Lest we forget…


The Discussion: 52 Comments

That’s a picture of Bush’s reaction to Madge’s nude photos, isn’t it?

August 13, 2005 @ 8:38 pm | Comment

Good one!

August 13, 2005 @ 8:39 pm | Comment


August 13, 2005 @ 8:43 pm | Comment

Will that be the model they use when they put him on Mount Rushmore?

August 13, 2005 @ 10:48 pm | Comment

Dear TPD,
That’s how he looks at me whenever I DO talk to him!
Sincerely yours,

August 13, 2005 @ 11:06 pm | Comment

Dear TPD,
Whenever George Bush looks this way at ME, I tell him that I’m Gay!
Sincerely yours,

August 14, 2005 @ 7:21 am | Comment

Posts like this unequivocally degrade the quality of this blog.

I am still stunned as how one man can be so rational on China, bending over backwards to accomodate people of wildly different viewpoints, and then explode into pathological rage over George W. Bush, having no toleration for non-Bush-hating views and practically (no, make that literally) deify Dear Leader Bill Clinton.

It’s just not right. I want a filter to separate this jekyll-and-hide site.

August 14, 2005 @ 11:39 am | Comment

Johnny, it’s not even a “post” – it’s just a picture. Everyone can read into it what he or she chooses. I posted it because to me it shows the true nature of our president, smirking and scowling at the same time.

You’re going to have to deal with the simple fact that like most Americans, I like Clinton and dislike Bush.

On this subject, just like China, I accommodate people of different viewpoints. You can defend Bush all you want here. Just be prepared for me to counter with my own arguments.

August 14, 2005 @ 11:43 am | Comment

As a man who has far more regard and respect for intuition and for the right side of the brain than most Republicans do, I will not enter into the abstract dispute betwee Johhny K and Richard.
I will just say:
Look at GW Bush’s face, and contrast it with the faces of REAL heroes like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
Any of you who are in contact witb the left sides of your brains will understand exactly what I am saying.

August 14, 2005 @ 11:54 am | Comment

More simply, Geore Orwell said that there comes a time in a man’s life (around the age 50 or so) when he becomes responsible for his own face.
Stupidity and hatred and trogoldyte ignorance are written all over GW Bush’s face. In stark contrast to Abraham Lincoln at the same age, whose face was not conventionally beautiful but his face WAS full of wisdom and decency.
There is no way to prove this in any left-brain way. But anyone whose left-brain (the intuitive half of the brain) is intelligent, can see the vivid difference between the idiotic and mean spiritied, cruel, puerile face of GW Bush, as contrasted with the faces of Washington and Jefferson and Lincoln.

August 14, 2005 @ 12:01 pm | Comment

Sorry I meant right-brain. The right hand side of the brain is the intuitive side, which can see the difference between GW Bush’s evil face, contrasted with good, kind, wise faces like Lincoln’s.

August 14, 2005 @ 12:03 pm | Comment

Oh God I really do hate him. I hate GW Bush. I hate him for making a mockery of the White House, and of the United States of America.
The greatest Republic since ancient Rome, is led now by a man who cannot say a simple declarative sentence, a man who avoided combat while his compatriots were shot and bayoneted and imprisoned and tortured in Viet Nam, a man who avoided combat like a coward and then took my country into war based on lies.
Yes I do hate him. He has betrayed and shamed my country.
He is a moral and physical coward who has sent good men to die in combat, of which he knows nothing.
He is a traitor to the United States, he is a domestic enemy of the United States. He offends and he shits on everything which made our country great. He shits on the Armed Forces of the United States. He has dishonored our Armed Forces when he did his codpiece stint in May 2003 when he said the war was over.
(Oh, he DIDN’T say the war was over? He just said “Major combat operations are over?” George Washington would have whipped and then shot any officer who used such weasel words while a war was still going on!)
He is a traitor to the United States.
He deserves to be drawn and quartered and hanged.
I come from a long line of American soldiers who have fought and been wounded in combat, in HONORABLE wars! And I have been under fire although I will not say details here, lest I give my identity away.
The blood of my American ancestors from the Battle of Brandywine, to Gettysburg, to the trenches of 1918 to the Western Front of WW II and then to my time when I put my life and blood on the line, all cries out to say:
George W Bush is a traitor to the United States of America.
He has betrayed and shamed our country, and he deserves to be frogmarched to the gallows.

August 14, 2005 @ 12:27 pm | Comment

Well, let’s not get carried away. It diminishes your credibility when you talk about taking Bush to the gallows.

Your pointsabout the war are well taken, and Mission Accomplished was one of the most despicable moments of his presidency, especially the lies about how the administration had nothing to do with the banner (later proved to be an utter falsehood).

I don’t want to hate him, but I feel he’s left me with no choice. I was so behind him (not literally – ugh) after 911, and then watched in amazement as he squandered a motherlode of international support, one by one turning our friends against us. All of his sins – the partnership with big business, the screwing of the people trying to buy less expensive drugs, the corruption, Terry Schiavo — all those things are nauseating and unprecedented, but they wouldn’t merit my full-fledged hatred. For that, it all boils down to one word, Iraq. Because we’re talking war and massive deaths and no stated goals. Luckily, the American people have truly woken up, and all other news is eclipsed by Iraq. The recent deaths of 25 Ohio-based Marine reservists in a few short days was a tipping point, and when Cindy Sheehan got onto the scale it was all over. Finally, people are seeing these deaths as individuals and not numbers. It’s like in Las Vegas where they give you those tiny chips so you don’t think you’re losing heaps of money, just little painted pieces of wood. If you were putting actual money on the table you’d think twice about losing it all. Now, instead of reading about “chips” being lost in Vietnam, err, Iraq, we are seeing faces and thinking families. It’s certainly the beginning of the end of our involvement there. Bush simply cannot turn this around, which is why Sheehan is such a serious threat.

August 14, 2005 @ 12:39 pm | Comment

Ivan, I want to say that I respect almost every line of your post, as it is obviously a genuine statement from the heart of a very smart person.

But there is one thing to which I must object:

“…who has sent good men to die in combat, of which he knows nothing.”

Isn’t it one of the principles of American government that the military is headed by a civilian and accountable to one?

Who is the last president with real experience in the armed forces?

Eisenhower? Kennedy? Which of the two led us into Vietnam?

Meanwhile, FDR, whose military experience makes W’s look positively dangerous in comparison, led 400,000 young Americans off to their death.

The point is that actual military experience, while admirable, does not automatically make one right on military matters.

I have great admiration for FDR, and little, if any for W. But I must stop us from falling down the slippery slope in which we may ultimately decide that the military should not be beholden to civilian control.

August 14, 2005 @ 1:07 pm | Comment

Holy Mother of God…I’m just gonna post this and you can read it for yourselves…

Bush will `go on with life’
Defends refusal to meet protester
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Cox News Service

CRAWFORD, Texas – President Bush, noting that lots of people want to talk to the president and “it’s also important for me to go on with my life,” on Saturday defended his decision not to meet with the grieving mom of a soldier killed in Iraq.

Bush said he is aware of the anti-war sentiments of Cindy Sheehan and others who have joined her protest near the Bush ranch.

“But whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there’s somebody who has got something to say to the president, that’s part of the job,” Bush said on the ranch. “And I think it’s important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say.”

“But,” he added, “I think it’s also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life.”

The comments came prior to a bike ride on the ranch with journalists and aides. It also came as the crowd of protesters grew in support of Sheehan, the California mother who came here Aug. 6 demanding to talk to Bush about the death of her son Casey. Sheehan arrived earlier in the week with about a half dozen supporters. As of yesterday (Saturday) there were about 300 anti-war protesters and approximately 100 people supporting the Bush Administration. In addition to the two-hour bike
ride, Bush’s Saturday schedule included an evening Little League Baseball playoff game, a lunch meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a nap, some fishing and some reading. “I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy,” he said when asked about bike riding while a grieving mom wanted to speak with him. “And part of my being is to be outside exercising.”

On Friday, Bush’s motorcade drove by the protest site en route to a Republican fund-raising event at a nearby ranch.

As Bush rolled by, Sheehan held a sign that said, “Why do you make time for donors and not for me?”


August 14, 2005 @ 1:29 pm | Comment

What a terrible mistake. Even conservatives (sane ones like John Cole, not loons like Michelle Malkin and Rush) are now saying he should meet with her. Getting on with his life means meeting with wealthy fat cats and enjoying The World’s Longest Vacation Ever.

This is quintessential Bush. He now has totally dug himself into a rut with his “stay the course” mentality, even if the course is totally wrong. He said he won’t meet with her, and by golly he’s gonna stick to his decision come hell or high water. As though it’s a sign of strength to be a pigheaded asshole.

My one concer about Cindy is the left-wing anti-war groups rallying behind her. Move On and Michael Moore make easy political targets, and I wish she would keep them at arms distance or even further. She has also affiliated herself with a group that sympathizes with the Palestinians. This gave Charles Johnson all he needed to say she’s in bed with a “virulently anti-Semitic group,” though there is nothing anti-Semitic about them, they just don’t beloieve Israel can do whatever it wants with the Palestinians. Now, whether you agree with this or not (I have very mixed feelings), to label this as antisemitic is a dirty trick. Nonetheless, knowing how people seize on anything even a little bit critical of Israel, I think it was a mistake on her part to go near them. But these things boil down to smokescreens – they distract from what she is saying and instead fous on making her look bad. But what else can they do? She’s got them by the balls.

August 14, 2005 @ 1:53 pm | Comment

I understand the whole Michael Moore bugaboo – – he’s a provacateur, and besides, “he’s FAT!” which seems to be the wingnut’s fall-back attack on him when they can’t refute the more reasoned parts of his arguments. But the characterization of MoveOn as some sort of lefty fringe group has always cracked me up. They are just slightly left of center – as I recall, they were founded in response to Clinton’s impeachment and the right-wing attack machine that was going after him.

Cindy Sheehan is who she is. The wingnuts might try to use her association with Moore against her, but I don’t think it’s going to fly at this point, frankly. There are too many Americans who are feeling like they were sold a phoney bill of goods with this war.

And when you’ve got Bush, not only refusing to meet with her but defending himself on the grounds that he’d RATHER RIDE HIS BIKE (and oh yeah, take a nap)….I mean, oh my god, could he be more out of touch?!

August 14, 2005 @ 2:07 pm | Comment

Also interesting (and depressing) is this Washington Post article on how expectations for the results of the Iraq War are being systematically lowered. If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success:



August 14, 2005 @ 6:57 pm | Comment

Did I miss something here? Because I thought he had already met with her.

August 14, 2005 @ 7:03 pm | Comment

Will, that is a great article and I just quoted from it in another thread (can’t remember which, there are so many threads dealing with Iraq floating around on this blog).

I really like this, from the not-so-lioberal Cato Instiutute.

President Bush asserts that U.S. military action against Iraq was justified because Saddam Hussein was in material breach of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441. But even if Iraq was in violation of a UN resolution, the U.S. military does not exist to enforce UN mandates. It exists to defend the United States: its territorial integrity and national sovereignty, the population, and the liberties that underlie the American way of life. So whether Iraq was in violation of Resolution 1441 is irrelevant. The real question is whether Iraq represented a direct and imminent threat to the United States that could not otherwise be deterred. If that was the case, then preemptive self-defense, like Israel’s military action against Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq in the 1967 Six Day War, would have been warranted. And if Iraq was not a threat, especially in terms of aiding and abetting Al Qaeda, then the United States fought a needless war against a phantom menace.

In the final analysis, the war against Iraq was the wrong war. Not because the United States used preemptive military force—preemptive self-defense would have been justified in the face of a truly imminent threat. Not because the United States acted without the consent of the United Nations—no country should surrender its defense to a vote of other nations. And not because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD)—none has been discovered and, even if they existed, they were not a threat.

The war against Iraq was the wrong war because the enemy at the gates was, and continues to be, Al Qaeda. Not only was Iraq not a direct military threat to the United States (even if it possessed WMD, which was a fair assumption), but there is no good evidence to support the claim that Saddam Hussein was in league with Al Qaeda and would have given the group WMD to be used against the United States. In fact, all the evidence suggests the contrary. Hussein was a secular Muslim ruler, and bin Laden is a radical Muslim fundamentalist—their ideological views are hardly compatible.

Ironically, President Bush provided his own indictment of the Iraq war when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly in September 2003: “No government should ignore the threat of terror, because to look the other way gives terrorists the chance to regroup and recruit and prepare.” But that is exactly what the United States did by going to war against Iraq. To make matters even worse, the American taxpayer is stuck with the bill for the war and postwar reconstruction.

August 14, 2005 @ 7:04 pm | Comment

Stop being a smart aleck Gordon. We all know he met with her 14 months ago, when a lot of Americans were still under the drunken delusion this was a winnable and justified war. Like most Americans (thank God), she woke up and now has something so burining on her mind she won’t rest until our wartime codpiece boy explains it to her. He can take a few minutes, or he can let this consume the nation. Which approach do you believe is smarter?

August 14, 2005 @ 7:08 pm | Comment

Believe it or not, I wasn’t being a smart aleck this time, Richard.

I knew I had read something the other day (in fact I posted it on here) that mentioned the fact that she had already met with the President and that he had consoled her during their meeting.

I don’t think I’d meet with her either. She had her chance. Why not write him a letter instead of encouraging a bunch of goons to congregate near his ranch? Meeting with her now would just set a dangerous precedent.

August 14, 2005 @ 7:44 pm | Comment

Lobbyists and donors get more than one chance. Why shouldn’t she? Where is this “one-chance” rule? Dangerous precedent? It’s a dangerous precedent for him NOT to meet with her. No other president would be so callow and so stupid as to let this woman’s unanswered grief tear the nation apart like this.

August 14, 2005 @ 7:58 pm | Comment

I think you are overstating this issue. I don’t see it “tearing the nation apart”.

What’s next, a phone line to the President so that every citizen that has something to say to him can call directly?

August 14, 2005 @ 8:12 pm | Comment

No, I don’t think that would be rational. But I do belkieve this is creating a shift in the nation’s psyche when it comes to Iraq and if Bush lets it go he will appear even more heartless and cruel. He could preface it by saying that, of course, he can’t communicate one-on-one with everyone, but he is doing this because he knows her questions are now oin the minds of many Americans and he wants to take this opportunity to make himself very clear on what our goals are, and why our young men are dying for a truly noble cause. Clinton would have jumped on this in a spolit second (“I feel your pain”) and he’d have used it to his advantage. Bush should do the same, because right now there is a serious issue of trust in his leadership of the war. Of that there is no argument.

Frankly, I hope he doesn’t meet with her, as it gives us incredible ammunition, proof of his callowness and pigheadedness, being on vacation and unable to address a situation that is becoming a national issue (and Gordon, when she’s on the news each night and every web site and is a household name, it’s a national issue). But if he is wise (what an “if”!) he’d simply deal with it. As long as he doesn’t, it will fester and hurt him. That’s a god-send for ciritics of the war.

August 14, 2005 @ 8:43 pm | Comment

So, the President has an obligation to meet with the parents of every US military casualty?

And if, in hindsight, the parent decides that he/she didn’t sufficiently express herself in the first meeting, to arrange a second one.

Well, that would pretty much have consumed LBJ’s and FDR’s repective waking hours.

And the President should meet such parents when they have alredy (1) made their point, pepeatedly in the media, (2) have taken every opportunity to embarass the president in making their demands and (3) clearly will spin the results of the meeting to further thier agenda after it occurs.

He’s met with her. He told her he’s sorry for her loss. The fact that her son joined the military and made the ulitmate sacrifice does not qualify nor entitle her to a defence advisory position in the White House.

August 14, 2005 @ 9:14 pm | Comment

So, the President has an obligation to meet with the parents of every
US military casualty?

Please, do NOT put words in my mouth. Here’s what I said to that:

No, I don’t think that would be rational [talking to everyone who requests it]. But I do believe this is creating a shift in the nation’s psyche when it comes to Iraq and if Bush lets it go he will appear even more heartless and cruel. He could preface it by saying that, of course, he can’t communicate one-on-one with everyone, but he is doing this because he knows her questions are now oin the minds of many Americans and he wants to take this opportunity to make himself very clear on what our goals are, and why our young men are dying for a truly noble cause.

Must eat dinner, will deal with the rest of your foolish comment later. Thanks Conrad.

August 14, 2005 @ 9:17 pm | Comment

From Democracy Arsenal:

No matter what you think of her politics, you have to give Cindy Sheehan credit for staging one of the most brilliant pieces of political theater that Americans have encountered in a very long time

….Sheehan did a perfect job of framing herself as a lonely voice in the wilderness of Crawford, attempting to soften the heart of an American pharoah hiding behind the darkened windows of his limousine. And as the NYT points out, Sheehan had the good luck (or perhaps the good sense) to stage her protest in the “slow news month” of August, when journalists are almost desperate for news.

As for Clinton:

….Clinton insists that one’s support or opposition to the initial invasion of Iraq is absolutely irrelevant to whether we should stand by its people now, in their time of need. That is the moral case for staying in Iraq and describing it as a noble cause. Although Cindy Sheehan relentlessly speaks the language of compassion, she never seems to address the question of whether there are Iraqi mothers just like herself who are sending their sons out to fight an extremely dangerous war against Ba’athist and Al Qaeda terrorism and therefore deserve American support that will save many of their children’s lives.

But in addition to the moral question of whether to stay the course in Iraq, there is the strategic question as well. If we pull out of Iraq, then what? This is another question that neither Sheehan nor her supporters seems willing to answer. What if the low-grade civil war in progress today erupts into a full-scale bloodletting of the kind that took place in the aftermath of the first Gulf War? And what if the Ba’athists and
their Al Qaeda allies prevail in that war and transform Iraq into a staging ground for internation terrorists attacks, a la Afghanistan except with oil?

I especially like this part:

If democracy prevails in Iraq, the Democrats may find that they have cemented their status as the minority party of this generation.

August 14, 2005 @ 9:40 pm | Comment

We have to stand by the people now, we can’t just pull out as I have said multiple times. That means we will have to support the new Iranian-style Shiite theocracy, help arm them and leave with as much “face” as we can. No one beliueves in democracy in Iraq anynmore, not as it was originally sold to us (remewmber “the beacon of democracy” bullshit?). It’s gonna be anit-woiman, anti-Jewish and, ultimately down the road, anti-American. Deal with it. That’s what he died for, and Cindy wants to know why.

We can’t let Al Qaeda’s allies win there and we won’t. As always, Clinton is dead-on, a veritable genius. As to his last quote, he’s got nothing to worry about! Dreams of a democratic western-style deomcacy in Iraq are long dead.

August 14, 2005 @ 9:45 pm | Comment

Genius is a strong word.

Einstein was a genius.

Bill Clinton is not. Bill Clinton is brilliant, yes, but by no means a genius.

August 14, 2005 @ 11:48 pm | Comment

Johnny, I really hope you can see when I am being a bit tongue in cheek.

August 14, 2005 @ 11:50 pm | Comment

Some choice chieckenhawk quotes:

“You can support the troops but not the president.”
–Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

“Well, I just think it’s a bad idea. What’s going to happen is they’re going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years.”
–Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

“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?”
–Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

“[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation’s armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy.”
–Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)

“American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy.”
–Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

“If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy.”
–Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

“I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . I didn’t think we had done enough in the diplomatic area.”
–Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

“I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today”
–Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

“Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.”
–Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

August 14, 2005 @ 11:57 pm | Comment

Sheehan’s own words demonstrate why her request is made in bad faith and why the President is well advised to ignore her:

I’m gonna tell them, “You get that evil maniac [the president] out here, cuz a Gold Star Mother, somebody who’s blood is on his hands [it’s her son who shed blood not her — Ed], has some questions for him.”

That sounds like a promissing opening for a rational give and take. Start by hurling vitriolic insluts at the President of the US and proceed to imply he is a murderer.

And I’m gonna say, “OK, listen here, George. #1, you quit, and I demand, every time you get out there and say you’re going to continue the killing in Iraq to honor the fallen heroes by continuing the mission; you say, except Casey Sheehan.’ “

Then, let’s proceed to further disrespect the man and his office by refusing to offer him the basic courtesy that every citizen and world leader accords the US Head of State, the honorific “Mr. President”, and instead let’s just call him “George”, notwithstanding I’m not aware they’ve ever been on a first name basis. Then, if that’s not enough, let’s make absurd unilateral demands upon him, like he expressly exclude her son’s name from those honored.

“And you say except for all the members of Goldstar Families for Peace’ cuz we think not one drop of blood should be spilled in our families’ names. You quit doing that. You don’t have my permission.”

I wasn’t aware that the First Amendment of the Constitution included a Casey Sheehan exception, requiring her permission before one could make statements with which she takes exception.

And I’m gonna say, “And you tell me, what the noble cause is that my son died for.”

This “dialogue” is starting to sound a lot like a scripted monologe where Sheehan thinks that, because her son made a noble sacrifice for his country, she gets to shreek demands at the President.

And if he even starts to say freedom and democracy’ I’m gonna say, bullshit.

Quite the give-and-take she’s offering, huh. If the President even starts to give an answer other than the one SHE wants, she will cut him off with a barn-yard vulgarity.

You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son died for oil. You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich.

So now she calls the President a liar and demands that he gives her answers that the President not only doesn’t believe, but which are demonstrably nonsense.

You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of Pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East.

So Ms. Sheehan sees America as a cancer? I predict that the President doesn’t share this opinion will decline to agree. I further predict that, were he to agree, the American people would be bellowing to string him up from a lamppost.

You tell me that, you don’t tell me my son died for freedom and democracy.

Again, it doesn’t sound like its going to be a very productive dialogue, does it, since Sheehan demands to told only what she wants to hear.

Cuz, The Iraqi people aren’t freer, they’re much worse off than before you meddled in their country.

So, all those Iraqi’s who braved attacks to vote were deluded fools and the world was better off with Saddam in power filling mass graves and with Uday making his nightly rape cruises and Qusay overseeing horrors that make Abu Gharab look like boy scout camp?

You get America out of Iraq, you get Israel out of Palestine

I have a better idea. Some get this shrill, vulgar, rude, dimwitted, arrogant harpy off of the national stage. . . .

And if you think I won’t say bullshit to the President, I say move on, cuz I’ll say what’s on my mind.

. . . . and back to the trailer park from which she apparently emerged.

No rational person would voluntarily subject himself to such a harangue and no responsible President would allow the office to be so demeaned.

And drop the bullshit about Sheehan wanting an actual meeting with the President. Her own words make it entirely clear what she wants — an opportunity to rail and abuse and play the martyr and score cheap points and embarrass the man.

August 15, 2005 @ 1:45 am | Comment

Damn! Well done, Conrad!

“Nothing sinks one faster than their own words.”

August 15, 2005 @ 2:47 am | Comment

Have to agree with Conrad and Gordon. We all know here in China how important the idea of face is. She has left the Commander-in-Chief with no other choice but to lose his in the glare of the world media during a war when he is especially vulnerable. And what kind of precedent will have been sent? Again, anyone with a grudge and megaphone will now think they’re a latter day Elijah. There’s no way Bush will be able to say anything to appease her; in fact, he did express his views already to her- and to the entire nation when he said his position in reply to calls for him to meet her. It would be a win-win situation for this woman. Neither I nor any other Bush hater would give him any credit now for meeting her. And to repeat what the two already said, he met her already. I don’t call up women after a first date to say “Now that I think of it, I do have a witty rejoinder for you…”

August 15, 2005 @ 4:01 am | Comment

You might be right, Keir, but I think the repercussions will be worse if he doesn’t meet her. The argument that he will then have to meet with everyone donesn’t wash with me, no one in their right mind would expect the president to do that and he can preface the meeting by saying he has no intention of doing so, but he realizes the nation is troubled by this. I’m talking strictly from a PR perspective; if he wants to improve support for his war, he really has no choice. If he keeps driving by the throngs of supporters and ignores them, it makes a sublime photo op for those arguing about his callousness and hubris, fair or not.

August 15, 2005 @ 8:40 am | Comment

A lot of what Conrad says may well be true, and I thank him for the quotes. I was afraid from the start that she would hurt her own cause with statements that make her seem like a far leftie. I was also concerned, for the sake of appearance, about her linking herself with Michael Moore and a pro-Palestinian group. I think she has damaged her cause by talking like this and it’s stupid of her. But the president still has a big problem here, and if he can’t take it like a man in a closed 15-minute meeting with her and answer her, he appears frightened (key word “appears”) and unable to give us an honest answer. The fact remains that many people in America including veterans and veterans’ families share her feelings, and the president has to be willing to hear them, as opposed to always filtering out those who disagree with him. What a great opportunity to ameliorate the damage caused by this impression, even if Sheehan simply howls at the moon or shrieks obscenities.

August 15, 2005 @ 8:52 am | Comment

Not hardly Richard.

You’re grasping at straws here.

Conrad hit the nail on the head.

It’s not like Bush is going to run for a second term here and the only people that are going to criticize him for not meeting her, are the ones who criticize him on a daily basis anyway.

Nobody gives a rats ass about this flip-flop freak.

Keir had it right too, the President met with her…

I don’t call up women after a first date to say “Now that I think of it, I do have a witty rejoinder for you…”

August 15, 2005 @ 10:15 am | Comment

I and a lot of Americans must be grasping at straws, Gordon! Anyway, we know where we stand. My prediction is that not meeting with her will hurt the cause. Now we’ll just wait and see.

Here’s a quote from another blogger worth thinking about:

The essence of the right-wing smear machine’s “outing” of Cindy Sheehan is her supposed flip-flop from supporting President Bush in 2004 to disapproving of him in 2005. As details of this have become clearer, it’s obvious the flip-flop is nothing more than a canard. But setting aside the Sheehan story for a moment, have any of the shameless smearsters seen the public opinion polls recently? Here’s some breaking news for them: a whole lot of Americans who supported Bush a year ago — including an increasingly large part of his “base” — have turned against him. And that includes many millions of people who haven’t lost a parent, child, or sibling in Iraq.

There are so many side issues of shamelessness and crass opportunism in this story it makes my head spin. Think about the gall of a political and media machine “accusing” a private citizen of changing her mind (imagine that!) about an elected and supposedly accountable public official. When did a private citizen supposedly changing her opinion about something rise to the same level as a flip-flop about firing anyone involved in the leaking a CIA agent’s name? At what point did the ability to change one’s mind about a politician become something to be ridiculed and accused of instead of cherished as a basic right? And it’s not as if in the past year we haven’t learned anything about the pre-war manipulation of intelligence, as well as the incompetent planning, that resulted in the death of Cindy Sheehan’s son and thousands of others like him.

Something else about this story that infuriates me is the vision of feckless, smarmy smearsters and cowards hiding behind keyboards in cities like Washington and New York (and yes, Miami), punching out electronic missives in a pathetic and desperate attempt to impugn the integrity of a woman sitting in the dust and August heat of Texas—a woman who, along with her dead son, embodies everything that’s right about this country. The growing division between the professional class of spinning punditry and the vast expanse of Middle America that actually does the working, the fighting and the dying so the pundits can spend their time chattering has never been more clear than with this story.

I think I’m right, you think you’re right. Some believe you get only one chance, some feel that over time as more information comes in you have a right to request a second chance. Show me where we have a “one-chance” policy. I flip-flopped on the war as I learned more about it, as have huge number of Americans. Bush can choose to ignore them and keep meeting with well-heeled lobbyists and clearing brush, but I feel it is a political mistake.

As I said, we know where we stand, and the final proof will be whether Bush is benefitted by ignoring Sheehan or hurt by it. And that remains to be seen and cannot be determined by bickering. Neither of us knows, but we know how the other feels. Let’s see how this unwinds, and then perhaps one of us can declare victory.

August 15, 2005 @ 10:30 am | Comment

Neither of us knows, but we know how the other feels. Let’s see how this unwinds, and then perhaps one of us can declare victory.

Nce sidestep.

However, the fact remains that nobody in their right mind would meet with this woman…especially the President. She set herself up to fail with her own words.

August 15, 2005 @ 11:28 am | Comment

Gordon, you’re entitled to your opinion about Sheehan, but saying that she’s a “flip-flop freak that nobody cares about” is just wrong, on a lot of levels…Richard’s already addressed the “flip-flop” part; the “nobody cares about” is demonstratedly false. Leading all major newscasts, front-page stories in the paper, and most of all, putting the right-wing spin machine into full-on smear mode is proof that quite a few people do care.

August 15, 2005 @ 11:30 am | Comment

Gordon, there’s no sidestep at all. If you really believe Cindy Sheehan is not a household name and that she is not on the minds of many Americans that’s you’re privilege, but you are completely wrong. I am here in America, and I can assure you, she leads in the news every single night, and in the mornings, too. I have no idea what planet you’re living on.

You say you’re right, I say I’m right. The “right” in this case is whether it will hurt for the president to ignore her (I say it will) or whether it will be to his benefit to ignore her (you say it will). The only proof will be the test of time. That’s no sidestep, just a fact. No one can claim victory until we see the net effect Cindy Sheehan has on the nation. (And I don’t mean on the Malkin-Johnson goons, who hated her before they even knew anything about her.)

August 15, 2005 @ 5:55 pm | Comment

Okay, fair enough. I have no idea what CBS, NBC or ABC float across their daily newscasts, but I imagine they are eating it up as you say.

I think her fellow anti-war supporters are helping her gain further attention, but do you really think anyone outside of the anti-war movement care about her? I don’t know, but I doubt it.

I don’t think the President should meet with her, but perhaps he should allow his PR people deal with it.

August 15, 2005 @ 9:18 pm | Comment

Actually, Gordon, Cindy Sheehan seems to have been able to galvanize anti-war sentiment in a way that others have not been able to. I think it’s a combination of things – all those deaths of Ohio Marines on top of all the other deaths – opinion about the war has reached a tipping point – well, I think it’s past that, actually. We’ve gotten to the point where a majority of Americans have asked themselves if the Iraq war is worth it, and the answer they’re coming up with is “no.”

And Cindy Sheehan is an individual that people can pin these sentiments on. She’s lost her son, and her grief is genuine.

Bush has handled this really badly. I say this not as a “liberal” but as a person who is looking at this, as Richard is, from a public relations standpoint. The symbolism of him being on vacation, going to fundraisers, little league games, taking bike rides and naps and not meeting with her, and then saying that he needs balance in his life, comes across as absolutely clueless and callous. I kept thinking, geez, Roosevelt was a “War President.” He sacrificed his health and ultimately his life to help get America through that war. The Iraq War is nowhere near that level of threat and all-out struggle – but still…our President needs his nap-time?! Regardless of what you think about the man, this was just disasterous. People are worried. They don’t get five week vacations, working or no. They don’t have time for two hour daily bike rides and naps and such.

We expect our leaders to sacrifice for us, just a little. But maybe given how morally lazy our sociey has become, how hollow the concept of sacrifice is these days, it’s exactly what we all deserve.

Okay, that all sounds vague and high-faluntin’ and doesn’t necessarily get across what I’d like it to. But there’s an incredible disconnect between this rhetoric of war and grand causes and moral crusades and the costs that we are actually paying. The rich don’t pay for it. Their kids don’t go, they get their tax cuts, they don’t care if gas goes to $3 plus a gallon. Me personally? I’m not paying for it. I have my decent job and my little house and so far nobody I know is over there and in danger. But this woman lost her kid. Her son. She’ll never get him back. And I think as corny as it sounds that we are all paying for it on some level.

August 16, 2005 @ 12:51 am | Comment

Please pardon my incoherence. I just got back from a friend’s house, where we drank wine and watched “Team America” (“F*ck Yeah!”), which was really funny, though I didn’t get the whole Alec Baldwin thing…it kind of fell apart for me after the “Montage.”

August 16, 2005 @ 1:03 am | Comment

I like George W Bush,he looks like a naive politician. Not bill Clinton,a cattish guy.Yes,he looks fool,But seemed innocent,like my dog when he want to get food from me.

August 21, 2005 @ 11:36 pm | Comment

Lets assume all of you who hate Bush and or his leadership do so because he’s stupid or arrogant or beneath your own talents and righteousness. In the midst of your fog of anger you might want to keep in mind that the war is an actuality, our kinsmen are fighting it and in spite of less than your total support have accomplished much that will provide Iraq the opportunity to taste real freedom.

Any American who wishes a Viet Nam ending to this conflict, or worse, actively promotes such a disaster by encouraging those like Cindy Sheehan, deserves censure by the rest of us.

There’s an appropriate word for much of what has been done by some to hinder the effort to punish terrorists and bring peace to the ME; treason.

August 23, 2005 @ 3:02 pm | Comment

Right. And what do those who dragged this country into a war based on lies deserve? A war that’s killed nearly 2000 of our soldiers, and for what?


August 23, 2005 @ 3:12 pm | Comment

Oh my, an Ann Coulter-type “treason” accucser. The treason was the manipulation of data and public opinion to drag us into an unnecessary war, and one that was wholly misrepresented as a mission-accomplished slam dunk.

August 23, 2005 @ 6:53 pm | Comment

Maybe traitors don’t realize their actions are treasonous. They are nontheless guilty.

I repeat – Any American who wishes a Viet Nam ending to this conflict, or worse, actively promotes such a disaster by encouraging those like Cindy Sheehan, deserves censure by the rest of us.

Dare we call it treason?


August 25, 2005 @ 1:42 pm | Comment

Should we say that anyone encouraging sending more young men into the meat grinder of Iraq to die for Bush’s folly is treasonous? I’d say no, because treasonous is a very strong word that should be reserved for the real thing.

We already have a Vietnam ending in Iraq. No one disputes that anymore. Even Republican Chuck Hagel, twice awarded the purple heart and a dedicated Republican public servant, has warned about it. Is he guilty of treason? You should watch your language — it’s only in fascist/totalitarian states that support for other viewpoints constitutes treason. 68 percent of Americans see this war as a bad thing. We sure have a lot of traitors out there.

Thank God we have heroes like Sheehan to raise people’s awareness of the murder and insanity. It’s inspiring to see the reverence she has won here in Asia and around the world. If one grieving mother can threaten this entire glorious mission, you know we’re waging a very shaky war. More power to her, and anyone who questions her right to do what she is doing is, to use Arcadian’s “logic,” treasonous.

August 25, 2005 @ 6:25 pm | Comment

You should watch my language. If the shoe fits; perhaps it’s your style. One’s pride, another’s treason. It shouldn’t take a jury to decide the obvious, but I’d be happy to sit on it.

August 27, 2005 @ 9:28 am | Comment

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