Every housewife and truck driver, every Wal-Mart clerk and office worker in
Bush’s audience – the highly-paid cream of the national media – roared with laughter at the Leader’s barbaric wit. Now these same blind guides are struggling to comprehend the fire of dissent that Cindy Sheehan has lit with her vigil in the Crawford scrublands. Many of them have mocked and vilified her, trumpeting the lies that the Bush Machine began pumping out like bilgewater the moment her campaign found resonance with the wider public. Others have dismissed it as a flash in the pan, a copy-filler for the August doldrums, a minor blip soon to be swept away by the president’s proven mastery of the national agenda.
Perhaps they’re right. Perhaps this too shall pass, just as every other scandal and tourbillion that has momentarily shaken the Bush Regime – from Enron to Abu Ghraib and beyond – has fallen by the wayside. It’s true that the polls show that Bush is now deeply unpopular, mistrusted by more than half the electorate who say, as Sheehan says, that he misled the nation into a pointless war. But by hook and crook, with fear and lies, he and his faction have gathered all the reins of power into their hands. With a complaisant media, a feckless opposition, unprecedented control over the nation’s electoral machinery – and the full backing of the corporate oligarchy they have enriched beyond all measuring – the Bush elitists are not much concerned with the “consent of the governed” anymore. They will wade on through the swamp of blood they have created, generating more terrorism, sacrificing more sons and daughters, engendering more hatred, anguish and death.
But what if the form that Sheehan has somehow given to the nation’s growing sense of betrayal does not simply fade at summer’s end? What if that spark takes hold in the