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Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Bitch In The Ditch

Classy. [via Atrios]

With five days left until the end of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan's vigil near President Bush's ranch, Crawford became protest central Saturday as supporters and opponents of the Iraq war rallied, marched and simmered in 101-degree heat.

A handful also got themselves arrested, including a protester whose anti-Sheehan sign was deemed unnecessarily offensive by organizers of a large pro-Bush rally. The man carrying the sign became violent when he was asked to put it down.

Ken Robinson, of Richardson, Texas, who described himself as a Vietnam veteran, was carrying a sign at a “You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy!” rally. The sign read, “How to wreck your family in 30 days by ‘b**** in the ditch' Cindy Sheehan.”


Nice, huh? I think one would need a psychology degree to be able to plumb the psychosis of this "man", or even scratch the surface. It takes someone truly un-self-reflective to respond to Cindy Sheehan's plaintive campaign in such a petulant manner.

And I don't get this "You Don't Speak For Me, Cindy!" stuff. She never said that she spoke for everyone; in fact, she reiterated the opposite on Real Time with Bill Maher last Friday night. Again, these people need to take a deep breath and learn to listen as well as they scream. Perhaps reading and critically thinking could be worked into the mix as well.

Kristinn Taylor, an event organizer with FreeRepublic.com, heard about the sign and rushed up to Robinson.

“This is our rally and you can't do that here,” he said, only for Robinson to insist he was within his rights.

Camera crews rushed in and Taylor turned to face them.

“To all the media here, this sign is not representative of the crowd here today,” Taylor announced. Some of the crowd around Robinson came forward to shake his hand, while others chanted, “Idiot, go home.”

The two men then squared off and raised their voices.

“Just get outta here!” Robinson yelled, and aimed a kick at Taylor's midsection. Taylor called for security, and a young Woodway policeman quickly showed up.

“I have the right to freedom of speech,” Robinson said.

Robinson continued to protest loudly as police handcuffed him and led him away.


Taylor deserves credit for differentiating her group's main effort (however flawed it may be) from that of Robinson, who is clearly deranged. But I wonder how long he'd been allowed to hang around until the cameras started focusing attention on him.

Regardless, Robinson is correct in asserting his right to free speech, which we all have. In fact, I have it on good authority that Robinson is known to frequent truck-stop glory holes all up and down I-35, from Waco to Oklahoma City.

You can take that free speech to the bank, podna.

These counter-protesters, in their oversimplification of the situation, are ignoring a vital fact, in their reckless trashing of Cindy Sheehan, in their frantic efforts to paint her as some sort of left-field kook: Dear Leader's declining polls, specifially in the area of handling Iraq. They just keep falling:

A new Gallup Poll reflects further erosion in President George W. Bush's job approval rating, continuing the slow but steady decline evident throughout the year so far. The poll -- conducted Aug. 22-25 -- puts Bush's job approval rating at 40% and his disapproval rating at 56%. Both are the most negative ratings of the Bush administration. Bush's previous low point in approval was 44% (July 25-28, 2005) and his previous high point in disapproval was 53% (June 24-26, 2005).

Bush's average approval rating for the last three Gallup Polls -- all conducted in August -- is 43%. The rolling average has been steadily declining throughout the year. Bush's average approval ratings for January, February, and March of this year were in the 50% to 52% range, but they then began declining slowly in subsequent months. Bush's average approval rating in May was 48%, declining to 46% in June, rising slightly in July, and then declining again to the current three-poll average of 43%.


This, for the mathematically disinclined out there, reasonably implies that a preponderance of Americans agree with Cindy Sheehan, or at least objectively agree with her to a greater degree than they do with Dear Leader. Take your pick; either way, the upshot is that all this insistence that Sheehan is just a lefty wacko totally ignores the reality of the situation.

The honeymoon is over; America has fallen out of love -- and patience -- with Dear Leader's incompetence and repetitive boilerplate rhetoric. Freedom is not marching; the bad guys are not getting replaced by good guys; every day underscores the plain fact that we've gotten ourselves into something we weren't prepared for.

We claim to "support our troops", but reports keep coming out that those up-armored Humvees Rumsfeld promised nine months ago have yet to materialize. Pro or con on the war, what kind of fucking support is that? Why the hell are people in the know asserting that the Mexican army gives its troops better equipment than we give ours?

And I have lost patience with John McCain, at long last; his Sunday morning toadying is just irresponsible at this point. McCain postulates that more troops would be better. Okay, where do you propose to get said troops, Senator? This is proof positive that America has lost faith in this adventure -- they're staying away from it in droves.

But even if our 18-year-olds were inclined to sign up -- and their parents were inclined to let them -- it ignores the fact that that moment has passed. We could mobilize 500,000 troops at this point; all we'd be doing is necessitating mass slaughters. We'd have a hundred My Lais on our hands to try to live down. That window has closed. All we can do at this point is manage the draw-down in such a fashion that the imminent civil war takes a minimum of innocent lives. Even that may be impossible by now.

And all the Democrats need to do is tell the truth. Dear Leader got what he wanted every step of the way, so this whole mess is on his shoulders, and that's how history (as opposed to irresponsible hagiography) will remember him. Whatever the case, they need to shit or get off the pot; as a wise man once said, if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

In the meantime, at the grass-roots level, I suggest that the counter-protesters who have their backs up about every little thing need to step back for a second and take a look around. There's a reason Bush has given up trying to sell this thing anywhere besides cherry-picked red-state audiences.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like you have personal knowledge of those honey holes along I-35 bud. Hope you are practicing safe sex. Sheehan is not doing anyone in America or anywhere else any favors. She is in the game for herself and at the expense of her offspring.

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Anonymous said...

Jeez, Heywood, did you get blessed by the spam fairy? One nasty little troll to start and then spam, spam, spam and bacon.

The anti-Sheehan crowd sure is nutty and vicious. Hopefully they'll stay down at the pig farm.

Ahianne

Heywood J. said...

"anonymous" (#1):

Sounds to me like you think have personal knowledge of what Casey or Cindy Sheehan are thinking, of what their motivations were or are respectively.

So, you know, nice try with the I'm-rubber-you're-glue stab at intellectual lucidity there, but I think you know damned well that Robinson stepped way over the line, and his little cheap shot sign was mendacious and unnecessary -- not unlike yourself. Piss up a rope, Jack.

Heywood J. said...

Ahianne:

Yeah, I'm not sure how I got on the 'tard spam list. I'm sure they all know what they can go do with themselves. I'll be contacting Blogger about this bullshit.

As for the first troll, he loses simply by having to live with himself. These people know exactly what Cindy Sheehan's talking about, and their reflexive anger reeks more and more of straight-up desperation. They have no argument to hang their hat on, besides "don't criticize Dear Leader".

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