In a move that is sure to send fissures through the Democratic party "leadership," antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan is squaring off against Hillary Clinton:
"Sheehan isn't stopping her critique with Bush. On the contrary, she has begun to set her sights on Congress and the Democratic Party as well. When she spoke in Brooklyn on the night before, she took note of the fact that Senator Hillary Clinton voted to authorize Bush to use force in Iraq and- like most Senate Democrats-has done little to bring the troops home. Clinton, in fact, has filed legislation calling for more troops.
"In an interview after her speech, Sheehan told the Voice she was 'so frustrated' by leading Democrats like Clinton 'who should be leaders on this issue, but are not.' Already, she has set up a future meeting with New York's junior senator this weekend. And she plans to sit down with the state's senior senator, Chuck Schumer, too. 'It's time for them to step up and be the opposition party,' she said. 'This war is not going to end unless the Democrats are on board with us.'"
Good luck with those meetings, Cindy -- especially the one with Hillary -- but if I were you I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the Democratic party to step up to the plate. You'll remember that the legislation authorizing U.S efforts to intervene in Iraq, the "Iraq Liberation Act," was sponsored by Hillary's hubby, the Great Pants-Dropper, and Senator Schumer was one of the more vociferous in supporting the bill.
Yes, it's true that a great many rank-and-file Democrats are opposed to this war, and, unlike Hillary and her fellow Hillary-crats, don't want to send additional troops to Iraq to "finish the job." However, they don't control the Democratic party, which has slavishly tied itself to neoconservative foreign policy goals -- albeit with a slightly different emphasis than the Republicans.
This is a learning process that the anti-war left is going through, and it will be interesting to see how it develops. We can, in any case, be sure of this: Cindy and her admirers will come away from this looming confrontation with the Democratic party leadership with a far more realistic view of "who should be leaders on this issue" -- and, more importantly, who are their friends, and who qualifies as an enemy.
UPDATE: According to my sources, the meeting with Schumer did not go well, to begin with, because he refused to meet with her, and instead sent an aide. She asked the aide if Senator Schumer would help in the effort to bring this war to an end, and the aide replied that: "Senator Schumer thinks this war is good for America." According to the source, Sheehan walked out, remarking "Wel, I guess this means Schumer thinks my son's death was good for America." Or words to that effect.