This one goes out to all my liberal friends out there.
Soon that old feeling, which by now has almost become a state of being, I suppose, will overcome you and once again you will recognize the absurdity behind the wailing and shrieking of your liberal cohorts. Though you will never admit it publicly, you will silently conclude that Cindy Sheehan, the grieving mom turned President-Bush-stalking-war-protester, is either a crackpot or a sideshow or perhaps both. Many of you have undoubtedly concluded this to yourselves already.
The feeling you are experiencing, or will soon experience, is a familiar one. It shrouded you when you first accepted in your heart that the infamous CBS News memo "proving" President Bush went AWOL during his service with the National Guard was a fraud. You giggled with glee when the story first broke. We've got him now, you said to your friends. When conservatives immediately expressed skepticism about the documents' authenticity, you called them "liars" and "idiots." But deep inside you knew. Ultimately, you settled into a weird "fake but true" numbness.
You felt it again when the London Times revealed the leaked Downing Street Memo. This was it, you said. Now we have Bush by the short hairs! You blogged about the memo so much, you gave it a shorthand moniker, the "DSM." "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD," the memo read. "But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." An open and shut case, right?
Well, no. Even before liberal magazines like Slate and many liberal talking heads in the media wrote the DSM off as no big deal, you started having doubts. "Fixed around" doesn't really mean "fixed." And the memo was written by Britons who, after all, have different idioms than we Yanks.
So you lowered your sights. When Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser, told the Conservative Party of New York, "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," you just knew this would be the end of "Bush's Brain." The American people wouldn't stand for a politician -- well, a Republican politician anyway -- politicizing 9/11. Sen. Hillary Clinton called for Rove's resignation. So did Sen. Jon Corzine. You had the Big Mo. Then you thought about it for a moment and you realized it was true. You did want to understand the terrorist attackers. You credited poverty, U.S. foreign policy, Israel and anything else you could think of (except the terrorists' evil hearts) for instigating that terrible act. The swarm dissipated over the weekend.
But you had a second bite at the Rove apple when you found out he leaked to a reporter that Valerie Plame was a covert CIA operative. Yeah! Rove wouldn't merely lose his job for this, he'd lose his head. Only he didn't "name" Valerie Plame. He didn't even know her name, which is actually Valerie Wilson. And she wasn't a "covert" operative. She hadn't been one for six years. She drove to her "secret" CIA office every day -- between Vanity Fair photo shoots apparently -- out in the open where any terrorist spy could tail her.
Again, that old feeling poured over you; a mixture of disappointment, rage, confusion, and whatever the exact opposite of Schadenfreude is.
So now it's the Cindy Sheehan show that's got you wrapped around the axle. The gall of President Bush. Refusing to meet with that grieving mother. No wonder she called him "the biggest terrorist in the world." What kind of country do we live in where the craziest and angriest among us don't have full access to our commander-in-chief twenty-four hours a day?
Oh, wait. What's that you say? She's got a PR agency working for her? And a full time PR assistant? She's sleeping in a nearby house, not that ditch she's always chilling out in when she's on TV?
"This isn't another one of those Moveon.org stunts is it?" you ask yourself. And that old feeling comes washing over you again.
With each passing day Cindy Sheehan looks less and less like a grieving mother and more and more like a leftwing blogger. First she griped about President Bush's "illegal" war in Iraq. Then she turned on the Jews in Palestine. Then it was Bush's "illegal" war in Afghanistan. I sense yet another "Bush is Hitler" rally in the offing. One half expects her to lead off her next morning press briefing with, "I believe it was Michael Moore who once said..."
As the second hand winds down on Cindy Sheehan's fifteen minutes of stupidity and the realization sets in among the Bush Haters that her mug is bound for George Bush's mantelpiece somewhere between Dan Rather and Joe Wilson, you can almost hear the velvet tones of Barry Manilow singing his 1970s hit "I Go Crazy":
"...That old feeling in side
Way deep down inside
You know when I look in your eyes
I still go crazy..."
Patrick Hynes is a freelance writer and the proprietor of AnkleBitingPundits.com.
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