Conservative moms for war
The San Francisco Chronicle has a great front-page piece on Sheehan's role in reigniting a national debate about Iraq and extending the appeal of the antiwar message, especially in the more conservative suburbs. The story also looks at the efforts of conservative spin machine to counter Sheehan, including an ad that features Deborah Johns:
"I'm here to tell you that military families support our troops AND their mission -- in spite of what people like Cindy Sheehan say," Johns says in the ad, according to an advance script reviewed by The Chronicle. Her son William, a Marine who has served two tours in Iraq, is stationed in Florida.
"Cindy Sheehan certainly doesn't speak for me, our military families or our men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan," Johns says in the ad.
Republican strategist Sal Russo produced the ad, and a spokesman for his consulting firm expects it to begin airing on CNN and Fox News within a week. And Johns will lead a caravan, dubbed "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy," that departs San Francisco on Monday for Crawford. That effort is organized by talk- show host Melanie Morgan of San Francisco's KSFO-AM.
Supporters of the counter-Sheehan caravan have started selling T-shirts that say, "Unlike some people ... I do support our troops in Iraq tour."
Johns and other Bush supporters, pointing to the many prominent liberals who have praised Sheehan, say she is being used. But Johns said her support by the GOP doesn't make her feel used.
"I made my son a vow (before his second tour of Iraq last year) to get out their positive stories that are happening in Iraq," Johns told The Chronicle on Wednesday. "And if Sal Russo and the Republicans are going to help get that message out, well, that's OK." [LINK]What's a little hypocrisy in the grand scheme of Republican dirty politics. In any case, a Deborah Johns was all but inevitable the moment Sheehan grabbed the spotlight. My war mom can kick your antiwar mom's ass and all of that. But as long as Sheehan remains her refreshingly real self, most people won't have any problem spotting the phony.