And Cindy Sheehan
By Joshua Frank
24 August, 2005
Cindy Sheehan is
exactly what we needed. Following the 2004 elections the antiwar movement
was left in shambles, unable to recover from the malfunctions of the
Democratic Party. MoveOn.org had capitulated its antiwar position by
supporting John pro-war Kerry. United for Peace and Justice did not
organize a single rally against the Iraq occupation. The Green Party
forgot it was an election year and endorsed a no-name candidate from
Texas. Indeed, the "Anybody but Bush" epidemic had crushed
whatever movement there was to begin with.
But now the war
opposition is coming back to life. The floodgates are open. Bush's approval
rating has dipped into the 30% range. George W. Bush is not a popular
president. As I write, the White House PR machine is putting together
a series of speeches for Bush to give over the course of the next month
- where he'll be calling for more public support for the nonsensical
war. Aides to the President say he'll be drawing parallels between Iraq
and WWII. Apparently victory takes some time.
Well over 1,800
US troops have died in the conflict thus far. Surely thousands more
will perish as the illegal occupation continues. The war's defenders
are having a difficult time rationalizing their support.
As this new invigorated
opposition to the Iraq war comes to a head with media savvy Sheehan
at the helm, one would assume the Democratic Party would find its' voice.
What do they have to lose? Certainly not elections. And certainly not
their own popularity. They have none. Even with Bush down in the polls
the Democrats are not able to capitalize. They have not added an ounce
to the antiwar campaign other than a few laughable gestures concerning
the Downing Street Memos. Other than that, they have been completely
silent. Pathetic, in fact. Save Senator Russ Feingold who is now calling
for a mediocre withdrawal plan. But even Russ's half-assed call to withdrawal
troops by December 2006 is being challenged within the Democratic establishment
by the liberal warmongers.
Antiwar Howard Dean,
the restless chair of the DNC, says it is the responsibility of the
Bush administration to come up with an exit strategy, not the Democrats'.
Talk about the inability to offer an alternative. What makes Dean believe
Bush could ever provide any reasonable ... anything? Let alone an exit
policy? Dean's tangled jargon is just another case of the Democrat's
inability to be a legitimate oppositional party.
Sens. Hillary Clinton
and John Kerry, two prominent Democrats in the race for the White House
in 2008, aren't having any of Feingold either. Stay the course, they
say. Whatever the hell that means. Stay the course of what? Have they
forgotten that there is no goal. No plan. No course. What we do know
however, is that thousands more troops and civilians are sure to die
as the US continues to occupy Iraq.
grassroots of the Democratic Party does not agree with Kerry and Clinton.
They want the troops out of Iraq. Many claim that this riff between
the party grassroots and the DC Democrats is a fundamental identity
crisis. They see the party as having no legitimate direction. No heart.
No soul. They are right.
If Democratic politicians
had a soul they'd be standing shoulder to shoulder with Sheehan's supporters
at candle light vigils across the country. But that won't be happening
anytime soon. The Democrats in DC aren't even sure Sheehan's actions
are justified. They aren't even sure that her son died for an unjust
The futility of
the Democrats in Washington grows graver by the day.
is the author of the brand new book, Left Out!: How Liberals Helped
Reelect George W. Bush, which has just been published by Common Courage
Press. You can order a copy at a discounted rate at www.brickburner.org.
Joshua can be reached at Joshua@brickburner.org.