Remember Cindy Sheehan?
You know, the grieving mother who camped out at George Bush’s ranch demanding to see the president — for a second time — so she could express her unhappiness about the war in Iraq that killed her son? The woman who inspired the media to more madness than usual in support of a leftist cause? The woman who Pulitzer-winning doyenne of cheap Beltway gossip Maureen Dowd wrote at the time had “absolute moral authority”?
Cindy Sheehan, a 48-year-old Californian with a knack for P.R., says she will camp out in the dusty heat near the ranch until she gets to tell Mr. Bush face to face that he must pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq. Her son, Casey, a 24-year-old Army specialist, was killed in a Sadr City ambush last year.
The president met with her family two months after Casey’s death. Capturing W.’s awkwardness in traversing the line between somber and joking, and his love of generic labels, Ms. Sheehan said that W. had referred to her as “Mom” throughout the meeting, and given her the sense that he did not know who her son was.
It’s hard to think of another president who lived in such meta-insulation. His rigidly controlled environment allows no chance encounters with anyone who disagrees. He never has to defend himself to anyone, and that is cognitively injurious. He’s a populist who never meets people — an ordinary guy who clears brush, and brush is the only thing he talks to. Mr. Bush hails Texas as a place where he can return to his roots. But is he mixing it up there with anyone besides Vulcans, Pioneers and Rangers?
W.’s idea of consolation was to dispatch Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser, to talk to Ms. Sheehan, underscoring the inhumane humanitarianism of his foreign policy. Mr. Hadley is just a suit, one of the hard-line Unsweet Neo Cons who helped hype America into this war.
His humanitarianism will remain inhumane as long as he fails to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.
Wasn’t that awful? What kind of uncaring and aloof president wouldn’t know each and every soldier killed in a war? What kind of monster wouldn’t go out and console her … a second time?
It was particularly awful because Sheehan made her plea in such a gentle and civil manner:
It has been seven months since your ignorant and arrogant lack of planning for the peace murdered my oldest child. You think that you have some mandate from God, and that you can spend your political capital however you want.
In 2000 when you stole that election, the Democrats gave up, and I gave up, too.
All of this lying, fooling and betraying must be hard work.
Putting a political stake in your black heart will be the fulfillment of my life and bring justice for my dead son.
You and your minions disgust me. Have a nice day.