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Left I On the News: About that Excuse for not Meeting with Cindy...


About that excuse for not meeting with Cindy Sheehan...

George Bush has claimed repeatedly that he doesn't need to meet with Cindy Sheehan because he has already met with her, and it's a line that his supporters repeat frequently as well. Just one little itty bitty problem. Today, trying to counter Sheehan's influence while in Idaho, Bush met with Dawn Rowe (as seen and interviewed on CNN; doesn't appear to be online at the moment). Rowe's husband was killed in Iraq, and this was the second time Bush has met with her. Want to meet with George Bush? All you have to do is to agree with him. Anyone else? Go stand in the street. Or a ditch. Preferably a long way away.

Bush's meeting with Rowe occured in private; in public, he was promoting Tammy Pruett, who has had five sons and a husband serving in Iraq (fortunately for her and them, and unfortunately for Bush's attempted comparison with Sheehan, all of them are alive). Bush, in one of those precious lack of self-awareness moments, intoned, "America lives in freedom because of families like the Pruetts." Well, leaving aside the obvious fact that serving in Iraq doesn't have the slightest thing to do with our living in freedom, what can one say but, "Definitely not because of families like yours, George. Had that little talk with Barbara and Jenna yet?"

Update: Interestingly enough, I have this on tape from this afternoon when it was broadcast on CNN, but I can find absolutely no mention of this meeting in writing, either on the CNN website or elsewhere. I didn't imagine her though; here's an article about her husband's death in which we learn that Dawn thinks his death was "meant to be."

Second update: An Idaho paper is now the one and only place I can find a written record of Rowe's meeting with Bush. And in a second article from that paper, we learn why Rowe made the trip from California to meet with Bush - it's because she was mad that her sister-in-law (the dead Marine's sister) had attended a peace vigil protesting the war! Here's more about Diana Rowe Pauls and the Cindy Sheehan connection:

"Rowe Pauls said she 'held her tongue' for almost a year until she saw Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq last year, camping out near Bush's home in Crawford, Texas.

"'When I saw Cindy Sheehan and the Gold Star Families for Peace and veterans from Iraq, veterans from Vietnam and current active military all beginning to speak out publicly with the same questions and concerns that I had, I wanted to start asking those questions publicly as well,' Rowe-Pauls said.

"To make some peace with her mother, Rowe Pauls said she's agreed to not use her brother's name in future protests of the war."

There's an important lesson to be learned here - there are a lot more people opposed to the war than the number who are willing to protest, but every time you (or I) protest, that helps to make those people realize that they are not alone, and in turn helps to inspire more protest. That's what it's all about, folks.

Incidentally, when members of Cindy Sheehan's family announced their opposition to Sheehan's stance, the media made a big deal of it and gave them lots of coverage. Do you suppose they'll be giving the same coverage to Diana Rowe Pauls? I doubt it.

Further update: If you can stand it, listen to the clips of Bush speaking in Idaho on this morning's Democracy Now!. Bush is just his usual blustering self, but listening to the audience applauding and hooting and hollering in response to Bush's call for killing the "terrorists" and "confront emerging threats before they full materialize" (i.e., endless war against the world), just two words came to mind: blood lust. Truly scary.

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From Bush's Idaho speech...

"There are few things in life more difficult than seeing a loved one go off to war. And here in Idaho, a mom named Tammy Pruett. I think she's here - knows that feeling six times over"

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