The right's Cindy crisis

From the diaries--Chris

They picked the wrong battle. And they know it.

As I wrote earlier, the ruthless deployment of the Republican smear machine means only one thing: That Sheehan is having an effect. What started with people like Richard Clarke, Joe Wilson and Paul Hackett has now moved to an American mother.

The right - try as they might to frame her on their terms - knows Sheehan is the real deal. They know America supports her. They know that each day Sheehan's vigil draws notice, the more their cause is damaged. They know that each day President Bush callously "goes on with his life," ignoring Sheehan, the more the administration looks out of touch with everyday people. They know that each day vigilantesmake their presence felt in Crawford, the worse they look.

Smearing Sheehan, for the right, is a no-win battle. Continue to smear her and lose the respect of millions of Americans. Let her continue to speak out and lose the support of millions of Americans.

As Sheehan moves Camp Casey to a bigger location closer to President Bush's ranch, Americans nationwide are showing solidarity. Tonight, for instance, many will take part in candlelight vigils in support of Sheehan, my girlfriend and myself included. What's more, Sheehan is inspiring other parents of the fallen to speak out.

Yesterday, the parents of local Marine Edward "Augie" Schroeder II - who died two weeks ago today - spoke out, telling Americans to "stand up and shout their condemnation" of the war. Bush, father Paul Schroeder said, should stop "tying support for our troops in the field and support for his war. The two are not the same. ... Bush has turned it around to say that if you don't support the war, you can't support the troops. That's just not true."

Augie Schroeder's mother, Rosemary Palmer, also showed support for Sheehan, who shares their pain and anger. "We consider her the Rosa Parks of the new movement opposing the Iraq war," Palmer told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "We have to fight this war properly or get out."

It's one thing for the right to smear activists like Michael Moore or politicians like John Kerry. It's easy for the rank-and-file - those good, hometown 'Mericans Bush loves to talk about - to fall in line behind that. Most of them are neither celebrities nor millionaires.

But many of them are mothers. And for the right to continually attack a grieving, angry mother is like telling the lady in Wal-Mart who can't control her children that she's being a bad parent. Either way, they won't like the consequences.

These attacks further underscore the paternalistic, sexist undercurrent running rampant throughout the Republican party. The right had no problem whatsoever stepping into Terri Schiavo's plight. She was defenseless. She had no voice. She was, to them, a "good woman" who - despite her own wishes and the wishes of her husband - deserved to live. She couldn't speak out, so they filled the void and put words in her mouth.

They've tried the same tactic to smear Sheehan. "I can't imagine that Casey Sheehan would approve of such behavior," Michelle Malkin told Bill O'Reilly. Cindy Sheehan, to them, is not a "good woman." She's not shutting up about the loss of her son. She's not grieving in private. She's not backing down. So they must attack.

In attacking her, they've used nearly every sexist trope in the Republican playbook. First, people like O'Reilly and others tried to paint Sheehan as a dupe, a prop supported by the far left. They assumed this woman couldn't think or do anything for herself, so she needed the support of others. Proven wrong, they then attacked her as a disobedient woman, making news out of Sheehan's unfortunate divorce. They painted her as they painted Michael Schiavo - in opposition with other family members.

But like an explorer trapped in quicksand, the more the right fights Sheehan, the deeper they sink. When Americans look at Sheehan, they don't see a prop. They don't see a disobedient woman. And they most certainly don't see a craven opportunist. They see a mother, angered over the loss of her son. Americans respect and support a mother. They don't take kindly when people attack one, which makes the right's smears even more indefensible.

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Comments

11 Comments

A Clarion Call For Peace
The Right Wing Smear Machine has met its match. The only effective tactic they ever had was unconditional surrender. If Bush had agreed to meet and talk with Cindy her story would have lasted one news cycle and been over.

Because the RWSM is pre-programmed to attack, slime and defile all opposition the wingnuts overstepped all bounds of common decency. I can't imagine anything more offensive than knocking down crosses honoring our fallen heros. All but the most callous and unethical political operatives would have sensed that a Gold Star Mother of a Fallen American Hero requires a different approach.

Other Gold Star Mothers like Rosemary Palmer are going to start stepping forward all over the country to add their voice to Cindy's. The chorus will continue to build down by the riverside


by Gary Boatwright 2005-08-17 10:23AM | 0 recs
Bush's Sinking Approval Ratings
You know, when the Republican-friendly Rassmussen poll shows Bush's numbers down to a 43% approval rating, Bush is in deep, deep trouble.  The only thing I wish is that this would have happened prior to Election Day last year, when it would have done some good.

I am very concerned now that Bush's numbers are so low, that this evil man is going to do something drastic to try to get public opinion back to his side.  Will he trot out the old cannard of a sinister new Terrorist Threat?  Raise the terrorism alert level to the highest level?  Start banging the drums of war against Iran?  

The neocons are in full retreat.  Despite the active failure of most of the mainstream media to accurately portray Bush's lying on the war in Iraq, the public is slowly getting the truth via the Internet in venues such as these, and word of mouth slowyly passing from person to person  across the country.  Air America is doing a fine job.  The bloggers are cracking through the wall of silence of the corporate media.

The Bush crime family is in trouble.  These bastards will not go down without causing major injury to this country.  I wonder what is next from these lying sob's.

by MichiganDemocrat 2005-08-17 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Bush's Sinking Approval Ratings
Iran. I got chills the other day when he was talking about the UN's failure to stop Iran and "all options are on the table". I think only one option is on the table. So now our overextended troops will be stretched further to invade and occupy Iran.

Sadly, Iran probably would not be pursuing nuclear weapons if we had not invaded Iraq while calling them part of an axis of evil.

by antiHyde 2005-08-17 02:17PM | 0 recs
Is Iran pursuing nuclear weapons?
I thought they were building a power plant.
by catastrophile 2005-08-17 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Is Iran pursuing nuclear weapons?
But it's a 'NUCULAR' power plant, and they've got hella oil to burn, so itr must not be 'really' for power, right?

Man, this administration and the media corps paint everything that other countries do in a very peculiar light.

For some reason, Iran is supposed to just sit there next to a TON of US troops and just not do anything but fucking move the oil.  I'm not crazy about iran's leadership, but damn!  WTF would YOU do if a big, stupid bully moved into your neighborhood and started talking shit about you?

We all know Bush is fucking nuts... look at the crazy way he treats Venezuela.  We start a coup, do everything we can to get their elected president out of power, legally and 'extralegally,' and are constantly talking shit about them.  Then the administration gets all hurt and shocked when the tell us to fuck off and mention that we suck.

WTF?  This president is seriously delusional... he literally thinks that every country out there will just bend over and take one for the American team if we just bully them hard enough.

I don't know WHAT Bush will do as he gets more desperate... he's like a two year old that has a knife... his perception of the possibilities and consequences of his actions are just not in line with what could and will actually happen.

We have a monkey with a razor blade sitting in the White House.

by teknofyl 2005-08-18 06:57AM | 0 recs
It's totally rational.
See, as long as they can keep most of America in the dark about the way we've provoked Venezuela and Iran, they can paint their actions as erratic and their "anti-American" rhetoric as proof that they're a threat.

In other words, it gives us an excuse to openly pursue regime change. We spend years quietly trying to get Chavez out of office, then as soon as he says anything about it, we say, "you hear that? He thinks we're out to get him. He's a lunatic."

by catastrophile 2005-08-18 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: It's totally rational.
Exactly.

And the M$M goes along with it 100%.  So the administration doesn't even have to be all that 'quiet' about it.  Because the lapdogs will shut the fuck up on command if they can get away with it.

by teknofyl 2005-08-18 11:00AM | 0 recs
But But But
She's a communist nazi lesbian anti-semite who hates America!!!!
by Geotpf 2005-08-17 01:35PM | 0 recs
Really, though,
aren't we all?
by catastrophile 2005-08-17 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: But But But
lol that was probibly the Fox "news" Channels headline.
by Liberal 2005-08-17 04:33PM | 0 recs
Two Minnesota Women
Two Minnesota Women are on their way to Crawford Texas to Join Cindy tomorrow.  

Senator Becky Lowrey is, I believe, the highest ranking Democratic Elected Official to have lost a child in Iraq.  Her son, a Helicopter Pilot was killed this spring.  Becky Lowrey has been in the state Senate for twelve years, she had twelve children, and she is a farmer's wife from a district just south of Duluth.  Her son is buried in Arlington.

She is traveling with Candidate Colleen Rowley, Retired FBI agent who called Director Muller on his narrative of the Moussaoui story.  Rowley is running for Congress in the 2nd District.  

Howard Fineman had the nerve to say tonight that Democrats are staying away from Camp Casey.  Not Minnesota DFL women!!!

by Sara 2005-08-17 06:19PM | 0 recs

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