Tuesday, August 09, 2005
She's baaaaack: New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd takes up the plight of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of Army Specialist Casey Sheehan who was killed in Iraq last year.
If you've been napping for the past few days, let me bring you up to speed. Ms. Sheehan (whom I truly feel sorry for, both because she has lost her son and also because she has chosen to "honor" his memory by wallowing in her own hate) is camped outside President Bush's Texas ranch demanding to see the president so she can rip him a new one. Sheehan claimed that when she met the president shortly after her son's death, along with several other families of fallen soldiers, President Bush whipped out bags of their loved-ones' blood and smeared it all over his face in extacsy. Well, not exactly, but close.
The problem was that in a contemporaneous interview with her hometown newspaper, the Vacaville Reporter, Ms. Sheehan said just the opposite.
"I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis," Cindy said after their meeting. "I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."
Which brings us back to the unctuous, and moronic Ms. Dowd. (I'm thinking that I'll have to lose at least 100 IQ points in order to get a Pulitzer now.)
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?
President Bush is averaging a press conference once a month with reporters in his second term. If the White House press corps is just a bunch of "yes" men (and women), then I must be getting C-SPAN feeds from bizarro universe.
Also, contrary to Dowd's claims, President Bush regularly meets with the families of American troops killed in action (his 2004 meeting with Ms. Sheehan was not an aberration), not to mention his regular trips to Walter Reed to see the wounded. All of this is much more than Dowd has ever done from her perch at the Times.
Dowd ends her dreck with a challenge to the parents of American troops killed in action to take her to task.
But 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.
If Ms. Sheehan's "moral authority" is absolute, then what about all of those who are proud of their sons and daughters who gave the last full measure? If they write to the Times and suggest that Ms. Dowd never again opine on the Iraq War, would she bow her head, step back from her computer and walk away? We could only hope. And holding your breath is ill-advised.