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Who's Behind The Attacks On Cindy Sheehan?

by Steve Young

Cindy Sheehan's crusade

Talk radio's Lords of Loud are in fine form as they explain to us that Cindy Sheehan is a bad mamma-jamma for her "stop the killing" demands. Liddy cals her an anti-Semite. Horowitz says she "portrays (her son, Casey) as an idiot." Rush implies her son never existed. Hannity spends almost as much time saying that he refuses to demean the woman as he does calling her mean-spirited -- and he can do that in the same sentence. This past Saturday, Michael Ramirez, he of the L.A. Times political cartoonist chapter of the Lords of Loud, offers us an image of Cindy carrying her baby "politic." 'Cause, he leads us to believe, that is what she's about. Well, duuuhh; her "politics" are all about stopping from having another soldier die in a war based on horrendous judgements, which some cynics might even call, "lies." To think that her message was ever anything else, you'd have to be pretty dense.

The most telling claim of the right agin' Sheehan: She changed her mind. She was among members of 15 grief-stricken familes who were invited to meet Bush in June 2004. Afterwards, she told a hometown newspaper that Bush felt "some pain for our loss" and was "a man of faith." Now, she wants Bush to explain what cause was served by her son's death and why he's not encouraging his daughters to enlist. Where's the contradiction of what she said last year? Only in the twisted-pretzel logic of the Lords of Loud are remarks on completely different subjects considered a flip-flop.

But who's behind this barrage of bile? The RNC? Nah. No one believes what Ken Mehlman says anymore. He got eaten up in the Sunday Morning talk-arounds when he tried to say the Republicans would have never done to Clinton what Democrats are trying to do to Karl Rove. What about Rove? Could he be behind the Sheehan shelling? Nah. He's had to take a big step back and separate from the president -- surgically -- you know, just in case Prosecutor Fitzgerald asks him to do the perp-walk. DeLay? Nah. He's too busy explaining why he never liked Jack Abramowitz. No, the culprit behind the continued hammering of Cindy is probbly none other that the most powerful man on the planet -- now that Rove is on forced control-hiatus -- President George W. Bush.

Now, I'm not say he started it. But the fact that it's continued past the day-one assault on Camp Casey puts the blame at the doorstep of the western White House. He could have stopped the scorched earth bombing of Cindy Sheehan in a heartbeat. "You mess with Cindy, you mess with me," he could have said, in his best Clint Eastwood imitation. It would have been his smartest political move since he had Karl Rove implanted into his cerebrum.

Can't you just see it? The president steps up to the mike, doffs his ten gallon and tries not to smirk. "You can agree or disagree with what the woman has to say, but, damnit, I will not let the mother of a fallen U.S. soldier be denigrated. Not as long as I am President."

Whoosh! Bam! The sound of the President's favorable numbers exploding through the roof.

"That's the compassionate conservative I voted for." "See, I told you this guy was a uniter." "Damn Franken!"

But the president doesn't want it to stop. Just the way he didn't want the demonizing of Kerry's war record stopped. That one might have won him his election. This one may lose his Congress.

Y'see, the President, 'cepting the momentary public lapses, like giving the press "the presidential finger," does not demean his opponents...on the record. He leaves that up to subordinates and, of course, the Lord of Loud. But although he doesn't have a radio show on which to bloviate, nor shows up on Hardball to debate the crap out of an adversary, he is the worst of the Lords of Loud. He's the one who actually allows the crimes to linger on.

But he won't stop it -- not because he's dumb, but because Karl's no longer there to tell him to. Without Karl, he has the foolish notion that discrediting Cindy will kill the messenger, and the message will die with her.

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Albion Monitor August 18, 2005 (

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