Progressive politics, ideas & culture


the creaky democracy down south, part 127

This Magazine Staff

By now you’ve all heard that the Iraq war protestor and mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, Cindy Sheehan, was ‘escorted’ from the crowd attending Tuesday’s State of the Union Address in Washington — you know, the one in which American President George W. Bush tried to make a distinction between responsible criticism and knee-jerk negativism. What hasn’t been fully clear is why Sheehan was removed? Was she going to throw something? Would she spit? Did she have any violent and/or disruptive intent?
Apparently, she was tackily dressed.
Remember the days when protestors in the Soviet Union were dragged away for doing nothing more than silently holding signs critical of the government (please note: if you are under 30, you are not allowed to say, “yes I remember”)? We all hated the Soviets for being so intolerant of dissent. We thought them weak and hollow at the core; and we believed that in some way these small, silenced protests would eventually lead to the collapse of their corrupt government.
Who would it have hurt to let Cindy Sheehan listen to Bush’s speech?

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