Rich Lowry

How long can it be until Cindy Sheehan gets her own show on the left-wing radio network Air America? The mother of a 24-year-old killed in Iraq, who has camped out in Crawford, Texas, demanding a meeting with President Bush, has made herself the mouthpiece not of those many Americans skeptical about a war that has proven far more difficult than advertised, but of howling-at-the-moon, bile-spewing Bush haters.

Bush has always been lucky in his opposition, whether it be Al Gore or John Kerry and the Hollywood stars and activists who surrounded him. Sheehan seemed an exception. She's a mother whose loss gives her the moral standing to question the war. Her request seems eminently reasonable — a mere meeting with the man who sent her son to war. But Bush is proving fortunate again, and no evil machinations by Karl Rove have been necessary. Sheehan has discredited herself.

She has charged that Bush — "that lying bastard," "that maniac" — killed her son. This is unforgivably sloppy moral reasoning. An Iraq insurgent killed her son (some outrage directed toward that killer would seem appropriate, but apparently Sheehan can't muster it). The Iraq war was congressionally authorized by bipartisan majorities. If Bush killed her son, so did Kerry, who voted to authorize the war. If supporting the war is tantamount to murder, someone should arrest Sen. Joe Biden for vocally supporting our continued presence in Iraq.

Maybe Sheehan's accusation is just the sloppy rhetoric of a grieving mom? No, she means it. On a July 12 posting on the left-wing website, Sheehan raved that she was undertaking her protest "for all our brave souls (American or Iraqi) who have been murdered by the Bush crime family. I told my Congressman that he needs to speak out against the lies and murder." This is paranoia reminiscent of the Clinton-murdered-people charges of loony right-wingers during the 1990s. Except those people never got media attention, unless it was to discredit them.

In a conference call with antiwar bloggers last week, Sheehan said that without the Internet America "would already be a fascist state." She maintained that "the mainstream media is a propaganda tool for the government." And she referred to last year's presidential election as "the election, quote-unquote, that happened in November." Nothing would help Sheehan's cause more than an extended bout of dignified silence, of which she seems incapable.

Rich Lowry

Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years .
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