Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Gold Star Fatigue?


Cindy Sheehan is only ten days into her public attempt to get some face time with the Coward-in-Chief, but the new seems to be wearing off this thing rather quickly. I suspect that this should tell us something about how the event horizon around news stories has shrunk with the advent of Internet media, but I'm not feeling any particular need to get all abstruse today, so let's just move on past that idea and maybe come back to it another time.

Sheehan seems to feel that the media has turned her protest into a circus unbefitting its subject matter. She's probably right. She's also learning, at first hand, that when a protest gets real attention, every gravy-trainer with a cause buzzes toward the light, hoping to steal a little thunder.

From a media perspective, the story already seems to heading down the slope toward JerrySpringerville. Once again, I'm not not up for digging deep into the American psyche to find out why Americans are so quickly bored by Gold Star Mothers, dead soldiers and presidential arrogance, but I have to wonder what it says about our moral compass that this story has shorter legs than Monica Lewinsky's stained dress, Scott Peterson's fishing trip or Natalee Holloway's vacation misadventure. "Scandal fatigue" apparently doesn't manifest its symptoms as quickly as "protest fatigue."

Be that as it may, Sheehan's vigil down the road from Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch [sic], has served, and continues to serve, at least two worthwhile purposes:

- Every time Bush conducts another drive-by snooting past "Camp Casey," he puts his moral cowardice on display. Remember, a hefty minority of Americans still buy his John Wayne "bring'em on" act ... but every time he flees in terror from one little lady with a dead son, that percentage ticks ever so slightly downward.

- Nobody's surprised at the blogosphere smear-fest -- the war pigs are wholly reliable, if not overly coherent in this respect, right down to their pathetic attempts to portray Sheehan as an anti-semite -- but it helps. Really. Every time one of these chickenhawk knotheads takes a swipe at Cindy Sheehan, the readers get the message: "When we say 'support the troops,' what we really mean is 'piss on the troops -- theirs is but to do and die, quietly and with no fuss from their silly old moms, please.'" This message is driven home with even more panache when the warbloggers' offline spiritual siblings do things like drive their pick'emup trucks over memorials to America's war dead. I've always believed that the pro-war movement is the anti-war movement's single biggest moral and political asset. Thanks for proving it, guys.

Cindy Sheehan probably can't end the war with her protest, but she's already making a significant contribution to the next generation's (hopefully) retrospective understanding of the Bushevik/Republican Surrealist cancer now raging through the body politic.

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