The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Friday, August 12, 2005

Kos - The conservative elite versus Cindy

The conservative elite versus Cindy
by kos
Fri Aug 12th, 2005 at 08:43:21 PDT
I link to this not because it's a conservative blogger taking on his own side, but because it is the best explanatioon of why the attacks on Cindy Sheehan are so outrageous.

The essence of the right-wing smear machine's "outing" of Cindy Sheehan is
her supposed flip-flop from supporting President Bush in 2004 to disapproving of
him in 2005. As details of this have become clearer, it's obvious the flip-flop
is nothing more than a canard. But setting aside the Sheehan story for a moment,
have any of the shameless smearsters seen the public opinion polls recently?
Here's some breaking news for them: a whole lot of Americans who supported Bush
a year ago---including an increasingly large part of his "base"---have turned
against him. And that includes many millions of people who haven't lost a
parent, child, or sibling in Iraq.
There are so many side issues of
shamelessness and crass opportunism in this story it makes my head spin. Think
about the gall of a political and media machine "accusing" a private citizen of
changing her mind (imagine that!) about an elected and supposedly accountable
public official. When did a private citizen supposedly changing her opinion
about something rise to the same level as a flip-flop about firing anyone
involved in the leaking a CIA agent's name? At what point did the ability to
change one's mind about a politician become something to be ridiculed and
accused of instead of cherished as a basic right? And it's not as if in the past
year we haven't learned anything about the pre-war manipulation of intelligence,
as well as the incompetent planning, that resulted in the death of Cindy
Sheehan's son and thousands of others like him.

Something else about this story that infuriates me is the vision of
feckless, smarmy smearsters and cowards hiding behind keyboards in cities like
Washington and New York (and yes, Miami), punching out electronic missives in a
pathetic and desperate attempt to impugn the integrity of a woman sitting in the
dust and August heat of Texas---a woman who, along with her dead son, embodies
everything that's right about this country. The growing division between the
professional class of spinning punditry and the vast expanse of Middle America
that actually does the working, the fighting and the dying so the pundits can
spend their time chattering has never been more clear than with this
story. (

The Right pretends to side with "middle America" against the "coastal elites", but the denizens of the Right Wing Spin Machine all live in the coasts, well-heeled members of the intellectual elite. They are everything they claim to despise.

And to them (and the 101st Fighting Keyboardists, who aspire to membership in the punditry class), everything is partisan politics. Everything. The elephant flies higher than the Stars and Stripes. CIA agent outed? To the barricades! Must protect the leakers at all costs! A grieving mother protests the circumstances of her son's senseless death? To the barricades! Tear her apart! Make an example out of her - anyone who dare criticize Bush or any of his actions must be destroyed!

Sometimes, an event is simply apolitical. Bush could've difused this early with a gracious 30 minute meeting with Sheehan. Instead, he losed the attack dogs on her. Every attack on Sheehan from the Right is a reflection of their moral decay, their unamerican disdain for her right to protest her son's death, and yet more evidence of Bush (and Rove's) tacit endorsement of the politics of personal destruction -- even when the target is a grieving mother.


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