Sheehan has not completely curbed her activism like so many other antiwar activists did two years ago during John Kerry's bid for president, but she has outright refused to come out and fully embrace any candidates who are challenging the Democrats for their explicit support for Bush's bloody war on Iraq. Aside from campaigning for any alternative antiwar hopefuls, Sheehan has also failed to criticize the pro-war Democrats who are up for reelection.
Before the campaign season began to heat up Sheehan had lambasted Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton and Dianne Feinstein, among others, for their backward defense of the war effort. She even went as far as to describe Hillary's position on Israel and Iraq as being equal to that of Rush Limbaugh. Yet, when it has mattered most, i.e. now, she has been virtually silent. But it may not be a mystery as to why.
Cindy Sheehan has joined forces with Medea Benjamin of CODE PINK as well as the Progressive Democrats of America, where Sheehan serves on the organization's Board of Directors. Benjamin too is on the PDA's Board and has aligned her antiwar activism with the group's charge to reshape the Democratic Party from within.
She certainly has not stood by that lackluster promise, as she now works for the Democrats. And I'm not sure how working to elect "progressive" Democrats to office, which Benjamin and Sheehan are now attempting to do with the PDA, will ever help build an alternative to the two pro-war parties. Nor am I convinced that electing Democrats to office will ever end the war in Iraq -- as John Walsh recently explained in CounterPunch, even if the Democrats pick up the necessary 15 seats to reclaim the House, their overall position on the war will not be changing, as no new Democratic House contenders actually oppose the war.
Perhaps Cindy Sheehan has fallen into the vicious trap of non-profit activism, where she cannot truly speak her mind without being fearful that her liberal supporters will pull their funding from the groups she aligns with. Or maybe Sheehan just doesn't get it. Maybe she doesn't understand that elections are a great place to go after the war enablers for all of their awful habits and evil deeds.
As Sheehan told me a year ago, "I will not support a pro-war Democrat. I will support any anti-war candidate ... [We] need to expose the failures of the Bush administration along with those of Congress and the media. [We] need to keep pushing for the full withdrawal of troops 'now.' That is paramount."
Come on back to us Cindy, come back.