Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Moms are baseball & apple pie!

It's a kick watching Cindy Sheehan do some brush clearing of her own down in Texas. She really needs to patent her methods for getting invasive Shrubs to self destruct, because she’s got Bush by the balls and everyone knows it. There are three American institutions that anyone in their right mind knows you don’t mess with: Baseball, MOM & Apple Pie.

And the rightwing’s below-the-belt skewering of Cindy (one of the mothers of fallen soldiers Bush claimed to have “loved” personally back on the campaign trail) is going over with the American people about as well as that Major League baseball strike a few years back. Everything they try to throw at her is just making them look like bigger assholes. Most normal people know you don't disrespect the Mama. To most normal people, motherhood is a sacred institution - you don't get between a Mama bear and her cubs. But then, wingnuts aren't normal. They seem to only respect the Mama when she dutifully fulfills her Old Testament role by keeping her famy fed, her uterus full and most importantly - her mouth shut. Bonus points for dying a painful death in childbirth.

Bush in particular must be tickling his intestines with his toes by now, he's got his foot shoved so far down his throat. The woman has lost her SON and he claims going bike riding is more important than helping her (and through her, the thousands of other mothers she represents) come to terms with her loss? Casey won't ever get to ride a bike. He won't get to teach his own children to do so. But I bet Cindy would be more than happy to accompany Bush on his little rides around the ranch. Heck, I bet she'd pony up and pull some tumbleweed just to help him multitask. He's got time for his biggest supporters - I'm sure he entertains them lavishly at the White House. But no time for Cindy? Pulleeze... ! It's not like she's asking for a night in the Lincoln bedroom or anything. Just a chat.

One thing that's got me fuming about this are all the wingnut pundits, commenters, bloggers, radioshow listeners, etc. who have the unmitigated gall to presume to know her son's political beliefs better than she, just because he wore a uniform. Like camo gives them some kind of telepathic insight into his mind. I hadn't realized the military was *that* technologically advanced! I get so sick of their blatant assumption that just because someone is in the military, or if they served/are serving in Iraq they MUST support Bush, agree with his pathetic justification for the war and praise his miserable handling of it.

I’m referring of course to the comments you hear/read to the effect that “if Casey were alive he would be ashamed of his mother” or “I’m sure he’s turning over in his grave”. I’m sorry, did they know Casey? Cindy indicates even her rightwing in-laws who made that statement disagreeing with her didn’t have a personal relationship with her son. But Michelle Malkin is supposed to have? What, did they date once? How in the hell would she know what Casey thought?

According to an interview I heard Cindy give, her son DID agree with her political beliefs before going to Iraq, and the only reason he deployed was out of a sense of duty TO HIS COMRADES. Not because he believed it was a noble mission. Not because he agreed with his commander in chief. And if you listen to any of the returning vets who are against the war &/ against Bush, you hear the same thing over and over. The only reason they are there is for EACH OTHER.

How dare they tell a mother who Bush demanded the ultimate sacrifice of – the loss of a CHILD that they, absolute strangers know her sons mind better than her? HOW DARE THEY??? Did they nourish him with their very lifeblood for 9 months before laboring in intense pain to bring him into this world? Not that giving birth to a child gives you special insight into their mind 24 years later, but it sure gives you a headstart. Did they change any diapers? Did they comfort him through long nights of teething and illness? Did they teach him how to ride his first bike? Walk him to school his first day? Play tooth fairy? Experience his devestation when he didn't get what he really wanted from Santa Claus? Help him with his homework? Comfort him through his first heartbreak? I don’t think so. The absolute arrogance is unbelievable – to tell a mother who has lost her child that her relationship with that child, her lifetime of experience understanding him is beyond worthless just because he was wearing fatigues when he was slain.

It would be one thing if she’d been estranged from her son before his death. But by all accounts, nothing could be further from the truth. Given that, I’ll bet that wherever he is Casey is watching his Mom & cheering her on, proud that she’s continuing to do the one thing he DID think risking his own life was worth – protecting his fellow soldiers who are still in harm’s way.

Because what so many who feel “it’s the military’s job to protect U.S. Citizens and an honor for them to die in that service” fail to realize is…. Just as it’s their job to protect us, it is OUR job as good citizens to protect THEM. They give up so many fundamental rights when they join up. They sacrifice so very, very much. Not just lives shattered, but bodies, careers, financial wellbeing – even families. Who is supposed to protect them? Who is supposed to make sure that the sacrifice we ask of them has meaning?

“We, the People” are, that’s who. With rights of citizenship come responsibility and this is one of them: responsibility for those give up their own rights to serve on our behalf, and in our name.

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