Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The reality-based community

Despite the best efforts of the GOP to cocoon their fearless leaders -- you know, the fellows who are "history's actors" -- Dick Cheney came face to face yesterday with a member of the reality-based community:
WILMINGTON, Ohio (AP) -- Dick Cheney came face-to-face with the war in Iraq when a 62-year-old grandmother confronted him on the campaign trail.

Phyllis Hobbs told Cheney she had sacrificed a grandson to the war.

"I'd like a little peace," she pleaded with the vice president.

Unlike others who have lost loved ones in the war and have had the audacity to confront the Bush campaign, this one was an remains a Bush/Cheney supporter. So she wasn't dragged out by the Secret Service. Which would have made for some interesting footage, since she was in a wheelchair.
Hobbs' son, her daughter-in-law and another grandson all have served in Iraq, and her son is headed back for another stint, probably around Thanksgiving.

Her daughter-in-law just re-enlisted and would be heading back to Iraq too, but she's pregnant, and will go next year instead.

Hobbs' other grandson, a Special Forces soldier, just returned and "I hope he's home for good," she said.

Her grandson Steven D. Conover, 21, was among the U.S. soldiers killed last November when insurgents in Fallujah shot down the Chinook helicopter he was riding in.

Devastated by the loss and the fear of what else could happen, Hobbs said her health deteriorated to the point where she suffered kidney failure the month after her grandson's death, putting her in a wheelchair.

Cheney spotted her in her wheelchair in an audience of rabid Bush-Cheney supporters and invited her to ask him a question.

Hobbs asked Cheney, "Is there anybody who knows a time limit" for pulling out of Iraq? "I have four over there. ... I had one killed. ... I'd like a little peace."

Given to understatement, the vice president calmly replied: "I appreciate very much obviously the sacrifice they made. ... If you put an artificial date on it, what with the terrorists just waiting until that day arrives, Americans withdraw, and then they'll reinsert themselves, that's not acceptable."

You could call that "understatement" if you're a propagandist. You could also call it cold.

The renowned actor of history couldn't give her the peace she wanted -- because the truth is, there is no time limit for the Bush/Cheney war. And that's the way they want it.

Such compassionate conservatism.

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