Just a few years back, she was the media’s darling. Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier slain in Iraq, led the anti-war charge against George W. Bush. Egged on by the mainstream media and left-wing activists eager to put a “face” to their cause, she camped out in front of Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. The entire situation became a media circus, with Sheehan at its epicenter. We saw her getting her hair cut at “Camp Casey,” saw her visiting her son’s grave with media flunkies in tow, and watched her get up close and personal with Hugo Chávez. Feted and celebrated, she could do no wrong; she held what has been called an “absolute moral authority card.”
So what exactly happened? Where is Sheehan today? She said she was quitting public life back in 2007 when, according to her post on Daily Kos, her cutting ties with the Democratic Party got her “trashed on such ‘liberal blogs’ as the Democratic Underground. Being called an ‘attention whore’ and being told ‘good riddance’ are some of the more milder [sic] rebukes.” Just a year later, though, she tried to unseat Nancy Pelosi. Perhaps having had a taste of the limelight, she couldn’t help herself. But, as one could have predicted, she was beaten handily by San Fran Nan — receiving less than 18 percent of the vote.
You might think that Sheehan had given up entirely and gone back to the quiet, placid existence that most Americans live, but you’d be wrong. It’s just that the left and the media have finished with her. Having wrung every ounce of moral authority and celebrity out of the poor woman that they could, they’ve moved on to greener pastures. It’s an era of hope and change, you know, and now that The One™ is in office, Sheehan’s brand of anti-war activism is no longer a welcome diversion — it’s more of an unwelcome distraction. About 50 people joined Sheehan at a protest outside of Bush’s Dallas home in June, but few beyond local media noticed. Why Dallas? Quoth Sheehan:
We’re not at the White House because it takes a ton of money to get there, and there’s a depression caused by the guy who lives down that street.
No mention of Obama’s hand in our current economic downturn? Color me surprised. Yet I have to wonder if the reason for “no money” has less to do with the current economic climate and more to do with left-wing groups no longer wishing to finance her protest junkets in Washington, D.C.
And her latest stunt is a plan to head to Martha’s Vineyard next week. The Obama family will be there and so Sheehan plans to make her presence known in order to accomplish the following objectives as per her statement:
First of all, no good social or economic change will come about with the continuation or escalation of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We simply can’t afford to continue this tragically expensive foreign policy.
Secondly, we as a movement need to continue calling for an immediate end to the occupations even when there is a Democrat in the Oval Office. There is still no noble cause no matter how we examine the policies.
Thirdly, the body bags aren’t taking a vacation and as the U.S.-led violence surges in Afghanistan and Pakistan, so are the needless deaths on every side.
And, finally, if the right wing can force the government to drop any kind of public option or government-supported health care, then we need to exert the same kind of pressure to force a speedy end to the occupations.
Now that George Bush is no longer president, opposing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has dropped to dead last on the priorities of American leftists, like those who gathered for “netroots nation” last week. It is telling that only a few cranks, like Cindy Sheehan, haven’t gotten the message that, now that Barack Obama is president, war is OK. We can all ponder, I guess, what this tells us about the left.
No need to ponder. Move over, anti-war protesters, there’s a new game in town: the left’s new cause célebré is to get socialized medicine pushed through. The plight of the soldiers they said they cared so much about a mere three or four years ago has been abandoned for the all-important task of expansion of government and the nanny state. Priorities are priorities and Cindy Sheehan seems to have been left off the memo’s distribution list. I suppose, though, that she should be given credit for consistency — I mean, we haven’t heard Harry Reid tell us lately that the “war is lost.”
Like a child star, Sheehan has gone from being the center of attention to standing around wondering where all the cameras went. The moral to this story? Beware high pedestals, because the fall from grace can be a doozy.