Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

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Cindy Sheehan: Annoying hero

Am I the only one getting tired of Cindy Sheehan? I don't mean to demean what she's doing, turning her loss and grief into a banner of rebellion against a false war, but she's starting to get on my nerves.

The thing about Cindy Sheehan is that what she's doing is ultimately futile and she knows it, or at least should. George Bush isn't going to come out from the ranch and explain the war to Cindy Sheehan because he knows that Cindy Sheehan knows there is no good explanation. If he can't convince her of the cause all he can do is make himself look bad, which he won't.

So in effect while Sheehan claims that she's there to draw Bush into a conversation in fact what she's there to do is bring a spotlight on the injustice of the war and the cavalier attitude of Bush towards the soldiers who make the ultimate sacrifice. Last time she met Bush he didn't bother to learn her son's name and acted like the wake was a party. She wants to teach the country what she now knows, which is that George Bush is responsible for her son's death and he doesn't really care.

The thing is, Cindy Sheehan's efforts to spotlight the government's misbehavior is a pretty empty gesture. The people who are reacting with outrage towards Bush are the ones who hated him from the beginning and think the war has been criminally mismanaged. The right wing media has predictably slandered and attacked Sheehan (Why would the grieving mother of a dead soldier be due any respect? She's a god damned leftie!) to the point where dittoheads and Hannity drones can safely ignore her. She's a symbol for the left, and a strong moral example of the right to protest, but she's not winning hearts and minds.

Meanwhile Sheehan has started blogging (shocker!) on the Huffington post, and her entries are full of a sort of grandiosity that plays into the hands of the right.

"I was thinking that there is no reason for us progressive liberals to be angry anymore. We have the power. One mom has shown that ordinary citizens can make a difference. We the people have to hold George Bush accountable. We have to make sure he answers to us. If he doesn't have to answer to Congress, or the media, we will force him to answer to us."

God but I wish it were so. It's not. Bush still has the power. He has the power to order hundreds more to die in a futile war we should never have started. He has the power to defund critical programs and bankrupt the country. He has the power to feed the slobbering Haliburton beast all the tax dollars he can collect from the poor and the working. Hold him accountable? We can try him in absentia but we can't do anything to him. All this sturm und drang won't amount to an impeachment, it won't stop the bloodshed, it won't stop the Bushie Bushie machine.

What Sheehan done has indeed been noteworthy, and I would never condemn someone for how they choose to grieve, but we must recognize that this sort of symbolism has only a small place in the coming struggle. Cindy Sheehan has helped remind us that in America the weak can sit outside the home of the powerful and throw rotten tomatoes over the walls, but it'll take more than rotten tomatoes to take down George Bush and whoever his successor will be.

We don't have the power and we desperately need to get it. Now is precisely the time to get angry and motivated, because the killing won't stop until the Republican machine does.
Tags: politics, sheehan
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