Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Funeral of Coretta Scott King

A funeral is a solemn occasion to honor the deceased, or so I was taught. Some of the attendees at the funeral of Coretta Scott King apparently believe that a funeral is an occasion to throw barbs at your political opponents.

Several dignitaries spoke at Ms. King's funeral. Pres. Bush and his father, former Pres. Bush, honored the memory of Ms. King. Joseph Lowery of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference threw verbal jabs at Pres. Bush. Former Pres. Clinton treated the funeral as a political rally for his wife's 2008 run for president. Former Pres. Carter also took verbal swipes at Pres. Bush.

Carter, forgetting that many whites suffered from Hurricane Katrina, referenced the hurricane as an example of racism. Carter, neglecting to mention that the Pres. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy ordered the surveillance, brought up the wiretapping of Martin Luther King as a way of injecting into the service today's political controversy over wiretapping terrorist communications.

Lowery deliberately attempted to embarrass Pres. Bush in front of a national TV audience. Lowery noted the absence of "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq and turned a phrase by alleging that there are "weapons of misdirection" in the U.S.

The partisan crowd cheered the Democrats' jabs at Pres. Bush, who attended and spoke to honor the life of Ms. King. The funeral was turned into a political travesty. The event reminds us of the funeral of Paul Wellstone, the Minnesota senator who died in a plane crash while campaigning for re-election. That funeral-turned-political-rally backfired and contributed greatly to a Republican victory in the Minnesota race for the U.S. Senate. Perhaps the tawdry conduct of the Democrats at this funeral will have a similar effect.

The grace and class of Pres. Bush shines brightest when his opponents display no grace and show no class.

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