Cindy Sheehan has announced that if Nancy Pelosi does not file Articles of Impeachment against President Bush, then she (Sheehan) will run against the Speaker in November 2008 as an Independent. Sheehan's belief is that Pelosi has let down those who worked to get the Democrats back in control of Congress after twelve years of sitting as the back benchers.
As I look at this situation, I have to admit being a government teacher does give me a little bit of insight as to what the problems of this situation is. First, lets look at this from Pelosi's point of view. For the Speaker, she has to not only act as the head of her party in Congress, but needs to keep things moving forward in the country. She claims that July will be a month of action when it comes to Iraq, but considering the track record of a Democratically controlled Congress thus far, one has to wonder. As near as I can tell, Congress has YET to have a five day work week. In addition to that, the amount of pork barrel legislation that has gone through Congress does not appear to have slowed down at all. Finally, we have the debacle of the Immigration Reform bill. In addition to this, we have a new problem for Democrats: grassroot supporters with their own agendas.
Let's be honest here, there were a lot of people here in Virginia who tried to rally to break a number of Republican strongholds. Once the Democrats who got elected into office were seen, it was very notable to discover that CONSERVATIVE Democrats got elected overwhelmingly compared to LIBERAL Democrats. Reason? Because this country is a lot more conservative than I think some folks out there are willing to admit to. While it is clear that there are those who fall on one side of the track or the other, the fact still remains that the middle of the country has some areas of conservatism that runs deeper than other areas. Once the Democrats showed that they were going to have to work with Republicans, or that not every Democrats was going to march in line behind the others, the grassroots movement folks decided to complain and take issue with their former figureheads.
Now we get to Sheehan. For the mother of a fallen soldier, her story is one that a number of families have suffered through over the years. However, I think the problem here is that she doesn't quite understand the ways in which politics work. She is flat out saying that unless something is done, she is going to take action against those who did not do as she said. Sound familiar? Terrorists like to make demands of us and then threaten to attack.
Now, I am not comparing Sheehan to terrorists, so please do not accuse me of that. I am trying to draw a parallel. The problem Sheehan has is that she is literally a one trick pony. If placed in a debate against Pelosi and Republican challenger, she will get destroyed in the debate. In addition to that, President Bush will not be much of a whipping horse to deal with. Democrats will likely have either Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama as their standard bearer in 2008. Depending on the support that Democrats can get from their potential presidential leader, I think Pelosi will not have any problems getting re-elected.
Sheehan's primary issue, Iraq, will need to remain an area of contention and something she can exploit for over a year. While San Fransisco is exceptionally liberal, I think voters are not going to vote for Sheehan because her lack of experience and knowledge as to what to do in a political realm will be exposed very quickly. In addition to this, an Independent candidate has the biggest mountain to climb. Unless Sheehan can get enough monetary and popular support early and sustain it, the odds are against her in making even the biggest of ripples in a political pool.