Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Losing the Moral Authority

Mike Williams has more comments on "absolute moral authority" issue, and also finds out that Elizabeth Edwards has entered the anti-war fray:

Columnists Maureen Dowd and Ellen Goodman have been well and truly ripped for claiming that mother’s who lose sons and daughters in Iraq or Afghanistan have “an absolute moral authority” to make value judgments about the War on Terror. Now we read this:

Throughout his campaign for president and then vice president in 2004, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina made it clear that the death of his teenage son in a car accident was off-limits, not for discussion in a political context.

But now his wife, Elizabeth, has sent an e-mail to supporters voicing a connection she shares with Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq. As Sheehan was camped near President Bush's Texas ranch, protesting the war, Edwards called on her own family's backers to support Sheehan.

And, in a departure from a campaign-trail silence that the Edwardses kept about the death of their 16-year-old son, Wade, Elizabeth Edwards noted that Sheehan's son, Casey, 24, died in Iraq eight years to the day after her own son.

For John Edwards, who voted as a senator to support the invasion of Iraq, his wife's outreach to subscribers of their One America Committee Web site bears a distinct anti-war voice that could augur a new tack for Edwards as he prepares for a potential run for president in 2008.

"The president says he knows enough, doesn't need to hear from Casey's mother, doesn't need to assure her that Casey's is not one small death in a long and seemingly never-ending drip of deaths, that there is a plan here that will bring our sons and daughters home," Elizabeth Edwards wrote in her e-mail last week. "He claims he understands how some people feel about the deaths in Iraq. The president is wrong."

The Edwardses left questions about the e-mail to spokeswoman Kim Rubey, who said, "When Elizabeth read about Cindy Sheehan and her son, she immediately felt a strong personal connection."

Rob Tully, a Des Moines lawyer who campaigned for John Edwards in 2004, suggests that Elizabeth Edwards' battle with cancer since the election has given her an added perspective.
"She has gone through her own life-threatening experience, and that is life-changing," Tully said.

So let’s see: Elizabeth Edwards has breast cancer (we pray successfully treated), Casey Sheehan died in Iraq on the eighth anniversary of Elizabeth’s own son’s death in an automobile accident, and Bush doesn’t understand how people feel? Husband John is an Orange County squire, a prof at the PRCH (UNC-Chapel Hill), and a putative 2008 candidate for POTUS. Don’t expect to see this story run in the N&O. But if it was, they’d have to say something like

Are we really supposed to think that Edwards' wife has some unique perspective on war because she had cancer? Is the liberal opposition to the war that desperate? Who in there right mind thinks that having cancer gives you an "added perspective" into the war in Iraq?

More than any other development in this Sheehan business, this latest addition to the drivel shows…that the media really has no interest in intelligent discussion of the war in Iraq. It's all about "added perspective" (read: "feelings).

Call it the "Maury Povichization" of the war on terror.