August 10, 2007

Schadenfreude Friday: Vote For Pedro

A tearful Cindy Sheehan cited her son, killed in Iraq, as her inspiration as she announced her candidacy Thursday for the U.S. House against Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Sheehan last month said she intended to run against Pelosi, the House speaker, if the San Francisco congresswoman didn't move to impeach President Bush by July 23.

Sheehan said Thursday that Pelosi had "protected the status quo" of the corporate elite and had lost touch with people in her district, most of whom, she asserted, want American troops out of Iraq.

Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for Pelosi, would not comment on Sheehan's candidacy but said the speaker has always opposed the war in Iraq and has focused on bringing troops home "safely and soon."


It is not immediately obvious why I - a self-described bleeding heart liberal - would include Sheehan on my roster of weekly schadenfreude. Sheehan has been lauded on these pages in the past. So why bash her now? The answer is really quite simple.

Sheehan stood for a true pacifist movement. She gained a foothold in the American psyche by standing up for families of soldiers killed in what the majority of Americans are realizing is an unjust, poorly waged war. Who would refuse to embrace a mother whose son was killed fighting a war that never needed to be started. Yes, she alienated a few of the die-hards who would never think or at least admit that mistakes had been made. But she had a prime opportunity to influence public opinion and make the cause greater than that of herself or her son. But she didn't. Instead, she allowed herself to become the story, allowed her personality to eclipse the ideal for which she was fighting. And now, unable to achieve any sort of victory against her true target - George W - she's aimed lower and set her sights on someone who may actually be in a position to slow if not stop the flow of flag-covered caskets back to our shores. And by doing so she again makes herself the story instead of our soldiers.

Cindy, if you want to do something positive, throw your support behind those with the influence to change minds and lives. Fly to Washington. Spend time at Walter Reed. Take care of those whose lives have been forever altered by war. Hell, camp out at the ranch in Texas some more. Just don't make the story about you. Make it about the men and women who have pledged their lives to fight on our behalf.

As an aside, someone who's been reading for a while wrote to let me know that she's safe and well and turning some folks into Rude Cactus converts in Afghanistan. There's no way to adequately express how proud that made me feel. To all of you fighting the good fight, thanks. Keep reading but more importantly, take care of yourselves!

Posted by Chris at August 10, 2007 7:12 AM
Comments

One of your best posts. You and I do not agree politically but I am glad to see that you can see through Cindy Sheehan.

Posted by: William at August 10, 2007 7:58 AM

I've always empathized with Cindy Sheehan but felt that she was going about things all wrong. I think what she could do that would be even more effective is to organize parents of children who have been killed or injured in the war and camp out on Capitol Hill all day every day, accosting members of the House and Senate as much as humanly possible. I think that is time better spent than getting her picture on the evening news camped out outside the ranch in Crawford. She has just made herself look like a wack-o.

Posted by: donna at August 10, 2007 10:08 AM

I've always sympathized with Cindy Sheehan but felt that she was going about things all wrong. I think what she could do that would be even more effective is to organize parents of children who have been killed or injured in the war and camp out on Capitol Hill all day every day, accosting members of the House and Senate as much as humanly possible. I think that is time better spent than getting her picture on the evening news camped out outside the ranch in Crawford. She has just made herself look like a wack-o.

Posted by: donna at August 10, 2007 10:08 AM

You're absolutely correct. It's seems now it has become about extending her 15 minutes of fame. I like Donna's idea and I like your ideas. Figure out a way to put pressure on the people that can actually get the job done.

Posted by: snakeepoo at August 10, 2007 11:49 AM

I'm disappointed and often angry at the Democratic leaders in both the House and the Senate. I think Reid and Pelosi could do better.

I also realize that it's disheartening to have a bare majority be overridden by veto if a vote ever makes it as far as the floor.

I'd like to see the whole gang impeached. Heck, I wouldn't mind seeing them tried for war crimes. Realistically that won't happen and Pelosi knows it. She doesn't have the votes because too many of the Dems elected are conservative. Look at the vote on the recent surveillance law. The same thing would happen.

I'm not Cindy so I can't speak to her motivation. I do think she's hurting us more than helping this time.

I'd tell you to have a great weekend but I know what you're going to be doing. Try to find a minute or two to rest.

Posted by: ann adams at August 10, 2007 11:56 AM

As much as I'd like to blame the crazy, nonsensical, sense-altering grief that must descend upon every parent who loses a child (especially one that died defending this President's lie-riddled agenda), I wonder about Cindy Sheehan. It was, at first, all about HER and her loss. And it should have been, because the point was to bring focus to the atrocities of war in general...and this one in particular. It gave this war another face. And now? She's playing into the hands of those who seek to demonize her by grasping at some futile straws. In many ways, I think it's okay to lose your shit when your kid dies. It's expected. But in this case, there are too many people who would like to remove the crown and scepter of insanity from GWBush (does Lyme disease make you batshit?) and place it on Sheehan's head. She's just giving them one more reason to do it. And that makes me sad.

Posted by: wordgirl at August 10, 2007 12:15 PM

Couldn't agree more.

Incidentally, I watched a documentary on HBO last night - I think it was called "Last Letters Home." It featured parents, siblings, spouses, etc., reading the last letters from their loved ones serving in Iraq. I don't know why I watched it - it was so sad that my eyes still hurt from crying. Great example though, of people keeping the focus on the soldiers and NOT becoming the story like Sheehan has. And I do respect what she was doing in the beginning, I just think you're right that she missed her chance to really be a true advocate for all of the soldiers. Plus, there's no way she'll beat Pelosi - I just hope her candidacy doesn't act as any kind of spoiler and snag votes that would otherwise go to Pelosi.

Posted by: erin at August 10, 2007 12:26 PM

You know, I'm not a real Cindy Sheehan fan. But I view her actions differently than you in this particular case. Perhaps she's going for the extended 15 minutes of fame, but the thing is, she's actually DOING something. I feel like I can sit here all day and express my opinions about the war, the troops, and GWB to anyone who will listen, but what am I REALLY doing about it? Nothing. Not really. I go home, I go to work, I go about my daily life. So, in that respect and whether you think Sheehan is super-rad or totally-lame, I applaud her for at least taking real action.

Posted by: Noelle at August 10, 2007 12:40 PM

I don't pretend to be a politically charged person but you are right on with this post!

Also loved the "Hot Ass" post. You are so weird :)

I've linked to my new site. Come visit me! (it was bellamommy)

Posted by: Peggy at August 10, 2007 2:03 PM

Cindy Sheehan is a loon...I feel sorry for her..she has suffered a great loss, probably the greatest loss any mother good feel... but I don't like her.

Posted by: marsha at August 11, 2007 9:27 AM

Congrats and good luck on everything - the new baby, the new house and the new start.
If any people deserve and ideal life it's you guys.

Are you nervous about having a boy?

Posted by: That Girl at August 11, 2007 3:38 PM


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