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Nothing Is Above Politics Anymore

Events like the funeral of Coretta Scott King continue to convince me that the far left in this country is careening out of control like a five-year old who's come unbuckled from his booster seat. It's just hard to imagine some are so warped by hatred for this President they actually consider his attendance to pay respects to the widow of America's signature civil rights icon nothing more than a "little political stunt." It's that sort of juvenile, cynical mentality that just repulses most Americans.

Mary Mitchell, an African-American columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, is no conservative and no water-carrier for this President. Yet she was appalled at the lack of civility on display at Mrs. King's funeral:

No one says a mean word at a funeral. Even gang-bangers hold their anger until the casket is removed from the sanctuary. [snip]

Of course, dignitaries should have paid their respects to the family of Coretta, a woman who was known as the "First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement." But it was selfish and embarrassing to see so many of those dignitaries use her funeral as their bully pulpits.

At a political gathering, it's fair game to criticize the president.

But it was tacky and disrespectful for anyone to launch into a political attack at a funeral. [snip]

Have we lost our dignity? Have we abandoned our traditions?

Unfortunately, it looks like we have. John Cole, who leans to the right but is by no means a hard core conservative, made what should have been a similarly bland observation: it is inappropriate to attack a person attending a service to honor someone. Go scroll through the comments section of his post to see how some reacted to his call for civility and basic manners.

Finally, Lee Harris does a good job of explaining why this attack was so distasteful and underhanded:

This week, at the funeral for the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, two of the speakers, Jimmy Carter and Rev. Joseph Lowery, might have opened their remarks by saying that they came not to bury Coretta Scott King, but to bash Bush, which is exactly what they proceeded to do. They exploited a solemn occasion in order to take cheap pot shots at the President, keenly aware that their remarks would be broadcast around the world, and into many American classrooms.

Of course, both Carter and Lowery were also aware that the target of their attack, George W. Bush, was sitting right behind them. Had he not been present on the occasion, their Bush-bashing would have only been an affront to good taste. But because Bush had come there to honor the memory of Coretta Scott King, and not to engage in a debate with his political opponents, the attacks on him crossed the boundaries of mere bad taste, and became low blows. They were deliberately attacking a man who they knew could not, under the circumstances, defend himself against their assault. Their aim was quite obvious -- to embarrass and humiliate Bush in the full knowledge that there was not a thing Bush could decently do about it.

The President, for example, could not do what most people, including myself, would have done. He could not jump up and simply walk out -- that would have created a scandal. Therefore, he had no choice but to sit there and take it. He was hopelessly trapped, and was entirely at the mercy of his assailants -- and they knew it. He had to behave like the President, even when a former President, Mr. Carter, was behaving like a cad.

The left is welcome to screech and froth and spew as much hatred as they want over this President. Lord knows the hard right had its collective fits over Clinton all through the 90's. Yet it is inconceivable that a former Republican President would have seen fit to launch an attack on Bill Clinton on the occasion of a dignitary's death. It wouldn't have happened. Because the unwritten rule has always been - up until the left recently lost its mind, that is - that some things were above politics.

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Mary Mitchell, an African-American columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, is no conservative and no water-carrier for this President. Yet she was appalled at the lack of civility on display at Mrs. King’s funeral: ... [Read More]