Elizabeth Edwards’ personal experience makes her comments about the Cindy Sheehan fiasco different than the boring partisan sniping we’ve been hearing from both sides. After reading this post on Salon’s War Room blog, I wanted to share it, and I know most of you don’t click on my Salon links because you don’t want to watch the commercials, so I’ve included it here in its entirety, but only because it’s moving and important. Please remember that Salon is a great news resource and you really should subscribe. It costs about the same as most crappy magazines. Okay, here is the post:
Cindy Sheehan is picking up support today from another woman who knows what it’s like to lose a son. In an email to supporters, Elizabeth Edwards, whose son Wade was killed in a car accident in 1996, says that it is time for George W. Bush to listen to whatever message Cindy Sheehan wants to deliver.
“Cindy Sheehan is asking a very simple thing of her government, and she and her family, and most particularly Casey, have paid a very dear price for the right to ask this,” Edwards writes. “Cindy wants Casey’s death to have meant as much as his life — lived fully — might have meant. I know this, as does every mother who has ever stood where we stand.”
Edwards says that
Bush is wrong if he thinks he’s heard enough about Iraq. “Whether you agree or disagree with every part, or any part, of what Cindy wants to say, you know it is better that the president hear different opinions, particularly from those with such a deep and personal interest in the decisions of our government. Today, another voice would be helpful. Cindy Sheehan can be that voice. She has earned the right to be that voice.”
Edwards says Bush’s “cavalier dismissal” of Sheehan’s request is “emblematic” of a greater problem. “This is a mother who raised her son to love his country enough to serve,” she writes. “This is a mother who lived the impossible life of a mother of a soldier serving in Iraq, unable to sleep when he sleeps, unable to sleep when he is on duty, unable to watch the television, unable to stop watching the television. And when the worst does happen, when the world comes crashing down and she puts the boy she bore, the boy she taught, the boy she loved in the ground, what does that government say to her? It says we’ll do the talking; we don’t need to hear from you. If we are decent and compassionate, if we know the lessons we taught our children, or if, selfishly, all we want is the long line of the brave to protect us in the future, we should listen to the mothers now.” (from Salon War Room)