Friday, August 12, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Is the Opposition Party

This is such a straight-to-the-heart-of-the-matter post by Gary Hart at Huffington Post, that I'm pasting most of it here. It's a reminder of one of the lessons from the 1960s.

The Dems are not going to get serious about doing their job until enough people like Cindy Sheehan get fed-up enough to go out and do the dirty and dangerous work of clearing the path for them.

If democracy only works when there is open discussion of opposing ideas and policies, and if the opposition party, in this case the Democrats, has hand-cuffed, blind-folded, gagged, and hog-tied itself to a failed invasion and occupation in the Middle East, where will the expanding majority of Americans look for a representative, a spokesperson, a voice for their anger, frustration, and distrust at being misled?

The circumstances suggest it should be a Senate or House Democratic leader, a recognized authority on foreign policy constantly seen on the Sunday talk shows, certainly one of the many “leaders” lining up to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 2008.

Meanwhile, the caskets keep coming home…with no public official to greet them or to respect them. They are the forgotten dead and they represent thousands more of the even more forgotten wounded.

But wait. There is someone to hold the emperor to account. There is someone willing to look ridiculous, to be mocked and made a fool of, to challenge the conventional wisdom of the court.

She, unfortunately, is not a Senator. She is not a party leader. She is not in the regular establishment Rolodex of the Sunday talk producers. Yet, she holds the highest office available in a republic, that of citizen.

Remember her name. It is Cindy Sheehan.