The Anti-War Left’s Perfect Weapon

I haven’t written about Cindy Sheehan because it is just a tragedy. She has lost her kid, is grief-stricken, so I figure it best to just leave her alone. Fair enough.

However, it is understandable that her new-found activism, along with her aligning herself with the radical anti-war left and staging media events with no purpose other than to attack the President, should be seen as opening herself up to criticisms of her political positions. It is also fair to state that many on the left have chosen her as a symbol to bludgeon anyone who still supports this war. The prevailing opinion from the left appears to be that Sheehan is the perfect weapon, someone whose viewpoints are simply not allowed to be challenged, someone who can be used at will to not only galvanize support for the anti-war movement, but to attack the President, the President’s policies, and anyone who chooses to continue to support the mission in Iraq. And no one is allowed to say anything to counter that- the President and those who still support themission are supposed to just sit there and take it, lest they be accused of attacking a grieving mother.

And what a weapon she has turned out to be! As I write this, there are 2,560 current media stories about Cindy Sheehan listed by google news. Technorati coughs up another 4967 blog posts. Google, when asked, coughs and sputters and reveals 729,000 archived stories. By comparison, Todd Beamer, of “Let’s Roll” fame offers up 69,000 hits.

With that alone, a reasonable person might feel safe in stating that Cindy Sheehan is at the very least approaching becoming a public figure. Throw in the MSNBC, FOX, CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS coverage, her blogging for Michael Moore and the Huffington Post,and it is beyond safe to come to the conclusion that she has eclipsed ‘grieving mother’ status and has moved on to anti-war celebrity status. I would even venture to say that she is a political figure, as well as the perfect political weapon.

And this is what she wants- to put out her political message. To do so, she has enlisted the aid of numerous antiwar groups, including Gold Star Families for Peace, Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, Military Families Speak Out, and numerous others, including some that are specially designed for the occasion, such as MeetWithCindy.org. There are many more, but I am tired of looking for him- accept this as a representative sample.

It is undeniable that Cindy is seeking the media spotlight to put forward her message, but there will be some who continue to deny this, all the while seeking more and more attention for Cindy, so as to maximize the political damage to the administration. Since we have to deal those who deny reality as if they were serious people, I will just let Cindy speak for me:

Today was a highly eventful day. This entry won’t be artful, but utilitarian.

I conservatively got 3 to 5 phone calls a minute. I did about 25 phone interviews and several TV interviews. I did several right-wing radio interviews. I was supposed to do: The Today Show, MSNBC live interview, Connected Coast to Coast (MSNBC) and Hardball (MSNBC). The Today Show just never showed up and the other 3 MSNBC shows cancelled for no reason…

We need to show the media that we are in the majority. We need to show George Bush and his cabal of neocons that when we say “bring the troops home, now” we mean “bring the troops home, now!”

Sure sounds like a public figure with a political agenda who is trying to get as much media exposure as possible, but I am not convinced:

Today started at 4am when I had to get up and get ready to be on Good Morning America. It was pouring down rain at Camp Casey. The wind was blowing and there was thunder and lightening. It was pretty exciting. The interview went very well. I haven’t seen it or read a transcript. Since it was taped, I am just wondering if they showed it when I said Bush doesn’t want to see me because he likes to surround himself with “sycophants…”

I talked with John Conyers today and he wrote a letter to George signed by about 18 other Congress members to request that he meet with me. I also talked to Maxine Waters tonight and she is probably going to be here tomorrow. I am so overwhelmed by the support.

I did non-stop interviews today. 100 people came through today to visit with us. About 25 people are staying the night. More food, water, flowers, and money came through today. One father brought his 2 and 4 year old sons out to meet me and thank me for trying to save his boys from the same fate Casey suffered.

Maybe she is just a grieving mother who simply wants to meet with the President. Again. For a second time. I dunno:

We had a little bit of trouble with locals today. We are beginning to feel a little unwelcome here. One lady almost ran over a television crew. She screamed at us that the neighbors are really mad …so we moved down the road to our closest neighbor who is very sweet. Her husband is a medic who just got home from Iraq.

Again, I did tons of interviews. It looks like I will be on the cover of People Magazine. Time Magazine, Vanity Fair and Oprah’s magazine will be interviewing me also.

It was great having the other GSFP and MFSO there to help me with interviews and greeting all of the hundreds of people who came out from all over the country to be with us today. We were hassled by the Sheriff because there were too many cars out there. Our little Bush Town has grown to full capacity. The town Sheriff said we can put up tents and RV’s in the town stadium. There are wall to wall sleeping bags here at the Peace House.

Maybe, just maybe, this is more than just a grieving mother who wants media attention for her political cause. I still am not sure:

Since Congress is not holding George Bush accountable and the media is not doing their jobs and holding George Bush accountable, we the American people need to hold him accountable for lying to us to get us into a disastrous war. November 2, 2004 was not his accountability moment: today is. We are finished allowing him to get away with deceiving the American public and abusing his power.

We are mad as hell and we’re not taking it anymore.

I can’t be sure, but some people might get the idea that she is an activist with an agenda. I will venture forth carefully, and claim that I tepidly think Cindy, along with being the mother of a dead soldier, is also a media fixture, an anti-war activist, and a self-made lightning rod. I don’t think that is too awfully controversial.

In fact, it appears she is a bona fide political success, if you ask Bernie Sanders:

Cindy Sheehan and the other families of soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq deserve answers from President Bush about his plans to bring our troops home. That is why I, along with dozens of other members of Congress, have urged the President to sit down with Ms. Sheehan…

We know now that the President intentionally distorted information in order to justify going to war and that he misled the American people by suggesting a connection between Iraq and 9/11. The President owes Ms. Sheehan and other families that lost loved ones in Iraq more than platitudes. He owes them and the American public an explanation about his plans for an exit strategy.

Is that true? How could that be? I thought she just wanted to meet with the President. Again. For the second time. Because she is a grieving mother. And you all will go to hell for thinking otherwise. Even if she hates him:

So anyway that filth-spewer and warmonger, George Bush was speaking after the tragedy of the marines in Ohio, he said a couple things that outraged me.

Seriously outraged me.

And I know I don’t look like I’m outraged, I’m always so calm and everything, that’s because if I started hitting something, I wouldn’t stop til it was dead. So I can’t even start, cause I know how dangerous that would be, but George Bush was talking, and he never mentioned the terrible incident of those marines, but he did say, that the families of the ones who have been killed can rest assured that their loved ones died for a noble cause.

And, he also said, he says this often, and this really drives me crazy, he said that we have to stay in Iraq and complete the mission, to honor the sacrifices of the ones who have fallen.

And I say, why should I want one more mother to go through what I’ve gone through, because my son is dead. You know what, the only way he can honor my son’s sacrifice is to bring the rest of the troops home. To make my son’s death count for peace and love, and not war and hatred like he stands for.

I don’t want him using my son’s death or my family’s sacrifice to continue the killing. I don’t want him to exploit the honor of my son and others to continue the killing. They sent these honorable people to die, and are so dishonorable themselves.

So, as many of you have heard, and I didn’t mean to cause any problems with the convention, but I was writing an email to everybody, and I was so mad, like I said, and I just had this brainstorm, I’m going to Dallas, I don’t know where Crawford is. I’ve been in Texas, Casey was stationed at Fort Hood. I drove from northern California to Fort Hood one time, it took like, 30 hours. And I thought, I could be driving for days to get from Dallas to Crawford!

But I don’t care, I’m goin’. And I’m gonna tell them, “You get that evil maniac out here, cuz a Gold Star Mother, somebody who’s blood is on his hands, has some questions for him.”

Personally, I don’t know why he won’t meet with her. Again. For the second time. I wonder what she would say to President Bush?

“That lying bastard, George Bush, is taking a five-week vacation in time of war,” Cindy Sheehan told 200 cheering members of Veterans For Peace at their annual convention in Dallas last Friday evening. She then announced she would go to Bush’s vacation home in nearby Crawford, Texas and camp out until he “tells me why my son died in Iraq. I’ve got the whole month of August off, and so does he.”

Sheehan left the VFP meeting on Saturday morning and is now in Crawford with a couple dozen veterans and local peace activists, waiting for Bush to talk with her. She said in Dallas that if he sends anyone else to see her, as happened when national security adviser Steve Hadley and deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin did later that day, she would demand that “You get that maniac out here to talk with me in person.”

She told the audience of veterans from World War Two to today’s war in Iraq, that the two main things she plans to tell the man she holds responsible for son Casey’s death are “Quit saying that U.S. troops died for a noble cause in Iraq, unless you say, ‘well, except for Casey Sheehan.’ Don’t you dare spill any more blood in Casey’s name. You do not have permission to use my son’s name.”

“And the other thing I want him to tell me is ‘just what was the noble cause Casey died for?’ Was it freedom and democracy? Bullshit! He died for oil. He died to make your friends richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East. We’re not freer here, thanks to your PATRIOT Act. Iraq is not free. You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism,” she exclaimed.

Really, I can’t understand why Bush won’t meet with her. Again.

So what do I think of the whole situation? I think she should be left alone and ignored. She is a grieving mother, and she can do or say what she wants, and hopefully, some day, she will find her peace.

But she doesn’t have the right to set policy, she doesn’t have the right to make demands of the President, and she most certainly doesn’t have the right to be used as a weapon by people, who, like herself, want only to savagely attack this administration and expect that every0ne will just sit back and take it and not respond.. And that is what is going on right now. She has been adopted by the anti-war left, their surrogates in some sectors of the media, and in whole flanks of the blogosphere as a club to attack the President. It is no coincidence that the vast majority (most likely none, if any) of the blogs trumpeting Cindy’s message have no such time or energy to chronicle the political opinions of families who have lost a loved one in the war yet still support the mission.

Where most of my ire resides is with those who have chosen to exploit Cindy Sheehan’s grief. Those who bristle with anger when the center of attention of their media circus, their ‘perfect weapon,’ is called a ‘media whore.’ While a more delicate phraseology would have been appropriate, it is a laughable presumption that Cindy Sheehan is a media ‘virgin.’ Neither are the numerous people using her to suit their needs.

And they are the focus of my anger- pimps like Atrios, who cynically take the regrettable phrase ‘media whore,’ and render it into more fodder for the masses, who, themselves awash in outrage, blinded by hatred for Bush, will throw critical reasoning aside, and see nothing wrong with outright lies, as long as it helps their cause:

Um, has Michelle Malkin talked to Cindy Sheehan’s son? Has Bill O’Reilly? Has Erick Erickson, who called Cindy Sheehan a whore over at redstate.org? If they haven’t talked to him, they should shut up, leave her alone, and defend their incoherent position on the Iraq war without hiding behind Cindy Sheehan’s dead son

And then they will feed on their own created outrage in an orgy of group think, vitriol, and anti-Bush fervor, and take it upon themselves to make sure that anyone who dares question their cynical misuse of this grieving woman is punished by attacking family members:

Please tell [my wife] the test came back positive, and she should start on AZT immediately.

By the way, she is a terrible f**k.

Or leveling threats:

During the war in Yugoslavia, a squad of eight Serbs captured a famous Muslim soccer player, his wife and their two young daughters.

The chained the player to a radiator pipe and sliced off his eyelids. Then, they repeatedly raped his wife and daughters, aged six and nine.

When all eight Serbs were could no longer come, they gutted the mother and children as though they were, say, trout and let them bleed to death.

The soccer player begged them to kill him, but they laughed and released him to wander the country.

This is what I wish for you and your family.

And those are just the tip of the iceberg, and not even the vociemails and letters trying to get Erick fired for voicing an opinion on an opinion website.

So, for all of you who have asked or wondered why I have not written about this issue, here is where I stand:

I feel deeply sorry for Cindy Sheehan and everyone who has lost a loved one in Iraq. And let’s not forget those who are horribly disfigured, crippled, maimed, blinded and emotionally scarred.

I think Cindy Sheehan has moved beyond the role of grieving mother, and is now a political figure who gets no free pass for her bizarre, outrageous, and offensive statements.

I don’t think there is anything Bush can do to make Cindy happy, and the best strategy is to leave her alone.

I think the pimps in the anti-war left who are cynically exploiting this woman’s tragedy are evil. Even if she wants the attention to aid her cause. Atrios and the human debris such as he know what they are doing, and they represent the worst of the Democratic party.

I think this is the last time I am going to discuss this issue, because as careful as I have been to not say anything about Cindy personally, the jackasses on the far left are going to distort this post, lie, vilify, and attack anyway, and it just isn’t worth it to me to deal with their bullshit.

*** Update ***

After a conversation with someone via email, I feel exactly the same way about the people using Cindy Sheehan every day that I did about Frank Pavone, Randall Terry, and their ilk when they used poor Mr. and Mrs. Schiavo as their political pawns back in March. The Schiavos and Cindy Sheehan, I can understand them speaking out, I can understand them doing what they are doing (even if, in both cases, I disagree with them). The people using them to advance their own agenda? Beneath contempt.






203 replies
  1. 1
    John S. says:

    I think this is the last time I am going to discuss this issue, because as careful as I have been to not say anything about Cindy personally, the jackasses on the far left are going to distort this post, lie, vilify, and attack anyway, and it just isn’t worth it to me to deal with their bullshit.

    That is one hell of a persecution complex you have there, John.

  2. 2
    John B. says:

    Cindy’s stuck a nerve or two around here, eh? Maybe her message rings a bit too true for some people, and the only way they know to respond is to toss out hatred. I mean, anyone who is against W is a terrorist, right?

  3. 3
    SoCalJustice says:

    and she most certainly doesn’t have the right to be used as a weapon by people, who, like herself, want only to savagely attack this administration

    Why not?

    I mean, I’m no fan of what she’s doing, although I do feel terrible about her loss.

    And I’m certainly no fan of this statement of hers:

    “….You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism,” she exclaimed.

    And it bothers me that she’s taken up with these people and again, I think it’s kind of unseemly that people are shamelessly flacking her loss for their political agendas.

    But why doesn’t she have the right to do it?

    The 1st Amendment, amongst other things, grants all Americans the right to be complete, shameless idiots if they want to be.

  4. 4
    John B. says:

    Anyone who agrees with Cindy must be full of bullshit? That’s quite a comment. On an unrelated note, isn’t wierd that the person who wrote this and the first tow commenters are all named John? Hmm.

  5. 5
    John Cole says:

    I didn’t mean you all- I love you! I meant on other sites.

    Seriously- anything you say that is not “yep, Cindy is right! Go sister!” will be tasken out of context, distorted, and repeated until it is fact.

    Because, as I said- they know what they are doing with Cindy, and they are truly shameless.

  6. 6
    Steve says:

    Hoo boy. This is going to be a fun comments thread, where by “fun” I mean “not so fun.” I think I get where John is coming from, although I don’t see the anti-war Left as quite as evil and malignant as he does, so I don’t want to go there.

    I have a certain respect for those who have served, such that if someone comes back from Iraq and tells me the President is 100% right and I should shut up and support the war, I might not agree with him, but I wouldn’t feel it was proper for me to start arguing as if I know it all. That soldier earned the right to have his opinion. And I have a similar feeling when it comes to Cindy Sheehan.

    As John points out, Cindy has been far from measured in some of her comments about the President. By the same token, I think she’s earned the right to be shrill. My first child is due in a few months and I can’t help but relate to the feelings she must have at the loss of her son. Personally, I can prattle on all day about how Bush lied, the war is awful, yadda yadda, but the fact is it has no real consequences for my life. It has had very real consequences for her and she has the right to speak up about it.

    What this dramatic episode has revealed is that the Right only has one volume setting. There are a lot of good points the pro-war movement could make about Cindy Sheehan, and John makes some of them in this post. But the way they have unleashed the standard attack machine, mischaracterizing her past statements to make her a “flip-flopper,” claiming that her dead son would have been ashamed of her, putting forth statements from her distant in-laws as though they represent the feelings of the “family,” etc., it hasn’t reflected well on them. It’s made the Right look like a bunch of assholes for smearing her, quite frankly.

    But wait, they say, she’s made herself fair game, how can you criticize our tone with all the nasty things she’s saying about the President. Well, there’s some validity to that. But the thing is, she’s earned the right to be shrill. The warbloggers have not.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    SoCalJustice- fixed.

  8. 8
    rilkefan says:

    “she most certainly doesn’t have the right to be used as a weapon by people, who, like herself, want only to savagely attack this administration”

    Oh my god, an American citizen who wants to make the admin look bad. Heaven forfend. Allow me to remind you of this sentiment when HRC is running the country

    And where does this “used by” spin come from? She’s obviously an idiot, and therefore can’t have any idea what’s going on?

    And ok, you’re right that “media whore” is unfortunate, and since there’s a big banner up at Redstate saying they retract the slur (and the others in that post) I guess Atrios ought to post an update.

    Dude, get some sleep.

  9. 9
    CaseyL says:

    As many other bloggers have said, practically any of the previous Presidents, including Eisenhower, Reagan, and Bush I, would have invited her inside for a few sympathetic words, even if they disagreed with her. They would have done so either because they were mensches, or because they were simply smart enough to realize that would have defused the situation.

    Bush is a graceless man, without empathy or compassion. He’s shown this, not just in the way he’s responded to Ms. Sheehan, but in a myriad of other ways: from his indifference to his daughters to his mocking a condemned woman; from “Bring it on!” to mocking the soldiers searching for non-existant WMDs.

    How on earth is the fact that Sheehan is being interviewed an indictment of why she’s there? Why does the fact that she wants her cause to get attention mean her cause is illegitimate?

    And why can’t Bush answer her question?

  10. 10

    It is undeniable that Cindy is seeking the media spotlight to put forward her message, but there will be some who continue to deny this, all the while seeking more and more attention for Cindy, so as to maximize the political damage to the administration.

    Who is denying this? You are building an obvious strawman here. The majority of people know she is using her position as a “soapbox”. Who cares though, she is entitled to do so. I hardly think that justifies what is being said about her.

    Those who bristle with anger when the center of attention of their media circus, their ‘perfect weapon,’ is called a ‘media whore.’ While a more delicate phraseology would have been appropriate, it is a laughable presumption that Cindy Sheehan is a media ‘virgin.’ Neither are the numerous people using her to suit their needs.

    Wow, John, just wow.

    Defending someone calling her a media whore? Disgraceful.

    It is unfortunate that you have been blinded once again. Ever since you updated to this new look, you have regressed into your pre-election blind support of Bush and his supporters.

    With that said, I’m gone for a while. The fact that one of the last rational republicans has resorted to making up bullshit strawman and is defending outrageous remarks is saddening and it is not something I’m going to stick around for..

    I’ll check back in about a month to see if you got your common sense and your sense of decency back. One can only hope…

  11. 11
    Anonymous says:

    John, are you out of your mind? YOU POST UNDER YOUR OWN NAME, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

  12. 12

    It makes perfect sense that if you’ve lost a son, then you’d want someone to blame. The people that make up the anti-war left offered her up a ready made list of people responsible–the Zionists, the “neocons,” evil capitalists, etc.

    Is it any wonder that a grieving mother would be willing to accept such a list of the guilty?

  13. 13
    John Cole says:

    As many other bloggers have said, practically any of the previous Presidents, including Eisenhower, Reagan, and Bush I, would have invited her inside for a few sympathetic words, even if they disagreed with her. They would have done so either because they were mensches, or because they were simply smart enough to realize that would have defused the situation.

    He has met with her, and there is no point meeting with her again. It won’t make her happy, it won;t solve anything, and all she will do is leave and savage him in the press. Again. And she doesn’t want just a meeting- she wants a ‘good’ meeting. Whatever that may be.

    How on earth is the fact that Sheehan is being interviewed an indictment of why she’s there? Why does the fact that she wants her cause to get attention mean her cause is illegitimate?

    It doesn’t make it illegitmate, but it does mean it is a cause that can be disputed/refuted. Tell that to your friends on the left who just want to pretend the activist can use her with impugnity and no one is allowed to respond.

    And why can’t Bush answer her question?

    She doesn’t have questions. She has accusations. There is a difference.

  14. 14
    DougJ says:

    Cindy Sheehan is nothing more than a deranged woman who has become a threat to our nation. It is so maddening it is to see this, this liberal attitude that because you have lost a child in the war, you are suddenly some kind of an expert on military strategy.

    As far as I’m concerned, we’d all be better off if Ms. Sheehan and her friends were shipped off to Gitmo.

  15. 15
    John Cole says:

    Wow, John, just wow.

    Defending someone calling her a media whore? Disgraceful.

    Paging John S.

    So saying that someone should not have used the phrase ‘media whore’ is what you would call ‘defending someone calling her a media whore.’ Like I said. ‘Perfect weapon.’ Say someone shouldn’t have been called a media whore, but acknowledge she is a public figure seeking media attention, and the lies start pronto.

    Disgraceful.

    Yes- your outright misrepresentation of my statement is disgraceful.

  16. 16
    John Cole says:

    DOugJ- Do me a favor and sit on the sidelines for this comments thread.

  17. 17
    rilkefan says:

    She wouldn’t be able to do much savaging after Bush came out of hiding to talk to her. He’d say, I listened to her, and I respect her grief and her son’s sacrifice, but we disagree over the conduct of the war, and as CiC what I say goes. The press would lap it up, and she’d be just another disgruntled parent of a dead soldier.

    BTW you’re not helping the “whore” dispute by harping on “pimps”.

  18. 18

    So saying that someone should not have used the phrase ‘media whore’ is what you would call ‘defending someone calling her a media whore.’

    You didn’t say that they should not have used it. You were much more lenient with your words…

    a more delicate phraseology would have been appropriate

    You then went on to say

    it is a laughable presumption that Cindy Sheehan is a media ‘virgin.’

    What I find truly laughable is the bullshit way you condemned someone calling her a media whore. You clearly think the phrase itself was justified, but a little offensive. The fact that you think it holds weight is very telling.

    Like I said, when you get your common sense back, I’ll be back.

    I don’t know what has happened to you over the past few weeks but something has definitely pushed you over the deep end when it comes to politics, ask anyone who reads your site that isn’t a Bush supporter.

  19. 19
    SomeCallMeTim says:

    Gimme a break. She’s a citizen who’s perspective on the war has been confirmed by a heartbreaking loss. As a result, she wants to change policy. That’s called democracy, John.

    Atrios treats her as someone who wants to change policy, rather than as a hysterical mother whose loss shouldn’t be allowed to inform her opinion. What’s wrong with that? The notion that he’s to be labeled evil, while the hacks like Limbaugh, Hannity, Insty, and those RedState morons are simply “playing the game,” is ludicrous.

    You disagree with her. Fine. You’re wrong, but you’re welcome to your opinion. That, too, is called democracy. To the extent that you find this troubling, but don’t see what’s deeply creepy about, oh, a military march to commemorate the 9/11 victims, your opinion is unsurprising.

  20. 20
    Jeff G says:

    You people are completely hilarious.

    I’ll single this out for a special prize:

    With that said, I’m gone for a while. The fact that one of the last rational republicans has resorted to making up bullshit strawman and is defending outrageous remarks is saddening and it is not something I’m going to stick around for..

    I’ll check back in about a month to see if you got your common sense and your sense of decency back. One can only hope…

    YOUR SITE IS NOT FREE ENOUGH FOR ME, JOHN. I WANT FREE AND MY OPINIONS VALIDATED!

  21. 21
    DougJ says:

    “DOugJ- Do me a favor and sit on the sidelines for this comments thread.”

    Sure thing, John. I realize this is a touchy subject. You’re right on the money here, though.

  22. 22
    Brad R. says:

    *sigh* I know I’m about to take a lot of shit for this from my friends on the left, but…

    John’s got a point. This whole thing is a carefully-orchestrated political stunt. “We know Bush will be in Texas. We have a grieving mother who’s (justifiably) bitter that her son died. What better way to drum up attention for our cause than going with her to Texas to meet Bush?”

    I sympathize with Cindy Sheehan’s point of view. I think the Iraq war has been a goddamn disaster, I don’t think the place is going to be a functional democracy anytime soon (see the democratically elected theocracy in Basra if you want proof), and I don’t see what good it does us to keep our troops there indefnitely. And if I had a kid who died in this war, I’d be mad as hell.

    That said, there is something about this that is deliberately eomtionally manipulative, and I don’t like it. Look at MoveOn’s front page- you’ve got a picture of the poor woman about to break down right above the text that says “SIGN UP: Join more than 3,000,000 members online, get instant action updates and make a difference.”

    John’s right- this is “the perfect political weapon” because it elicits strong emotional reactions and makes anyone who criticizes her actions look like an insensitive asshole. (Of course, O’Reilly and Malkin ARE insensitive assholes, not to mention vicious liars, but that’s another topic…)

    Anyway, feel free to call me a sell-out, a wimp, a Michael Totten, whatever. I just think this whole stunt is manipulative political theatre intended to bring out raw emotions rather than rational thinking (and judging by how strongly most people have reacted to it, it’s accomplished its goal).

  23. 23
    John Cole says:

    DV:

    What I find truly laughable is the bullshit way you condemned someone calling her a media whore. You clearly think the phrase itself was justified, but a little offensive. The fact that you think it holds weight is very telling.

    Umm. No. I don’t think the phrase is ‘justified,’ as I said a different phrase should be used. The fact that you think it is unacceptable to point out that she is loudly and repeatedly using the media to voice her criticisms is telling.

    Like I said, when you get your common sense back, I’ll be back.

    I don’t know what has happened to you over the past few weeks but something has definitely pushed you over the deep end when it comes to politics, ask anyone who reads your site that isn’t a Bush supporter.

    What website are you reading?

    SomeCallMeTim:

    Gimme a break. She’s a citizen who’s perspective on the war has been confirmed by a heartbreaking loss. As a result, she wants to change policy. That’s called democracy, John.

    Right, and in the democratic process, when you put out your opinion, and others have the right to attack your opinion. Except anyone who tries to do that is labeled as a villain. I haven’t even attacked her, merely pointed out that she is seeking media attention to voice her political opinons, and then showed what her opinions are, and look at your reaction.

    Atrios treats her as someone who wants to change policy, rather than as a hysterical mother whose loss shouldn’t be allowed to inform her opinion. What’s wrong with that? The notion that he’s to be labeled evil, while the hacks like Limbaugh, Hannity, Insty, and those RedState morons are simply “playing the game,” is ludicrous.

    Atrios treats her as a blunt instrument that fits his political fancy. If she didn’t hate Bush, and was in favor of the war, the word on Cindy Sheehan at Eschaton and other sites would be ‘Cindy who?’

    You disagree with her. Fine. You’re wrong, but you’re welcome to your opinion. That, too, is called democracy. To the extent that you find this troubling, but don’t see what’s deeply creepy about, oh, a military march to commemorate the 9/11 victims, your opinion is unsurprising

    .

    What the hell does a military march have to do with whether or not Cindy Sheehan is right? And for the record, do you endorse all of Cindy’s positions? And if not, why do you hate Democracy?

  24. 24
    Brad R. says:

    But then I read this sort of inane douchbaggery, and I think “I don’t give a shit how manipulative it is”:

    As far as I’m concerned, we’d all be better off if Ms. Sheehan and her friends were shipped off to Gitmo.

  25. 25
    John Cole says:

    And let me just say that the notion that I am a blind Bush supporter, and unfair to opinions that differ from mine is simply absurd.

  26. 26
    WV native says:

    I feel bad for her. I think she has went over the edge and is pushing an agenda and/or someone is pushing her to push an agenda. Check the following out. I don’t think she really wants to meet with Pres Bush because she would lose the attention.

    From Keith Olbermanns Countdown as reported by Political Teen (with video if you are so inclined):

    OLBERMANN: Last question. It‘s pure politics. The nature of the media coverage you‘re getting now, the response from other families of soldiers killed in Iraq, all of that, from the perspective of your protest there, in a way, isn‘t it really better if President Bush doesn‘t meet with you?

    SHEEHAN: I would think so, yes. I think it‘s great. And if he would come out right now, it would really defuse the momentum, and I don‘t want to give them any hints. And I think that‘s something they‘ve probably already thought about.

    http://www.thepoliticalteen.net/

  27. 27
    Jeff G says:

    Very brave of you Brad R. The first comment, not the second.

  28. 28
    Brad R. says:

    Jeff- I’m sorry, but saying “She should be sent to Gitmo, uuuuuuuuh-uuuuuuuh-uuuuuuh!!!” IS mindless douchebaggery, anyway you slice it.

    But I agree that this whole thing is emotionally manipulative. It’s the same thing as when Clinton went into take out Milosevic and Hannity said, “Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?”

  29. 29
    cfw says:

    I think John has a reasonable perspective. Might help to get more perspective on Casey. He volunteered, right? What age? Died how? What is said about him by comrades, superiors? What was he like in high school? What does his family say about him Make it about Casey, not Mom of Casey. Honoring. Looks like that wave of info is coming.

  30. 30
    John Cole says:

    We need a Godwin’s law for Hannity and Limbaugh and O’Reilly.

  31. 31
    SomeCallMeTim says:

    John:

    I dropped a paragraph somehow. I don’t have any problem with people (a) disagreeing with her, or (b) questioning her motivations. If they do it fairly, fine. They’d be asses not to. If they have any decency, they’d do it with a little tact, given her circumstances. But they aren’t likely to do even that, and I’m sure she knew that going in.

    What I think is ludicrous is pretending that Atrios vigorously promoting her is some sort of new low (or low at all). Are you telling me those fat asses on the other side didn’t just call us “objectively pro-terrorist” and the like for couple of years? That’s just “letting off steam” or something, is it? “A little horseplay between friends,” perhaps? But certainly not as bad as what Atrios has done.

  32. 32
    Interested Conservative says:

    I wonder what Ted Olsen thinks? I wonder what all the other Gold Star mothers think? I wonder what all the other relatives of all the other dead in all our other wars think? I wonder if that’s what the democratic process and representative government and rational debate and strong leadership are designed to answer? I wonder why everyone is paying so much attention to this women? I wonder if it is all Karl Rove’s idea?

    I bet it is.

  33. 33
    tBone says:

    Ugh. I completely sympathize with Cindy Sheehan – I can’t imagine losing one of my kids, and I certainly can’t blame someone for lashing out in their grief and anger. At the same time, I don’t completely disagree with John either. The situation has turned into a massive clusterfuck, and there’s shameful behavior coming from both the right and the left.

    Just ugh. This is a deeply sad episode.

  34. 34
    capelza says:

    John Cole, I think you are being unfailry maligned by some for what you say. That is from a liberal talking to a conservative.

    Have also stayed out of the Sheehan saga. Haven’t read about it at Kos and until tonight I didn’t read about it at Red State, though I did have the pleasure (I use that term loosely) of reading some very nasty crap over there and a diary that was deleted calling one of the writers for his words against Ms. Sheehan. I’m sure the fellow who wrote the deleted diary is now banned. He was right, it was nasy, nasty stuff that was written.

    It isn’t just pimps on the left who are carving up this woman, mad-eyed in grief. She has become a proxy war in the war of the great divide. I don’t know how I would respond if one of my stepkids was killed in Iraq, though I do know that my husband would be right where Ms. Sheehan is, wanting to talk to Bush, camped outside his ranchola. And he would most likely align himself with anyone that would help him, wise choices or not. The keening grief of losing a child can unhinge some or politicise others. Perhaps it is both for her.

    But it isn’t just the left saying vile things, believe me, about her. I read a post over on the right somewhere in which the author wanted to “shut her up”. The sad, sad irony of that statement is that her son, one of the troops who died “for our freedoms” was, according to the CW of the right fighting so we can speak our minds. Apparantly, only if the “free speech” doesn’t counter the party line. But she’s off the reservation, so rather than honouring her right to speak out and, yeah, being politicised, they are going after her. One of the writer’s actually said she was doing it over the body of a dead soldier. Well perhaps she is. But that dead body doesn’t belong to Erick at Red State or Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly…the particular body they are accusing her of “using” is her own son, the baby boy SHE gave birth to. Really, those guys can take a flying frak.

    And every damn one of them, if they were honest, would be all over anyone who would dare call a Republican mother camped out in front Clinton’s house if the situation were the same some of things that have been said about Cindy Sheehan. There’d a be a firestorm of “outrage”. Shame, shame, shame on them. If you don’t agree with her (and I’m not sure that I do), better to ignore her. To be doing what they have done is foul.

    Now I’ll go read Kos to see what the other half is up to.

  35. 35
    quark2 says:

    It would be interesting to see how Ms.Sheehan would react if a group
    of the children who were released from the childrens prison under Saddams regime were to march by her one by one and thanked her son for HIS sacrifice for THEM, while making eye contact with HER.

  36. 36
    db says:

    Another issue I don’t know what to think about. I have learned that sometimes admitting that I don’t know what to think about something can bring out some flames. Oh well.

    Losing one’s child is horrible. No doubt about it. And horrible is not a strong enough word to convey the loss of one’s child.

    People grieve in many ways. Some need to be alone. Some need people around them. I am sure parents who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq run the spectrum. Maybe Cindy is one who needs to reach out to others beyond her family to grieve. And she should be allowed to do so. But with all the attention she is getting and how far her words are being transported by certain groups and individuals, I have to wonder how her very, very, loud and public grieving is being perceived and dealt with by other grieving parents who grieve in more private ways.

  37. 37
    eileen from OH says:

    You know, it’s been said that the left is elitist and dismissive (and insultingly so) of those who want to see things in black and white and that they mock those who cannot understand “nuance”. This may be true, for gawd knows, we go nuts over folks who vote against their own best interest and rail against their simplicity and stupidity, thereby insulting them all over again.

    But what the right lacks is empathy. They see Cindy Sheehan as a now-public figure, and someone who is a tool of the left, and someone who has an obvious agenda. And instead of leaving her alone, to bask in the August doldrums of no-news, they attack – by bringing up her opinions from a year ago, and emails from in-laws, etc., etc.

    I see a Mom. And I think a lot of other Moms see the same thing. The big story isn’t Bush, or changing policy, or anything like that. The story is a Mom, like millions of Moms in the U.S. who have lost a child, for whatever reason. But in this case the reason is being highlighted because it seems to be pointless. She wants the answers to questions, and there are no answers that will satisfy her. But by the same token, there are a lot of us who feel the same way. Most of us are lucky enough that the no-answer-answer hasn’t resulted in the loss of a child. Cindy was not. But any Mom who has laid awake at night, worrying about where their child is, can understand and feel for her. They can put themselves in her shoes.

    THAT is what the right doesn’t understand.

    eileen from OH

  38. 38
    Blue Neponset says:

    John,

    You seem to be objecting to the fact that the Left is using Cindy Sheehan as a sacred cow. I feel the same way when I hear George Bush mention 9/11 as part of his justification for invading Iraq.

    I don’t subscribe to the ‘if they did it we can too’ school of political morality. I think the ugliness seen from both sides regarding Ms. Sheehan is indicitive of the pointlessness of the political discourse in our country today. We talk past one another and then get mad when we realize no one is listening.

    I think the only solution to the problem is a corny one, we all have to lead by example. We need to discuss issues without attacking those on the other side. I have a hard time avoiding that when my blood is up but after the ugliness I have seen from both sides today I am going to try harder.

  39. 39
    Dennis Lynch says:

    Fuck all that, What is the nobel cause?

  40. 40
    Nate says:

    I think what all of you Cole apologists are forgetting are the YEARS of lies, half-truths, and propaganda spewed by the Right, and by the ardent warmongers including the author of this blog. Half this country has basically had to sit and take their motives and beliefs being impuned, their patriotism called into question, and their very character slandered because they rightly believed that this was a war we were lied into and one we could not win.

    FINALLY, one small break has occurred in the constant roar of words from the Right/Administration, and War-is-Peace Cole is outraged. Wow, you mean an actual anti-war position was actually heard and resonated in the MSM? That’s far worse than almost every paper in the country repeating the administration’s lies for war! That’s far worse than the MSM ceding Bush and the Republicans 9/11 to use however they wish. What would Nixon do?

    John, you are wrong about the war (and you know it), you are willingly deceived regarding the shameful way this administration treats the military, and your outrage at Sheehan carries no weight with me, whatever points you may have. Is it a media circus? Yes. Is the whole event manipulative? Yes. Is it encouraging actual public debate and some actual, genuine headscratching? Yes.

    John, your side has had years to fulminate, pontificate, and lie while thousands of Iraqis and Americans were being killed for nothing. It’s about goddam time we approached the ever-on-horizon tipping point. Just take it.

  41. 41
    John Cole says:

    John, you are wrong about the war (and you know it), you are willingly deceived regarding the shameful way this administration treats the military, and your outrage at Sheehan carries no weight with me, whatever points you may have.

    You might save us all some time by just posting a picture of a four year old with his fingers in his ears giving the camera the raspberry.

    Just take it.

    The perfect weapon, in a nutshell.

  42. 42
    The Raven says:

    “This whole thing is a carefully-orchestrated political stunt.” So she makes her grief count, instead of sitting home, helpless. Me, I’d like an eyeball.

    Caw! Caw! Caw!

  43. 43
    Wizbang says:

    Media Whores Online

    Once upon a time there used to be a very popular liberal weblog called Media Whores Online that mocked conservative talking heads, but it’s long since vanished. The liberal blogosphere loved it so much they couldn’t help but link to…

  44. 44
    rilkefan says:

    “The people using them to advance their own agenda?”

    Obviously she’s too stupid to participate in advancing an agenda. I’d speculate why John thinks so but the stuff that’s coming to mind is rather insulting so I think I’ll take a little break.

  45. 45
    eileen from OH says:

    John says

    You might save us all some time by just posting a picture of a four year old with his fingers in his ears giving the camera the raspberry.

    But what I was saying, John, is that the right is doing exactly that in regard to Cindy. This is a MOM issue. To rail against Cindy, or attempt to make her simply an anti-war symbol, or question her motives/friends/whatever, is an attack against any mother who has not only done everything she could for her child, but still DOES even after he/she is gone.

    I would do the same goddam thing if any of my babies died in what I felt was a pointless, useless cause – whether it was a drunk driver or an obscene war. The right can pick apart her motives and delve all they want into who is “behind” her and how her cause is hopeless, blah, blah, blah, but MOTHERS recognize that their children should outlive them and if they don’t, they won’t stand still if there is any question about why they died.

    THAT’S the empathy issue that the right doesn’t understand. They say they sympathize, etc.,. . .but it gets really, really personal really FAST when it’s YOUR child whose life is on the line.

    The Iraq War is remote for most of us. We haven’t been asked to sacrifice ANYTHING – not tax cuts, not nuthin’. So when a mother stands out and talks about her incredible, unbelievable sacrifice, it makes many people uncomfortable.

    As well it should.

    eileen from OH

  46. 46
    rose says:

    I am always taken aback when people criticize others for voicing their opinion. It always seems so off topic to me. Mrs Sheehan is angry, justifiably so. There are many of us who thought the invasion of Iraq was a bad idea, held our tongues and hoped for the best. As the deceptions are revealed, bit by bit, one becomes more and more angry. There is so little one can do, I’m glad she found something she could do.
    That bit you said about being used by those who agree with her and are writing about her was irrational and just plain silly.

  47. 47
    Steve says:

    The colossal difference between Cindy Sheehan and Terri Schiavo’s parents is that the vast majority of people who are ‘using’ Cindy Sheehan are actually pursuing the exact same cause as her – they are against the war. Yes, there are some of the usual fringe groups trying to jump into the spotlight, but numerically they are nothing.

    It is a legitimate point of view to believe that the war was BS from the start and it should be ended as soon as possible. A very large number of people believe that, and many of them are happy that someone is finally making this case on a public stage from where they can’t be shouted down.

    Keep in mind, if you are a run-of-the-mill opponent of the war, there is no mainstream figure you can get behind who is out there railing against the war every day. Who is going to be your spokesperson? Michael Moore? Dennis Kucinich? John Conyers? It’s depressing that the mainstream Democratic Party is so emasculated that it takes someone like Cindy Sheehan to give voice to the millions of people who want to stop the war; but that’s the hand we’re dealt.

  48. 48

    Well I said I’d be leaving but it appears I’m going to have to stick around so I can defend myself.

    You people are completely hilarious.

    I’ll single this out for a special prize:

    Spare me Jeff. I read your blog and what you said was even worse than what john said. You basically said you see nothing wrong with calling her a “media whore”. You can have that opinion, just as I can have my opinion that you are ridiculous for even remotely defending that label.

    YOUR SITE IS NOT FREE ENOUGH FOR ME, JOHN. I WANT FREE AND MY OPINIONS VALIDATED!

    Wow! Straw man arguments sure are popular here. Too bad that isn’t why I am upset with John’s posting as of late. I don’t expect John to agree with me, nor do I necessarily want him to. I’m presuming I’ve been coming here longer than you Jeff. At first I couldn’t stomach Balloon-Juice because John was in his “Bush Campaign mode” for the election but then after the election I visited and I noticed that John started to be objective, yet still conservative. People’s political leanings don’t really concern me–unless you are a Stalinist or a Fascist. It is objectivity that I look for. I was refreshing to see a conservative, a Republican, in fact, being objective about the issues and providing valid arguments as to why they think the way they do.

    Lately, however, John has been letting his bias plague his judgement. He has lost his objectivity and he is now resorting to straw man arguments in order to defend him views. This post about Cindy is merely proof of that.

    I know John is capable of being both conservative and objective, but sadly the latter has been lacking as of late.

    My statement about leaving wasn’t meant as a threat, and I’m sure it really doesn’t matter to John. But my statement truly indicates how frustrated I am at new direction this blog has taken. John seems to be turning back into “election mode” for some odd reason. My post was meant to be constructive criticism, even if it didn’t turn out that way.

    I think John knows that I’m pretty fair minded when it comes to politics and that I wouldn’t just get mad because he didn’t agree with me.

    I really wish some of the other registered indepedent voters that read John’s blog would speak up and speak their feelings. I’m sure they have noticed the same change in John that I have lately.

  49. 49
    capelza says:

    I don’t know why I thought of this, but I am reminded in some way of the Reign of Terror in France after the Revolution. The aristocrats would walk up to the guillotine with great dignity and bravery and the crowd lapped it up. Then finally one lady, Madame du Barry, I think, wasn’t so brave, she wanted to live and cried and wailed for mercy. She had to dragged up the steps to her death. She put a human face, one the crowd could relate to, on the victims…and soon after that, the orgy of bloodlust ended.

    Was she dignified? Hell no, but her waling and tears did more to end the carnage than all the other 35 to 40 thousand others who were so quietly dignified.

  50. 50
    Amovar says:

    This whole episode just makes me sad. Sad for Casey and Cindy Sheehan (with whom I greatly sympathize but do not for the most part agree) and the rhetoric she’s using, sad for her family, sad for all the Gold Star families and their fallen sons and daughters no matter their politics, sad that conservatives think the genie of anti-war sentiment can or should be destroyed in this way, sad for President Bush even, sad for people like Erick (with whom I don’t agree but also deplore the illegal harrasment of), sad because neither side is acting with any degree of fairness or decorum or common sense about this thing, sad because we elected a president who pushed and pulled us into the entire morass, sad because there are people out there worse than Atrios and Erick who really could give a hoot about any of this and are probably loving it as we rip each other to shreds, sad for the country. This is one of, if not the saddest, worst, nastiest episodes on the internet and in American politics that I can ever remember, and nothing good can come from it. The whole thing is sick and no one is immune, not you, not John Cole, not me. I don’t know what it’s going to take to put this country back together, but the trajectory of politics in America is leading us off a cliff. I’m a very partisan Democrat, but this thing makes me think, if not believe that electing better people won’t even change things. But I do believe that more importantly than anything, the individually personal cannot become the universally personal and the tail that wags the dog of our democracy. From the Swifties to the Sheehans, this distillation of our political debates into the lives and narratives of individuals is stupid and reckless and contemptable and beneath us as beings gifted with reason and citizenship in the United States. I am tired and I don’t like any of it.

  51. 51
    Mike S says:

    We need a Godwin’s law for Hannity and Limbaugh and O’Reilly.

    Considering the fact that they drive the right’s rhetoric and are part and parcel with the RNC, that aint gonna happen.

    I’m not immune to your points. I think you make a few decent ones. I would rather the polititions had stayed away and left this to her. But this is the first time that the anti war crowd has been heard, something that may have saved us this grief had we been listened to before the war.

    The “media whore” part wasn’t as offencive to me. There were comments in the thread that were pretty assholish though. And the fact that the smear machine started in hard when she got there, your friends Hannity and Rush with the entire FOX lineup, the counter attacks were a neccessary reaction.

    And then there are posts like this, from a mother in sacramento.

    Cindy Sheehan is a Malicious B**ch
    I can’t take it anymore. I really didn’t want to add to the blogs about her, but she is a malicious, selfish, phony, narcissistic bitch. (I’m a gal and can say that)

    What kind of a mother would use the memory of her own child to further her political causes?
    No decent, sincere mother I know. Even her family is distancing themselves from her phony “cause.”

    This woman is a phony through and through, but sadly, typical of liberals.

    Liberals will use anything or anyone to further their causes. Cindy Sheehan is just acting normally, for a lib.

    However, her grieving mother facade is wearing thin. Having to see her ugly mug on the front page of the Sacto BS again today, and listen to her phony whining on every MSM radio and television station, will probably backfire.

    We regular folks give the benefit of the doubt only so long. Then we change the station, toss out the paper or line the bird cage with it, and go hug our kids and husbands and wives.

    I don’t see her husband near, giving her hugs.

    Libs must be lonely people. Why else would she make this phony grandstand, with her phony grieving, and her changing demands. She’s just a malicious bitch, trying to fill a personal need. Too bad we have to watch every minute of it.

    posted by fetching jen at 10:17 AM

    This is a product of the hate filled Rhetoric of people like Han, Rush and even Karl Rove. This is the shit that has been spewed at those of us on the left for quite some time. When we disputed the reasons for war before it started, and were right, we had venom spewed at us to no end.

    So now that someone is listening we rally around the one being listened to. Is it over board and somewhat manipulative? Probably. But considering the fact that this administration has done everything in it’s power to stifle any opposing view I think it is justified.

  52. 52
    Jeff Altemus says:

    John,

    I thought the whole Schiavo thing was tasteless and sad, too. (Who didn’t?) I felt sympathy for the Schiavos, but felt that Terry should be let go of. And of course it was none of my fucking business to begin with. Until they made it a public issue. Anyway, much as Randall Terry and his ilk turn my stomach, one idea I never subscribed to was that the Schiavo’s were being used by him and the other nutjobs and opportunists who glommed onto them. In fact, the Schiavo’s summoned those very people to help advance their cause. A bit like inviting a vampire into your house, if you ask me. Not the same as being manipulated naifs, but more of a symbiotic realtionship—mutual use—if you will.

    Same thing with Cindy Sheehan. She’s not being used left-wing extremists (or
    America haters or evil secularists or whatever it is the RNC is calling them today). She’s willingly summoning them to her cause. She benefits, they benefit.

    I find your righteous indignation over Atrios’ and other’s involvement a bit strange. (And normally, I enjoy your righteous indignation.) Why shouldn’t lefty bloggers and others come to her defense when the O’Reillys, Malkins, Drudges, and redstates on the right move into attack mode and smear the hell out of her. Why shouldn’t they and she use her story when it’s a perfect illustration of the points they’ve been trying to make? Demagoging it may be, but that’s politics in this (and every) day and age.

    While I happen to appreciate what Cindy’s doing, I must also acknowledge that she’s brought any attention she garners on herself (ditto the Schiavos). At any given moment, there are countless grieving parents around the country. These people have decided to go public, decided to become lightning rods. So why is it beneath contempt for others who feel strongly about an issue to use them to advance a cause? Especially when that’s exactly what’s being asked for.

    Anyway, I agree with your general point about Sheehan. She’s definitely rapidly becoming a public figure and the more exposure she gets, the less sympathy she’ll have as “just a mom”…unless the knuckledraggers keep beating up on her. Which, of course, they will. The Intelligent Designer commands it.

  53. 53
    Pb says:

    First, I’d like to thank Steve for pointing out the obvious–there’s nothing exploitative in sharing, agreeing with, and supporting someone else’s cause. Cindy Sheehan’s ‘agenda’ has been clear from the start; she isn’t a dupe or a pawn, and she isn’t being used at all. She is, in fact, one of the founding members of Gold Star Families for Peace.

    What is amazing, however, is the coverage this has gotten. Cindy had this idea to go down to Crawford on August 3rd, because a couple of things that the President has said recently infuriated her, and she wanted some straight answers. Personally, I happen to agree with her–after all, I’ve wanted some straight answers about our Iraq policy since before the war started. And seeing as how public opinion on Iraq has practically reversed, I imagine others are starting to feel the same way.

    I know that she posted online about it on August 4th, and got tons of support. By August 7th, (I believe that was the first day they were camping in Crawford) she was getting national media coverage. This has been something of a perfect media storm, and it’s not hard to see why. I believe that if she hadn’t gotten this much coverage, she’d be there all the same, but she’d be much less likely to succeed, and perhaps even much more likely to just be quietly detained, out of the public eye.

    As for Erick’s comments: first, let me disabuse you of the disingenuous Red State talking point that the only offensive thing he said was ‘media whore’. Now, I was somewhat shocked by that, (someone using the word ‘whore’ in any context on Red State is in and of itself notable, I thought) but his comments on the whole were much cruder and less defensible. (And I see that you didn’t even try to defend them.)

    First, there’s the accusation (from unnamed surrogates) that “her deed cheapens the memory of Casey and other fallen soldiers”–now, I don’t know Casey, and I don’t think Erick does either. But I’m positive that neither of us know him better than Cindy would. So what is he insinuating? He doesn’t stop there.

    ‘Sheehan “now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the the expense of her son’s good name and reputation,”‘–have you figured out the attack yet? Could he be saying that her son should or would be ashamed of his mother’s conduct (were he alive today, and not, instead, KIA in Iraq)? How I’m not sure, let’s look some more.

    “Mrs. Sheehan’s actions discredit and undermine the work so many fallen soldiers works hard for.” Ah yes, it’s coming clear–asking questions about this war is unpatriotic!

    “The remarkably humorous bit of all of this is that while Mrs. Sheehan is using the body of a dead solider to get her fifteen minutes of fame”–ok. That’s just beyond the pale. First, there is nothing ‘remarkably humorous’ about this AT ALL. Second, that isn’t some anonymous ‘body of a dead soldier’. It was HER OWN SON. I simply can’t imagine how devoid of empathy, compassion, civility, what have you, anyone would have to be to make an accusation like this. And that is what you are defending. Not just ‘media whore’.

    I should say that any actual threats Erick has gotten are not justified by this either. However, the response does not surprise me–what does surprise me is that he doesn’t (or purports not to) recognize the source. Instead he continues to think he must have stepped a little out of line by saying ‘media whore’, not realizing that the *entire content* of his remarks towards Cindy were totally unacceptable. And now he’s upset because people are saying things to him that he thinks are totally unacceptable? Perhaps he should have thought about that before he cast the first stone.

    Finally. I’m sure Cindy does want answers, and I don’t see how the presence or absence of media coverage changes her sincerity in this matter. I’m sure she’s *thrilled* that she’s gotten this much coverage. It seems to me that all the media attention is more likely to make her cause a successful one. That is to say, either she will get a straight answer from the President, (I’m not holding my breath on this one) or we will have a national discussion about the very issues she raised, and America can weigh this issue for itself, as it should have in the first place.

    Or, we can have even yet still more partisan mudslinging and character assassination. It seems that is all some people know how to do. Is it somehow ‘cheating’ to finally have a chance at an open and honest discussion about the Iraq war? Is that where your alleged ‘perfect weapon’ comes in? Or is this just sour grapes–simple jealousy at Cindy’s success in her venture? What exactly are you so afraid of, and what possesses you to take it out on her?

  54. 54

    […] I think this Cindy Sheehan character needs to go home before she really hurts somebody. Case in point: John Cole – who is wound rather tightly at the best of times – ponders the mother of the dead soldier, and, presently, we hear the sound of metal grinding against metal, catch a tart whiff of ozone, and then, in a hail of adjectival clauses, his whole mechanism just goes absolutely fucky. It’s priceless: And they are the focus of my anger- pimps like Atrios, who cynically take the regrettable phrase ‘media whore,’ and render it into more fodder for the masses, who, themselves awash in outrage, blinded by hatred for Bush, will throw critical reasoning aside, and see nothing wrong with outright lies, as long as it helps their cause: […] […]

  55. 55
    nellodee says:

    i think we should sing to Cindy.

    I thought when i wrote
    that it was a little too mean, but after all the coverage i’ve read, i think it is highly appropriate. Like Stacy’s Mom, Cindy cares a whole lot more about her own goals, celebrity, and agenda then she cares about her child’s. And she’s allowed herself to be made into a sock puppet for the Left.
    Perhaps as an American she is welcome to do that.
    But I’m going to judge her as a mom.
    She flunks.

  56. 56
    mazzy says:

    Refusing to meet with her–again–is a stupid move. He could defuse the entire mess with a half hour meeting. Will anything productive come of it? No, of course not! Will he have to sit uncomfortably through accusations and recriminations? Yes, probably. But that’s part of his job. Sheehan would have nothing to pummel him with after a meeting–she can come out and say that she isn’t happy with the answers, but her critics can say: hey, at least she got her meeting! That’s a lot better than the despicable tack they are taking now, which is to personally attack her, calling her “ugly” and “stupid” and a “media whore.” Which, of course, says a lot about the depravity of the right.

  57. 57
    Mike says:

    “The Disenfranchised Voter Says:
    Well I said I’d be leaving but it appears I’m going to have to stick around so I can defend myself.”

    Jeez, you’re still here?
    You know, there’s this site run by this guy named “Kos” you might enjoy.
    Just follow the sound of the incoherent rantings, you’ll know you’ve arrived.

  58. 58
    Just Me says:

    Jeff Altemus-if you want to stick with the Schiavo/Sheehan comparison, I suggest you go read some of the stuff said about the Schindlers’s during the matter on various blogs by those on the left. Lots and lots of vitriole and name calling.

    I think it is an apt comparison, the problem is that there are a lot of people picking at splinters in the eyes of the right while they have neglected the beams in their own eyes.

    As for Sheehan I think she is stuck in the anger phase of grief, and as long as the anti war people have their tentacles in it, she is going to remain stuck there.

  59. 59
    John Cole says:

    The colossal difference between Cindy Sheehan and Terri Schiavo’s parents is that the vast majority of people who are ‘using’ Cindy Sheehan are actually pursuing the exact same cause as her – they are against the war. Yes, there are some of the usual fringe groups trying to jump into the spotlight, but numerically they are nothing.

    Hunh? The vast majority of thepeople who expoited Terri Schiavo’s parents had exactly the same goal as them- keeping her ‘alive’ at all costs, whether that took smearing every doctor in the country, lying about her condition, attacking the courts, or an ACT OF CONGRESS.

  60. 60
    McDuff says:

    I have to say, for someone who is “out of bounds” and beyond criticism, there’s certainly a lot of plain old disgusting crap being written about her.

    Perhaps people are pointing out that it’s disgusting crap, not because she is being cynically used as an unassailable saint by sheer virtue of her “mother of a dead son” status, but because it’s disgusting crap? Kinda like how when people point out that the Mayor of Baghdad was recently kicked out of office by an armed militia, it’s not because we’re all rooting for “the other side”, but because it, like, happened, and it’s sorta bad news, and it’s sorta the thing that gives us an idea about just how far we still have to go in the war Sheehan’s son was killed fighting. I offer this hypothesis merely for you to ruminate on, of course, as I wouldn’t presume to tell you what to think about the mindsets of those of us here on the left…

  61. 61
    BumperStickerist says:

    You know, had Cindy done this a year ago I might have sympathy beyond that for her loss.

    This is from Cindy’s organization – Goldstar Families for Peace.

    [2]) We would like for him [Bush] to explain this “noble cause” to us and ask him why Jenna and Barbara are not in harm’s way, if the cause is so noble.

    3) If George is not ready to send the twins, then he should bring our troops home immediately. We will demand a speedy withdrawal.

    Well, kids become adults on or around their 18th birthday and, while they are still children, they are adults and get to make their own decisions. So Bush, as a father, does not get to ‘send the twins’ anywhere. George Bush cannot ‘send the twins’ to their rooms while the twins are visiting him. The twins are adults.

    Also, the GFSP organization is a 501c3, which means non-political, that is at odds with the Impeachment Tour photo on the main page and about every fourth thing Cindy is saying. In the greater scheme of things, it’s a ticky-tack call, but Cindy should just let the 501c3 designation go if she’s going to be political. Which, apparently she is.

    Just ask her.

    This is Cindy’s “Open Letter to George” written last year, before the Camp Casey Crawford Campout. {emphases added}

    November 4, 2004

    Dear George,

    You don’t mind if I call you George do you? When you sent me a letter offering your condolences on the death of my son, Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, in the illegal and unjust war on Iraq, you called me Cindy, so I naturally assume we are on a first name basis.

    George, it has been seven months today since your reckless and wanton foreign policies killed my son, my big boy, my hero, my best-friend: Casey. It has been seven months since your ignorant and arrogant lack of planning for the peace murdered my oldest child. It has been two days since your dishonest campaign stole another election…but you all were way more subtle this time than in 2000, weren’t you? You hardly had to get the Supreme Court of the United States involved at all this week.

    You feel so proud of yourself for betraying the country again, don’t you? You think you are very clever because you pulled the wool over the eyes of some of the people again.

    You think that you have some mandate from God…that you can “spend your political capital” any way that you want. George you don’t care or even realize that 56,000,000 plus citizens of this country voted against you and your agenda. Still, you are going to continue your ruthless work of being a divider and not a uniter.

    George, in 2000 when you stole that election and the Democrats gave up, I gave up too. I had the most ironic thought of my life then: “Oh well, how much damage can he do in four years?” Well, now I know how much you have damaged my family, this country, and this world. If you think I am going to allow you another four years to do even more damage, then you truly are mistaken. I will fight for a true vote count and if that fails, your impeachment. Also, the impeachment of your Vice President. The only thing is, I’m not politically savvy, and I don’t have a Karl Rove to plan my strategy, but I do have a big mouth and a righteous cause, which still mean something in this country, I hope.

    All of this lying, fooling, and betraying must be “hard work” George. You really think you know what hard work is?

    George, let me tell you what “hard work” really is.

    Hard work is seeing your oldest son, your brave and honorable man-child go off to a war that had, and still has, no basis in reality. Hard work is worrying yourself gray and not being able to sleep for 2 weeks because you don’t know if your child is safe.

    Hard work is seeing your son’s murder on CNN one Sunday evening while you’re enjoying the last supper you’ll ever truly enjoy again.

    Hard work is having three military officers come to your house a few hours later to confirm the aforementioned murder of your son…your first born…your kind and gentle sweet baby.

    Hard work is burying your child 46 days before his 25th birthday. Hard work is holding your other three children as they lower the body of their big “baba” into the ground. Hard work is not jumping in the grave with him and having the earth cover you both.

    But, Dear George, do you know what the hardest work of all is? Trying to digest the fact that the leader of the country that your family has fought for and died for, for generations, lied to you and betrayed your dear boy’s sense of honor and exploited his courage and exploited his loyalty to his buddies. Hard work is having your country abandon you after they killed your son. Hard work is coming to the realization that your son had his future robbed from him and that you have had your son’s future and future grand-children stolen from you. Hard work is knowing that there are so many people in this world that have prospered handsomely from your son’s death.

    George, I must confess that I and my family worked very HARD to re-defeat you this time, but you refuse to stay defeated. Well, we are watching you very carefully. We are going to do everything in our power to have you impeached for misleading the American people into a disastrous war and for mis-using and abusing your power as Commander-in-Chief. We are going to scream until our last breath to bring the rest of our babies home from this quagmire of a war that you have gotten our country in to: before too many more families learn the true meaning of Hard Work. We know it is going to be an uphill battle, knowing how Republican Congress is, but thanks to you, we know the meaning of Hard Work and we’re not afraid of hard work at all.

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

    By the way, George, how many more innocent Iraqis are your policies going to kill before you convince them that you are better than Saddam? How many more of their cities are you going to level before you consider that they are liberated? If you really had any moral values, or if you were an honorable man at all you would resign.

    My son was a man who had high moral values and true courage. Humanity lost a bright light on April 04, 2004. I will live the rest of my life missing Casey desperately. Thank you for that, George. Have a nice day.

    God Bless America!! We surely need it!

    Cindy Sheehan
    Broken hearted mother of a True American Hero: Spc Casey Austin Sheehan, KIA 04/04/04 Sadr City, Baghdad

    Cindy’s words.

    Written nine months ago and seven months after her son, Casey, was killed in action in Iraq.

  62. 62
    Section9 says:

    This thing will turn.

    One of the reasons Bush doesn’t meet with her is that, should he do so, he would have to meet with every Gold Star Mother with an issue. He simply doesn’t have time to do that. He’s met with Cindy, and as a result, she twisted the nature of the meeting they originally had and, I might add, pulled the original photos from her Casey memorial site (one photo showed Bush giving her a kiss on her left cheek). Fortunately, the folks at Free Republic did some cache research and found the originals.

    Cindy is fast becoming a mouthpiece for the anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist elements of the Left wing of the Democratic Party. The “war for Israel” cant is beginning to register among some people, and some in the media will start to pick that up. Remember folks, and I’m not so much speaking of Cindy here, simply because she’s the tool in the whole affair, but if you dig REAL deep in the modern mythology of the antiwar Left, you get the International Conspiracy of Hooked-Nose Jewish Finance Capital.

    It’s like clockwork, folks. It ALWAYS gets back to the Joooooos. I mean, someone get that hamentashen. It’s like 10,000 monkeys in a room on 10,000 typewriters, only instead of Shakespeare, with the Left, you get The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.

    Who wants to start the over and under on how long it will be before Cindy Sheehan mentions the name “Rachel Corrie”? Eh?

    That’s why Bush is leaving her alone and not meeting with her. She will overreach; his statement about her was nothing if not compassionate and understanding. However, as Cole indicated in his post, she is caught up in the whirlwind of publicity surrounding her campout. For the time being she is the Flavor of the Month, but this will pass. She simply can’t contain her hate; her supporters and enablers don’t want her to-people like Atrios and Kos and intellectual pimps like William Rivers Pitt feed off it.

    Remember this, she hates President Bush and his family personally, and it is a black hatred. You can see that come through in the statements that Cole cited. She does not hate the jihadi who actually killed her son. Her son Casey was firm in his valor-on the day he died, he had volunteered to go on a rescue convoy into Sadr City to help rescue trapped comrades. Of Casey it should be asked, where do we get such men? Her loss is understandable then, but her hatred is not.

    Hatred leads to many things, not all of them good. Cindy Sheehan is being used by the likes of Joe Trippi, Michael Moore, Code Pink, and believe me, before long, the anti-Semites over at International A.N.S.W.E.R. will be along if they haven’t arrived already. George Bush is simply letting this play out, which is all he can do.

    This is a tragedy all the way around. It will not end well.

  63. 63
    Nate says:

    You might save us all some time by just posting a picture of a four year old with his fingers in his ears giving the camera the raspberry.

    I just couldn’t choose which picture of Bush to post. My bad.

  64. 64
    John Cole says:

    But what the right lacks is empathy. They see Cindy Sheehan as a now-public figure, and someone who is a tool of the left, and someone who has an obvious agenda. And instead of leaving her alone, to bask in the August doldrums of no-news, they attack – by bringing up her opinions from a year ago, and emails from in-laws, etc., etc

    Eileen, I wouldn’t disagree with you that all too often, the right does appewar tolack empathy. But for the rest of your comment, it is precisely my point. She is now a public figure, she isnow, either intentionally or unwittingly a tool for the anti-war left, and we are, if I am reading you right, just supposed to sit around and let them beat everyone around the head and neck with Mrs. Sheehan.

    For the record, it appears that Bush is doing exactly what you suggest- leaving her alone. And look how famously that is working out.

  65. 65
    BumperStickerist says:

    Eileen,

    Cindy wrote in November 04 that she lost her son because of Bush, and that she’s unemployed as a result of Bush, and that her life’s mission is to have Bush impeached.

    It seems to me that Cindy had a plan in ’04 and is currently working from that plan.

    To me, grief coupled with a plan sounds more like ‘revenge’.

  66. 66
    John S. says:

    For the record, it appears that Bush is doing exactly what you suggest- leaving her alone. And look how famously that is working out.

    Perhaps, John, that is because there is something about the jist of Mrs. Sheehan’s sentiments that rings true with a lot of people. Strip away all the bullshit, and you can find a woman who essentially wants to know how (and why) her government sold her a false bill of goods as a justification for a war that she lost her son in.

    If you think the role of government is to create as much plausible deniability as it can in order to avoid looking fallible in any way, then I guess we have a fundamental difference of opinion in how the government should behave. Last time I checked, they worked for me and every other citizen that funds and elects them them.

    I suppose if we all just dutifully shutup and neglect to wonder what our government is doing, then everything will be all right…even when now they are making statements awfully similar to the ones made about Iraq early on to lay the framework for military action – except now they are talking about Iran.

    Or doesn’t this sound familiar to you?

    “As I say, all options are on the table. The use of force is the last option for any president and you know, we’ve used force in the recent past to secure our country.”

  67. 67
    John S. says:

    To me, grief coupled with a plan sounds more like ‘revenge’.

    Or retaliation…funny that when people are hurt that they should act out in such a way.

    Except that they always do.

    Welcome to the human condition.

  68. 68
    John says:

    It’s funny that you use the word “radical” to describe a majority of Americans who question what we’re doing in Iraq, how we got there, whether we’re doing the right thing and how and when we plan on leaving.

    Those are pretty basic questions for which there are a lot of constantly changing answers.

  69. 69
    John Cole says:

    John-

    There is a difference between the ‘No War For Oil’ radical anti-war left with whom Cindy is now currently aligned and the vast majority of people who have questions about the war.

    Quit playing games.

  70. 70
    Defense Guy says:

    Eileen, I wouldn’t disagree with you that all too often, the right does appewar tolack empathy.

    Often because you just can not expect the left to honestly describe the situation. Kind of like someone taking issue with your direct quote of “media whore” which taken from the site of outrage for today, was shortened to “whore” by the site on the left. That you accurately pointed this out is now itself the issue of outrage. All in all, great fun.

  71. 71
    Defense Guy says:

    I should amend that to ‘some on the left’ as I am trying to wean myself off the broad brush equations inherent in the words ‘left’ and ‘liberal.’

    Stupid liberals.

    Sorry, had one more in me.

  72. 72
    John says:

    Ok John. Let’s talk about playing games:
    The prevailing opinion from the left appears to be that Sheehan is the perfect weapon, someone whose viewpoints are simply not allowed to be challenged, someone who can be used at will to not only galvanize support for the anti-war movement, but to attack the President, the President’s policies, and anyone who chooses to continue to support the mission in Iraq. And no one is allowed to say anything to counter that- the President and those who still support themission are supposed to just sit there and take it, lest they be accused of attacking a grieving mother.

    The f-ing point, John, is that her claims aren’t being challenged. Instead, she’s personally being smeared. I’d love it if they were challenged. I’d really like to hear an honest rebuttal other than the nonsensical hollow platitudes we hear from this Administration day in and day out. And from the looks of it, a lot of Americans feel the same way.

    Nobody is saying that the President or those who still support the war have to be quiet in the face of Cindy Sheehan and the “radical Left.” Quite the contrary, actually. We’re wondering why they don’t have a good answer. And all the smears against Cindy still don’t address the fact that she’s asking some very pointed questions that aren’t being anwered.

    Quit playing dumb, John. You’re the one turning this into a game by twisting the real issue into something insignificant.

  73. 73

    There is a difference between the ‘No War For Oil’ radical anti-war left with whom Cindy is now currently aligned and the vast majority of people who have questions about the war.

    Radical? Are you trying to suggest that the phrase “No War for Oil” has no merit?–That oil had nothing to do with the decision to goto war with Iraq?!

  74. 74
    Otto Man says:

    The f-ing point, John, is that her claims aren’t being challenged. Instead, she’s personally being smeared. I’d love it if they were challenged. I’d really like to hear an honest rebuttal other than the nonsensical hollow platitudes we hear from this Administration day in and day out. And from the looks of it, a lot of Americans feel the same way.

    Well said.

    I don’t know what’s worse, the right’s intentional misrepresentation of her statement after the first meeting with Bush, or the fact that they think showing her “flip-flop” on support of the president somehow undermines her cause.

    Yes, Americans are never allowed to change their minds. Be sure to let the 20% of Americans who’ve also changed their minds about the war know that they too are traitors.

  75. 75
    Defense Guy says:

    That oil had nothing to do with the decision to goto war with Iraq?!

    Do you have something factual that says it does?

  76. 76
    John Cole says:

    Nobody is saying that the President or those who still support the war have to be quiet in the face of Cindy Sheehan and the “radical Left.” Quite the contrary, actually. We’re wondering why they don’t have a good answer. And all the smears against Cindy still don’t address the fact that she’s asking some very pointed questions that aren’t being anwered.

    A good answer to what? The question ‘Why did you kill my son?’ Maybe she could follow up with ‘Do you still beat your wife?’

    Bush has stated repeatedly why we are there. You don’t like the answer, and neither does Cindy Sheehan. But quit pretending the question hasn’t been answered, and that all Cindy is doing is trying to get ‘her questions answered.’

  77. 77
    John Cole says:

    I don’t know what’s worse, the right’s intentional misrepresentation of her statement after the first meeting with Bush, or the fact that they think showing her “flip-flop” on support of the president somehow undermines her cause.

    Yes, Americans are never allowed to change their minds. Be sure to let the 20% of Americans who’ve also changed their minds about the war know that they too are traitors.

    Where the hell did I say any of this?

  78. 78

    Do you have something factual that says it does?

    How about a little common sense?

    I’m not debating whether it was right or wrong that oil is a justification for going to war with Iraq. I’m merely stating that oil, the natural resource that is the blood of our country, obviously played a part in the decision.

    And besides, I was asking John. I want to know his answer, not the answer of someone with “Bush-blinders” on.

  79. 79
    John says:

    Bush has stated repeatedly why we are there.

    I live in a cave, so please fill me in: Why are we there?

    Last time I came out it was something about 9/11 or WMD, has that changed?

  80. 80
    John Cole says:

    OF course one of the chief reasons we care AT ALL about the Middle East is because of the oil supply. But that isn’t what the folks Cindy Sheehan is running with mean.

    They mean we went to war to enrich Bush’s monied friends in the oil business, Halliuburton, etc. And you know damn well what I meant.

    Is this the kind of intellectual dishonesty you guys break out when you disagree with someone? Anything goes, as long as you ‘win’ the argument?

  81. 81
    John Cole says:

    I live in a cave, so please fill me in: Why are we there?

    Try Google.

    Again, is this the kind of intellectual dishonesty you guys break out when you disagree with someone?

  82. 82
    John says:

    Try Google.

    Let’s pretend I don’t have Google. If the answer is so clear, why don’t you just tell me?

  83. 83

    Well at least you renewed my faith in you somewhat John, I was beginning to think you would post something along the lines of what Defense Guy posted.

    Also, I was not being intellectually dishonest. I really thought you were implying that the idea that oil played a big part in the decision to goto war with Iraq was “radical”. I was just making sure you still had some common sense. Thankfully you do. With that said…

    But that isn’t what the folks Cindy Sheehan is running with mean.

    Are you sure? I’m curious as to how you would know that they don’t?

    They mean we went to war to enrich Bush’s monied friends in the oil business, Halliuburton, etc. And you know damn well what I meant.

    Furthermore, why can’t they mean both?

  84. 84
  85. 85
    jmh says:

    nellodee Says:

    i think we should sing to Cindy.

    Cindy cares a whole lot more about her own goals, celebrity, and agenda then she cares about her chid’s

    What exactly are/were her child’s goals and agenda?

  86. 86
    neil says:

    All I’m going to say about Cindy Sheehan is that it’s not her that matters in this — it’s Bush. And the fact that Bush is willing to give a speech where he mentions her name, but still won’t go talk to her? It doesn’t matter who she is. That is a cowardly, stupid move, and his public image is going to pay for it.

  87. 87
    airmail says:

    one idea I never subscribed to was that the Schiavo’s were being used by him and the other nutjobs and opportunists who glommed onto them. In fact, the Schiavo’s summoned those very people to help advance their cause.

    I think this is one factor of the Schiavo debate that was repeatedly overlooked. I recall seeing Randall Terry being interviewed on MSNBC, and he albeit sheepishly, acknowledged that Schiavo’s parents sought him out because he was controversial. They knew he could bring the kind of attention to their plight that no one else could.
    That being said, one has to wonder where the media and the political savvy of Cindy Sheehan and Schiavo’s parents bleed into their being exploited. Since both sought out national publicity, I wonder if deluged is a more appropriate adjective than exploited.

  88. 88
    nyrev says:

    John (Cole),

    I agree with so much that you’ve said. I see this turning into a Schiavo-esque circus, and am just waiting for the juggling clowns to show up. I think that many on the left are exploiting Cindy, which offends me. (Although it offends me less than Coulter and Malkin’s smear tactics) However, I do disagree with you on a couple of key points.

    First, Cindy absolutely has the right to criticize the administration. Not because she’s a grieving mother, but because she’s an American, and as Americans we all, with the exception of those in the military* and possibly a few others, have the right to praise, criticize, or compose naughty limericks about the current administration. Yay, free speech!

    Second, the easiest way to have prevented this whole fiasco would have been for the President to meet with the lady. Yes, again. I think we all understand why he doesn’t want to, and I think that most of us understand that such a meeting would not magically fix Cindy Sheehan’s problems. No one’s expecting hugs, rainbows, and a rousing chorus of I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing. It would be nice if he could remember Casey Sheehan’s name this time, but really, meeting with her would have stopped the media in its tracks. “President meets with grieving mother. Mom says she’s still mad at him” isn’t much of a headline. It also would have kept things more personal, instead of making Cindy a cause to rally behind.

    With that said, I love this blog. It reminds me of why I used to be a conservative. (The conservatives in the political arena lost me the same way they lost Vermont, by ditching their support for State Rights and becoming aggressively religious.) And I do agree with the sentiment behind your post.

  89. 89
    db says:

    Thanks for posting that letter, BumperStickerist.

    This is just me, but I found the letter to be rude, uncomfortable, and bordering on disgusting. Someone could respond, “Good, you should be uncomfortable and disgusted. Bush was rude to Cindy by having her son killed.”

    Notice, at no point did I ever see Cindy shouldn’t be allowed to write such letters. My point is just to say that if it were me, I would have written a different letter.

    Yes, Cindy should be free to write such letters. Yes, other groups have the right to take up her cause and spread her message further. But Cindy also has the right to tell some of the these groups to back off and let her do it her own way. It should be no surprise to her and her supporters that the more she is elevated into the public spotlight, the more criticism they should expect to invite. Bush volunteered to elevate himself into a highly visible position (despite what Falwell might say that this was a position chosen for him by God) and should likewise expect criticism. It would be very hypocritical to ask to say whatever you want and not allow the other side to say anything.

    Should we set up boundaries on what people can say about each other? The courts have ruled on this numerous times and have set up boundaries on what can and cannot be said (although the internet is a realm that I think might open itself up for some review soon). I am comfortable with those boundaries we have in place now. It doesn’t mean I won’t get disgusted by what both sides are doing in this.

  90. 90
    nyrev says:

    Oops. realized I had an unexplained asterisk up there.

    I just wanted to clarify that I realize military personel officially don’t have the right to say anything they want. Among other things, showing disrespect for the Commander-in-Chief was still a disciplinable offense, last time I checked.

  91. 91
    Nelson Muntz says:

    Ha Ha!

  92. 92
    kevin lyda, co. galway says:

    someone suggests sending mrs. sheehan and her supporters to gitmo, and all mr. cole can come up with is “please sit on the sidelines for this thread.”

    it begs the question, at what slime setting will mr. cole cry, “enough!”?

  93. 93
    Just Me says:

    First, Cindy absolutely has the right to criticize the administration. Not because she’s a grieving mother, but because she’s an American, and as Americans we all, with the exception of those in the military* and possibly a few others, have the right to praise, criticize, or compose naughty limericks about the current administration. Yay, free speech!

    I absolutely agree that she has the right to make her case and to speak her mind.

    My issue is that apparantly she and those on the left expect her status as the mother of a fallen soldier to inoculate her against any criticism for her speech or her actions.

    Well frankly, she chose to take her grief and her anger public, she chose to use the media as the vehicle by which she would make her case, and when she did that, she opened herself up to criticism.

    And contrary to what the left is saying, there has been quite a bit of criticism regarding her actual words-especially her belief that Israel is the problem.

  94. 94
    Davebo says:

    Wait a sec. You mean Atrios or Eschaton?

    I always get those two mixed up….

  95. 95
    Kathy Cole says:

    There is absolutely no way for Bush to win on this. It may have been possible for him to have caught a break by talking to her before she really got wound up, but that time seems past. She wants an opportunity to yell at him, since it’s very clear that there’s nothing he can say that will satisfy her. If he’d taken that yelling a couple of weeks ago, this might have been defused.

    What I don’t get is the tactical stupidity of those who thought personally slamming her, or suggesting they know her son and what his opinions might have been better than her, would be a good idea. I don’t care how pissed off anyone is about the tactics she or those in support of her position are using. You make personally offensive comments about a grieving mother and you’re an idiot.

    Speak to the complete impracticality of pulling the troops out with respect to further destabilizing the region, sure. She’s a media whore or worse, you’re a fool.

    (And those who’ve sunk lower than that level to attack the guy at his home or work are revolting and ought to be ashamed of themselves.)

  96. 96
    John says:

    John Cole Says:
    I live in a cave, so please fill me in: Why are we there?
    Try Google.

    Again, is this the kind of intellectual dishonesty you guys break out when you disagree with someone?

    August 13th, 2005 at 11:39 am

    John Says:
    Try Google.

    Let’s pretend I don’t have Google. If the answer is so clear, why don’t you just tell me?

  97. 97
    kevin lyda, co. galway says:

    i agree with poster “john”.

    why are we in iraq?

    i used google and other than fellow liberals asking that question, all i found was a screed by dennis miller insulting norman mailer and mentioning that there were some terrorists in iraq at some point.

    there are terrorists in america. should we start bombing idaho?

    so why are we in iraq? it’s a simple question. why won’t you answer it mr. cole? why are we in iraq? it’s six syllables.

  98. 98
    Boronx says:

    Forget all the business about staying the course or pulling out.

    The thing about Sheehan is this:

    We’re now into year three of a bloody war that each and every one of us knows was started on the basis of lies.

    Out of a nation of 300 million free people, she’s the only one who’s stood up to ask the president why he did that, and hasn’t backed down.

  99. 99
    nyrev says:

    Of course she opened herself up for criticism. That doesn’t make the people who are calling her a crazy traitor bitch less distasteful. Like I said, it doesn’t mean they haven’t got the right to say it, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. I’ve got no issue with people criticizing her ideas or her means of expressing them, although I’d prefer it be done diplomatically.

  100. 100
    NTodd says:

    Let’s pretend I don’t have Google. If the answer is so clear, why don’t you just tell me?

    Aliens ate Bush’s brain and replaced it with a faulty AI. Go ahead, I dare anybody to try using Google to find evidence to the contrary.

  101. 101
    Dedgeorge says:

    Nothing gets a neo-con’s panties SUCH a twist as an American whose message causes other Americans to THINK about Shrub and The Shrubettes’ disastrous chickenhawk excursion into Iraq —

    Grow up and get a spine Johnny Boy — The House is rotten and it MUST fall… Yah gonna JUMP or be crushed in the rubble????

  102. 102
    Davebo says:

    “Hunh? The vast majority of thepeople who expoited Terri Schiavo’s parents had exactly the same goal as them- keeping her ‘alive’ at all costs, whether that took smearing every doctor in the country, lying about her condition, attacking the courts, or an ACT OF CONGRESS.”

    Please tell me you aren’t that Naive John.

    One would need to lose their gag reflex to follow that line of thinking.

  103. 103
    Boronx says:

    It’s funny, I can’t think of another war where anyone scratches their head about why it began.

    Sometimes there’s a popular reason and a “real” reason agreed to by historians or something, but if you ask anyone why the Spanish American war, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Kosovo, they can give you a one sentence explanation for the war without to much thought.

    But even those who claim to know about this war won’t tell! They give the Ari defence: we’ve alredy answered that question, why should we do it again?

  104. 104
    Nate says:

    Any criticism of Israel’s insane policies and its war-criminal leader, accuse critics of anti-Semitism. Rinse and repeat.

    Cindy is fast becoming a mouthpiece for the anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist elements of the Left wing of the Democratic Party. The “war for Israel” cant is beginning to register among some people, and some in the media will start to pick that up. Remember folks, and I’m not so much speaking of Cindy here, simply because she’s the tool in the whole affair, but if you dig REAL deep in the modern mythology of the antiwar Left, you get the International Conspiracy of Hooked-Nose Jewish Finance Capital.

    It’s like clockwork, folks. It ALWAYS gets back to the Joooooos. I mean, someone get that hamentashen. It’s like 10,000 monkeys in a room on 10,000 typewriters, only instead of Shakespeare, with the Left, you get The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.

  105. 105
    Kimmitt says:

    My issue is that apparantly she and those on the left expect her status as the mother of a fallen soldier to inoculate her against any criticism for her speech or her actions.

    Well, yes, we do expect righties to show consistency in how they treat the relatives of the fallen. Of course, we know that respect for service is only held for persons who agree with y’all politically; otherwise, no one would have passed out purple heart band-aids at the Republican National Convention.

    No one is using Ms. Sheehan. Many people agree with Ms. Sheehan and support her, but she appears to be a fully informed actor in this.

    Look, if you get into a nasty war and kill off a bunch of American kids for no good reason, eventually you’re going to get a mom that’s pissed off. Your side should have thought of this before you supported getting a bunch of Americans killed in order to use them as a rhetorical club against those who dislike this Administration’s policy.

  106. 106
    mr b says:

    John, you hate the evil anti war left, rant against them constantly, so it is safe to asume you are very very pro war. So why in God’s name are you not in the Army fighting for America in this great war you are so in love with.
    Certainly it can not be that you do not want to die, because it obvious from your anti Cindy sheehan writtings that to be killed in this war is a great thing to do.

  107. 107
    Jim Caputo says:

    Hunh? The vast majority of thepeople who expoited Terri Schiavo’s parents had exactly the same goal as them- keeping her ‘alive’ at all costs, whether that took smearing every doctor in the country, lying about her condition, attacking the courts, or an ACT OF CONGRESS.

    …so says John Cole

    But it’s just not true. Those siding with the Schindler’s didn’t have keeping Terry alive as their primary goal nor was their goal to change the right of a husband to make life or death decisions concerning a wife. There has been no concerted effort by the right to change the laws regarding who is responsible for the medical decisions of others. The right was trying to tie this event to their anti-abortion agenda. That was their goal. They thought they could put Terry’s face on that issue and people would rally around it. And it backfired on them severely, although I doubt it will translate into much politically, sheep being what they are…sheep.

    This case is different in that Cindy Sheehan’s goal is two-fold: to get real answers to questions that Bush has been sidestepping since he started the war in Iraq, and to bring to an end, thereby saving the lives of U.S. military personnel, the Iraqi conflict.

    The fact that she lost a son in this war, sold to the public based on lies and manipulation, only reinforces in the eyes of the public her right to seek another audience with Bush and get answers. And it must be swaying the opinions of many who were on the fence or still reluctantly giving Bush the benefit of the doubt, because the right-wing smear campaign is in full swing. But once again, the right doesn’t argue against the merits of her position, they instead attack the person by calling her names, labeling her, and making associations with other individuals or groups.

    My own personal opinion on this is she can say whatever she goddamned wants to say and Bush and the rest of the right-wingers can shut up or start putting their own kids in harm’s way. How many people in Bush’s cabinet have children of military service age? Why aren’t they enlisting? How many of Bush’s “pioneers,” those who support this president and his misguided policies, have children of military service age? Why aren’t they enlisting? Jenna and Barbara graduated from college over a year ago and as far as I can tell, neither has landed a full-time job since. Drinking is not a career (although apparently it’s a road that can lead to the presidency). Perhaps a little service to one’s country would be a good thing and an inspiration to others to enlist.

    Cindy Sheehan made a sacrifice for this war. She lost her son. And, with the exception of the nearly 1900 other families that lost sons and daughters, that’s more than any other person in this country has sacrificed. It’s certainly a bigger sacrifice than Bush and company have made because they’ve sacrificed nothing.

  108. 108
    miguel says:

    I think the attacks on Atrios here are way off the mark. I’ve read everything Atrios has written this week and there’s no way that you can accuse him of ‘pimping’ Cindy’s cause. Atrios’s main thrust has been attacking Malkin on her ridiculous mind reading of the dead.

    That is what Atrios is talking about in the quoted paragraph, the mention of Erickson’s ‘media whore’ comment is tangential.

    If you really want disgusting, hyper-partisan, hypocritical commentary then you’re probably looking for Malkin.

  109. 109

    […] Well, I said that I didn’t want to get into the personal attacks on Cindy Sheehan. I still won’t—but I want to make a few points about the controversy that has erupted here, in response to this. […]

  110. 110
    owlbear says:

    Oh MY GOD!

    MAKE George Bush Answer the questions of a Mother of a Dead Soldier.

    HOW SO VERY CRUEL!!

    Poor George must just beside himself in ANGST!

  111. 111
    db says:

    mr b,

    John Cole can defend himself just fine against your accussations, I am sure. I do think you have not read John Cole’s writings carefully enough to be able to draw such a clear conclusion about his position. But then again, that is just my own interpretation.

    Does it make any difference to you that he has, in fact, served?

    And the type of argument you make is bordering on saying that if you support this war you must have served in the military. Yet, many people who have served, do support this war. What say you to them? They are brainwashed, naturally? The logic of this is absurd.

    From now on, I don’t think I want to hear from an ant-war protestor unless they have proven to me that they have stood in front of a tank in Tianemen Square.

  112. 112
    db says:

    Tiananmen

  113. 113
    Mad as hell says:

    Well I support Cindy Sheehan 100%. She has accomplished what no one else has been able to, since this war began. Bush did lie to us. There was no reason to invade Iraq. Over 1800 Americans are dead because of Bush’s lies. Cindy Sheehan, single handedly, is forcing Bush to face what he has done.

  114. 114
    ch2 says:

    You are not a whore John Cole, but rather a pimp, a pimp for the war, and for this you should be even more ashamed. You have zero moral standing to criticize Ms. Sheehan, and THIS, is what drives you mad. “Perfect weapon” ? No man, it’s that deep down you know that you slime yourself everytime you try to defend her attackers. Your anger will only stop when you regain your dignity by castigating the idiots who would smear a grieving mother’s demand for an answer.

    And I see you have failed to even give us the reason du jour for why we went to Iraq, and what are current goals are and how and why the former morphed into the latter.

  115. 115
    chuck says:

    Amazing how much vitriol you have to spare for Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in a war whose most ardent supporters concede by now was a war of choice.

    But none at all for a self-styled, self-described “war president” and Commander-in-Chief who is taking a FIVE WEEK VACATION while tens of thousands of American youth are in the desert quite literally getting their asses shot off.

    Doesn’t bother you at all, evidently.

    Well, forgive us, because we think there’s something slightly wrong with this picture. You may think Bush is infallible. We simply think he’s incompetent and unwilling to take responsibility for failure. That simple.

  116. 116
    Mike Alexander says:

    Why do you refer to Ms. Sheehan by her first name as if she were a child or otherwise your social inferior?

  117. 117
    kevin lyda, co. galway says:

    fellow liberals,

    john cole can’t respond at the moment because he’s busy writing up the answer to “why are we in iraq.” the answer will not involve a single pot-shot at anyone, but will focus excusively on the reason why we are in iraq.

    obviously someone who supports bush and supports the war in iraq must be able to compose such a post, and it is wrong to presume mr. cole cannot do such a thing.

    so why don’t we give him time to articulate an answer to that simple question.

  118. 118
    John Cole says:

    Amazing how much vitriol you have to spare for Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in a war whose most ardent supporters concede by now was a war of choice.

    Could you point some of that vitriol out for me, because I missed it.

  119. 119
    ch2 says:

    John Cole,
    will you, or will you not, write a post about why you think we are in Iraq ? And I remind you, it has to be something that Ms. Sheehan would have presumably already been told. Not YOUR personal belief of what we are doing in Iraq, the OFFICIAL STATED REASON that you believe Ms. Sheehan already knows, the one that dispenses Bush from meeting her and answering her question.

    Because if you cannot do this, you have no standing commenting on a grieving mother who wants such an answer, and you have even less business defending the smear that she is a media-whore because she talks to whomever will listen that she wants this answer from Bush. She deserves this answer, and publicly shaming this president is the only weapon she has, and you know this too.

    To think I recently tought you were a principled conservative. Should have known better.

  120. 120
    WTF says:

    “To think I recently tought you were a principled conservative.”

    There hasn’t been such a creature since Eisenhower.

  121. 121
    WTF says:

    After a conversation with someone via email, I feel exactly the same way about the people using Cindy Sheehan every day that I did about Frank Pavone, Randall Terry, and their ilk when they used poor Mr. and Mrs. Schiavo as their political pawns back in March. The Schiavos and Cindy Sheehan, I can understand them speaking out, I can understand them doing what they are doing (even if, in both cases, I disagree with them). The people using them to advance their own agenda? Beneath contempt.

    Balloon Juice.

  122. 122
    Bernard Yomtov says:

    We need a Godwin’s law for Hannity and Limbaugh and O’Reilly.

    Why? They are among the principal public spokesmen for the Republican Party. How is it unfair to bring them up?

  123. 123
    Jim Caputo says:

    John Cole says…
    Could you point some of that vitriol out for me, because I missed it.

    I’m always happy to lend a helping hand to the blind…

    However, it is understandable that her new-found activism, along with her aligning herself with the radical anti-war left and staging media events with no purpose other than to attack the President, should be seen as opening herself up to criticisms of her political positions.

    Mrs. Sheehan’s sole purpose is not to “attack” the president. If her speech has become more angry lately, that’s more a result of the decision by the white house to ignore her and the millions of others in this country who want answers to the questions she’ll pose. Had Bush met with her when she first asked for the second meeting, or soon thereafter, the “attack” speech wouldn’t be necessary.

    sounds like a public figure with a political agenda

    Mrs. Sheehan’s position isn’t one born of politics, it’s one born of grief and anguish. To reduce it to mere politics is to cheapen the sacrifice made by herself and her son.

    I think she should be left alone and ignored.

    Ignored why? Because you don’t agree with her position? Because it makes Bush uncomfortable? The woman gave her son’s life to this cause. She not only has a constitutional right to speak out, she has a moral right to speak out considering what we know now that we didn’t know prior to her son’s death.

    she doesn’t have the right to make demands of the President, and she most certainly doesn’t have the right to be used as a weapon by people, who, like herself, want only to savagely attack this administration

    We all have the right to make demands of our political leaders. We didn’t elect kings who aren’t answerable to the public. The politicians can choose to answer our demands or ignore us, then we get to answer back through elections, recalls, or impeachments. Where do you get this idea that just because someone disagrees with your position that they’re constitutional rights should be diminished?

    As for Mrs. Sheehan being “used” by those who only want to attack this administration, I think you’re attempting to diminish in the eyes of your audience her ability to think and make intelligent choices for herself. You portray it as if somehow she wouldn’t be doing this if not for some underhanded involvement of other people and organizations. Her position preceded any involvement with others. Various groups and individuals (including the parents of other slain military personnel) have joined with her because she’s the vehicle by which the message that many have been trying to forward is getting across and they’re happy to support her in her efforts.

    it is a laughable presumption that Cindy Sheehan is a media ‘virgin.’

    Here, you make it sound as if Mrs. Sheehan is doing this just to get her picture in the papers, as if grief for her son’s death wouldn’t be enough for anyone to make a stand as she is doing.

    I think Cindy Sheehan has moved beyond the role of grieving mother, and is now a political figure who gets no free pass for her bizarre, outrageous, and offensive statements.

    Again, she’s not a political figure; she’s a woman who lost her son in Iraq because George W. Bush decided that catching Osama Bin Laden, the man who masterminded the 9-11 attack, wasn’t as important as deposing the dictator of a country that had nothing to do with the 9-11 attack. She’s a woman who’s angry because she, like the rest of us, has been lied to by this administration for years about the decision to take us into Iraq.

    So don’t play innocent and claim that you’ve said nothing caustic about this woman. You and all those attacking her character rather than her position should feel shame. And those who have sacrificed nothing in this war, owe her an apology.

  124. 124
    Go Figure says:

    Where on earth does a person start with this after the first paragraph? “Best to leave it it alone” — and then there’s a clap of thunder, a flash of lightning and it’s
    a tornado of wild accusations and mostly very partisan rhetoric.

    If it’s so understandable to attack her, I have a couple of questions. Did you attack the Swift Boaters mostly sudden change of heart about Kerry? What about Linda Tripp and that whole group? Was that not staged, intended to embarrass the target and highly partisan?

    And who has said her views can’t be challeneged? I’m just wondering why the right thinks critics of Bush must jump through their carefully tailored hoops in order to be credible. I’m wondering why they’re making it so personal. I’m wondering why they’re acting as if they know this woman and her son. And – I’m wondering why the Bush auto-defenders was so thin-skinned than one little ol’ bereft mother sends so many people into a snit-fest.

    Since when is reporting someone’s words and the attacks on them “grief-pimping”?

    Is this fact based enough for you? And BTW, nothing excuses nasty personal attacks, but if you’re going to blog – then you might expect some challanges yourself.

    And also, IMO, the continuing RW pretense that every anti-war, pro-peace group is anti-American is most tiresome and
    fraudulent. That is cheap flag-waving, faux-patriotism and combined with the bashing of Sheenan, it is truly shameless.

  125. 125
    John Cole says:

    will you, or will you not, write a post about why you think we are in Iraq ? And I remind you, it has to be something that Ms. Sheehan would have presumably already been told. Not YOUR personal belief of what we are doing in Iraq, the OFFICIAL STATED REASON that you believe Ms. Sheehan already knows, the one that dispenses Bush from meeting her and answering her question.

    Jesus Christ. Someone issues a demand in the comments section, and I have to jump in five minutes and write it, and I have to play by rules you set? It is Saturday, I am going out, and I will get to it when I get to it.

    Again, she’s not a political figure; she’s a woman who lost her son in Iraq because George W. Bush decided that catching Osama Bin Laden, the man who masterminded the 9-11 attack, wasn’t as important as deposing the dictator of a country that had nothing to do with the 9-11 attack. She’s a woman who’s angry because she, like the rest of us, has been lied to by this administration for years about the decision to take us into Iraq.

    So don’t play innocent and claim that you’ve said nothing caustic about this woman. You and all those attacking her character rather than her position should feel shame. And those who have sacrificed nothing in this war, owe her an apology.

    Bullshit. All I pointed out was that she is a political player now, whether she likes it or not, and her political opinions and demands are fair game. Cindy Sheehan’s open letter to George Bush:

    George, I must confess that I and my family worked very HARD to re-defeat you this time, but you refuse to stay defeated. Well, we are watching you very carefully. We are going to do everything in our power to have you impeached for misleading the American people into a disastrous war and for mis-using and abusing your power as Commander-in-Chief. We are going to scream until our last breath to bring the rest of our babies home from this quagmire of a war that you have gotten our country in to: before too many more families learn the true meaning of Hard Work. We know it is going to be an uphill battle, knowing how Republican Congress is, but thanks to you, we know the meaning of Hard Work and we’re not afraid of hard work at all.

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

    Sounds political to me. How bout this:

    Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full-well that my son, my family, this nation, and this world were betrayed by a George Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11. We were told that we were attacked on 9/11 because the terrorists hate our freedoms and democracy…not for the real reason, becuase the Arab-Muslims who attacked us hate our middle-eastern foreign policy. That hasn’t changed since America invaded and occupied Iraq…in fact it has gotten worse.

    Sounds political to me, and right out of the International ANSWER anti-war left playbook.

    So don’t lecture me that she is just a grieving mother. That changed when she, completely within her rights, chose the media spotlight to advance her self-admitted political agenda. It isn’t mean, vitriolic, it isn’t attacking her character, or off-limits to discuss her political opinions, no matter how many times you try to shame people into quiet.

    And I don’t give a shit what Michelle Malkin or others have said. I haven’t said it.

  126. 126
    B. Ross says:

    “But she doesn’t have the right to set policy, she doesn’t have the right to make demands of the President . . ”

    No? Why not? Does the President not work for the American people anymore? Did we stop being a democracy after 9/11?

    If Mrs. Sheehan thinks Mr. Bush’s war is stupid and evil, why should she not say so? If Mrs. Sheehan thinks her son’s death was caused by Bush starting a war over a pack of lies (those non-existent weapons of mass destruction that, uh, STILL don’t exist), why should she not say so? If she thinks her son’s death was caused by Bush declaring war on the wrong people, the Iraqis, as opposed to waging war on the correct, responsible people–Al Qaeda–why should she not say so?

    It’s not as if she called Bush “a major abortionist of the post-born” or anything, is it?

  127. 127
    JB says:

    This is not really very complicated in spite of all the attempts to read more into this than is actually happening.

    Cindy Sheehan is clearly a woman with very strong convictions, a high intelligence and an unusual ability to express herself.

    Her natural anger and grief at the loss of her son, combined with Bush’s complete inability to respond in a way that makes *him* look like anormal person are what have captured the public’s imagination.

    Bush can’t explain what the ‘noble cause’ is, because there isn’t one. The only cause is entirely ignoble: the neocons’ long standing intention to start a war, the impetus provided by 9/11 and the Republicans’ highly developed ability to inject fear into the population to take advantage of the situation.

    The only angle they forgot to figure out was that if their plans went wrong they might have a mess on their hands.

    Actually, ‘mess’ is nowhere near strong enough a term. It’s a complete and utter disaster on every level: militarily, financially and morally. Why anyone would think that Bush has any authority left is beyond me.

  128. 128
    ch2 says:

    Someone issues a demand in the comments section, and I have to jump in five minutes and write it, and I have to play by rules you set? It is Saturday, I am going out, and I will get to it when I get to it.

    Firstly, no. I never asked for an immediate post. I asked you to tell me whether you will respond or not. You now have said “I will, later” and that’s fine by me.

    And alright, I apologize for my badgering tone. But you might consider rereading how you blew off everyone before who asked you the same question in this thread.

    Alright, I hope that leaves us on a bittersweet, rather than sour, note.

    Have fun.

  129. 129
    Jim Caputo says:

    Bullshit. All I pointed out was that she is a political player now, whether she likes it or not, and her political opinions and demands are fair game. Cindy Sheehan’s open letter to George Bush:

    No, you said she doesn’t have the right…THE RIGHT…to demand anything from the president. You were wrong.
    Oh…and bullshit, bullshit! There, now I’m ahead 2-1.

    And as for her being a “political figure,” that’s just a label you have to pin on her to cover for your caustic remarks. Now you get to say “I’m throwing bile at a POLITICAL FIGURE, not a grieving mother.”

  130. 130

    […] Jeff Goldstein: Apparently, any “wingnut” who dares analyze the political or cultural effects of Cindy Sheehan’s protests—whether it’s how those protests are being covered in the media, or the possible political or personal motivations behind those protests, or the makeup of the attendant support and supporters of said protests, etc.—is an angry, black-souled, evil and vile hater who, in the words of one passionate Cindyphile in the comments here, “should slit [his] own throat.” […]

  131. 131
    John Cole says:

    And as for her being a “political figure,” that’s just a label you have to pin on her to cover for your caustic remarks. Now you get to say “I’m throwing bile at a POLITICAL FIGURE, not a grieving mother.”

    I haven’t thrown any bile at her, other than to say her political statements should be engaged. As for who is turning her into a political figure, it is Cindy Sheehan who has made herself a political figure. If you had her way, the only thing people would be allowed to say about Cindy Sheehan is 100% support and agreement with her political opinions. I even had some idiot say I can’t refer to her as Cindy Sheehan, and I should call her Ms. Sheehan.

    Bullshit (We are 2-2 now).

    You might read what your fellow lefties have to say.

  132. 132
    Kathleen says:

    someone is certainly blinded by hatred, Mr. Cole, but unfortunately it is you. Blinded by hatred of Duncan Black. It is sad to see.

  133. 133
    Jim Caputo says:

    So says John Cole…
    I haven’t thrown any bile at her

    But I think you already have, and I’ve already given you some examples in an earlier post.

    As for who is turning her into a political figure, it is Cindy Sheehan who has made herself a political figure

    Now there’s quite a conundrum for any American to be leary of… you’re just an average Joe Citizen as long as you don’t open your mouth, because at the point in which you start voicing your opinion with any degree of success, you become a “political figure.”

    If you had her way, the only thing people would be allowed to say about Cindy Sheehan is 100% support and agreement with her political opinions.

    And that’s exactly the OPPOSITE of what I said in a previous post. Here…I’ll make this easy and quote what I’ve already said to you, “You and all those attacking her character rather than her position should feel shame.” I have no problem with attacks on her position.

    There are always going to be different positions on any issue, but the character attacks are over the line, and that includes labeling her a political figure, demeaning her purpose by implying that all she’s interested in is attacking the president, implying that she’s only in this for the publicity, and calling her statements “bizarre” so as to imply some kind of mental defect. None of those tactics have anything to do with the issues of whether the war was the right thing to do, whether Bush has handled it well, whether Bush has lied to the American public, or whether Mrs. Sheehan’s son died for a noble cause.

    And it seems to me that you’re angry with Kos because he’s stealing pages out of the Republican playbook. Hey, if you guys have that thing copywrited, maybe you can get him into civil court. Or would that be frivolous?

  134. 134
    John Cole says:

    I am not mad at Kos himself- I actually like Kos, Armando, and Hunter. I am mad at the folks who visit dKos and launched all those phone calls and emails at Erick.

    Now there’s quite a conundrum for any American to be leary of… you’re just an average Joe Citizen as long as you don’t open your mouth, because at the point in which you start voicing your opinion with any degree of success, you become a “political figure.”

    Jim- she is an activist now, whether you like it or not. How many groups and non-profit activist groups does she have to be associated with before you will cede that point?And again, I don’t think I have engaged incharacter assassination, but addressed what she has said.

    Kathleen:

    someone is certainly blinded by hatred, Mr. Cole, but unfortunately it is you. Blinded by hatred of Duncan Black. It is sad to see.

    No, I don’t like Atrios one bit. The world will go on. Everything you think about Karl Rove, I think about Atrios and Karl Rove.

  135. 135
    howard says:

    john, we don’t care what you’re mad about: what you produced in this column is hateful, moronic, false drivel of the highest order. it was sickening to read.

  136. 136

    […] The right’s outrage at a grieving mother’s questions are pretty outrageous themselves. And now even the sane folks on the right are getting all caught up in the bullshit the wingnuts are spewing. Case in point: John Cole, who wrote this last night: “I think Cindy Sheehan has moved beyond the role of grieving mother, and is now a political figure who gets no free pass for her bizarre, outrageous, and offensive statements. […]

  137. 137
    kevin lyda, co. galway says:

    i have to agree with mr. cole on one point. mrs. sheehan is political. but then so is mr. cole and pretty much every citizen who speaks or write publically in a democracy.

    how else do people in groups work through issues then with politics?

    mrs. sheehan is a grieving mother who is speaking out about that grief. being political doesn’t remove the fact that she’s a grieving mother any more than the fact that she’s an english speaker removes that fact.

    politics got us into iraq. and those politics sent her son to iraq. politics made her a grieving mother. is mr. cole seriously saying that grieving mothers should just shut up and take politics with no say? the only pure grieving mother is the one that shuts her mouth and agrees with the president?

    it’s amazing how much time mr. cole is willing to devote to defending his own comments and how little time he’s given to answering a simple question:

    why

    are

    we

    in

    iraq?

  138. 138
    Flamethrower says:

    what is the noble cause

  139. 139
    Jim Caputo says:

    Jim- she is an activist now, whether you like it or not. How many groups and non-profit activist groups does she have to be associated with before you will cede that point?And again, I don’t think I have engaged incharacter assassination, but addressed what she has said.

    I think the “political activist” label is being applied much too early on your part. The groups she’s associated with have sought her out, not the other way around. Is she willing to use many outlets to get her message out, absolutely, but talking to Michael Moore or anyone else doesn’t make her a political activist.

    Mrs. Sheehan has no history of political activism before the death of her son. She is in this now to resolve issues surrounding the death of her son. That is the reason she’s there. Are there other issues that overlap with other groups, of course there are. None of us operate in a vacuum and none of us can claim sole ownership of any issue.

    If Bush meets with her, answers her questions, and THEN she continues to seek publicity for her cause, you could then call her a “political activist.” But for now, I think she’s still reacting solely from the death of her son and not out of a political agenda. After all, her politics were the same before the death of her son and she took no action then.

    This reminds me of the story of Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy. Her husband was one of six people shot and killed on the Long Island Rail Road by a nut with a gun. She attempted to get her local Congressman to take up the issue in Congress and he refused despite very strong support from the community for him to do so. She then ran for Congress and won. What she did wasn’t political activism, it was a grieving widow trying to do something to make her husband’s death have some purpose.

    I see Mrs. Sheehan in the same light. She’s reacting, not to events of her own doing, but to the lies and callousness of a president and to the death of her son. She wants his death to have a purpose. And if she can get our troops home sooner than Bush would do without her involvement, she might be saving lives. Even if you disagree with her views on the war, what she’s doing is noble. It’s neither self-serving nor is it born of some need for publicity. She deserves the respect and thanks of every person in the country, ESPECIALLY those who supported this war from its deceitful and misguided beginning.

  140. 140
    Mike S says:

    I am mad at the folks who visit dKos and launched all those phone calls and emails at Erick.

    Are you mad at Malkin and the people who got her assholish E-mailer fired?

  141. 141
    Hellblazer says:

    All Is Now Right With The World

    Well, for quite a while – far longer than I would have ever predicted – John Cole has been kind of a darling of the liberal blogosphere. Getting neat little links from some of the top blogs, good press -…

  142. 142

    […] John Cole says it much, much better (and to a much bigger audience, I might add). […]

  143. 143
    Mike says:

    “John Says:
    John Cole Says:
    I live in a cave, so please fill me in: Why are we there?
    Try Google.

    Again, is this the kind of intellectual dishonesty you guys break out when you disagree with someone?

    August 13th, 2005 at 11:39 am

    John Says:
    Try Google.

    Let’s pretend I don’t have Google. If the answer is so clear, why don’t you just tell me?”

    Let’s pretend this is Mr. Cole’s Blog and he can ignore you as a useless nuisance.
    Try Kos.

  144. 144
    Kirk says:

    When I met with the president the first time things were much different – when we met for the first time, we didn’t know about the Duelfer Report, we didn’t know about the Senate Intelligence Committee Report, we didn’t know about the Downing Street Memos that show that my son’s murder was premeditated and needless because they knew that Saddam didn’t have Weapons of Mass Destruction. We didn’t know about the 9/11 Commission Report and things have changed. I’m not in shock anymore, I’m angry that my son and ten thousand – tens of thousands of other people are dead for no reason and it really gets me that these people can scrutinize what a grieving mother said ten weeks after her son was dead but they can’t scrutinize what a liar – that is the president of the United States has said that has caused the deaths of so many thousands of people.

    Yes, I can see why Bush wouldn’t want to meet with someone who speaks the truth. You call it exploiting, we call it supporting. Ask Mrs. Sheehan if she wants us to leave her alone. Well, you don’t have too actually, she already told everyone to blog about her plight.

  145. 145
    ch2 says:

    Mike,

    Let’s pretend this is Mr. Cole’s Blog and he can ignore you as a useless nuisance.

    Mr. Cole’s repeated avoidance of answering this question makes his next statement sound like just so much more bullshit. Now John said he will get to it, when he feels like it. I’m not holding my breath. It’s like he learned from President Bush how to just ignore people when he is being called on bullshitting.

    Bush has stated repeatedly why we are there. You don’t like the answer, and neither does Cindy Sheehan. But quit pretending the question hasn’t been answered, and that all Cindy is doing is trying to get ‘her questions answered.’

    WHY ARE WE IN IRAQ NOW ?
    WHAT ARE OUR GOALS NOW ?
    WHAT WERE OUR GOALS THEN ?
    WHY AND WHEN DID THEY CHANGE ?
    WAS CONGRESS INFORMED ?
    DID THEY APPROVE THIS ?
    WHAT IS THE METRIC FOR PROGRESS ?

    And I don’t want gibberish like “9/11, Freedom, terrorists, Stay the Course, Resolve.”

  146. 146

    My issue is that apparantly she and those on the left expect her status as the mother of a fallen soldier to inoculate her against any criticism for her speech or her actions.

    Three strawmen in one thread! This has got to be a new record!

    I have not seen anyone suggest that her status as the mother of a fallen soldier inoculates her against any criticism. If the criticism is legit, then I’m all for people speaking their minds.

    But clearly, calling her a “media whore”, an ignorant cow, and/or an anti-Semite is not legitimate criticism.

    Saying she is wrong about pulling out of Iraq because we need to stay until the government is established is legitimate criticism.

    I have no problem with the latter, but it is the former that seems to be more prevalent.

  147. 147
    B. Ross says:

    “If Mrs. Sheehan thinks Mr. Bush’s war is stupid and evil, why should she not say so? If Mrs. Sheehan thinks her son’s death was caused by Bush starting a war over a pack of lies (those non-existent weapons of mass destruction that, uh, STILL don’t exist), why should she not say so? If she thinks her son’s death was caused by Bush declaring war on the wrong people, the Iraqis, as opposed to waging war on the correct, responsible people—Al Qaeda—why should she not say so?

    It’s not as if she called Bush “a major abortionist of the post-born” or anything, is it?”

    Oh, and isn’t it so cute and timely that someone has JUST found a big old glycerin factory JUST in time to be pumped up as a factory of big old really scarey ooh ooh anti-Cindy-Sheehan-Weapons-of-Mass-Destruction.

    Wow. Kewl.

  148. 148
    Mike says:

    “ch2 Says:
    Mike,

    Let’s pretend this is Mr. Cole’s Blog and he can ignore you as a useless nuisance.

    Mr. Cole’s repeated avoidance of answering this question makes his next statement sound like just so much more bullshit. Now John said he will get to it, when he feels like it. I’m not holding my breath. It’s like he learned from President Bush how to just ignore people when he is being called on bullshitting.

    Bush has stated repeatedly why we are there. You don’t like the answer, and neither does Cindy Sheehan. But quit pretending the question hasn’t been answered, and that all Cindy is doing is trying to get ‘her questions answered.’

    WHY ARE WE IN IRAQ NOW ?
    WHAT ARE OUR GOALS NOW ?
    WHAT WERE OUR GOALS THEN ?
    WHY AND WHEN DID THEY CHANGE ?
    WAS CONGRESS INFORMED ?
    DID THEY APPROVE THIS ?
    WHAT IS THE METRIC FOR PROGRESS ?

    And I don’t want gibberish like “9/11, Freedom, terrorists, Stay the Course, Resolve.””

    See, here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter what anyone says, because you’ve already made up your mind. You don’t really care what anyone has to say on the matter unless it agrees with your little world. That’s why there’s no point in talking. Just as with Bush and this lady, she doesn’t want to talk, she wants to rage. Useless waste of time is all that is.

  149. 149
    Mike says:

    “B. Ross Says:
    Yes, I can see why Bush wouldn’t want to meet with someone who speaks the truth. You call it exploiting, we call it supporting. Ask Mrs. Sheehan if she wants us to leave her alone. Well, you don’t have too actually, she already told everyone to blog about her plight.”

    Why would he want to talk to someone that’s just a mouthpiece for the Left?
    Hell, for that matter why would any of us want to talk to the Left?
    Besides, it’s “truth” in your little lefty world that Bush lied, we’re there for the oil, Republicans are evil, and all the other useless bullshit that the left wing throws
    out. That’s doesn’t make it true, it makes it worth ignoring.

  150. 150

    Bush lied, we’re there for the oil, Republicans are evil, and all the other useless bullshit that the left wing throws out.

    Well in reality…Bush and his Administration did lie, oil is a main reason why we are there, and the Republican politicians are corrupt.

    But then again so are the Democratic politicians.

    Honesty sure is refreshing.

  151. 151
    Section9 says:

    Given the fact that she has parroted all the worst cant of Crypto-Fascist Moonbattery (“War for Israel”, “I want my son to fight for America, not Israel”), I’m sorry, but I’m afraid the charge of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is going to start to stick.

    Cindy Sheehan is repeating the new First Principle of the Left: Israel is the Problem.

    Which, by the way, is just the new way of saying that the Jew is the Problem. Same old Same old. Nothing changes except the uniforms.

    What’s remarkable is that her handlers were so damned clumsy. They must have figured that the Running Dogs in the media would give Sheehan an infinite free pass. Prominent Jews in the news media are going to start getting a mite bit uncomfortable with all the Jew-baiting that’s coming out of Camp Casey these days, disguised as it is as a pro-Palestinian solidarity effort as well as an anti-Iraq war campaign. I sort of agree with the guys over at LGF-waiting as they are for the huge puppets and the Palestinian flags to show up, along with the commemorative shrine to Rachel Corrie.

    I actually don’t believe that Cindy Sheehan is an anti-Semite. It’s not like she’s a subscriber to the Stormfront. Most of her handlers are, however, as anti-Semitism, disguised as “anti-Zionism”, is one of the new fads of the Left these days. The minute you hear, “war for Israel”, a little lightbulb called “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” should start going off in your head.

    The fact that it doesn’t tells me just how far the Left has fallen. It also tells me why this Cindy Sheehan tale will have a bad end.

  152. 152
    Geek, Esq. says:

    The whole thing is a damn circus, and I find it wearisome when either side of a debate tries to turn victims of tragedy into political icons.

    That said, there’s a right way and a very, very, very wrong way to go about countering such criticism.

    Right way: “Ms. Sheehan has experienced a great personal tragedy, and her views are no doubt deeply heartfelt. However, a mother’s grief is no substitute for sound policy judgment.”

    Wrong way: What Erickson, Malkin, and the rest of the Freepi do.

    I would excoriate any liberal who attacked the character of a pro-war mother of a dead soldier. I wouldn’t agree with her, and would have no problem spelling out why she was wrong and why her feelings don’t have any wider significance. But vile personal attacks and John Edward impersonations? Stupid, nasty, and counter-productive.

    Michelle Malkin pretends that she can read Casey Sheehan’s mind. Tell me, Ms. Malkin, would Casey Sheehan want someone like Erick Erickson insulting his mother from the safety of his Georgia law office?

  153. 153
    Thers says:

    “Cindy Sheehan is repeating the new First Principle of the Left: Israel is the Problem.

    Which, by the way, is just the new way of saying that the Jew is the Problem. Same old Same old. Nothing changes except the uniforms.”

    Dude, back away slowly from the bong.

  154. 154
    Reading A1 says:

    Radical grief.

    So I come to check the blogs of a silly Saturday, when you don’t expect much to be happening, and hey lookee, there’s been something of a dust-up: at The Poor Man, The Editors has administered a righteous and thoroughly deserved ass-whupping to John …

  155. 155
    Ron A. Zajac says:

    My response to this is really very simple. I plainly agree with all the quoted matter attributed to Sheehan by John. Bush is a lying bastard, and a less sheepish and more decent polity would 1) not have voted him in a second term in the first place, and 2) allowing some slack for dawning awareness, could now redeem the moment by starting impeachment proceedings.

    Of course, that’s a pipe dream. The American people, at this pass, are so asleep that they’ll duly send their kids to struggle and die in a tank of stealthy pirhanas in the interests of…what? Ah! Staving off non-existent WMD. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Oops! OK, we need to avenge 911 by striking an innocent bystander. That sound fishy to you? OK, then how about bringing the light of democracy to Iraq? But then, saddling the Iraqis with an influx of jihadists (the “flypaper” doctrine) flies in the face of that–I guess their freedom can wait while we “bring ’em on,” wot? Then, well…whatever. In tha end, all that doesn’t matter: Bush *is* our President. He’s a gibbering idiot, but he *is* our President, and what he says–when you can make out what it is he is actually saying–apparently goes.

    And another thing Sheehan has right; Bush needs to have a heart-to-heart with his daughters about the honor and dignity of serving our country; a time-honored euphemism for military service. Nothing like a little stint to build character, I always say. Not to say that staying home and partying isn’t staving up a vital front in the culture wars, but maybe the time has come for good old American-style sacrifice. Indeed: If it’s good enough for Casey, it’s good enough for them.

  156. 156
    ch2 says:

    I can channel too, so I’ll channel Ms. Malkin.

    Yes, Casey would want that. Casey told me he’d also want Mr. Cole to protect and defend Mr. Erickson’s brave attack on that traitor, or Mom, as he calls her. He also says: “Sorry Mom, nothing personal. But the GOP is more important than my own family.”

  157. 157
    ch2 says:

    Mike,

    See, here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter what anyone says, because you’ve already made up your mind. You don’t really care what anyone has to say on the matter unless it agrees with your little world. That’s why there’s no point in talking. Just as with Bush and this lady, she doesn’t want to talk, she wants to rage. Useless waste of time is all that is.

    Yeah, I have made up my mind. I want an answer that is a complete sentence in English. And you are saying that there isn’t one that would agree with this particular expectation.

    I get it.

  158. 158
    Thad says:

    I hereby take back anything nice I ever said about you, about how you were a reasonable, intellectually honest conservative interested in rational discourse. Fuck that. In this post, you have revealed yourself to be a mere thug, a bully, and, yes, a real whore. But congratulations — if you can spout these talking points with a straight face, next week you’ll be touting “intelligent design” with equal fervor, and you might find yet find favor with the anti-Enlightenment party. Those of us who would like to live in the 21st century, however, are, as usual, shit out of luck.

  159. 159

    […] John Cole calls liberals “like Atrios” “anger-pimps.” […]

  160. 160
    Jeff Altemus says:

    John,

    A minor issue, to be sure, but one that won’t leave me alone:

    One’s a blogger; the other has the ear of the POTUS. One’s a relatively obscure lawyer; the other a long-time politico/svengali-type.

    How exactly is Duncan Black like Karl Rove? What the hell are you talking about?

    This has to do with cat-blogging doesn’t it?

  161. 161
    nellodee says:

    […] John Cole calls liberals “like Atrios” “anger-pimps.” […]

    Then is Cindy Sheehan a grief pimp?

  162. 162
    nellodee says:

    jmh, according to all reported data, Casey re-enlisted.
    He believed in the cause his service supported.
    How would he feel about what Cindy Sheehan is doing, using a highly publicized grief-display to push her own agenda, obviously radically different from his?
    Ms. Sheehan is saying Casey died for nothing, died for Israel, died for oil, whatever, i can’t keep all her beefs straight–did Casey believe any of that? And by implication did all our soldiers die for lies and greed?
    Cindy Sheehan is using Casey’s death to push an agenda orthogonal to his.

  163. 163
    kevin lyda, co. galway says:

    nellodee: well what did casey die for?

    why are we in iraq?

  164. 164
    Colman says:

    When did being an activist become a bad thing? Shit. You’re right she is an activist: she’s been pushed into activism by losing a son to lies and macho bullshit.

    If there was any sound policy judgement being exercised in the Bush administration you might have some sort of point.

  165. 165
    MisterPundit says:

    why are we in iraq?

    Freedom and Democracy. If that’s not conspiratorial enough for you, too bad.

  166. 166
    Stormy70 says:

    I hereby take

    back anything nice I ever said about you, about how you were a reasonable, intellectually honest conservative interested in rational discourse. Fuck that. In this post, you have revealed yourself to be a mere thug, a bully, and, yes, a real whore. But congratulations—if you can spout these talking points with a straight face, next week you’ll be touting “intelligent design” with equal fervor, and you might find yet find favor with the anti-Enlightenment party. Those of us who would like to live in the 21st century, however, are, as usual, shit out of luck.

    Wow, John! You really brought the moonbats out with this post. Sorry, Cindy Sheehan has now entered the anti-semitic portion of her protest, and will now be dismissed with the rest of the far left crowd. “It is all Israel’s fault!” is the mark of the severe left and will never be accepted by the majority of Americans. “It’s the Joos! It’s the oil!” redux #1001. We’ve heard this tune before, and it will go over like a lead balloon.

  167. 167
    Pandagon says:

    The people are amassing in Crawford

    Man, this is so cool that Dru spent her weekend in Crawford at the protests. Here’s the thank you letter she wrote Cindy Sheehan. I’m still reading some ever-so-charming bits of right wing cynical posturing against the grieving mother in…

  168. 168
    Leonard says:

    My favorite part of this hilarious insane post is this:

    Google, when asked, coughs and sputters and reveals 729,000 archived stories (about Cindy Sheehan). By comparison, Todd Beamer, of “Let’s Roll” fame offers up 69,000 hits.

    All of which sounds just ducky: why, those liberal media whores! They’ve so exploited the grief of Ms. Sheehan that her story now has far more legs than that of a dead 9/11 hero! What noive!

    Except, um…the link provided by Mr. Cole isn’t to Google hits for Todd Beamer at all; it’s to some mysterious entity named Tom Beamer. And somehow, he’s collected 200,000 hits! So Tom Beamer, whoever he is, is also in on this liberal media whore conspiracy to minimize the valiant sacrifice of Todd “Let’s Roll” Beamer! IS NOTHING SACRED?

  169. 169
    John Cole says:

    Leonard- Archived stories are from the entire internet, including personal stories. So, if youare an idiot, it would look like I am writing about the ‘liberal media.’

  170. 170
    James Rosso says:

    Jeez – You really don’t like this woman. Lighten up a little. It’s not like she started a war for false reasons and continues to run it incompetently or anything.

  171. 171
    fear is the mind killer says:

    Cindy Sheehan is repeating the new First Principle of the Left: Israel is the Problem.

    Which, by the way, is just the new way of saying that the Jew is the Problem. Same old Same old. Nothing changes except the uniforms.

    Hoo boy. Not that old canard. By “canard” I mean the: if you criticize Israel you are an anti-Semitic gas-chamber-operator-in-waiting schtick. Let alone that the crticism is not of Israel per se, but, rather, of American officials whose actions seem to have been directed more for the benefit of Israel than the US. Sorry, dude, but you are just so wrong.

  172. 172
    Cyrus says:

    It doesn’t make it illegitmate, but it does mean it is a cause that can be disputed/refuted. Tell that to your friends on the left who just want to pretend the activist can use her with impugnity and no one is allowed to respond. -Posted by John Cole about 12 hours and 300 posts ago

    You would have a very good point here, John, except for one thing: as far as I can tell, and I’m sure I’ve missed parts of this media circus, THAT HAS NEVER FUCKING HAPPENED.

    By that I mean that nobody is trying to “dispute/refute” her cause or arguments. Right-wing commentators and activists are calling her a media whore, a bad mother, an extremist partisan, and much worse. But if any of her opponents have spent a paragraph explaining why her opinions and demands are incorrect (incorrect, impractical, immoral, anything, I’m not picky here) in the middle of their five-page-rants about how Gitmo is too good for her, I haven’t noticed.

    Yes, she’s a public figure, and both in the law and to some extent in the rules of etiquette, that makes her fair game for personal attacks. Considering how and why she became a public figure, I’d say that less venom is acceptable against her than against a politician or movie star, but still more than against a nobody. But you know what? Venom against her is all we’re getting here. It seems like liberals are treating her like the Virgin Mary only because they’ve never once had to defend her ideas.

    It would be so, so easy for Hannity or O’Reilly or Malkin to say or write this: “Whatever you may think about why we got into this war or about the conduct of our Commander in Chief, pulling out of Iraq immediately and completely, as Mrs. Sheehan feels is the only acceptable outcome, would be an utter disaster and in the long run would cost far more lives than it would cost to stay there until Iraq has a stable and democratic government. It would be the height of selfishness.” Instead of this: “I mean, I think Mrs. Sheehan bears some responsibility for [the personal attacks on her] and also for the responsibility of other American families who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq, who feel that this kind of behavior borders on treasonous.”

    For Sheehan’s detractors, it’s not about being correct or doing the right thing, it’s about winning. Or at the very least, making sure the other side loses. They apparently don’t care what the reasons for the war are or when it will be over, they only care that there is now a spokesman for what they see as the anti-them movement. And they can’t stand it.

    Sorry about the caps above, but this is one of the relatively few issues when I have a substantive disagreement with my side, and the right wing, true to form, manages to be twice as bad. It’s depressing.

    And, John, I respect you a lot and you’ve given me a lot to think about since I’ve been reading your blog, but asking for a Godwin’s Law on Hannity, Limbaugh and O’Reilly when they have national audiences and multiple best-sellers has to be high on the list of the dumbest things you’ve written. Of course there are exceptions and outliers, but it is 100 percent fair to judge a movement overall by its chosen spokespeople.

  173. 173
    Johnny says:

    Give me liberty, or give me death.

    John says “she doesn’t have the right to make demands of the President”

    Interesting. I would agree that Bush has the right and authority to ignore her demands, OF COURSE.

    But when did we move so far right (all the way to the left, Soviet left) that a citizen lost the right to make demands?

    Can you imagine a more basic example of our rights John? An lets be honest, it’s a little late in the game (a little over 200 years late to be exact) to be complaining that politics are politics.

    I’m a liberal (classical, Goldwater style) libertarian (loook them up in the dictionary, most people think these words mean something different than what they actually mean), but basically I believe in “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

    But, now I find out, according to John, I don’t actually have those rights. Hmmm….welcome to the Soviet point of view John, I hope it’s a good fit.

  174. 174

    […] Really. I am serious. Thousands of speeches, hundreds of thousands of news stories, millions of hourse of television news coverage, and all my liberal ‘friends’ don’t know why we are in Iraq. They ask over and over again in the comments: Why are we in Iraq? Most notably, these comments were from people I had never heard from before, but in good faith, here is my answer to the question of the day, Why Are We In Iraq?®,: […]

  175. 175
    The Raven says:

    Since John Cole’s busy at the moment, allow me to answer for him the question of, “Why are we in Iraq?”

    Cindy wants to know, and so so a bunch of other people. So let’s look at why we’re busy killing a bunch of people in the middle east.

    Bush sent Powell to the U.N., and Powell held up a vial of white powder and say that if it were Anthrax, it could kill millions of Americans. He had satellite photos, and said that they showed mobile weapons labs. Then Bush talked about mushroom clouds, and said that the CIA had evidence Saddam was building nuclear weapons. So we went to war against Iraq to prevent them from sending waves of terrorists to America in order to kill us all. And they were in league with al-quaeda. And they had something to do with 9/11.

    But all that turned out to be completely false.

    So then Bush said that we were at war with Iraq in order to spread “freedom” and “democracy.” How killing tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians and what’s getting close to 2,000 Americans in order to construct what’s looking to be an Iran-styled sharia-run Islamic theocracy has something to do with either freedom or democracy is kinda hard to figure out.

    So then Bush said that by invading Iraq and organizing elections for the populace, we would undermine Islamic nationalism and create “positive change” throughout the region. That’s this week. Next week there will be a new reason.

    The only constant in all this is that major contractors like Halliburton have been defrauding the U.S. taxpayer since day one, racking up billions of dollars in bogus invoicing. The corporate lobbyists like the status quo just fine, thank you.

    George Bush’s problem is that he’s supposed to be a “straight shooter,” somebody who is plain spoken, just an average guy – no whiff of intellectualism about ‘im – and he always tells the truth. So whatever the reason for the Iraq war is, that reason should be a consistent one, not a continously morphing, changing, whack-a-mole buncha platitudes and gobbledly-good hoo-hah.

    And suddeny Cindy Sheehan shows up and puts a human face on all the abstract nouns. Her presence in Crawford underscores the very suffering and sacrifice that American families are making in order to accomplish… waterboarding, forced homosexuality, stress positions and SM mindscrewing. No, none of it makes any sense at all.

    Maybe you can do better than I could, John. But answering the question would make a lot more sense than trying to justify horrific attacks on Cindy Sheehan’s character.

  176. 176
    Biff Usually says:

    …she most certainly doesn’t have the right to be used as a weapon by people, who, like herself, want only to savagely attack this administration

    The implication here seems to be that there is no honest disagreement here. That the people who are against the war are only against the war because they hate Bush, not because they truly believe that the war is wrong.

    And that’s just sad.

  177. 177
    Jim Caputo says:

    Biff Usually makes a good point when he says….

    The implication here seems to be that there is no honest disagreement here. That the people who are against the war are only against the war because they hate Bush, not because they truly believe that the war is wrong.

    In the days following 9-11, Bush’s approval rating was around 90%. That 90% couldn’t have been only right-wingers and independents; it had to have included a majority of democrats as well.

    Bush maintained his approval numbers at that level until he came up with the brilliant Iraq strategy. So democrats aren’t against the Iraqi War because they hate Bush (they were obviously supportive of him at some time), they’re against the war because:
    a – he lied to get us in there

    b – it had nothing to do with 9-11

    c – it pissed away all the world support we had following 9-11

    d – it took the focus off of Osama Bin Laden

    e – it’s sent us spiraling into record deficits

    f – it’s been fought stupidly and poorly

    g – our troops haven’t been given all the equipment they need

    h – companies with close ties to the administration, like Haliburton, are cheating us out of millions, if not billions, of dollars…and as Bush likes to tell us, it’s OUR money
    i – the justifications for the war are constantly changing to suit that day’s situation

    I could go on, but what good would it do?

  178. 178
  179. 179

    The Sad Case of Cindy Sheehan

    I am going to fasten on the old Body Armor here, and give you my thoughts on Cindy Sheehan. Why Body Armor? Well because I suspect that I am going to get unloaded on from my fellow Progressives. You see,…

  180. 180
    Mike says:

    People are not against the war because they hate Bush; they hate Bush because they’re against the war that he has waged bloodily, stupidly, incompetently, futilely, and pompously. He has materially weakened the country and the military for no purpose other than satisfying his own ego. He and his wingnut apologists are the traitors here. They truly hate America and spit on the military with every breath.

  181. 181
    Roscoe Tumbs says:

    First they try to take away Christmas, and now they want to take away our war. It’s just not right. -Roscoe Tumbs (abortion haulocast survivor, 30 yrs)

  182. 182
    dano347 says:

    db Says:

    “[ … ] From now on, I don’t think I want to hear from an ant-war protestor unless they have proven to me that they have stood in front of a tank in Tianemen Square.”

    And I don’t think a pro-war advocate has room to criticize ANYONE who tried to point out the idiocy, and frankly, the willful ignorance of members of your “tribe” for the past 2+ years. We tried to warn you that incompetence and Bush go together like hominy and grits – but NOOOO! YOU HAD TO SHOW THOSE FRENCH! Want some “freedom fries” to go with that intractable quagmire? At a BILLION DOLLARS A WEEK, Halliburton will gladly supersize your order, especially if you present your “war shill bonus point card” when ordering.

  183. 183
    smijer says:

    Since no trackbacks, I hope you don’t mind:
    my comments here

  184. 184
    Sinequanon says:

    I get where you are going with your position John. Yet, I fail to understand why you do not point out all of the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers out there with Cindy Sheehan, who have also lost a son or daughter to this misbegotten war, and who stood beside her in Crawford, or by post, by phone or in other ways. Those are some of the first people who gathered around Sheehan, those who lost loved ones and friends in this bloody CF.

    There is little doubt that Sheehan has garnered press attention on both the left and right. Those who have supported her request for an audience with GWB must be bad because they support her cause? Because Sheehan’s son has died in a War she doesn’t and never agreed with, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the right to question why her son died. This type of protest was often from the grassroots during the Vietnam Era. She also has a right to have an opinion on that war or the reasons for that war occuring in the first place.

    As far as I am concerned, Sheehan hasn’t asked Bush anything different than those of us who actually question the veracity of this war through other means – why it occurred in the first place and the outright lies that started with Bush as far back as January 2001. Most people that protest this war, protest it, due to these reasons as well as the resulting destruction and deaths both from the US, our allies and those encumbered in Iraq itself.

    Sheehan, families and anyone who has been though this hideous war have the right to redress this government for grievances…I’d say she and everyone who has lost a loved one or returned home maimed or wounded has a grievance or two. Regardless of the tactics. I am reminded at times like these of Martin Luther King, of Abby Hoffman, and of the anti-war protesters in WWI who gave us the right to protest and demonstrate peacably, specifically the Jehovah’s Witnesses passed out antiwar pamplets and were jailed for it and the case went to the US Supreme Court. They won. So did we when the right to ‘freedom of speech’ was reinforced in an act of protest.

  185. 185
    Sinequanon says:

    JOHN: “We need a Godwin’s law for Hannity and Limbaugh and O’Reilly.”

    ^5!!! Excellent point. (I love Godwin.)

  186. 186
    Kesher Talk says:

    Cindy Sheehan’s fellow travellers

    The longer Cindy Sheehan sits by the road in Crawford, the more of her questionable political views and associations will come to light. Solomonia has the rundown on Sheehan’s association with the Crawford Peace House, convicted terrorist support…

  187. 187
    Kesher Talk says:

    The most breathtakingly ludicrous comparison I have seen in a while

    Hold onto your hats, folks. This blogger is comparing Terri Schiavo’s parents to Cindy Sheehan. Both grieving parents who made their grief public and attracted political activists who amplified their messages and created media circuses in small t…

  188. 188
    cal godot says:

    “Over the weekend, as the camp prepared for the arrival of the counter-demonstrators, a huge diesel pickup truck rumbled into camp with its nose menacingly pointed towards the tents. It sat for a while, and everyone waited to see what would happen. Ann Wright, the main organizer of camp activities, finally approached the truck and met the driver. He was a father, Wright discovered, and his son had been killed in Iraq.

    “He did not agree with this protest, he said, but wanted to know if his son’s name was on one of the crosses in the Arlington West cemetery. Ann Wright invited the man to walk the rows of crosses and find his son’s name. They found it. Ann and the man from the truck sat down in front of the cross, wrapped their arms around each other, and wept. Later, the man shared a beer with Cindy Sheehan and told her he loved her. That is a victory, one that surpasses any sort of mean politics.”

    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/081505Z.shtml

  189. 189
    Billmon says:

    Kicked your dog yet, John?

  190. 190
    lawnorder says:

    You are being way too hard on Cindy. What she is going through is a very normal part of the grieving process, although she is having it a bit more publicly than you may want.

    Just for a second imagine you had a son called “Bob” who decided to climb the Himalayas and died on the mountain. During the mourning, wouldn’t you question the soundness and wisdom of doing that ? Any parent on your hypothetical shoes would think: If only he didn’t go to that mountain… Why climb the Himalayas ? Who came up with this stupid Himalayas idea anyway ? Who talked my son into doing this foolish and suicidal thing ?

    You are partially right that she is being used as a weapon by the left. But you forgot that the right is also viewing her and treating her as such. Since the first day she arrived in Crawford, when there were only 10 people and no networks the right has been attacking her non – stop.

    And come on, would it kill Bush to stop his speeding car and talk to someone who made the ultimate sacrifice for his decisions ? Make no mistake, Casey Sheehan was not the only one who made the ultimate sacrifice! As a parent I can tell you there is no grater pain than losing a child. I would gladly give my life to spare my son’s life, and most parents would do the same. It is not natural, parents are not supposed to see their kids die.

    Bush is being incredibly political about this. And so is the right. And so is the left. It is a shame that the division in this country got to such a point that a grieving mother can not be treated just as a grieving mother.

  191. 191
    torgeaux says:

    Your premise seems to be that she should be subject to the same criticisms and attacks as any other public figure in the debate. Fair enough. However, what makes me, and others like me bristle is not the attacks on her opinion, but rather ad hominem attacks on her. Your backhand use of media whore (yes, you did do this, and your “oh, it’s wrong, but accurate” comment is exactly that) is a good example. Why comment on that at all? I personally feel it’s because her argument, that the war is senseless, and not as advertised, is unassailable. This only leaves attacking the messenger. The comment that she should be shipped to Gitmo is priceless, AND representative of the “debate”.

  192. 192
    Bruce W. says:

    Cindy Sheehan has a right to allow herself to be manipulated by the far-left. The far-left have the right to try and do it. I will not judge the former; but the latter are indecent for doing so and should be villified for it. I would feel the same if it was the far-right doing it.

    It would have been a very interesting media moment if the President commanded his convoy of black SUV’s, etc., to halt, rolled down his window and invited Cindy to come into his limo for a short, private discussion. I don’t think it’s too late for him to do so, but it will be soon. I’m still holding out hope that he will surprise us.

  193. 193
    MikeSC says:

    Cindy has opted to become a political figure. She posts for Huffington Post, she blogs for Moore, she does countless interviews — these are not the actions of somebody who does not wish to be a public figure. You become a public figure and you open yourself up to criticism. Heck, John Cole here is far less of a public figure and he’s being attacked with some serious vitriol and bile by those who oppose him for daring to question the media circus around Cindy.

    Her political views, by and large, are so silly that the need to dispute them is not really there. It’s a little baffling that anybody would wish to be associated with somebody who held them, but that is not my concern. She has said that she doubts OBL actually was behind the 9/11 attacks and she opposed the war in Afghanistan. She calls Bush the world’s biggest terrorist. It’s a little difficult to actually take those statements seriously enough to find them deserving of a retort. When the views are so patently absurd when they’re expressed, there is no need to disprove them as they are clearly erroneous.

    Too many of you are actually proving John’s point: It’s the whole “How DARE you criticize a mom who lost her son?”

    Nobody is criticizing her as a mother. She IS being criticized as a public figure (I have noticed that few of you have qualms about criticizing the Schiavos). She is being criticized for what she said and what she has done. Nobody is criticizing Casey and nobody is saying she shouldn’t grieve. What they’re saying is that what she advocates, what she desires, and what she believes are downright absurd.

    If, say, David Duke had a son he lost in Iraq and then he protested the war, would his Klan history be off-limits when discussing his views?

    Why are we in Iraq? You know, I’ll go ahead and give you a hypothetical:

    Let’s say you’re 100% right. No WMD’s were ever there. Saddam was never a threat. We’ll ignore that Saddam gave us plenty of reasons to believe he had WMD’s (“I’ll delay and block inspections as long as possible…because I have NOTHING to hide!” Yeah, makes sense). We’ll ignore Salman Pak as a terrorist training ground. We’ll ignore Saddam giving money to homicide bombers. We’ll ignore all of that.

    We only removed a dictator who was amongst the most brutally vicious people on Earth whose suppression of his own people is well-known for its sheer brutality. That’s a BAD thing? Using our military for a, frankly, humanitarian act is something we should APOLOGIZE for? WORST CASE SCENARIO is that we simply removed a thug from power.

    I’m not exactly sure where we’re supposed to apologize for it.

    The left would be well-advised to pull out of their current anti-war track. The LAST time they went anti-war, the only thing that gave them the White House for the next 30 years was Watergate barely giving their man a slim majority. The anti-war left has no real solutions to the problems and has shown nothing that makes the populace believe that they are a viable alternative.

    Also, “Why doesn’t Bush send his kids to war?” Well, because the military is volunteer, women (allegedly) aren’t supposed to be frontline soldiers — and them being there would cause a huge problem for the military as every terrorist would specifically target them.

    -=Mike

  194. 194
    torgeaux says:

    MikeSC: The question isn’t why doesn’t Bush send his kids to war, it’s “Why doesn’t anyone in this administration encourage their own friends and family to join the military?” Their own cowardly backgrounds aside, this administration is one of the lightest on military service, but boy they sure do want others to shoulder the burden. The President is supposed to do what is best for his country, not what is best for his country club.

    We did NOT go to war to free the Iraqis. The fact that that is the only visible benefit of our actions is just chance. We went because this administration told us that Iraq presented a threat. Mind you, this after Colin Powell told congress that Iraq was not a threat and could be kept from becoming won for ~$25 million per year. How’s that coming so far?

    Which part of the anti-war movement is absurd? The desire of the American people to have their goverment be open and honest? To admit mistakes? To stop acting on behalf of a select few individuals/companies’? Those things should be obvious. Make no mistake, Iraq may not be Vietnam, but the word quagmire is oh so fitting.

  195. 195
    MikeSC says:

    Can you state that they HAVEN’T encouraged them to do so? I could also mention that more than a few of them don’t really have progeny of an appropriate age.

    In the end, the military is volunteer. Casey VOLUNTEERED. He ALSO RE-ENLISTED willingly.

    As for the lack of military experience in the administration — FDR wasn’t known for his lengthy military career. I’d not refer to him as a chickenhawk, however.

    As for why we went to war — NUMEROUS reasons were given. Freeing the Iraqis WAS one of them. Bush, in fact, got criticized for providing TOO MANY reasons for the action.

    Bush never once said Iraq was an eminent threat. He said they couldn’t allow them to possibly become one, considering how cavalierly Saddam used WMD’s on the Kurds.

    The anti-war movement is inherently silly. First, they bitch that there aren’t enough troops on the ground — then bitch that we aren’t pulling out fast enough. They call Bush a terrorist, which is laughable at best.

    And what select companies and individuals are benefitting from this? Care to give us names and figures of this massive profitability? Halliburton? Well, if you can name a company who can do the job as well as they can, feel free to do so.

    You have been trying to fit Iraq into a quagmire from the first day of the war. I am not shocked you feel it fits here.

    Of course, when you have the press not really ever mentioning any of the positives in Iraq, you might get a little skewed perspective.

  196. 196
    torgeaux says:

    MikeSC: It’s inherently silly to be anti-war? No. The complaint regarding troops on the ground was well founded….IF you are going to war, don’t half-ass it. Don’t close your eyes and clap for tinkerbell to win it for you. It would have allowed the troops to come home soonest possible. Can I name a company as able as Halliburton? Able to engage in fraud, hide money, not do the job? Yes, I can think of several. Of course, if it were open bidding, we’d all know who could do it, wouldn’t we?

    “You have been trying to fit Iraq into a quagmire from the first day of the war.” Really? I wasn’t aware I’d said any such thing. However, it’s not really in question that it is one now, now is it? Or perhaps you don’t know what a quagmire is.

    Which positives in Iraq are you referring to? Just set those out for us. The huge influx of foreign fighters? The fact that it’s become a center for religious zealots bent on terrorism? The fact that the constitution now is likely not to protect women’s rights at all, and in fact, by specific reference to the laws of Islam, implicitly denies them for all time? The 1800+ dead soldiers, the 10,000+ wounded? Not to mention the Iraqis (whom we sure liberated, all right….heaven being free and all).

    As for proof that they DON’T encourage….well, the interviews of college republicans sure show that that’s the case at the lower levels, and the fact that statistically close to zero of the Repubs have relatives in service. Maybe it’s just a coincidence.

  197. 197
    Rowan Berkeley says:

    I love this guy, “Section 9”:

    Given the fact that she has parroted all the worst cant of Crypto-Fascist Moonbattery (“War for Israel”, “I want my son to fight for America, not Israel”), I’m sorry, but I’m afraid the charge of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is going to start to stick.

    Cindy Sheehan is repeating the new First Principle of the Left: Israel is the Problem.

    Which, by the way, is just the new way of saying that the Jew is the Problem. Same old Same old. Nothing changes except the uniforms.

    What’s remarkable is that her handlers were so damned clumsy. They must have figured that the Running Dogs in the media would give Sheehan an infinite free pass. Prominent Jews in the news media are going to start getting a mite bit uncomfortable with all the Jew-baiting that’s coming out of Camp Casey these days, disguised as it is as a pro-Palestinian solidarity effort as well as an anti-Iraq war campaign. I sort of agree with the guys over at LGF-waiting as they are for the huge puppets and the Palestinian flags to show up, along with the commemorative shrine to Rachel Corrie.

    I actually don’t believe that Cindy Sheehan is an anti-Semite. It’s not like she’s a subscriber to the Stormfront. Most of her handlers are, however, as anti-Semitism, disguised as “anti-Zionism”, is one of the new fads of the Left these days. The minute you hear, “war for Israel”, a little lightbulb called “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” should start going off in your head.

    The fact that it doesn’t tells me just how far the Left has fallen. It also tells me why this Cindy Sheehan tale will have a bad end.

    He is like, if you don’t want to conquer the entire planet, in order to make it safe for jews, you are a nazi. And “handlers” gives it that real low-down, professional spook quality. Lay off the Mossad tales, Mr “Section”, is my cue to you.

  198. 198
    Kesher Talk says:

    The most breathtakingly ludicrous comparison I have seen in a while

    [ Stop the presses! Cindy Sheehan doesn’t want to meet with President Bush after all! ] UPDATE: Sheehan has attracted the flaming allseeing eye of Christopher Hitchens. It’s all over. UPDATE: Chrenkoff points out how some bereaved mothers of soldiers…

  199. 199
    Kesher Talk says:

    Cindy Sheehan’s fellow travellers

    The longer Cindy Sheehan sits by the road in Crawford, the more of her questionable political views and associations will come to light. Solomonia has the rundown on Sheehan’s association with the Crawford Peace House, convicted terrorist supporter Ly…

  200. 200

    […] Ann is on to something there, but she is too dimwitted or partisan to recognize that it isn’t just the ‘left’s doctrine of infallibility,’ but the NJ wives represent a trend that seems to be popular on both sides of the aisle- the NJ wives are exactly the same as Cindy Sheehan was for the left and Terri Schiavo’s parents were to the wingnut right. As I wrote about Cindy Sheehan: […]

  201. 201
    Bud says:

    Why doesn’t Cindy just fly a jet into the White House like the other Bush/America haters did and shut the f up? Most Americans do not share her view and her obnoxious way of presenting her ideas is a real turn off. She has the right to say whatever she wants but we also have a right to tell her that we disagree and think she is ridiculous. Her son died an honorable death and she has prostituted it. So f her!

  202. 202
    Bud says:

    tourgeaux: quit commenting you french fag

  203. 203
    Jonathan says:

    I note that Mr Cole never gave an answer in this thread as to why we are in Iraq.

    Of course, it’s only been six months.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Ann is on to something there, but she is too dimwitted or partisan to recognize that it isn’t just the ‘left’s doctrine of infallibility,’ but the NJ wives represent a trend that seems to be popular on both sides of the aisle- the NJ wives are exactly the same as Cindy Sheehan was for the left and Terri Schiavo’s parents were to the wingnut right. As I wrote about Cindy Sheehan: […]

  2. Kesher Talk says:

    Cindy Sheehan’s fellow travellers

    The longer Cindy Sheehan sits by the road in Crawford, the more of her questionable political views and associations will come to light. Solomonia has the rundown on Sheehan’s association with the Crawford Peace House, convicted terrorist supporter Ly…

  3. Kesher Talk says:

    The most breathtakingly ludicrous comparison I have seen in a while

    [ Stop the presses! Cindy Sheehan doesn’t want to meet with President Bush after all! ] UPDATE: Sheehan has attracted the flaming allseeing eye of Christopher Hitchens. It’s all over. UPDATE: Chrenkoff points out how some bereaved mothers of soldiers…

  4. Kesher Talk says:

    The most breathtakingly ludicrous comparison I have seen in a while

    Hold onto your hats, folks. This blogger is comparing Terri Schiavo’s parents to Cindy Sheehan. Both grieving parents who made their grief public and attracted political activists who amplified their messages and created media circuses in small t…

  5. Kesher Talk says:

    Cindy Sheehan’s fellow travellers

    The longer Cindy Sheehan sits by the road in Crawford, the more of her questionable political views and associations will come to light. Solomonia has the rundown on Sheehan’s association with the Crawford Peace House, convicted terrorist support…

  6. The Sad Case of Cindy Sheehan

    I am going to fasten on the old Body Armor here, and give you my thoughts on Cindy Sheehan. Why Body Armor? Well because I suspect that I am going to get unloaded on from my fellow Progressives. You see,…

  7. […] Really. I am serious. Thousands of speeches, hundreds of thousands of news stories, millions of hourse of television news coverage, and all my liberal ‘friends’ don’t know why we are in Iraq. They ask over and over again in the comments: Why are we in Iraq? Most notably, these comments were from people I had never heard from before, but in good faith, here is my answer to the question of the day, Why Are We In Iraq?®,: […]

  8. Pandagon says:

    The people are amassing in Crawford

    Man, this is so cool that Dru spent her weekend in Crawford at the protests. Here’s the thank you letter she wrote Cindy Sheehan. I’m still reading some ever-so-charming bits of right wing cynical posturing against the grieving mother in…

  9. […] John Cole calls liberals “like Atrios” “anger-pimps.” […]

  10. Reading A1 says:

    Radical grief.

    So I come to check the blogs of a silly Saturday, when you don’t expect much to be happening, and hey lookee, there’s been something of a dust-up: at The Poor Man, The Editors has administered a righteous and thoroughly deserved ass-whupping to John …

  11. […] John Cole says it much, much better (and to a much bigger audience, I might add). […]

  12. Hellblazer says:

    All Is Now Right With The World

    Well, for quite a while – far longer than I would have ever predicted – John Cole has been kind of a darling of the liberal blogosphere. Getting neat little links from some of the top blogs, good press -…

  13. […] The right’s outrage at a grieving mother’s questions are pretty outrageous themselves. And now even the sane folks on the right are getting all caught up in the bullshit the wingnuts are spewing. Case in point: John Cole, who wrote this last night: “I think Cindy Sheehan has moved beyond the role of grieving mother, and is now a political figure who gets no free pass for her bizarre, outrageous, and offensive statements. […]

  14. […] Jeff Goldstein: Apparently, any “wingnut” who dares analyze the political or cultural effects of Cindy Sheehan’s protests—whether it’s how those protests are being covered in the media, or the possible political or personal motivations behind those protests, or the makeup of the attendant support and supporters of said protests, etc.—is an angry, black-souled, evil and vile hater who, in the words of one passionate Cindyphile in the comments here, “should slit [his] own throat.” […]

  15. […] Well, I said that I didn’t want to get into the personal attacks on Cindy Sheehan. I still won’t—but I want to make a few points about the controversy that has erupted here, in response to this. […]

  16. […] I think this Cindy Sheehan character needs to go home before she really hurts somebody. Case in point: John Cole – who is wound rather tightly at the best of times – ponders the mother of the dead soldier, and, presently, we hear the sound of metal grinding against metal, catch a tart whiff of ozone, and then, in a hail of adjectival clauses, his whole mechanism just goes absolutely fucky. It’s priceless: And they are the focus of my anger- pimps like Atrios, who cynically take the regrettable phrase ‘media whore,’ and render it into more fodder for the masses, who, themselves awash in outrage, blinded by hatred for Bush, will throw critical reasoning aside, and see nothing wrong with outright lies, as long as it helps their cause: […] […]

  17. Wizbang says:

    Media Whores Online

    Once upon a time there used to be a very popular liberal weblog called Media Whores Online that mocked conservative talking heads, but it’s long since vanished. The liberal blogosphere loved it so much they couldn’t help but link to…

Comments are closed.