your son in a war doesn't give you license to violate House decorum,
as she did by wearing a t-shirt (reading: "2,245 Dead. How
many more?") before President Bush's State of the Union speech
Tuesday night. It also doesn't grant you special wisdom on foreign
relations in South America. If it did, Sheehan would not have
let herself be embraced by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
say Sheehan's loss gives her credibility, I don't see antiwar
types changing their tune after listening to parents of slain
vets who support the war. So her words don't change my mind, not
when she talks like a little girl.
feeds the conceit of many Bay Area war protesters -- that they
are brave warriors risking their safety and the wrath of the Bushies
as they protest the war.
Woolsey, D-Calif., obviously buys into that conceit. Woolsey,
who invited Sheehan to the address, issued a statement Wednesday
that asked, "Since when is free speech conditional on whether
you agree with the president?"
Pete Stark, D-Calif., who told The San Francisco Chronicle,
"I'm still trying to find out why the president's Gestapo
had to arrest Cindy Sheehan in the gallery."
members of the House to show more political sophistication than
a novice blogger. They must know that the Capitol Police report
to Congress -- not the Bushies. But Stark, who introduced a resolution
calling for a probe into the police action, is happy to mislead.
It is clear
that the Capitol Police were not acting as pro-war censors, as
they also invited Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young,
R-Fla., to leave because she was wearing a t-shirt that read,
''Support the Troops -- Defending Our Freedom.''
asks why she was the only one arrested. Duh. She's not married
to a congressman. And rightly, the charges against Sheehan were
dropped on Wednesday. The Capitol Police have apologized.)
wants to fight for First Amendment rights, she might want to stand
up for The Respect Life Ministry of the Oakland Diocese of the
Roman Catholic Church. The group paid to put up billboards on
BART that ask the question, "Abortion: Have we gone too far?"
Abortion-rights activists defaced and tore down billboards --
squelching the message of a dissenting voice in the Bay Area.
Suzanne ''Sam'' Joi, a member of Code Pink, which has hosted many
Sheehan events, told The Chronicle: ''I couldn't believe
BART would allow something like this. Why are they doing this?''
Sheehan should take a look at how her buddy Chavez treats dissidents.
As Jackson Diehl reported in The Washington Post last
year, the Chavez-controlled legislature passed new media laws
that included this choice provision: "Anyone who offends
with his words or in writing or in any other way disrespects the
president of the republic or whomever is fulfilling his duties
will be punished with prison of six to 30 months if the offense
is serious, and half of that if it is light."
who stand up to Chavez are courageous. They risk time in a Venezuelan
prison. Californians who bash Bush on the war risk being hailed
as local heroes and appearing on cable news.
I wish the Capitol Police had allowed Sheehan to stay for the
speech in her t-shirt. I think she would have chased a few moderate
voters into the pro-Bush column. But that could happen anyway.
Americans have to notice when a friend of Hugo Chavez bemoans
that she was denied free speech -- when she never seems to stop