This is an excerpt of an excellent Frank Rich piece in the NYT. I encourage you to read the rest of it:
Mr. Bush’s stand-up shtick for the Beltway press corps wasn’t some aberration; it was part of the White House’s political plan for keeping the home front cool. America was to yuk it up, party on and spend its tax cuts heedlessly while the sacrifice of an inadequately manned all-volunteer army in Iraq was kept out of most Americans’ sight and minds. This is why the Pentagon issued a directive at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom forbidding news coverage of “deceased military personnel returning to or departing from” air bases. It’s why Mr. Bush, unlike Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, has not attended funeral services for the military dead. It’s why January’s presidential inauguration, though nominally dedicated to the troops, was a gilded $40 million jamboree at which the word Iraq was banished from the Inaugural Address. (emphasis mine, btw)
THIS summer in Crawford, the White House went to this playbook once too often. When Mr. Bush’s motorcade left a grieving mother in the dust to speed on to a fund-raiser, that was one fat-cat party too far. The strategy of fighting a war without shared national sacrifice has at last backfired, just as the strategy of Swift Boating the war’s critics has reached its Waterloo before Patrick Fitzgerald’s grand jury in Washington. The 24/7 cable and Web attack dogs can keep on sliming Cindy Sheehan. The president can keep trying to ration the photos of flag-draped caskets. But this White House no longer has any more control over the insurgency at home than it does over the one in Iraq.
And a salient comment from someone over at Americablog:
“One thing is also very evident. The Bush White House has spent a lot of time talking about Cindy Sheehan. If only they spent as much time strategizing about how to fix Iraq as they did how to beat up a mother who lost her son there.”
Definition of this chick’s sacrifice: Buying her mother a small television to keep in her room and watching the mother promptly turn on faux “news” and comment how much she’s missed it. (Pulls over trashcan in which to vomit mightily) Okay, I know it ain’t on par with Cindy or others who have sacrificed something of note but it was pooty nonetheless.