Exploiting Cindy: standard operating procedure

If conservatives have one common failing among them, it is their lack of sufficient cynicism to properly assess the nature of their liberal opponents. Their reaction to the ongoing antics of Cindy Sheehan stands as inarguable proof. Long before her son's death, she was an anti—war liberal. Nothing has changed.

Yet, on occasions to numerous to count, conservatives have voiced their sympathies for Sheehan, presuming that, as a loving mother who lost her son in the ongoing Iraq war, she is crying out from emotional pain. Thus they overwhelmingly give her a pass for the hypocrisy, venom, and outright deceit with which she maintains her place in the limelight. But with each new outlandish outburst, evidence mounts of something far less noble that motivates her.

A more realistic prospect is that, having become drunk with constant media attention, her persona has mutated into a grotesque caricature of a grief stricken parent, and is now consumed with her highly inflated perception of importance to the national debate.

So enthralled has Cindy Sheehan become with this situation, she now fancies herself a profound orator and foreign policy expert, offering advice on how to diplomatically alleviate the terrorist threat.

Evidently, her son was merely an avenue to the 'bully pulpit.' Sadly it is not mean—spirited to assume that those on the left can sink to such depths. It has been done before.

During the 1996 Democrat Convention, Vice—President Al Gore gave a speech that dripped with the self—absorbed pretense of virtue that we now see from Sheehan. Gore spoke of his sister, who had died some years prior, from lung cancer. In a transparent attempt to make the speech piercing and meaningful (though, being Al Gore, he only succeeded at making it very tedious), he gratuitously drew out the account of the final moments of her life and its supposedly profound effect on him.

'All I could do was to say back to her with all the gentleness in my heart, 'I love you.' And then I knelt by her bed and held her hand. And in a very short time her breathing became labored and then she breathed her last breath.'

'And that is why, until I draw my last breath, I will pour my heart and soul into the cause of protecting our children from the dangers of smoking.'

Touchy stuff to be sure, and no doubt many among his emotionally—driven audience were moved. Yet, during the intervening years between his sister's death and his dramatic recounting of it, an incident had been recorded on videotape that proved to be highly inconvenient to Gore's credibility.

Standing in a field of tobacco, Gore was on record in front of a bunch of farmers enthusiastically proclaiming his solidarity with the words, 'I've hoed it, I've succored it, and I've harvested it' Thus, the real truth to be gleaned from Gore's convention speech is that to people of his ideology, no situation is too tragic or personal to be shamelessly exploited for political gain. In light of this precedent, it is worthwhile to consider the long—term pattern emerging from among Sheehan and her cohorts on that roadside in Texas.

By her behavior, she completely dispels the myth that somebody can, in such a manner, 'support the troops while opposing the war.'

Yes, it is possible to question the legitimacy of present policy in Iraq without undermining the ongoing efforts there, if such is indeed the intention of those doing the questioning. But Sheehan's words do no less than denigrate America's entire effort, and therefore inspire the enemy to kill more American soldiers.

Thus, she ensures that many other American mothers are similarly aggrieved as she claims to be. Worse yet, she does not grant those mothers such latitude for their own grief as many have granted her, Instead, she cruelly demeans them as 'brainwashed' for remaining supportive of the War and the President. Still worse, those who killed her son, and who by her words are further motivated to kill more Americans are, according to Sheehan, 'Freedom Fighters.'

The liberal media is having a great time encouraging Cindy Sheehan to become ever more of a spectacle with each passing day. But, in the final analysis, they are ultimately not to be blamed. She has shown herself willing to stand on the grave of her own heroic son and sully it, not from a broken heart, but in service to the liberal agenda.

Christopher G. Adamo is a frequent contributor.

If conservatives have one common failing among them, it is their lack of sufficient cynicism to properly assess the nature of their liberal opponents. Their reaction to the ongoing antics of Cindy Sheehan stands as inarguable proof. Long before her son's death, she was an anti—war liberal. Nothing has changed.

Yet, on occasions to numerous to count, conservatives have voiced their sympathies for Sheehan, presuming that, as a loving mother who lost her son in the ongoing Iraq war, she is crying out from emotional pain. Thus they overwhelmingly give her a pass for the hypocrisy, venom, and outright deceit with which she maintains her place in the limelight. But with each new outlandish outburst, evidence mounts of something far less noble that motivates her.

A more realistic prospect is that, having become drunk with constant media attention, her persona has mutated into a grotesque caricature of a grief stricken parent, and is now consumed with her highly inflated perception of importance to the national debate.

So enthralled has Cindy Sheehan become with this situation, she now fancies herself a profound orator and foreign policy expert, offering advice on how to diplomatically alleviate the terrorist threat.

Evidently, her son was merely an avenue to the 'bully pulpit.' Sadly it is not mean—spirited to assume that those on the left can sink to such depths. It has been done before.

During the 1996 Democrat Convention, Vice—President Al Gore gave a speech that dripped with the self—absorbed pretense of virtue that we now see from Sheehan. Gore spoke of his sister, who had died some years prior, from lung cancer. In a transparent attempt to make the speech piercing and meaningful (though, being Al Gore, he only succeeded at making it very tedious), he gratuitously drew out the account of the final moments of her life and its supposedly profound effect on him.

'All I could do was to say back to her with all the gentleness in my heart, 'I love you.' And then I knelt by her bed and held her hand. And in a very short time her breathing became labored and then she breathed her last breath.'

'And that is why, until I draw my last breath, I will pour my heart and soul into the cause of protecting our children from the dangers of smoking.'

Touchy stuff to be sure, and no doubt many among his emotionally—driven audience were moved. Yet, during the intervening years between his sister's death and his dramatic recounting of it, an incident had been recorded on videotape that proved to be highly inconvenient to Gore's credibility.

Standing in a field of tobacco, Gore was on record in front of a bunch of farmers enthusiastically proclaiming his solidarity with the words, 'I've hoed it, I've succored it, and I've harvested it' Thus, the real truth to be gleaned from Gore's convention speech is that to people of his ideology, no situation is too tragic or personal to be shamelessly exploited for political gain. In light of this precedent, it is worthwhile to consider the long—term pattern emerging from among Sheehan and her cohorts on that roadside in Texas.

By her behavior, she completely dispels the myth that somebody can, in such a manner, 'support the troops while opposing the war.'

Yes, it is possible to question the legitimacy of present policy in Iraq without undermining the ongoing efforts there, if such is indeed the intention of those doing the questioning. But Sheehan's words do no less than denigrate America's entire effort, and therefore inspire the enemy to kill more American soldiers.

Thus, she ensures that many other American mothers are similarly aggrieved as she claims to be. Worse yet, she does not grant those mothers such latitude for their own grief as many have granted her, Instead, she cruelly demeans them as 'brainwashed' for remaining supportive of the War and the President. Still worse, those who killed her son, and who by her words are further motivated to kill more Americans are, according to Sheehan, 'Freedom Fighters.'

The liberal media is having a great time encouraging Cindy Sheehan to become ever more of a spectacle with each passing day. But, in the final analysis, they are ultimately not to be blamed. She has shown herself willing to stand on the grave of her own heroic son and sully it, not from a broken heart, but in service to the liberal agenda.

Christopher G. Adamo is a frequent contributor.