Sunday, August 14, 2005

Far be it for me to underestimate the MSM's ability to gloss over and hide the more extreme views of people who can be used for the MSM's own political agenda -- witness the absolute non-reportage of the large "anti-war" demonstrations organizers' ties to extreme Left groups -- but I think the era of Cindy Sheehan is reaching its limit. Not only because the press is likely to start realizing that they're overdoing it, even by their own standards, but her activities are now turning into what's more accurately described as "antics," and because the more she speaks, the more difficult it is becoming to keep a gloss on what she says (and what the group that's using her stands for). Omri at Mere Rhetoric and Israpundit notes the following quote:

Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a U.S. soldier who was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, on April 4, 2004, expressed her distress and frustration... "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 George [W.] Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11."

You can almost feel the news producers cringing.

I've never linked to Wonkette before, in fact, I'm not sure I've ever read Wonkette, but this extract posted at Winds of Change is spot-on (I, like Armed Liberal who posted it, agree with it all aside from what she says about the Administration):

Is that what the debate has come to? Which side can corral the saddest crop of widows, parents, and orphans? Call it a harms race. Better: an ache-off. We hope the grimly absurd image of two competing camps of mourners illustrates why it is we've been somewhat reluctant to weigh in on Sheehan's cause: Grief can pull a person in any direction, and whatever "moral authority" it imbues, we can't claim that Sheehan has it and those mothers who still support the war don't. The Bush administration knows all about exploiting tragedy for its own causes, including re-election. Whatever arguments there are against the war in Iraq, let's not make "I have more despairing mothers on my side" one of them. The only way to win a grief contest is for more people to die.

Never underestimate the American people's ability to "get it." Cindy Sheehan is pretending to wish to speak to the President again, but most people understand that she's made it clear there's no point to it.

She lost her son. That buys a LOT of leeway, but when you use that loss for politics, and you start spouting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and you start saying things that some people feel puts other kids lives at stake, you start squandering that good will and may even start calling down for a bit of tough love.

Let Cindy Sheehan practice her free speech, but please beatify someone else.


I think everybody misses Cindy Sheehan’s value to the left. She allows them to avoid the debate.

To the left, the most exalted position one could have is that of victim. It cleanses one of all sins and indiscretions and renders one impervious to criticism. (This especially manifests itself in their forgiveness of all manner of atrocities committed by the Palestinians.) I remember a post on another blog (can’t remember which) about Sheehan. The post and the first few comments were quite innocuous, yet the next commenter accused them of “spit[ting] on” the mothers of the dead. Cindy Sheehan’s status as victim allows her supporters label all criticism of her as insensitive or worse.

The left has been consistently losing the battle of ideas for twenty-plus years. The anti-war movement lost the debate before the war and they lost the last two elections, which were greatly influenced by foreign policy. The last thing they want is a debate. That’s why Cindy Sheehan is their perfect spokesperson. The point is not to spark debate; the point is to stifle debate. She can spout whatever nonsense she wants while her supporters can suppress any dissent by declaring all criticism of her beliefs, statements, motives, etc. to be out of bounds.

It's so interesting:,

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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