I have pretty much ignored the whole Cindy Sheehan protest thing. I don’t really care whether President Bush meets with her, I don’t think the rightness or wrongness of the war rests on the fact of her personal loss (tragic as that is, obviously) and I couldn’t possibly care any less which celebrities visited today. I don’t doubt that the woman is sincere, nor do I doubt the sincerity of the many parents of fallen soldiers who have said that they disagree with her. But the sheer hypocrisy of some of her conservative critics has reached staggering proportions. Self-righteous gasbag Sean Hannity has been hammering her for weeks, impugning her sincerity and painting her as practically a communist sympathizer. But here’s what Hannity was saying in 1999 when Clinton was sending troops to Bosnia:
“Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?”
And can you imagine the uproar from the right if someone had run over a bunch of crosses commemorating the deaths of soldiers in opposition to a conservative cause? Good lord, they’d want him hung in the public square for treason. But they don’t seem to care much about the cretin who barrelled through those crosses in Texas. I guess it’s okay as long as you’re against the people they’re against.
And a little while ago, I was flipping channels and came across a Keith Olbermann interview with the parent of another soldier who died in Iraq. Gary Qualls has gone down to Crawford to set up “Camp Qualls”, a counter protest to Sheehan’s. Great. Both people are speaking their minds, exercising their right to free speech and standing up for what they believe. But holy cow, is this guy just plain dumb. He actually said in his interview that he thought Cindy Sheehan was wrong because she was spending all her time down there protesting and ignoring her other children and the rest of her family. Olbermann told him that all of her other children were adults and that she had actually left the protest to take care of her mother who just had a stroke and asked him if that was a fair thing to say. And he just stood there for a good 5 seconds with this perplexed look on his face, like he was trying to process this complex information. Folks, if you’re gonna take a bold public position, don’t send out the moron in the bunch to be your spokesman.
I know virtually nothing about Cindy Sheehan. I sympathize with her loss, but it has no bearing at all on what I think about the war and I view this whole thing as mostly a big pointless circus. But the attacks on her are really over the top. And I can’t imagine she could possibly be as loathsome as people like Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, who are attacking her in the most disgusting and hypocritical manner.