It's Something About Those Orange Backgrounds…

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In the future, all journalism will be done for us by important people posting their thoughts on blogs. Two examples from Daily Kos, where, over the weekend, Cindy Sheehan had announced she was quitting the Democrats. Here's Sheehan again, quitting… the anti-war movement!

I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.

That's the gist, although you can get an even shorter version from the headline: "Good Riddance Attention Whore." It's impolite to suggest that Sheehan is quitting exactly because she's not getting attention anymore. So, don't do that.

One possible reason that Sheehan (says she) is dropping out of public life is the weirdness of the people who glommed onto her. Not the predictable anti-Sheehans like Mike Gallagher (whose activism to stop the Westboro Baptist Church from protesting funerals might be penance for his bizarre Sheehan protest in 2005), but the galaxy of anti-war activists and thawed-out lefties who attached themselves to her campaign. If you want to see how that happens, check out the Daily Kos debate between "drational," a poster who's followed the U.S. Attorneys scandal, and Greg Palast, the roving investigative journalist whose incredible stories haven't recently panned out. Palast did beat some American news orgs to the story of a Florida voter blackout in 2000, but since then he's argued that "Kerry won" in 2004 and AMLO won the Mexican presidency. Drational noted that the latest Palast scoop shopped around the blogs, about a cache of Karl Rove e-mails he had received, didn't make sense.

Considering this has been a "story" for over 2 years without further public disclosure, the most logical conclusion is that there is not anything (other than what has already been disclosed) incriminating present in "Greg Palast's 500 emails". It is not accurate to call the presented emails "Rove emails" or "Rove Office" emails. Nothing about these disclosed emails suggest they "hold the keys to the kingdom" of Rovian machinations.

Palast responded in a measured tone, marshalling his evidence with the calm confidence of a Shaolin monk. No, I'm kidding! He went into full meltdown mode:

There's two kinds of illiterates in this world: those who can't read, for whom I'm entirely sympathetic—and those who CAN read but WON'T, for whom I have no sympathy whatsoever.

Drat is of the latter. He (she/them/it?) has mounted a full-scale assault on the seven-year-long effort of my BBC and Guardian team investigating systematic suppression of the minority vote by the Republican Party and our latest revelation: 'caging voters.' His "evidence" is 100% limited to snippets of my conversations on talk radio or phone interviews, second-hand reports on websites and some musings of one of my good researchers, Zach Roberts, posted to this site.

Nowhere does he suggest he's bothered reading the one hundred-page description of the attack on voters, including caging, in the new edition of Armed Madhouse. Shame that. Law professor Robert F. Kennedy Jr., using the book as a source, verified by his own corroborative work, found the matter therein convincing enough to call for putting Rove's right hand man, Tim Griffin, "in prison, not in office."

Picking up a book won't hurt you, Mr. Drat, at least until Patriot Act IV goes into effect.

You can check out the other 50,000 words in Palast's post or scan an interview with him at 10 Zen Monkeys. Or you can check out a video of Palast. Or, better yet, check out the super-secret cache of e-mails which is so secret it's available online, complete with the .xls file Palast is hanging his future Pulitzer on.

NEXT: Kentucky Fried Creationism

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  1. “I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on. People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we don’t find alternatives to this corrupt “two” party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I am demonized because I don’t see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person’s heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?”

    And joe thinks she is the naive one. My own take on this explanation is that “fascist is a bit OTT. Other than that . . .

  2. Sheenen is a very confused woman but anyone who can’t at some level feel sympathy for her is pretty lousy. I am glad to hear she is leaving public life. Maybe she can find some peace.

    Mike Gallagher in contrast is a miserable piece of shit who needs to be shot.

  3. David,
    I think maybe you should have spent more time out by the pool and grill sucking down a few cold ones. Or maybe I spent too much time doing that. I can’t follow the connection between Sheehan and the Kos dust up. Nor do I see how it would be of any particular interest to us (H&R readers).

  4. Whoa, Dave, whiplash!

    How did this Cindy Sheehan post turn into a Greg Pallast/Justice Department scandal post?

    Is Radley rationing?

  5. Cindy Sheehan is a decent, honorable person, but her politics are incredibly naive, and she was taken advantage of by some career protestors.

  6. Nor do I see how it would be of any particular interest to us (H&R readers).

    Sheehan and Palast were/are both on the fringes of huge stories (Iraq and the USA scandal) and used this enormous lefty website to build their reps. Seemed funny that they were both stepping back and losing face the same day.

  7. I have deferred from taking potshots at Cindy Sheehan because under no circumstances could I ever disrespect someone who is grieving over the loss of their child and also because in the crudest of respects she and I are on the same side of this issue. Yes the Bush administration continues to establish itself as a disgrace, but that only ties them with all other post-modern U.S. Presidencies. The people who truly deserve the abuse are those in the anti-war movement that took advantage of an obviously unstable woman then discarded her as soon as her star lost its shine. Those on the right who took time to pay attention to her are just as pathetic.

  8. some musings of one of my good researchers, Zach Roberts

    As opposed to his crappy researchers?

  9. …mustering – will – to – care!……argh…failure…

  10. It may be a watershed of sorts when all these true believers start pointing fingers at their ‘fellow travelers’ and going, ‘you’re not part of the solution! you’re part of the problem!’… like the SDS fighting the weather underground while the Black Panthers decide that whitey was cramping their style… maybe this means that the unions wont hang out with MoveOn or anarchists will start to diss on the hippies. Or the palestinians are like, ‘fuck all of yall, we’re going to have our own rally’.

    what I mean is, maybe The Thrill Is Gone for the “progressive opposition”. The ideological thrill at least.

    Which was inevitable. Believing that this war could be significantly influenced by narcissistic protests like Sheehans is typical… “we can change the world man! just free your *mind* (cue bad psychedelic solo sitar) We’re going to create world peace through basket weaving and putting on anti-war puppet shows…pass the soy chips”

  11. Hey DavidW!

    Congrats to your alma mater’s third straight NCAA championship in women’s Lax!

  12. Congrats to your alma mater’s third straight NCAA championship in women’s Lax!

    Woohoo!

  13. “Very often, one person CAN make a difference. But she probably shouldn’t.”

  14. Sheehan more of less singlehandedly destroyed the notion that being against the war meant you are against the troops.

    A pretty remarkable contribution, and one that (fortunately) didn’t rest on the strength of her political arguments.

  15. Sheehan: “Goodbye America … you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I cant make you be that country unless you want it,”

    I wonder which country IS the one she loves.

    I’ve read enough of her stuff to easily conclude she is a liar and an airhead.

  16. Sheehan more of less singlehandedly destroyed the notion that being against the war meant you are against the troops.

    Too many people stereotype the troops as good or bad. I have always taken the position that troops need to be judged on their individual merits and that some of them are smart and noble (Tillman) and others are stupid and brutal (Lyndie) and some are in between. (Jessica, assuming those pics really exist)

  17. “Sheehan more of less singlehandedly destroyed the notion that being against the war meant you are against the troops.”

    where?

    i mean, people still yank that canard out.

    unless you mean as a mainstream thing, in which case i’d be curious as to how one would measure that.

  18. dhex,

    CNN put up the results of a poll yesterday – not an internet poll, but the results of one of their real polls.

    “Do you think it’s possible to support the troops and oppose their mission?”

    Yes got 78%. What do you think that number was in, say, the summer of 2003?

  19. Sheehan more of less singlehandedly destroyed the notion that being against the war meant you are against the troops.

    Not really. She was always preaching to the choir, who had already made their peace with the koan that “we love you guys, even though you are participating in crimes against humanity.”

    The folks who never thought the peace community was anything but anti-military never paid her any attention.

  20. Cindy Sheehan didnt “do” anything to public opinion.

    Changes in opinion happened because in Feb ’06, the samarra bombing triggered brutal civil war between sunni & shia. Our ‘reconciliation’ opportunity ended, and we became referees to a clusterfuck.

    Unless Sheehan planted that bomb in the al askari shrine, she shouldnt be credited for anything other than being weepaholic nudge.

    RC Dean =

    there are plenty of military folk who’ve opposed this war from the start, particularly those that had served in Gulf I and knew the region and the way any longer term occupation would play out. There is no uniformity of opinion in the services. As I’d mentioned in earlier thread, former general debating NSA guy (both GOP) had a pretty wide gulf in their assessments.

    A poll of soldiers in the field would likely come back “78% FUBAR”, regardless of how they felt going in

  21. Yes, RC, but she swung the middle, the people who aren’t described by either of your formulations.

    You don’t get to 78% by counting only Cindy Sheehan’s choir.

  22. GILMORE, there is more than one issue that falls under the heading “public opionion on the war.”

    No, Sheehan didn’t cause people to oppose the war, but she did change the way the question was framed.

    Thanks to her, the questions “Do you support the troops?” and “Do you support the war?” became separated in the public’s mind. Without that understanding, it wouldn’t have mattered how badly things were going in Iraq – the public would have still supported the war, no matter what, if they thought it was necessary to do so in order to support the troops.

  23. A poll of soldiers in the field would likely come back “78% FUBAR”, regardless of how they felt going in

    Of course, you could have gotten the same results from any poll of soldiers at any time in history.

    Thanks to her, the questions “Do you support the troops?” and “Do you support the war?” became separated in the public’s mind.

    I really don’t think so, poll results notwithstanding. Maybe it comes from living in Texas, where you are much less likely to run into people who think you can support the troops by undermining their mission.

  24. “…undermining their mission…”

    Yeah, yeah, just about to win, stabbed in the back.

    Just go join the FreepKorps already.

  25. the notion that being against the war meant you are against the troops

    Sane people don’t think that way. That’s just the way Fox News and other likeminded entities are framing the subject. The “against the troops” mindset subsided well before the First Gulf War. Of course, we “won” that one…

  26. Joe,

    You might want to do a little investigation of history, say the North Vietnamese authorities who indicated that it was the political tide of opinion in the US that won the war for them, not any military successes against US troops.

    The same situation exists today. The enemy is emboldened by the dissension at home and that is making the military’s job harder. The problem with arguing that you support the troops and oppose their mission is that the only way that works is to argue that you think they shouldn’t be fighting at all. (BTW, That opinion doesn’t necessarily jibe with Iraqi public opinion, the opinions of Iraqi leadership (the Iranian proxies ad-Sadr, etc. notwithstanding), or the many Americans who are concerned about what will happen in Iraq in the absence of American/British troops.)

    Sheehan did next to nothing to develop that opinion. The failure of the Bush Administration to wage proactive rather than reactive war against the Iraqi government’s enemies and the constant drumbeat of bad news from the western press corps have accomplished that feat.

    The Bush Administration’s changed their tactics. The media, with a few exceptions, have not. There’s still a lot that can go wrong but that’s true whether we’re there or not. At least now the US can make some impact on the situation. Moreso, every day we reamin committed is a day the enemy has to consider the possibility that we have the will to finish them.

  27. “The problem with arguing that you support the troops and oppose their mission is that the only way that works is to argue that you think they shouldn’t be fighting at all.”

    Ding ding ding ding ding!

    That’s right – if you believe that their lives are being wasted on a pointless or unworthy mission, supporting them means ending the mission.

    BTW, polls of Iraqi public opinion have shown for years that somewhere around 80% of them want us to leave, and think our presence is making the violence worse – and that figure is skewed by the fact that most Kurds want us to stay. In the Arab parts of Iraq – the parts where we are supposed to “make some impact on the situation” – the figure is in the 90s, among both Sunni and Shiite.

  28. “You might want to do a little investigation of history, say the North Vietnamese authorities who indicated that it was the political tide of opinion in the US that won the war for them, not any military successes against US troops.”

    Yup, this is a democracy. A democracy can’t win a war unless the publc supports it.

    Lesson: if you start a war, you’d better do your damnedest to make sure your support is both wide and deep (rather than working to make it a wedge issue even as you’re sending troops into the field); you’d better make sure your case for war is solid, and is going to hold up (as opposed to knowingly making stuff up to gain public support, and country on a quick victory); and you’d better define the mission’s goals in concrete, achievable terms (instead of marching into an open-ended quagmire).

    For a democratic leader to put troops in harm’s way without a solid foundation of public support is like sending into battle without bullets.

    If you don’t, and public support/ammunition runs out, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.

  29. er, “…counting on a quick victory…”

  30. Better lesson: No more pre-emptive wars.

  31. Dave W.,

    This wasn’t pre-emptive; it was pre-pre-emptive.

    But yeah, that’s a big part of my second point.

    The WMD fraud amounted to a hand-lettered, gilded invitation for every war supporter to jump ship as soon as things turned bad.

  32. If there was a “WMD fraud,” Saddam was the one who perpetuated it.

  33. If there was a “WMD fraud,” Saddam was the one who perpetuated it.

    And that’s why I’ll never vote for that jerk again!

  34. LOL BECAUSE HE WAS MURDERED BY GEORGE BUSH ROTFL

  35. Joe, could you please provide a hyperlink to the CCN surveys since 2003 regarding the question about support for the troops/mission?

  36. Sorry, F., I saw it on the teevee two days ago, not on the tubez.

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