Saturday, August 27, 2005

Maybe I was wrong ...

... and I really, really hope so.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that Cindy Sheehan's Texas protest seemed to be a story without legs, incapable of taking significant ground in the poltiical battle over the war on Iraq.

She's still there, though ... bringing as much attention as ever to the cause, even to the point that the War Party now feels compelled to stop the silly tricks like defacing monument's to America's war dead and actually drum up a counter-protest.

For more than two years, the War Party has relied on holding the "high ground" in terms of actual power to keep a lid on the issue. When you control the White House and Congress, you don't have to make your case in detail -- the weak spots can be covered with the armor of "leadership" and "making the hard choices in a complex situation." As Bush's perceived authority declines with his popularity and the popularity of his policies, however, the hawks are being forced out onto the field of actual debate. With Bush's numbers already in freefall, this weekend may be the decisive ideological engagement: The point where the hawks are forced to either make their case as they've never been able to (or been required to) before, or where the country, for all practical purposes, wholly abandons their president's policies. That wouldn't end this thing, but it would bring the end into view.

The country's "progressive" pols are already hedging their bets and trying to save some tattered remnant of the administration's policy. They've always wanted an anti-war movement that's just strong enough for them to gravy train on with other issues, but not strong enough to achieve goals beyond those set for it by status quo-approved "leaders." Their only problem with the war itself is that the Republicans get credit for it.

Go, Cindy, go.

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