist at 6:50 PM on August 18, 2005


Wouldn't surprise me if daughter was contributory factor in mother's stroke....
posted by ParisParamus at 7:08 PM on August 18, 2005


"But I am so frustrated by this entire war and the left's inert response to it. When Kerry got nominated I KNEW we were doomed for the next decade or so."

Actually, we would be doomed if Kerry won.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:09 PM on August 18, 2005


Wouldn't surprise me if daughter was contributory factor in mother's stroke....

man, you're like school on labor day.
posted by lord_wolf at 7:15 PM on August 18, 2005


No, I'm like a ray of sanity shining upon hopelessly delusional people.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:18 PM on August 18, 2005


And the most pathetic part is the the most visible "opposition" consists of calling President Bush a terrorist--world's biggest!!--and Zionist, and so on. And no one has the courage to say: SHUT THE F' UP. YOU'VE JUST RUINED EVERYTHING....Any so, President Bush will be followed by another moderate Republican, and Howard Dean will retire a failure, and the last embers of a sane left-of-center opposition will go no where. Hope that feels REAL satisfying...

Sorry I missed the gathering in Union Square (NYC). I saw a few people during the day there, and it looked like it might have been entertaining (tragically so).
posted by ParisParamus at 7:28 PM on August 18, 2005


Perhaps, i am one of those " hopelessly delusional ones" who believe what Cindy is doing may make a difference.
Having recently lost my sister in a house fire I advocate for having fire alarms in every home. If it only saves one other guy from losing his kid sister then it is worth being one of those people who

Most people I know see her as someone who has turned her private loss into political action.
posted by PocusHocus at 7:45 PM on August 18, 2005


PocusHocus,

I am sorry to hear that you lost your sister. I thank you for putting this discussion into perspective.

"The personal is the political."
posted by taosbat at 9:38 PM on August 18, 2005


Sorry to read that, Pocus. Nonetheless, no one is "opposed" to smoke alarms. On the other hand, much if not most of the US is in favor of the war in Iraq, even if it means the death of soldiers and civilians.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:49 PM on August 18, 2005


Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, has been speaking out. Here's an interview with him on sentiment in heartland, err, "homeland," Nebraska, from Reuters.

Nebraska has been a solid Republican state in presidential elections for decades. Republicans dominate state politics and hold most elective offices.
_____
But Hagel said even some who had previously backed Bush strongly on Iraq now felt deep unease.

"The feeling that I get back here, looking in the eyes of real people, where I knew where they were two years ago or a year ago -- they've changed," he said. "These aren't people who ebb and flow on issues. These are rock solid, conservative Republicans who love their country, support the troops and support the president."
________

Oh, but no minds are changing among those Rush-listening rednecks. MeFi says so.
posted by realcountrymusic at 6:19 AM on August 19, 2005


On the other hand, much if not most of the US is in favor of the war in Iraq, even if it means the death of soldiers and civilians.
That's not true, and hasn't been true for a while.

Vacationing with the Lord at his ranch in Judea.

sorry for your loss, Pocus--you're absolutely right--and ignore Paris' not understanding that it's exactly the same noble sentiment that drives Sheehan. There's so much loss in the world--why are we adding to it?
posted by amberglow at 9:07 PM on August 20, 2005


this is very relevant too: The Battle for America (qt)
posted by amberglow at 10:07 PM on August 20, 2005


Amberglow is wrong. Iraq is a noble cause, and Sheehan is a deluded fool. Or asshole.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:25 PM on August 20, 2005


Creating an Islamic theocratic state is not a noble cause for a democracy--ever.
posted by amberglow at 10:29 PM on August 20, 2005


Sheehan is deluded and/or an a'hole independent of her "view" on Iraq due to her association with those who see Iraq as a conspiracy--the Jews' are to blame!!!! What a disgrace.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:44 PM on August 20, 2005


Go sign up for this "noble cause," Paris--they desperately need bodies. Other people's children shouldn't die so you can trash grieving mothers and cheerlead--It's truly pathetic.
posted by amberglow at 10:52 PM on August 20, 2005


Actually, all adults are children (except, of course the children of gay couples); her son had the right to conduct his life as he wished, and your whole outlook is pathetic. Iraq is a necessary evil due to the fucked up character of the Islamic world (and, admittedly, our fucked-up thirst for oil which puts money in the hands of lunatics).

You offer nothing but criticism and pacifism. And that is shameful.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:17 PM on August 20, 2005


What is shameful, ParisParamus, is that you are not wearing BDUs & posting from Iraq.
posted by taosbat at 10:54 AM on August 21, 2005


TKChrist: Thanks for that comment. I now have a much better understanding of where you're coming from, and I just want to let you know that I feel the same way pretty often.
posted by klangklangston at 11:30 AM on August 21, 2005


No, I'm like a ray of sanity shining upon hopelessly delusional people.

I have no idea why ParisParamus hasn't been booted from this site.

How much more clear can he make it that he's not somebody with contrary opinions... he's JUST A TROLL.
posted by mosch at 4:46 PM on August 22, 2005


For all of his obnoxious rants, assholishness, whatever, sometimes ParisParamus speaks eloquently the logic of the conservatives. For this I love him. He is not a total conservative if you read his posts regularly, although he is far to the right of most here. Good. We need that viewpoint. He and a few others inject some common sense into many basically left-wing masturbatory threads. His style is often abrasive. I am willing to accept that, well usually, in exchange for his willingness to take on an overwhelming army of lefties. Same for dios, the dark one (where oh where art thou) and others. Head over to the Freep and see how long it takes before you go postal on those idiots. Then, think about how ParisParamus and other conservatives feel here. The analogy is not totally apt as many more people here are willing to listen to and in fact hold opposing viewpoints. It is not a one sided shoutfest like the Freep. Nevertheless, when out-voted ten to one you might find yourself tossing incendiary comments just for effect.
posted by caddis at 5:34 PM on August 22, 2005


" Nevertheless, when out-voted ten to one you might find yourself tossing incendiary comments just for effect."

Precisely, and I thank you (instant MUSE status for you, Caddis). If I was a troll, I would not have such a coherent (if somewhat eclectic) political outlook. Moreover, my positions are seldom if ever that extreme.

Tragic that so many here live in such a closed political universe that they cant't grasp my positions and tactics.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:25 PM on August 22, 2005


Tragic that so many here live in such a closed political universe that they cant't grasp my positions and tactics.

If you could make one sentence ever without insulting all the rest of us, you'd get a better reception--you obviously don't want your positions grasped, since you always couch them in trollishness.
posted by amberglow at 6:07 AM on August 23, 2005


Actually, amberglow, the only one I was trying to insult was you.
;-)
posted by ParisParamus at 7:00 AM on August 23, 2005


"without insulting all the rest of us"

Amberglow, now promoted to spokesperson for all mankind...I guess that means you have even more moral authority than Sheehan?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:21 AM on August 23, 2005


nope--just far more moral authority and decency than you.
posted by amberglow at 5:39 PM on August 23, 2005


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