Just surfing around the blogosphere and a few message boards, it struck me – the differences between how the liberals unwaveringly support Cindy Sheehan and what she’s said versus how conservatives have done their level best to distance themselves from Pat Robertson’s advocation for Hugo Chavez’s assassination.
The general tenor of the lefty blogs on Pat seems to be "conservatives need to repudiate Pat’s comments!" And conservatives are doing so – but not because liberals are asking them to, but because it’s the right thing to do.
OTOH, the harsh rhetoric coming from Cindy Sheehan (and those of her “supporters”) is considered off limits for criticism according to the left. Any attempt to criticize Sheehan’s statements, or those from her "supporters" gets met with cries of "SMEAR MERCHANT!" – and worse (Jeff Goldstein discusses that here).
On Monday, Robertson said on the Christian Broadcast Network’s ”The 700 Club”: ”We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability.”
”We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator,” he continued. ”It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.”
(BTW, the AP has updated that article – you’ll note my original post on this where I quoted from the AP article didn’t have Pat’s quote, at least in the first part of the article, as it does now.)
As we know, conservatives far and wide are condeming Pat’s comments.
Now, here are some of the things Cindy Sheehan has said (emphasis added by me):
And I’m glad to hear everybody else’s words, because somebody’s gotta stop those lying b**tards. Somebody has to stop them. [...]
And then there’s Kevin and Monica Benderman. Kevin did exactly the right thing and got 15 months in prison. Whereas like Dahr said, the war criminals in Washington, D.C., they don’t even lose a night’s sleep.
Then we have this lying b**tard, George Bush, taking a 5-week vacation in a time of war. You know what? I’m never going to get to enjoy another vacation, because of him.
My vacation probably – -this is really sad because I have a really cute dress I was going to wear to the banquet tomorrow night, but I’m either gonna be in jail or in a tent in Crawford, waiting until that jerk comes out and tells me why my son died. [...]
So what really gets me is these chickenhawks, who sent our kids to die, without ever serving in a war themselves. They don’t know what it’s all about. [...]
But do you guys remember back in March when we were having our 2nd year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq which was pre-empted by Terry Schiavo, so that’s all that was on the news, not 5,000 of us in Fayetteville, Wolf Blitzer said it was insignificant, but they put Terry Schiavo on, and I wrote something then called The Amazing Hypocrites and I asked why does she deserve life more than my son, and the Iraqi people? And more than the other people that this war has killed.
But do you think George Bush will interrupt his vacation and go visit the families of those 20 marines that have died in Ohio this week? No, because he doesn’t care, he doesn’t have a heart. That’s not enough to stop his little playing cowboy’ game in Crawford for 5 weeks.
So, as you can imagine, the grieving parents who lost – - lost, I don’t like to use that word, whose child was murdered, it’s extremely difficult, you can’t even get a small scab on our wound, because every day it rips open. Every day, I don’t know why I do it because I already know that war is ugly, I already know that war is hard. But I open up the DOD site to see, who became an angel, while I was sleeping. [...]
So anyway that filth-spewer and warmonger, George Bush was speaking after the tragedy of the marines in Ohio, he said a couple things that outraged me. [...]
And I say, why should I want one more mother to go through what I’ve gone through, because my son is dead. You know what, the only way he can honor my son’s sacrifice is to bring the rest of the troops home. To make my son’s death count for peace and love, and not war and hatred like he stands for.
I don’t want him using my son’s death or my family’s sacrifice to continue the killing. I don’t want him to exploit the honor of my son and others to continue the killing. They sent these honorable people to die, and are so dishonorable themselves. [...]
But I don’t care, I’m goin’. And I’m gonna tell them, "You get that evil maniac out here, cuz a Gold Star Mother, somebody who’s blood is on his hands, has some questions for him."
And I’m gonna say, "OK, listen here, George. #1, you quit, and I demand, every time you get out there and say you’re going to continue the killing in Iraq to honor the fallen heroes by continuing the mission; you say, except Casey Sheehan.’" [...]
And I’m gonna say, "And you tell me, what the noble cause is that my son died for." And if he even starts to say freedom and democracy’ I’m gonna say, bull s**t.
You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son died for oil. You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of Pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East. You tell me that, you don’t tell me my son died for freedom and democracy.’
Cuz, we’re not freer. You’re taking away our freedoms. The Iraqi people aren’t freer, they’re much worse off than before you meddled in their country.
You get America out of Iraq, you get Israel out of Palestine
(massive round of applause)
And if you think I won’t say bull s**t to the President, I say move on, cuz I’ll say what’s on my mind. [...]
We can’t let somebody rise to the top who will pardon these war criminals. Because they need to go to prison for what they’ve done in this world. We can’t have a pardon. They need to pay for what they’ve done. [...]
Another thing that I’m doing is – - my son was killed in 2004, so I’m not paying my taxes for 2004. If I get a letter from the IRS, I’m gonna say, you know what, this war is illegal; this is why this war is illegal. This war is immoral; this is why this war is immoral. You killed my son for this. I don’t owe you anything. And if I live to be a million, I won’t owe you a penny. [...]
It’s up to us, the people, to break immoral laws, and resist. As soon as the leaders of a country lie to you, they have no authority over you. These maniacs have no authority over us. [...]
And we demonize the Iraqi people, where, most of this country doesn’t even think we’re killing innocent people. [...]
"If you fall on the side that is pro-George, and pro-war, you get your ass over to Iraq, and take the place of somebody who wants to come home. And if you fall on the side that is against this war and against George Bush, stand up and speak out."
And that’s just for starters. (Edited a bit to clean up the language in case any young folks stop by)
Do we see massive repudiation of those comments (and similar comments made by others like her) by the left? I see some, but not very many. This is not just the hardline left giving her (and her “supporters”) a pass, but some in the mainstream as well.
So in other words, conservatives are falling all over themselves to distance themselves from Pat Robertson’s comments, but you don’t see too much of the same from the ‘other side’ when it comes to distancing themselves from Cindy Sheehan (and her “supporters”) statements. They go on and on and say "she has the right to say those things!" But of course this has never been about the right to say anything, but instead what’s right or wrong to say. Big difference. On many counts.
My conclusion is that the repudiation isn’t happening on that massive of a scale because so many on that side of the aisle agree with her (and her "supporters". Which is a more than a little disappointing, I must say.
Update: Michelle Malkin is back from a mini-vacation (welcome back, Michelle!) and has a roundup of must-read links on Casey Sheehan’s heroism. Bravo!