Sheehan Redux

Many thanks to everyone who commented on my last Cindy Sheehan post – even if you disagreed.  It added a little controversy that has been missing on DonkeyDigest for a few months.

Here is what others are saying about the matter.

The Augusta Chronicle:  Cindy Sheehan was on no one’s ballot in November.  But she seems to think she’s running the country now.  Cindy Sheehan thinks she was given a mandate on Nov. 7 to personally see to it that the U.S. presence in Iraq ends immediately. Her arrogance never seemed restrained but certainly wears no bridle today. 

Columnist Doug Patton:  Fans of the 1980s sitcom, “Family Ties,” will recall the characters of Steven and Elise Keaton, liberal former sixties activists raising their three children, including son Alex, whose “rebellion” against his parents’ liberalism manifested itself in staunch Reagan conservatism.

In one particularly poignant episode, Elise and Steven, who have settled into an idealistic but decidedly middle-class lifestyle, reconnect with a radical former comrade from their college days. Their old friend has not changed a bit, and when he proposes starting an “underground” newspaper like the one on which they worked together in college, Steven, desiring to relive their glory days, readily agrees. However, when he submits to his friend an article about the Democrats’ chances of recapturing the White House in 1984, he is scorned for having “sold out” to the establishment. The friend protests that Steven no longer is calling for the destruction of the entire political system.

“You sound like a member of the PTA,” the friend observes, to which Steven Keaton sheepishly replies: “I am a member of the PTA.”

I thought of that episode when I saw antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan disrupting the press conference of U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill, chairman of the House Democratic caucus and one of the chief architects of the Democrat takeover of Congress. Emanuel was outlining his party’s plans for lobbying reform, but Sheehan and her followers had only one thing on their minds as they chanted, “De-escalate, investigate, troops home now!” Unfortunately for the Democrats, a whole lot of those people comprise the activists of their party.

Cindy Sheehan and her activist followers are likely to be terribly disappointed by the leadership of the 110th Congress. There will be individual members, particularly in the House, who will try to fulfill the heart’s desire of the deeply liberal base of the Democratic Party, but the leadership knows better than to try to do everything at once. And that won’t be enough for the Cindy Sheehans of the world.

Blogger Welshman at ePluribus Media:  I am critical of a story that is about to break that I feel certain will get the cheers on our progressive blogs – the stupid, unthinking and politically naive cheers.  On this, the day before Pelosi picks up the gavel for the first time, and at a press conference of the Democrats who wanted to unveil their first initiative to meet what was at the very top of the exit poll list of voters’ concerns, it is hijacked by peace protesters.

And the progressives will cheer.

…the quiet majority of Americans are always a bit nervous of protests. A handful shouting in a room does not usually win their approval. But why choose the Democratic press briefing? What have they done – what could they possibly have done yet – to warrant the need for their feet to be held to the fire in this particular way and for a few people to stop them getting out their message?

This is just more of the negativity that will kill the Dems in two years time that underlies my comments about the approach to issues on progressive blogs.

Cindy Sheehan… it is not you that was voted into office. Nor is there evidence that the grassroots got these good people into power alone. It was achieved because a a group in the centre ground got fed up with Bush. They are as skittish as a thorough bred race horse in their affiliations. You do not have the experience to know how not to frighten them off. Frighten them off before the Democrats have even taken their seats.


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