Thursday, August 18, 2005

James Taranto for the WSJ is at it again. This guy will search high and low, parse and twist, do whatever it takes to take any current event and cast it in a pro-right, anti-left light. Frequently, his technique is both laughable and repulsive.

His latest target? The target du jour of many r-wingnuts: Cindy Sheehan. In a recent column, Taranto focuses on her "imploding" family, of course linking it to her politics and current actions in Crawford. How does he or anyone know what's the cause of the marital difficulties? Why must it be tied to her dislike for Bush? In fact, there are reports that her marriage was in trouble long before this recent public appearance.

She says, "we [her husband] grieved in totally different ways." Has anyone seen the movie "Ordinary People"? In it, Mary Tyler Moore plays a mother who loses a son and she grieves via denial and withdrawing from life. Donald Sutherland plays the father and he grieves via reaching out and wanting to discuss the awful event and find proper closure. They end up separating. It's very common for marriages to dissolve after such a tragedy. (Note many couples have gone through similar such troubles as a result of 9/11). The Sheehans could just be another one of those very common separations.

But what does her personal life have to do with anything concerning what she's doing now in Texas? To me, it's just another thing that's changed since her initial meeting with GW over a year ago. By the way, why isn't Hannity & Colmes et al delving into the personal life of the Holloways?

In transcripts, Sheehan has said many things, most of it being hard-hitting truths. She says, "Thank God for the Internet, or we wouldn't know anything." Without blogs, would the DSMs have ever received the attention they deserved? Doubt it. She writes, "the mainstream media is a propaganda tool for the government." Here she has proof, Gannon among others, journalists paid to spread GW's "good" word. She also discusses how we were not attacked by Iraq [on 9/11] and that if she had known her son would be going to fight in a "neo-con agenda" war, trumped up by lies and deception (that we've come to learn about since her first meeting with Bush), she "would have taken him to Canada."

Admittedly, she does throw around hyperbole in her statements, harshly criticizing America, Israel, etc. But she's angry!! Can you blame her? Put yourself in her shoes, losing a child in Iraq -- a debacle made possible by lies and trickery. And it wasn't even the country that attacked us! They had no WMDs (again, the trumped up intel) and never had Al Qaeda -- till now. Sheehan wouldn't likely be anywhere near as angry if her son was killed in Afghanistan, searching for the true 9/11 killer, Osama.

With Bush's record-breaking five-week trek to Crawford -- at a time when the Iraq mess is worse than ever, Taranto simply describes it as "the annual sojourn to Crawford." He writes not one word of criticism about this extremely ill-advised long "sojourn." Nope, as usual, he blesses everything GW does, everything.

In his last paragraph, he writes about how Sheehan is being used as a symbol and not cared for as a human being. Just another instance of the incredible hypocrisy from the right. I seem to recall the GOP using someone by the name of Schiavo as a political symbol and football. And I also recall that when the public poll numbers came out strongly against what the Republicans were trying to do in that ploy, the GOP quickly backed away and distanced themselves from the whole story -- proof that they didn't give a hoot about Schiavo as a human being. Her political purpose was suddenly no longer needed (beneficial). Meanwhile, Sheehan is a non-vegetative human who is angry, grieving, feeling pain.

Taranto calls Sheehan, a grieving mother, a "crackpot." There's no better word to describe Taranto. He's as nutty and off-his-rocker as Novak.

UPDATE: Two other terrific items related to this Sheehan story, here and here. Please read this last item by E.L. Doctorow -- he beautifully sums up all you need to know about America's first king.

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