Cindy Sheehan came before the public the first time in a state of grief over the loss of her son in Iraq. She wanted to speak to President Bush and she wanted the carnage stopped. Her fifteen minutes of fame were, unfortunately, noticed by radical exploiters who embraced her, stroked her perhaps fragile ego and drew her into a despicable web which has become her downfall.
Borrowing a page from Jane Fonda on how not to win friends and influence people, she has denigrated the administration to the point of no return. However, the episode last night at the State of the Union address, of which she was the centerpiece, brings to the forefront an increasingly dangerous trend aimed at the citizens of this country. We should all be aware and beware.
Deprivation of the right of peaceful protest is a serious breach of our rights. They can couch it in all the rules and regulations they want but is wearing a T-shirt enumerating the dead in Iraq an arrestable offense? She wasn't the only demonstrator present - the whole Congress was there. The Republicans stood and applauded while the Democrats sat on their hands. Was that any less a protest of Administration policy?
The episode had a deja vu feel to it as I recalled the couple arrested for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts to the President's 4th of July appearance in West Virginia. Nicole and Jeff Rank were removed in handcuffs for wearing shirts which had Bush's name crossed out on the front. On the back Nicole's read "Love America, hate Bush"; Jeff's read "Regime change starts at home". The arresting officers were instructed to proceed by the secret service. The Ranks were not shouting nor heckling and did not resist arrest. They merely felt that from viewing previous speeches by the President he was surrounded only by fervent supporters and this was a way to show their dissent. How many similar episodes have occurred?
We do still have that right. At least we're supposed to. I wonder how much longer, with agencies like the NSA working away 24/7, I'll be able to post blogs of this nature without a knock on my door. The very thought chills me to the bone.