I was hoping I wouldn't have to write about Cindy again. Cindy makes me want to bang my head against a wall in exasperation and frustration for the fortunes of the Democratic Party. Cindy makes me feel annoyed and embarrassed. Cindy operates on another level, one which I clearly don't inhabit.
Here goes my disclaimer: I have not lost a loved one, much less my child, in Iraq, so I cannot even begin to imagine the pain of that occurrence. I want to give her all respect for having suffered that loss and for committing to fighting for her principles no matter what.
That said, could she wait until the Dems have actually gotten a single effing thing accomplished in Congress, like maybe even finishing lunch on Day One at the Capitol, before storming the beaches? For heaven's sake! She's becoming a one-woman circa-1980's Al Sharpton, which is to say, that it's all about her. I don't for one minute believe that she doesn't truly feel the weight of her convictions. But her strategies and tactics for having those convictions meet with any political success at all are curious at best and cluelessly negligent at worst. Did she really think that hijacking the incoming Speaker's press conference would somehow speed the return of our troops from Iraq? If so, I'm anxious to hear how she sees this playing out. If not, why did she do it? Has she at all considered the possibility that she is harming the anti-war movement?
I know that some will say she's fabulous for being a thorn in the side of both parties in service to her principles. But I don't get how alienating the very people who can help your cause is a credible person's first order of business. I remember attending the Democratic Convention in LA in 2000. I remember all too well people throwing stuff and hurling insults at us as we went through the checkpoints to get into the Staples Center, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why they were attacking US. We were on the same side, perhaps at different points on the liberal continuum, but clearly on the same side. Even if for no other reason than the opposing side was so far to the right, I just couldn't figure out what they had hoped to accomplish by making me hate them.
A good friend of mine who attended with me called it "the arrogance of the disenfranchised," which I think nailed it. They were so caught up in their movement's righteousness--and the feeling of being against the world, which they secretly(?) really buy into and enjoy--that they couldn't take one single credible step to having that movement become part of the political process. It was as if they were so righteous that any political participation in something like a convention or an election or a congressional committee meeting would by definition taint their righteousness...so pox on both houses and let's throw some rocks.
This is where I'm heading in my feelings about Cindy Sheehan. If you REALLY want to bring those soldiers home, you'd do anything to make it happen. You'd even work with Nancy Pelosi and Rahm Emmanuel. You'd speak truth to power--and this is key--IN A WAY THAT POWER COULD AND WOULD BE ABLE TO HEAR YOU--and that the entire world would witness--and THEN you'd twist the thumbscrews till you got your ends. What Cindy Sheehan just did was piss on the very people who are in a position to make her purported goals a reality. She made it all about herself. Not about her son, not about the troops, not about the goal of getting them home from this terrible conflict. The people who are already trying to get the troops home didn't need Cindy Sheehan busting in on their meeting to strengthen their resolve, and those who aren't certainly won't be convinced by today's events.
Simply put, she committed a tactical and strategic blunder that, paradoxically, is on the scale of none other than George-Bush-as-War-President himself.
Way to go.