Monday, August 22, 2005

Repost by Gary Hart

Alexandra Walker

August 12, 2005

Writing for HuffingtonPost , Gary Hart makes an interesting argument: Cindy Sheehan has risen to prominence because of the glaring absence of authoritative and clear-minded leadership from elected politicians. No one else is so publicly holding the "emperor to account," as Hart puts it. Read his full post after the jump.

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.

Strangely, no one in any of those categories comes to mind. Their voices are silent. Thus, both they and the party they claim or presume to represent look dumbstruck, awkward, pitiful, and timid. Where the single greatest issue of the day, and one of the most potent issues of our time, is concerned, there is no courageous opposition.

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.

And to the embarrassment of both Republican and Democratic establishments, she takes that office more seriously than they—the silent “leaders”—do theirs. When the last Marine leaves Iraq, dead or alive, she can claim more credit than them all. Because of the courage of one brave woman, she quite possible will have had more to do with finally bringing this great nation back to its senses... and to its principles.

LINK to TOM

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