Sheehan’s usefulness played out, she’s gone

So, Cindy Sheehan’s overlong 15 minutes have come to a slightly whiney close as she realizes – finally – that the Democrats and the left only loved her as long as she was doing their bidding emotion-tapping, Bush-bashing, Jackson-hugging, insurgent-encouraging, Chavez-hugging, camera-mugging, headline-grabbing, mob-collecting tool of distraction and obfuscation thing, meant to drive down the president’s poll numbers and support for his efforts to keep terrorist attacks from our shores.

I remember when Cindy Sheehan first came on the scene. First I was sympathetic, then I wondered about her, in her suffering, then wondered some more, then grew rather horrified, and then stopped wondering at all and wrote:

The woman, who this weekend kvetched because CNN et al were spending all of their time covering Hurricane Rita, which was “just a little wind and rain,” instead of Herself climbing all over Jesse Jackson, made certain she’ll be covered on all the channels tonight – that she’ll get the Drudge coverage and the number one spot on Technorati. She sat down where she wasn’t supposed to and, after three warnings, was “arrested.”

“Attention all you cameramen, I am about to be arrested, please focus!”

I can’t think of anything that seems to destroy people’s mental health faster than a few weeks or months of uncritical, gushing media hype.
[...]
And now, we see Mother Sheehan – an utter media creation who burnished her genuine tragedy with an ability to cry-on-cue, but who has long-since overplayed the “grieving mother” hand and become all about preening and performing for the camera. Yesterday people losing lives and livelihoods to a storm were mere peons interferring with her scheduled adulation. Today she got herself arrested, smiling the whole while and still quite certain that the constitution which guarentees her the right to self-destruct in an endless loop on CNN, is a constitution that is not worth dying for.

Last week, I wrote of Rosie O’ Donnell:

“…go figure out who is trying to kill you and who is actually trying to save your foolish ass.”

I commend the same advice to Sheehan, but given the text of her bitter and self-pitying missive, I don’t think she’s interested, yet, in consuming massive doses of reality. Her first does has almost done her in:

The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.

The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a “tool” of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message…

However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the “left” started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used…

The missive is rife with personal references and some ideas that hint of a failed messiah-complex, and there is some crazy stuff in there about the government “controlling what we think” (not yet, Cindy, that would be your good pal Hugo Chavez come back after ’08 for the rest) but one line of hers is worth exploring:

“The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing.”

Madam, your gracious and courageous son – whose death is tragic and for whom your mourning is nothing less than appropriate – will only have died “for nothing” if his mission is left dangling and unfinished by the very people – and their minions – who exploited you, and who help to make the job of every soldier in Iraq more difficult. Your son died fighting – like the very noblest and most formidable of heroes – to free a people and a nation from tyranny, and to rid them of the nests of violent and murderous men who keep their nation – and a whole region – under the boot, under the veil and out of the marketplace of ideas and invention, progress and parity. So long as those people are so subjected, the “world peace” you rant for will never take hold, and terrorism – the killing and maiming of utter innocents – will continue, throughout the world, to be the preferred means of movement.

The truth is, Mrs. Sheehan, President Bush is not the one trying to cheapen your son’s sacrifice. I certainly am not, either. Your son’s honorable death is being cheapened by the people who would say, “I support the troops, so I want them to be pulled out of a the place where they can make a difference, and have them stop acting like the warriors they are, so we can all sing Kumbaya and pretend to be friends with the whole world…until they attack another US City, in which case we should all beg their pardon and ask them why they hate us and how we can change to be more what they’d like.” Those are the people who want to “waste” Casey Sheehan’s young life. Those are the people who gave you “absolute moral authority” to do their bidding, until you dared ask them to let their actions be consistent with their rhetoric.

Do go home, Ma’am. Do go home and be silent for a little while, because silence is so much more instructive than noise. Go home and figure out who is trying to kill you and who is actually trying to save your grieving ass. Your son had already figured it out. He knew that liberty comes through the overthrowing of tyrants.

I tend to feel as this Freeper spokesperson does:

Kristinn Taylor, spokesman for FreeRepublic.com, which has held pro-troop rallies and counter-protests of anti-war demonstrations, said dwindling crowds at Sheehan’s Crawford protests since her initial vigil may have led to her decision. But he also said he hopes she will now be able to heal.

“Her politics have hurt a lot of people, including the troops and their families, but most of us who support the war on terror understand she is hurt very deeply,” Taylor said today. “Those she got involved with in the anti-war movement realize it was to their benefit to keep her in that stage of anger.”

Note: You’ll not be surprised to note that newspaper reports are carefully editing Sheehan’s goodbye letter
to omit her criticisims of the left and the Democrats. The press is ever-vigilant to insure that no dross touches their favored ones.

Siggy gives no quarter to Sheehan and wonders how much of her resignation is tied to financial questions, as he remembers some of Sheehan’s lower moments.

Tammy Bruce gives Sheehan’s screed a fisking.

Ed Morrissey and Rick Moran have more thoughts.

Don Surber also rolls his eyes as he bids Sheehan adieu.

More:
Sister Toljah

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  • newton

    I’ve said it before, several times.

    Cindy doesn’t need the company of thugs, anti-war activists and other assorted malcontents. She needs psychological treatment. Like, yesterday.

  • http://www.justgrits.wordpress.com Obis_Sister

    Everytime I see this poor woman, all I can do is shake my head. You’re right, she needs to grieve – loudly, privately, for a very long time. Losing a child by any means is a horrible experience. But she has completely lost any perspective of Casey’s death. And in turn, she’s lost her husband and estranged other family members.

    W didn’t kill her boy, a terrorist did. And until she realizes that, she will never be whole.

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  • http://www.catholicsfordemocracy.org Tim Huegerich

    Respectfully, how do you reconcile the spirit and content of your post with the teaching of the Church on peace and war? I’m probably misinterpreting, but you seem to suggest that all peace activists are naive lightweights who would bring ruin to the world with their Kumbaya ways. You are right to point out that singing songs alone will not solve anything, but we recognize the value of active non-violence, of a love that accepts self-sacrifice for the sake of ending violence. We recognize the need to be pro-active “artisans of peace.” We proclaim that dialogue and reconciliation are not only one way for bringing true, lasting peace, but the only way. (In other words, military strength does not bring true peace and freedom.) I claim this is the teaching of our Church, but don’t take my word for it.

    Consider the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church here: [link added by admin] Paragraph 496 reads in part:
    “…the Church proclaims “that violence is evil, that violence is unacceptable as a solution to problems, that violence is unworthy of man. Violence is a lie, for it goes against the truth of our faith, the truth of our humanity. Violence destroys what it claims to defend: the dignity, the life, the freedom of human beings”.
    “The contemporary world too needs the witness of unarmed prophets, who are often the objects of ridicule.”

    Or what do you think of these recent words of the Holy Father? (http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/dettaglio.jsp?id=73684&eng=y)
    “The Lord has triumphed upon the cross. He did not triumph with a new empire, with a power greater than the others and capable of destroying them; he triumphed, not in a human way, as we would imagine, with an empire more powerful than the other. He triumphed with a love capable of reaching even to death. This is God’s new way of winning: he does not oppose violence with a stronger form of violence. He opposes violence with its exact opposite: love to the very end, his cross. This is God’s humble way of winning: with his love – and this is the only way it is possible – he puts a limit on violence. This is a way of winning that seems very slow to us, but it is the real way to overcome evil, to overcome violence, and we must entrust ourselves to this divine way of winning.
    “Entrusting ourselves means entering actively within this divine love, participating in this work of peacemaking…
    “…At this very moment, we need the face of Christ, in in order to know the true face of God and thus to bring reconciliation and light to this world. And so together, with love, with the message of love, with all that we can do for the suffering in this world, we must also bring the witness of this God, of the victory of God precisely through the nonviolence of his cross.”

    In this light, I understand Cindy Sheehan’s political activism as a valuable witness to peace. Here is someone who is trying to appeal to the conscience of our country, to our democratic process, to bring about a change that she believes will be a step toward peace and away from the notion that war can solve our problems. Undoubtedly, she can be criticized on many valid grouds (I have, admittedly, not followed her career as closely as you seem to have done), but I think it is wrong to call her crazy and unfortunate to miss the kernal of truth in what she is trying to say.

  • TheAnchoress

    Thank you, Tim. I think you could look deeply into my archives and never find me calling Cindy Sheehan crazy, but I do think that – in grief and then in the tempestuousness of unbelievable media attention and adulation – she lost her way a bit and went to some pretty extreme places.

    How do I reconcile support for the war with Christ? rather easily, actually because my church makes provisions for just wars, and to my way of thinking the criteria here are met. As I wrote:

    No sane person likes war. But war sometimes comes. And the “Just War” theology is very clear that war may be Just when it is waged to ultimately spare more lives than it takes, to stop an inexorable advancement of evil.

    There is some indication, given the behavior of the Islamofascists since the 1970’s that their advancement is inexorable. And to my way of thinking, when that advancement is indiscriminate about who it kills or maims, when it oppresses women, hangs gays and talks about exterminating Jews – or any sort of genocide – well…I’ll call it evil and answer to God as to whether I got that call right.

    Please pardon me for referring you to the link, but I’ve answered the question you pose many, many times, both on the blog and in emails, and you’ll understand, I think, that I’m kind of tired of spelling it out. :-)

    To my way of thinking there are better ways to be a witness to peace (Martin Luther King comes to mind, so does Mother Theresa) than to band together with people like the Crawford Peace House folks who offer you maps of “Palestine” with Isreal nowhere in sight, or who burn soldiers in effigy, or who urge legislation that makes it very clear to our enemies that if they simply build more IED’s and wait out the next election, the whole region will be forever theirs. There are better ways to wage peace than to simply break our word to a people we’d already let down a decade ago, abandon them and pull out…when it’s entirely possible that in doing so we’ve set the stage to only have to go back there again, after the slaughter of many, many lives.

    The Clinton Administration authored the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998 – Iraq has been liberated from a tyrant, but sadly, our soldiers will have died in vein in that purpose if we do not stay a while to hear the Iraqis liberate themselves from tribal mindsets and hostage thinking. The good news in Anbar suggests that this is beginning to happen. We stayed in Germany for a very long time, helping them along. Do the Iraqi’s deserve less?

  • http://www.catholicsfordemocracy.org Tim Huegerich

    Thank you for your replies. I look forward to discussing more in the future.

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  • TheAnchoress

    Don’t get used to it; it’s not my habit to play in the comments section. I don’t usually have this much free time!

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