Friday, August 12, 2005

Sheehan Wants Retribution Not Consolation

Cindy Sheehan lost her son in the War on Terror. She met with President Bush who offered what consolation he could.

And now she's mad at Bush and wants to meet with him again.

So in order to get that second meeting, she is staging the equivalent of a sit-in outside the President's Crawford ranch (along with the most assuredly coincidental participation of MoveOn.org and others), wanting answers for her son's death. Read this account and this one. These are not peaceful protesters, but a belligerent crowd of perpetual malcontents who are wanting to spread political ideology. Note the blood-for-oil claims, hunger strike, and the guy asking why Bush's daughters aren't fighting in Iraq. A classy bunch.

In Ms. Sheehan's defense, people who are grieving the loss of an immediate family member behave in extreme ways. I have witnessed what would otherwise be considered antisocial and extreme behavior by people who have lost very close loved ones. People behave foolishly and we are supposed to make allowances for that. And the loss of her son in a war with which she did not agree must be unbelievably difficult.

But Ms. Sheehan has already met with President Bush who consoled she and her family. She wants an explanation as to why her son died. But what on earth does she expect from him? What she really wants is for Bush to say the following:

I lied to you and the American people about why I went into Iraq. I did it for oil for my rich oil buddies at Halliburton. There were never weapons of mass destruction. I knew it then and I know it now (notwithstanding the fact that the British, French, Russians, Egyptians, and Jordanians still believe there were WMDs). Dick Cheney is running the White House, and I am a complete dolt. He and I will both commit hara-kiri. Thereafter, we will violate the Constitution as a capitulation to the rabidly insane and insatiable ire of the left by ceding the presidency to John Kerry, as we stole the 2004 election insofar as we got more votes than him, or Al Gore, given that we similarly stole the 2000 election by not just giving it to him, as a close election should always go to the Democrat. Whichever.
As stupid as that sounds, and without my ridiculous hyperbole, that's what she wants to hear. Bush can't offer anything more to her than personal consolation. This woman wants philosophy and politics which she must know she will not get from him. Which means that all she really wants to do is to make an obnoxious and embarrassing pie-in-the-face scene involving the President and to get herself arrested as a faux martyr to whatever cause she thinks she is championing. Her family seems to agree.

It's one thing to be an angry, grieving mom. It's entirely appropriate to pound one's fists and demand an answer to the unanswerable because that's what grief is all about. But it's quite different, and the alleged cause loses its veil of righteousness when it goes completely political, looking not for answers, but rather for personal and political gratification in the spotlight.

It's no longer about the loss of her son. It's about Michael Moore politics with a soldier's blood shamelessly wiped all over it to create the illusion that her cause is genuine. We sympathize with her loss. It does not change the legitimacy of her politics.

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