Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Houston Chronicle: Sheehan's free pass has expired

I've ignored the big non-story that's been grabbing lots of headlines and blog commentary these days: the Cindy Sheehan brouhaha in Crawford. I've found the whole business to be about as interesting as an audio commentary by Carrot Top on the Alaskan fur trade.

For those of you outside the United States who live in countries whose press corps have been original enough to avoid the incomprehensible bandwagonism of the Sheehan story, this Houston Chronicle piece by Kathleen Parker sums up the action, such as it is, nicely. Parker also finishes with one hell of a conclusion:

No human being has absolute moral authority on this or any other issue, though I think I know what [New York Times columnist Maureen] Dowd meant. That parents who bury their children have a right to complain and to have their voices heard. That's the theory, anyway.

In practice, of course, it means that people lost in their emotions get a pass from the usual standards of debate and fair play, as Sheehan has. That's about to change. As others arrive in Crawford who share Sheehan's grief and her moral authority -- but not her politics -- her free pass expires.
Hat tip to RealClearPolitics.


UPDATE: Open Posting at the Mudville Gazette!