Even by the admittedly low standards of the Karl Rove era, the amount of slime that was dumped on Cindy Sheehan was disgusting: "Wacko," "crackpot," "in bed with the radical left," "communist," "un-American."
And these are some of the milder epithets directed at her. Throw lots of dirt at her and even if it doesn't stick, you manage to confuse enough people to sow doubt.
But this isn't a politician who is getting slimed. This is a gold-star mother, someone whose son has made an ultimate sacrifice for this country.
A mother who lost a child in combat used to be sacrosanct. They were the women who rode at the front of Memorial Day parades. They were looked upon with a mixture of sadness and reverence. They gave their country all that they had to give. They were honored for that sacrifice.
But that was before people like Karl Rove and the right-wing smear machine existed.
Now, if you dare question their great and glorious war, you are a traitor to be slimed. What's worse, this is a mother getting slimed by a group of men who actively avoided combat in the Vietnam era.
How could Dick Cheney - a man who helped himself to five draft deferments and who said he had "other priorities" rather than serve in Vietnam - address the 73rd convention of the military order of the purple heart with a straight face?
How could President Bush, who never completed his military obligation, appear before the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention and compare the Iraq misadventure to World War II?
How can people like them wrap themselves in the flag while sending other people's kids off to die?
It's now patriotic to support a president who lied and deceived our nation in an immoral and unnecessary war. The response to 9/11 started in Afghanistan and should have finished there.
Where is Osama, Mr. President?