Friday, August 26, 2005
How Wrong Would it Be?
How wrong would it be to suggest that Casey Sheehan’s death was the best thing that ever happened to his mother, Cindy? To see her reveling in her new celebrity is to see a woman who has found her place and calling in life, no matter that it came not only at the cost of her child but also in spite of whatever the volunteer would have wanted to have said in his own memory. See, no one--not even his mother--can claim divine knowledge of what Casey would want to say to us if he could still speak.
Would he still support the effort and be proud of his service? Or, would he urge others to protest?
Cindy doesn’t need to know what he would have said, since his death gifted her with the moral authority to scold anyone who disagrees with her. She can spout the looniest stuff and people who would dissent are cruel for not respecting her grief. It’s the direct opposite of those on the right who treat any criticism of the President as being un-patriotic: a ridiculous shield that lends authority where it doesn’t necessarily exist.
No one is above criticism, not even the grieving mother of a wartime casualty.
Sheehan is a leftwing loony of the first order and always has been. While I won’t suggest that she hasn’t suffered and while I can’t imagine that she would willingly have traded her child for her fame, I would say that this has worked out pretty well for her and not so well for Casey. His memory won’t be of his selfless service or sacrifice as a volunteer in the United States military; his memory will always live in the shadow of his mother. Her persistence and garish media manipulation have all served her own purposes in causes that were formed well before Casey had died.
Casey’s death was what she needed to put attention on her causes and give her cover to say whatever she wanted while maintaining credibility and standing in the eyes of the public.
I’m sure she would trade it all in to have her son back, but I’m equally sure that she happily pats herself on the back for all the sacrifices she continues to make in service to her causes. There is a religious zeal and self-righteousness involved, where she continually reminds us all of how much she has lost and how her campout is really her way of serving so that other parents don’t have to see their kids die, too. “Look at me,” she seems to say, “and see how much I’m willing to give up for you.”
Her reward, at the end of the day, is her sacrifice.
So, how wrong would it be to say that her son’s death was the best thing that ever happened to this attention seeking, paranoid and self-righteous woman?
Because, let’s be honest, her desire to question the President isn’t really in any hope that he could answer her questions. He’s already done that. No, his answers simply aren’t the one that she believes in her heart to be true; they aren’t the answers she’s already emotionally invested herself in, and, therefore, they must not be the “right” answers. She doesn’t want a conversation, she wants to scream and yell and continue her very public tantrum.
She’s already had her moment to meet the man; she’s already heard his answers.
Yet, for a person who believes that our “country isn’t worth dying for,” it’s inconceivable that her child would choose to risk that sacrifice. For a person who believes that the neocon cabal that controls the country allowed the attacks on 9/11, it is just as implausible that we needed to act against terrorists in Afghanistan or in hopes of changing the political structures of the Middle East by toppling a corrupt regime in Iraq.
And, ultimately, if she thinks that George Bush represents the greatest terrorist threat to the world, does it matter what he says or what he feels? She has already given herself to hating him on such a visceral level that it would be something like me asking for a meeting with Osama bin Laden--I don’t care what he has to say, I just really want my chance to take a shot at the guy.
Maybe I’m being heartless. Maybe some of this is just dead wrong. But, as it relates to a woman who continues to pimp her dead son’s memory to support her own agenda, I really don’t care. Defend the words and thoughts that she supports--that the US isn’t a democracy, that without blogs to protect us we would be living in a fascist state, that our government allowed the attacks on 9/11 just to give us an excuse to invade countries in the Middle East, and all the rest of the garbage that she spews--but don’t bother to defend her. At least, not to me.