Here’s how the liberal elite wants us to think about Crawford-camping Cindy Sheehan, whose entire family—as evidenced in a statement by Sheehan’s sister-in-law Cherie Quartarolo–has dissociated itself from Sheehan’s position that President Bush is responsible for the death of Sheehan’s 24-year-old son Casey in Iraq last year and thus should be impeached:
“The only name attached to the ‘Sheehan Family’ statement…belongs to Cherie Quartarolo who describes herself as Casey’s aunt and godmother. So did I miss something? Since when does godmother outrank mother? What I really want to know is: how does Casey’s second-cousin-twice-removed feel about Cindy’s vigil? How about his ex-brother-in-law’s cleaning lady?”
“The moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.”
Now for a few facts about Cindy?s protest:
1. Not a single one of her other three grown children has joined her either in the tent at Crawford or at any of the numerous other Bush-bashing venues around the country where she has made an appearance ver the past few months. According to records from the courthouse in Solano County, Calif., where Sheehan lives, her husband, Patrick Sheehan, already estranged from her, seems to have filed for divorce (hat tip to blogger Angry in the Great White North). Cherie Quartarolo, besides being Casey’s aunt, is Patrick’s sister.
2. Cindy’s protest is a carefully orchestrated affair, financed by politically active liberals who have hired a professional public-relations firm to package her “moral authority.” Here’s the Washington Post’s report from Saturday:
“TrueMajority — an antiwar group founded by Ben Cohen, one of the creators of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream — hired Fenton Communications, a Washington public relations firm that has worked intermittently with Sheehan over the past year to coordinate media coverage.
“With this help, Sheehan has courted coverage from the traveling White House press corps with a news conference. A schedule of when relatives of other military casualties in Iraq are expected to join Sheehan here was distributed to reporters. Her team is coordinating an antiwar rally planned for Saturday.
“Joe Trippi, the political consultant behind former Vermont governor Howard Dean’s early success in the 2004 Democratic presidential primary race, hosted a conference with Sheehan for liberal Internet bloggers, hoping their online dispatches will draw even wider attention.
“On Saturday, Sheehan launched a TV ad campaign hoping to achieve what her roadside vigil so far has not: a second chance to directly tell Bush about the devastation she has experienced since her son’s death.”
3. Cindy keeps exceedingly bizarre company.
Her current organizational pal is the Crawford Peace House, an association whose main aim isn’t so much to kick America out of Iraq as to kick Israel out of Israel (see these photos cached on Google by blogger Solomonia before the “Peace” House took them down from its website.
Before that, Cindy was buddying around with Lynne Stewart, the lawyer recently convicted of ferrying fatwas from radical Muslims in Egypt to the terrorist groups in the U.S. who tried to blow up the World Trade Center towers the first time around, in 1993–the one that left only six Americans dead (plus more than 1,000 injured) in contrast to the 3,000 dead in September 2001. In May, Cindy and Lynne played hugsie-wugsie at San Francisco State University, where Stewart was a featured speaker, styling herself a “political prisoner.” Here’s the report linked on Front Page (thanks, Power Line):
“Cindy Sheehan followed this act. Wearing a sweatshirt advertising the website for United for Peace and Justice, Sheehan was interviewed outside just before the meeting by an ABC-TV news reporter. Sheehan said then that military recruiters should not be allowed on college campuses, maintaining they trick naive 18-year-olds with offers of money and scholarships. Tragically, Cindy Sheehan lost her son Casey who was in the Army and was killed two weeks after arriving in Iraq. She claimed he was promised a job as a chaplain’s assistant although once in the service was placed in a combat role and killed, certainly a moving story ‘ one she exploits to promote venomous anti-Americanism. ‘George Bush and his neo-conservatives killed my son,’ she said tearing up a bit. ‘America has been killing people on this continent since it was started. This country is not worth dying for.”
“Sheehan said she considered Lynne Stewart her Atticus Finch, the lawyer who defended an innocent Black man accused of rape in the book and film ‘To Kill A Mockingbird.'”
So no wonder Cindy gives speeches such as this one:
“We have no Constitution. We’re the only country with no checks and balances. We want our country back if we have to impeach George Bush down to the person who picks up the dog sh-t in Washington! Let George Bush send his two little party animals to die in Iraq. It’s OK for Israel to have nuclear weapons but we are waging nuclear war in Iraq, we have contaminated the entire country. It’s not OK for Syria to be in Lebanon. Hypocrites! But Israel can occupy Palestine? Stop the slaughter!”
The insult to the Bush twins (both of whom graduated from top colleges and are now working at public-service jobs) and the strange digression to the issue of Israel (no doubt planted in Cindy?s mind by the folks at the Crawford Peace House) aside, we regret to inform her that you have to be an adult to sign up for the military, so parents can’t “send” their 18-year-olds or any of their other adult children to “die” in Iraq or elsewhere. Casey Sheehan had been a legal adult for six years when he voluntarily chose to re-enlist and then to undertake the mission that resulted in his death at the hands of an Iraqi terrorist.
4. Cindy is not representative of other parents who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq. Blogger Chrenkoff (hat tip to Michelle Malkin) lists (with links) numerous moving testimonials by grieving relatives of military personnel slain in Iraq, with this comment:
“The only thing exceptional about Cindy Sheehan is how exceptional she is. I’ve been following the Iraq-related news coverage for quite some time now, and – not surprisingly – in an overwhelming majority of cases the parents and families of the servicemen and women who died in Iraq (and Afghanistan) choose to grieve in private. Of those who make any sort of political comments, most are proud of their son’s or daughter’s service and the enterprise they were part of.
“Kos and the rest of the left think that exploiting Cindy Sheehan’s exploitation of her loss is the best new secret weapon in the war against George Bush. But both sides can play the ‘grieving parents’ game -? except that it’s not a game, and it shouldn’t be played. The right has not used people like Lynn Kelly, Linda Ryan, or hundreds of others, to make their case in our current war. It would be decent if the left stopped using Cindy Sheehan to make theirs.”
Of course, the “grieving parents’ game” is a key strategy for the left in trying to turn the American public against the war. It’s the latest liberal meme, propagated by everyone from Dowd to Huffington to George Packer in the New Yorker to Cindy Sheehan’s handlers. So we’re getting glowing coverage of Sheehan’s crusade from the Mainstream Media–because the idea is to make the public believe that she and other antiwar parents have a “moral authority” that trumps that of everyone who supports the war, including other grieving parents.
I guess I still feel sorry for Cindy Sheehan, who seems to have been driven literally mad with sorrow, but right now, I’m more inclined to join with Ramblins’ Journal (which posts photos of Cindy being kissed by Bush last year, before she re-invented herself in the Michael Moore mode):
“I just have one question for Cindy Sheehan — Are you getting paid to be a moonbat, or are you just plain crazy?”