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Sheehan still protesting war

Posted by Richard on August 19, 2009

Mama Sheehan (a.k.a. "Mama Moonbat") is going to try doing to Barack Obama what she did to George Bush:

Cindy Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq, will join hundreds protesting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq at Martha's Vineyard where Pres. Obama and his family will be vacationing.

Sheehan will be arriving on Tuesday August 25, 2009.

Her statement was released from her home in California:

“First of all, no good social or economic change will come about with the continuation or escalation of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We simply can’t afford to continue this tragically expensive foreign policy.

“Secondly, we as a movement need to continue calling for an immediate end to the occupations even when there is a Democrat in the Oval Office. There is still no Noble Cause no matter how we examine the policies. …”

Byron York noted that, judging from the recent Netroots Nation conference (successor to YearlyKos), most of her former allies won't be joining, or supporting, or even paying much attention to her (emphasis added): 

The meeting didn't draw much coverage, but the views of those who attended are still, as they were in 2006, a pretty good snapshot of the left wing of the Democratic party.

The news that emerged is that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have virtually fallen off the liberal radar screen. Kossacks (as fans of DailyKos like to call themselves) who were consumed by the Iraq war when George W. Bush was president are now, with Barack Obama in the White House, not so consumed, either with Iraq or with Obama's escalation of the conflict in Afghanistan. In fact, they barely seem to care.

As part of a straw poll done at the convention, the Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg presented participants with a list of policy priorities like health care and the environment. He asked people to list the two priorities they believed "progressive activists should be focusing their attention and efforts on the most." The winner, by far, was "passing comprehensive health care reform." In second place was enacting "green energy policies that address environmental concerns."

And what about "working to end our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan"? It was way down the list, in eighth place.

Perhaps more tellingly, Greenberg asked activists to name the issue that "you, personally, spend the most time advancing currently." The winner, again, was health care reform. Next came "working to elect progressive candidates in the 2010 elections." Then came a bunch of other issues. At the very bottom — last place, named by just one percent of participants — came working to end U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For many liberal activists, opposing the war was really about opposing George W. Bush. When Bush disappeared, so did their anti-war passion.

On an earlier York column about Sheehan, commenter RHO1953 said it rather nicely: 

I do not agree with Ms. Sheehan about anything. We probably couldn't reach consensus about the time of day, but I have to give her credit for consistency. She believes in her cause irrespective of whether a liberal or conservative is in power. At least she's not a hypocrite like Pelosi, Reid, Waxman, Murtha, Kerry and Durbin.

At, Rick Moore contrasted the effectiveness of the anti-war movement and the anti-socialized-medicine movement: 

The left has been strangely silent about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since rainbows and unicorns came into power in January, but our favorite ditch person, Cindy Sheehan, Mama Moonbat herself, wants the antiwar left to mimic the Tea Party protesters who are thwarting Obamacare. The antiwar left griped for years and held big rallies, but never had the kind of effect on national policy that the anti-Obamacare folks have had in a few weeks.

Why? Republicans knew she and her merry band of Code Pinkos were a bunch of kooks and they weren't intimidated. They just ignored the petulant outbursts. Obama knows he's not dealing with kooks, but people who could really make an impact on his presidency.

Well, the biggest difference is numbers. It's clear from the turnouts at tea parties and town halls and the recent poll numbers that public sentiment has swung fast and hard against socialized medicine, and the anti-Obamacare movement has the support of the majority already.

That didn't happen with the anti-war movement. For years, they were clearly a small minority. Eventually, as the sectarian fighting undermined support and war fatigue set in, a significant portion of the population became nominally opposed to the Iraq campaign, but for the vast majority of them it was never strong, strident opposition — just discouragement, disillusionment, and disinterest. We never saw mainstream America joining the whackjobs at the anti-war rallies. 

Anyone who's been to a tea party rally, on the other hand, knows that it's very much mainstream America. 

Moore added: 

Let's see if Obama is as tolerant of her protests as Bush was.

Oh, I think he will be. Most of her cohort have moved on, and the media are focused on the "right-wing crazies" who are killing health care reform and inexplicably failing to show the proper respect for our enlightened rulers in Washington. Sheehan will get little attention and pose no significant challenge to Obama on the war issue.

If anything, Obama may welcome such smatterings of dissent from the left. They permit him to position himself as attacked by extremists on both sides, and therefore clearly the voice of reason and moderation. Yeah, that's the ticket.

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