7 Reasons Why Cindy Sheehan Is So Irritating
“Cindy Sheehan’s makeshift protest camp near the president’s ranch in Crawford is a brilliant piece of political theater, and it’s beginning to make people say things they almost surely know they shouldn’t say about a grieving mother, but just can’t quite help themselves. One blogger over at redstate.org used a term relating to prostitution to describe her, and Fred Barnes — one of the nicest men on earth — called her a “kook” on Fox. By allowing her to get their goat in this fashion, Mrs. Sheehan and her friends are getting exactly what they want, which is a cultural confrontation between a mother who lost a son in Iraq and some pundits (like me) who don’t seem to have her moral authority.” — John Podhoretz
In one sense, Podhoretz is right, but there are so many things that bug me about Cindy Sheehan.
1) The Democrats use people like Cindy Sheehan all the time — and I’m not just talking about Kristin Breitweiser and the rest of the Jersey Girls. Why do you think Max Cleland was on the campaign trail for John Kerry last year? Because he was a great speaker or had something to say that the American people really wanted to hear? No, Cleland was there so they could gratuitously exploit the fact that he lost limbs in Vietnam. The only reason the Kerry campaign brought Cleland in was so they could wheel him out there, have him say whatever lines Kerry put in his mouth, and then squeal, “Look at ’em picking on poor Max Cleland,” when someone criticized him.
They’re doing the same thing with Cindy Sheehan, except in her case, she’s using her dead son as a shield from criticism.
2) Most people have already seen the letter written by Casey Sheehan’s “grandparents, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins.” But, did you also know that Sheehan herself admits that she is separated from her husband “because he doesn’t support my activities?” Cindy Sheehan doesn’t even seem to speak for much of her own family, much less for her son who signed up, reenlisted, and then lost his life after heroically volunteering to be part of a rescue mission.
3) A lot of people have lost their sons and daughters in Iraq, Afghanistan, and 9/11. Sheehan doesn’t speak for them. So why should what she has to say carry any more moral import than the words of all the people who’ve also lost loved ones and vehemently disagree with her?
4) Because the Democrats and Sheehan are so willing to prostitute Casey Sheehan’s memory at every opportunity, now the pressure is on for Republicans to do the same. We’re already starting to hear talk about finding people who’ve lost children in Iraq and also support the war, so they can be asked to speak out. I don’t feel right about that. If they want to come forward and talk on their own, they have the right to do so, of course, but we shouldn’t be getting into some kind of “grief off” with the Democrats.
5) Moreover, the decisions we make in Iraq should not be based on the unpredictable feelings of grieving parents. You can’t, for example, say: “We need to stay in Iraq, but since Cindy Sheehan is upset, we should pull out.” That’s nuts, but it’s exactly what so many people on the left are demanding we do.
6) I know everyone wants to treat Cindy Sheehan with kid gloves because she lost a son in Iraq. But, how many times does she get to lie without getting called on it? When she’s saying she won’t pay taxes, being applauded by David Duke, or taking digs at our country: “America has been killing people on this continent since it was started. This country is not worth dying for,” is she supposed to get a free pass for that?
Try that sort of thing where you work some time and see how well it goes over. When your boss asks where your report is, say: “I didn’t do the report and you better not say anything about it because my son died a year ago.”
How long does Sheehan get to figuratively use the corpse of her son to deflect all criticism, get special privileges, and demand media attention?
7) Last but not least, there’s probably not a person reading this page who hasn’t lost a loved one at some point or another, but very few people have tried to use that death as a ticket to their “15 minutes of fame” like Cindy Sheehan has. That’s part of the reason why what Cindy Sheehan is doing seems, in the end, to be so manipulative and grotesque.