According to the politics1 website, Cindy Sheehan has announced that she will not vote to reelect Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D--NY) in 2006 unless Clinton formally apologizes for voting to authorize military force in Iraq.
Well, this -- in itself -- really isn't worthy of much comment. I recently sent Ms. Sheehan an e-mail in response to one of her statements complaining about CNN devoting more coverage to the destruction of Hurrican Katrina than to her getting arrested at an anti-war rally. That e-mail read, "Cindy, you are the anti-war movement's Katrina."
Since I doubt Cindy has the wit to figure out what that meant, I'll explain myself. Just as Katrina destroyed everything it touched, Sheehan is destroying whatever credibility the American anti-war movement may have by basically turning the whole thing into a narcissistic showcase for herself. Suddenly, it's no longer about whether or not we should be devoting so many resources -- needed elsewhere -- in Iraq. It's not about the fact that thousands of Americans are dying. It's not about the fact that it's doubtful that Iraq -- or any middle Eastern country -- will ever be politically stable enough to meet Bush's criterea for success. It's not about the fact that America looks like an imperealist country to the rest of the world. It's not about whether Hussein ever had Weapons of Mass Destruction or not. No, for Sheehan and folks like her, it's all about getting powerful people to kiss their ass.
As long as the anti-war movement allows itself to be represented by the likes of Cindy Sheehan, it'll never have any hope of seriously affecting the course of U.S. policy. It has been said that our eventual withdrawl from Viet Nam began with Walter Cronkite saying the war was not winnable. Well, Cindy Sheehan's no Walter Cronkite. At her best, she's a menopausal Tom Hayden.
So, the fact that Cindy feels that only politicians who apologize to her deserve her vote is hardly newsworthy. (Will Clinton apologize? Bill probably would, not Hillary. Much as I dislike HRC, the woman's got balls.)
What is interesting is the response of the chairman of New York's Libertarian Party, a certain John Clifton. Clifton invited Sheehan to run against Hillary -- as a Libertarian! Now, it is true that the LP does advocate the immediate withdrawl of our troops from Iraq. So do I, though my thinking on it certainly isn't as conspiracy-centered as certain other anti-war advocates (like Ms. Sheehan). Sheehan, of course, is the poster mom for the anti-war Left. However, she is also a longtime liberal activist from before the war, many of her statements verge on being anti-Semitic (Why is it that so many anti-war activists can't accept the idea of being both against the war and for Israel's right to exist?), and she is DEFINITELY NOT A LIBERTARIAN!
But, she's in the news a lot and, in the world of third party politics, that's apparently all it takes to inspire the grass roots. And, of course, the LP -- who calls themselves the Party of Principle -- are willing to nominate anyone nowadays. Regardless of whether or not they're actually Libertarian or not...
So, in honor of Ms. Sheehan's response, allow me to have a totally pointless, self-centered reaction to this. As I've written previously, I have been feeling a bit alienated from the Libertarians since the 2004 election. I've felt that their leadership has given up whatever slim credibility they may have once had in the pursuit of martyrdom. But I still considered myself to be a member of the Libertarian Party because they were the Party of Principle and, on the whole, their principles were my principles.
However, my principles do not include supporting some total idiot just because they happen to agree with me on one issue. Just as I never allowed my political beliefs to blind me to the fact that Ayn Rand was not an especially good writer, I will not allow my feelings about the war to blind me to the fact that Cindy Sheehan is an attention-seeking, histrionic shrew who represents everything bad (and nothing good) about American liberalism. Sheehan is from the line of thought that defends the human right violations of Fidel Castro simply because he espouses the party line. She is a product of the thinking that resulted in hundreds of otherwise distinguished artists and intellectuals lying about the famine and genocide taking place under Stalin simply because they wanted the Soviet Union to be a worker's paradise. Sheehan is a direct decendent of the folks who used to equate Huey Newton with Ghandi simply because he politicized his crimes and called his street gang the Black Panthers. Sheehan is the type of activist who'll spend years demanding a pardon for an obviously guilty murderer like Mumia Abu-Jamal while innocent men who don't have cool dredlocks and who don't know how to appeal to the radical chic rot away on death row.
And if Sheehan is a Libertarian, than I am not. Actually, Sheehan hasn't said one way or the other but just the fact that the party has invited her to run under their banner is proof enough that the LP is no longer the party of principle. And yes, I know that Clifton represents only the NY Libertarians but, regardless of whether he represents the national leadership or not, his invitation to Sheehan manages to epitomize what has been wrong with the Libertarians for these past few years.
The LP no longer understands it's own principles.
So, tonight, it is official. I am no longer a member of the Libertarian Party. I'm no longer going to identify myself with a party that seems so intent on becoming a permanent joke.
It's official. I'm no longer a Libertarian who often votes Republican. I'm a Republican. Of course, I'm an anti-war, anti-death penalty, pro-gray rights, pro-drug legalization Republican. I guess this makes the equivalent of the old anti-communist liberal Democrats like Hubert Humphrey and Henry Jackson -- i.e., I'm a member of a party that is currently dominated by people who have little use for me.
Rod Lurie has been replaced as executive producer of Commander in Cheif. This, of course, is the latest show to remind us of just how good Kyle Secord was on Homicide and how criminally under-and-misused he's been since that show went off the air.
Or, at least, that's what it is to me.
To the rest of America, Commander in Chief is the new TV show about how the quirky woman who trained William Hurt's dog in The Accidental Tourist becomes the first female President and has to deal with the evil, right-wing schemes of the original Hawkeye Pierce. That the show was created by Rod Lurie should be obvious to anyone who had to sit through The Contender, a film in which Joan Allen played a woman with absolutely business being Vice President but got the job anyway.
Anyway, Lurie will be replaced by Steven Bochco who, apparently, needed something to do now that NYPD Blue is off the air. Hopefully, this means that Dennis Franz will soon be joining the cast.
It's kind of a shame to see Lurie go. The former film critic gave up a career writing insightful reviews in order to become one of America's few truly political filmmakers. I say this because all of Lurie's projects deal with liberal politicians and they're always chock full of political trivia that -- while improving the film not a bit -- always leave the viewer assured as to just how little Lurie thinks of them.
In short, the work of Rod Lurie, filmmaker, serves as an almost perfect time capsule for future historians. When future political scientists try to figure out why -- after a century of success -- liberals suddenly found themselves unable to hold onto the loyalty of the American people, they could do no worse than to watch the collected works of Rod Lurie; the first seven episodes of Command In Chief included.
Anyway, there's apparently some bitterness out there in Lurie's camp over his departure. "Creative differences" is what it's being blamed on. This probably means that, while Lurie wanted to show Donald Sutherland and his fellow Republicans eating babies, the network executives thought that just a few senior citizens roasting on a spit would do the job.
However, I think this will probably be for the best as far as Rod Lurie is concerned. Now, he can get back to making thrilling, three hours films about interim U.S. House elections and controversies sparked by judicial appointments made during the Congressional recess.
Seriously, why hasn't this guy remade Advise and Consent yet? I'm sure Alec Baldwin would love to play the the old Henry Fonda role of the ex-communist nominated for Secretary of State. William H. Macy could be the gay Senator from Utah originally played by Don Murray. Robert Duvall could easily fill Charles Laughton's shoes as South Carolina Sen. Seabright Cooley. And who would be better as villianous Sen. Fred Van Ackerman (George Grizzard in the original) than Christian Slater? (Though I guess Van Ackerman would have to be changed from an insane peace activist to an insane Christian activist for the Lurie version.) Ben Affleck could be womanizing Sen. Lafe Smith and Phillip Baker Hall (or, Hell, why not?, Joan Allen) could be the President.
It apparently celebrated a short life earlier in March of this year but what a life it lived! Seriously, this is one of the most brilliant pieces of performance art ever to show up on the internet. As I wrote to the blog's creator in an unusually fawning comment, if all Democrats were capable of coming up with satire as clever as this, I might have actually considered voting for -- well, not Kerry and, no, not Gore and definitely not Clinton or Dukakis or Mondale or Carter or McGovern but perhaps for Hubert Humphrey in 1968. (If, of course, I had actually been alive and over the age of 21 in 1968...) Definitely, it could have won me over to Adlai Stevenson....
So, go visit this blog.
As for me, I have devoted all of my recent time to my writing and it feels great. Who needs to be a third party Presidential candidate when you can just be an anti-social, obscure cult author?
(I guess I could do both like L. Neil Smith ... but I kid Neil Smith! Actually, I supported Smith for a couple of months back in 2004 before Smith announced that he'd only run if a million people signed a petition asking him to. Neil, baby, first off -- there are not a million Libertarians in the United States. And even if there were, good luck on ever getting them all to stop debating who loves Ayn Rand the most to actually get them to all sign one document...Anyway, it was after this announcement that it became obvious that Neil was running mostly so he could withdraw from the race. So, of course, I ended up throwing my support to Aaron Russo and then briefly to Dennis Kucinich and then over to Michael Badnarik until it became obvious that Badnarik was not the second coming of Ed Clark but instead the first coming of Michael Badnarik and I finally ended up voting for Charles Jay of the Personal Choice Party. And hey, can 228 American voters possibly be wrong? That's right, baby!)
So, anyway, I'll probably start posting again on a regular basis sometime near the end of this month.
Reva Renee Renz -- Renz would have won my vote in 2003's California recall election, if not for the fact that I'm not a resident of California. Anyway, Renz was one of the more likeable candidates in that free-for-all, one of the few who took it seriously without giving into meglomania. Her blog gives the details of her run and her life after. Renz is the owner of Deva's Bar in Tustin, California and I have to admit that the only reason I currently desire to visit California is to have a beer at that bar. Renz stands as proof that Republicans are a lot more fun than most people care to admit.
Yankee From Mississippi -- Shannon Black's blog, featuring writing that often puts me to shame. Plus, isn't that just an amazingly cool title for a blog or anything else for that matter?
The Charley Project -- A huge site, detailings hundreds of cold cases dealing with missing persons. This site is actually far superior and better written than the similar and better known Doe Network.
Crime News 2000 -- Despite the 2000, this is a daily updated listing of all the latest developments in all the morbid and disturbing stories that tend to capture the national psyche nowadays.
Doe Network -- One of those web sites that justifies the existence of the internet in the first place, the Doe Network is a huge database of missing persons and unifidentified remains from around the world.
Is this girl Tara Leigh Calico? -- This web site details the disappearance of a 19 year-old girl in New Mexico back in the late '80s. The details of Tara Calico's disappearance have haunted me for years now and served as the genesis for my current interest about missing person cases in general.
National Review -- The magazine for both true conservatives and Libertarians who think Ayn Rand was a hack
Politics 1 -- The site is officially on hiatus but there's still the occasional update. The archival information on the various candidates in the 2000 and 2004 Presidential races always makes for interesting reading.
Amazon.com -- I've posted quite a few reviews of books, film, and music on this site and I've gotten a good deal of very gratifying and very positive feedback from them. (I've also managed to piss off just about everyone who cried when they saw Titanic for the 10th times but that's another story...) Those reviews can be found by searching the site for Jeffrey Ellis from Richardson, Texas.
The Homepage of Gregory Alan Norton -- Homepage of one of my favorite liberals, fellow writer Greg Norton who I published in the premier issue of Jack the Daw way back in 1995. His site quotes my review of his excellent first novel, There Ain't No Justice, Just Us and includes information on how to order the book.
Xlibris -- Homepage for Xlibris, the publishers of It's Impossible To Start A Fire If You Have No Desire To Burn