Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Wingnuts Against Bush

I mainly read the New York Daily News for sports, but I do skim their online front page. Occasionally I'll notice a blurb for an op-ed column by Michael Goodwin, and it's almost always full of virulent right-wing bile that verges on parody. They have another columnist named Michael Daly who leans in the other direction, but I can never remember which Michael is which until I see their headshot or read some text.

Well, today I started reading a column by one of the Michaels, and the picture was loading slowly, and I was absolutely sure that it had to be the "good" Michael, since it was talking about how Cindy Sheehan was majorly harshing President Tough Guy's mellow. Much to my surprise, I was wrong. The wild-eyed right-wing columnist was the one saying:

Sheehan lost her son Casey in Iraq and now the President is paying the piper. He is a hostage to Sheehan's little band of protesters camped near his ranch in Crawford, Tex. This is not how the President wanted to spend his vacation. He has only himself to blame. Bush's decision to spend a full month in Texas was stunningly stupid. With Americans turning solidly against the war - a Newsweek poll reported a mere 34% now approve of his handling of Iraq - the President looks callous when the nation needs reassuring. And he could be losing his last bit of leverage over public opinion. Put it this way: no support, no war.

Now he's stuck in Texas with Sheehan. If he meets with her, as she demands, she wins. If he cuts his visit short and scurries back to Washington, she wins. If he stays, she also wins, as she did yesterday.


Bush can't win against a grieving, articulate, angry mother who's willing to spend August in a roadside ditch publicizing her cause. Each new casualty in Iraq adds to her power and subtracts from his.

There is a chance that Sheehan is just the media flavor of the month. But I wouldn't bet on it. This feels like a turning point. It's happened before.

He does take a bunch of cheap shots at the usual targets like Michael Moore and Howard Dean and the liberal anti-war media, but still. Whoa.

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