When you ignore the spectrum of what really should be done, and look within the spectrum of what actually is done in U.S. politics and government, Nancy Pelosi, Representative of San Francisco and current Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, can look pretty good. Representative Pelosi is a favorite target of hate-talk right wing radio; she represents a kinder, gentler, and not rabidly fundamentalist Christian establishment that is good on social issues like women's rights, racism, and to a tiny extent social justice.
Cindy Sheehan was a political unknown until after her son Casey died military service in Iraq on April 4, 2004. She gradually became a well-known anti-war activist; if you missed that somehow you can get a bit of background at the Cindy Sheehan Wikipedia article.
On July 8, 2007 Mrs. Sheehan announced she would run for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 8th Congressional District of California, a seat currently occupied by Nancy Pelosi.
The usual wisdom in that Mrs. Sheehan does not have a chance. Since she does not have a chance, she will get little money and support, so she will not be able to enlarge her chances.
Only the 8th Congressional District covers about 3/4 of the city of San Francisco.
Anti-war sentiment is extremely strong in San Francisco. Although the city is overwhelmingly registered to vote in the Democratic Party, the voters are very issues-driven. A Green Party member, Matt Gonzalez, who had already served on the Board of Supervisors (City Council in most Cities) came close to winning the race for Mayor in 2003. Gonzalez received 47% of the vote. Ross Mirkarimi, another Green Party member, currently serves on the Board of Supervisors.
Mrs. Pelosi, with the rest of the Democratic Party leadership, voted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I believe she has genuinely turned against the wars, but it does not seem like she is against wars of aggression. She is only against unpopular wars of aggression that don't work out for the U.S. establishment. She is playing a game the Democrats so successfully played during the Hoover administration, when they prevented Herbert Hoover's relief programs for the Depression from passage so that they could blame Hoover and the Republicans for the nation's suffering. Mrs. Pelosi and the Democratic Party majority in the House had, and has, the power to stop the war by cutting off its funding. Instead she postures against the war and then watches as George W. Bush and the Republican Party become increasingly unpopular. The gravy will be hot and plentiful if the Democrats can win the race for President in 2008 and retain control of Congress.
Well, the Republicans can burn in Hell for all I care, but the Democratic Party is a war crimes organization too.
I hear a lot of people whine about the Democrats and Republicans, but then they won't pitch in to get Greens and Independents elected to office.
I know that Cindy Sheehan has little or no prior experience in government. I don't care. I want to Send Them a Message: No more U.S. Wars of Aggression.
So I am going to send Cindy's campaign some money, as soon as they are set up to receive it.
Nancy Pelosi was born to a life of privilege (her dad was once Mayor of Baltimore; you can guess what that was like if you've seen The Wire). She married a guy whose brother was already on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors; she and her husband have oodles of their own money and plenty of rich and powerful friends.
Cindy's campaign web site is http://www.cindyforcongress.org/. Nothing is up yet, but you can bookmark it and go back. And give money. Voting is not enough. Volunteering is great, but it is not enough. Every campaign needs money, even a grassroots rebellion. Let's kick everyone who voted for the invasion of Iraq, Democrats and Republicans alike, out of office. Let's see how some fresh people can do in office.
Nancy Pelosi Wikipedia article
Nancy Pelosi's campaign donations