The Nation urges Cindy Sheehan not to run for Congress against Nancy Pelosi
The Nation magazine, a leading voice of left-liberalism, has come out in opposition to antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan’s decision to run for Congress as an independent against Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in 2004 in Iraq and who set up a protest camp outside George W. Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch in 2005, announced earlier this month that she would contest Pelosi’s seat in San Francisco’s 8th Congressional District.
In a piece headlined “Dear Cindy: Please Don’t Run,” posted August 11 on the Nation’s web site, columnist Katha Pollitt advises Sheehan not to contest the seat on three spurious grounds.
First, Pollitt implies that Sheehan’s only complaint against Pelosi is that the latter has failed to push for Bush’s removal from office, and asks, “should impeachment really be a litmus test?”
The failure of the Democratic leadership in Congress to press the issue of impeachment may have triggered Sheehan’s decision to oppose Pelosi, but it is by no means the only reason for her break with the Democrats, and Pollitt knows this perfectly well. As early as Sheehan’s May 26, 2007 open letter to the Democrats in Congress, she explained she was leaving the Democratic Party because of its capitulation over the Bush administration’s request for an additional $100 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is worth recalling that the Nation, along with most of the “left” and the mass media, kept silent about Sheehan’s letter explaining her rupture with the Democrats. In two comments about Sheehan at the time, the Nation’s John Nichols referred only to her May 28 statement in which she expressed weariness and some bitterness over her experiences in the antiwar movement, and declared that she was temporarily stepping back from her activities.
Pollitt maintains this policy. She refers to Sheehan’s “somewhat murky blog post she wrote in May, announcing her resignation from the antiwar movement,” but says nothing about Sheehan’s more important letter of resignation from the Democrats.