Hey, T-D! Thanks for reading me! Now about that editorial...
Since I don't believe in coincidence, let me just say that I am flattered that the folks at the Times-Dispatch editorial page are reading this obscure little blog so closely. If only they could get it right. A couple of posts ago, I pointed out a link between the so-called "moral authority" given (and also denied) Cindy Sheehan and now given the families of murder victims in Jerry Kilgore's commercials that are pounding Tim Kaine on the death penalty. Today, in its editorial section, the T-D does the same thing but, of course, with only the view as seen through its own ideological prism.
The point I was making was that the same people who excoriated Cindy Sheehan for protesting the Iraq war after her son was killed would most likely turn around and grant the moral authority of murder victims' families to speak out for the death penalty and against Tim Kaine. Conversely, the same folks who now condemn Jerry Kilgore's ads as exploiting the grief of those families probably gave Cindy Sheehan deference in her protest.
Of course, the T-D can't look past its politics for even a second: "Well." (They always start their sanctimonious editorials with that "Well.") "If Ms. Sheehan deserves deference by virtue of her grief, then so do Rosenbluth and Mrs. Timbrook. Nobody should be attacking them, or their arguments. By the logic of the Sheehan Effect, they're right and Kaine's wrong — and that's that. Or does grief deserve deference only when used in the service of left-wing causes?"
They start their sentence with "If Ms. Sheehan deserves deference" knowing full well that that statement is not at all a given — that she was the object of scorn from the right, including their own editorial section. In a September editorial they demanded that if the likes of Maureen Dowd granted absolute moral authority to Cindy Sheehan then the same must go for mothers like Rhonda Winfield, who lost a son in the war and still supports President Bush and the war.
The T-D seemed to understand in September what it does not understand today. That it cuts both ways. They easily can say: If you give deference to Sheehan you must give it to the victims' families. But they seem incapable of saying: If you give it to victims' families you must give it to Sheehan.
Perhaps it's time to abandon this notion of granting "moral authority" to anyone, even grieving families, whose politics are highly charged with the emotion of their experience. Perhaps we should simply give them what they deserve: a respectful hearing.