Symbolism is not a right-wing value

| Wed Aug. 24, 2005 7:14 PM EDT

A common right-wing criticism of Cindy Sheehan is that she doesn't really want to ask Bush a question, she doesn't really want to see him--she's just there to put on a "staged" event, to call attention to her cause, and to get media coverage.

Well, a double-layered "duh" to that. Of course she is there to call attention to her cause and to get media coverage. Oh my god--someone is using symbolism to make a point. What a concept. What will we tell the children?

It's not like Bush has held dozens of staged "meetings" where only supporters were not at risk of being hauled away by the police. But if conservatives really are that literal, I guess it's up to me to set them straight.

I hate to break it to all of you Republicans, but when Pat Peale wore that Band-Aid on her face at your convention, she hadn't cut herself on the barbed wire while she was clearing brush: She was using it as a symbol to mock a man who put his life in danger to fight in Vietnam.

When Bush served a platter of plastic Turkey to the soldiers in Iraq, he wasn't auditioning to be a food stylist for the House and Garden channel: He was promoting good will among those whom he sent to be killed for PNAC and Halliburton.

The Mission Accomplished sign didn't mean that the war was over--just that the White House wanted you to have a big old testosterone charge from all that killing and destruction.

And when Bush stuffed a pair of gym socks into his flight uniform, it didn't mean he was looking to co-host with Adriano Rio--it was just a ploy to create another splash of testosterone.

Getting back to Cindy Sheehan--it is a moot point. Bush will do anything--even leave his ranch for Idaho--to avoid facing her. A vacation from his vacation. That's a lot of vacating. Because it's hard work, being a liar.