Sheehans decision, which was announced on February 9, came after substantial pressure from elite Democrats who thought her bid could damage Sen. Feinstein. Certainly that was the point of Sheehans threat to take on the senator -- and the elites of the pro-war Democratic Party, including Sen. Barbara Boxer, knew it. Since her decision was made public Sheehan has been taking heat from antiwar activists who believe she has given into the Democrats coercion. They believe she has succumbed to lesser-evil politics. But I wouldnt be so quick to jump to such a conclusion.
Sheehan obviously believes the best way to challenge the Democrats ineptitude is to continue her activism from outside the party. So dont go counting on her to endorse Feinstein this summer. If anybody still honestly believes that the Democrats are open to radical changes at the national level, they need look no further than Paul Hacketts recent demise or the centrist Howard Deans campaign during the 2004 elections. If the grassroots of the Democratic Party are engaged and empowered -- watch out -- their challenges to way business is done in Washington, whether genuine (Hacketts) or spurious (Deans), end up becoming just another casualty of Democratic corruption.
Surely Sheehan knows this and isnt about to exert energy reforming a broken Democratic Party. She wants the troops home now -- thats her mission. Why get hung up tooling around with DC Dems and their misguided ways? It would be a waste of time.
Chretien is running on the Green Party line against Feinstein and hopes to rally the antiwar movement to his side. Sheehans statement wasnt a formal endorsement of Chretiens campaign, but it certainly gives us a glimpse into the philosophy of Sheehan for she isnt going to support any pro-war candidate of any party. Period.
And thats a lesson that the antiwar movement should take home and think on. Activists shouldnt get bogged down in the Democrats web of power and deceit. They should instead stick to their cause and fight for what they believe in. Lesser-evil politics can only damage social movements and pro-war politicians like Sen. Feinstein will only respond to the antiwar movement when it starts to turn its back on the Democratic Party and their unwillingness to oppose the occupation of Iraq. Until then the Democrats will simply take antiwar voters for granted as they did during John Kerrys sour presidential bid in 2004.