What is Cindy Sheehan thinking?
Can anyone explain to me what Cindy Sheehan is thinking in running her rather odd Independant bid against Speaker Pelosi? First of all, it's based on the premise that her own reason for running is because Speaker Pelosi won't pursue impeachment against President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. She has explicitly said that she'd drop her threat of a candidacy if Pelosi would have Congress pursue impeachment.
Isn't this kind of "quid pro quo" politics highly unethical? Do we really want the important issues of the day decided solely because a high ranking elected official is the victim of political extortion?
Second, how would this work? Assume for the moment that Sheehan's threat carries a real political threat that Pelosi could be voted out of office. So real, in fact, that it works. Congresswoman Cindy Sheehan doesn't become the next Speaker (first, she's an Independent candidate; second, she's a frosh member.) Many of former Speaker Tom Foley's constituents made that same error in 1994 only to learn that they instead voted into a freshman member of the new Republican majority. As a freshman member of Congress, Sheehan has virtually no control over the congressional agenda, even if she caucuses with the majority party (unless she becomes the deciding member who dictates control of the House.)
Then there's the issue at hand: the impeachment of President Bush. Congresswoman Sheehan would take office in 2008, literally days before the Administration leaves office anyhow. Does Cindy Sheehan honestly think that in the opening days of the 111th Congress that while she's getting her office, staff, and committee assignments together, that Congress' first order of business (after certifying the electoral votes in the 2008 Presidential election), will be to impeach the departing President and Vice-President a few days earlier than planned?
Could the House approve impeachment articles for the full Senate to try the President and the Vice-President fast enough before the clock runs out anyway on the Bush Administration?
So what we have here is a single-issue candidate who's sole issue will become moot upon the beginning of the term of her sought elected office. So what's the point, really?
Don't get me wrong. I support Cindy Sheehan's tactics because if nothing more the more we can demonstrate that our party will not kowtow to the extreme demands of the activists wing in our base, the better our overall appeal. By putting Speaker Pelosi in the position outside of Sheehan, Sheehan did more to help the anti-war movement in a long, long time.