The Straw That Broke Cindy’s Back
That’s how Cindy Sheehan’s resignation letter begins.
Was it the (over) 1,000 troops dead between last Memorial Day and this Memorial Day? Was it the capitulation by the Democratic leadership on timelines for withdrawal? Was it just the continuous barrage of insult, threat, hatred from the right, and increasingly, from the left?
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. … 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. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of “right or left”, but “right and wrong.”
I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on.
The rest is heartbreaking and poisonous at the same time. I remember seeing one of my old cats go off to die and the twisting in my gut kinda feels the same.
It’s the saddest thing in the world for me at this moment, this moment where Bush wins yet again and Cindy Sheehan gives up. My wife told me it feels like when Kerry wouldn’t contest the vote counts in Ohio. It feels like late 2002 when anyone who ever read Project for a New American Century, listened to a right-wing talk show, or just had an inkling of what kind of man George W. Bush is, what family he comes from, and what Nixon-era Iran-Contra death squad Reaganomics zombie corpses he’s surrounded himself with — in other words, anyone with a eyes, ears, and a brain — KNEW Georgie Boy was a-fixin’ to go to war, and we heard nothing but crickets from the Democratic side of the chamber and cheerleading from the media.
Oh, don’t get me started… or do, after the flip…
[I]f we don?t find alternatives to this corrupt “two” party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I am demonized because I don?t see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person?s heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?
Speaking of which, I heard Joe Biden (D-MBNA) on the squawk box yesterday defending that Authorization of Force vote. “It wasn’t an authorization to go to war,” I recall him saying, “at that time it was an authorization to give the president the means to enforce the UN resolutions and force Saddam to let the weapons inspectors back into the country!”
Even the Dems are willing to rewrite history in order to save their own campaigns. The inspectors were in the country, Joe! They were begging for more time as Bush was ushering them out so he could begin the Shock’n’Awe™!
So if Cindy’s a “radical”, then I must also be truly “radical” (and not just hanging on to a high school nickname), because I’m hoppin’ mad about how the Dems have sold us out once again, and by “us”, I mean “us fringe 63% of America ‘anti-war lefties’ who want timetables to get out of Iraq!” (according to the latest NYTimes poll).
Well, not all the Dems. Every Oregon Democrat voted against this blank check funding bill, I’m proud to say. Still, it is so hard to defend the party when even in the majority they can be bullied by the WORST PRESIDENT EVER who is disapproved of by, again, us fringe 63% of America (again, NYT).
Is it too late to save the Democratic Party? Was Ralph Nader right back in 2000 when he called them two wings of the Corporate Party? Hey, if our courts have decided that corporations are people with all the constitutional rights afforded humans, why shouldn’t they be the corporate parties that they are?
I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won?t work with that group; he won?t attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.
Amen to that, sister. Been there, done that.
I wish Cindy Sheehan well and I hope she knows that there are plenty of us out here who put principle ahead of party. I am a Progressive. I will not support this war and I will not support anyone who does.
I’ve heard the arguments: We don’t have a veto-proof majority. We can’t let the funding run out for the troops. The president will get the money from other sources. It’s all bullshi’ite and they all know it! Congress has the constitutional authority to defund this war, to withdraw the authorization of force, and to impeach this murderous traitorous occupant of our White House. When the Founders wrote that Constitution, foremost on their mind was, “how do we write this thing so some future evil bastard can’t florg it up?” OK, perhaps not in exactly that language, but when they envisioned “checks and balances”, this was exactly the sort of behavior they wanted checked and balanced.
As I get older, I get more cynical, but I don’t want to. When I was much younger, I volunteered on the campaign of Idaho’s Senator Steve Symms (yes, I was a li’l Republican), stuffing envelopes, I think. I got into a conversation with a much older man, probably in his eighties, talking about politics. He listened as my Stepford Republican teenaged self waxed on about the people and the Republic and the sanctity of the vote. At the end of it all, he waved a campaign brochure and said something that didn’t make a lot of sense then but makes more sense as I grow older:
“Son, this country was bought and sold a long time ago… this here’s just checkers.”