I listened while in the car today to the news reports about the memorial service for Coretta Scott King, noting that former Presidents Bush (senior), Clinton, and Carter were there along with President George W. Bush. As he was during the SOTU, President Bush spoke highly of King praising her life and accomplishments. His father did the same and, while speaking in a very different style, so did Clinton.
Carter and a number of others simply couldn’t pass up the chance to take their partisan sniping with them to the podium and make use of a dead woman’s funeral to take some cheap shots where they knew decorum from the President would protect their worthless hides.
|::::::::||The day was not without politically charged references, most notably by former President Jimmy Carter — who has been a staunch critic of Bush administration policies.
Carter invoked the issue of the current wiretapping probe involving Bush by remembering that for the Kings “it was difficult for them then personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated as they became the target of secret government wiretaps.” Later, he said that Hurricane Katrina showed all are not yet equal in America, and made a veiled reference to the war in Iraq and the existing government’s international strategies.
“We do not have a monopoly on the hunger for democracy and freedom,” Carter told the congregation. “[The Kings] overcame one of the greatest challenges of life, to wage a fierce struggle for freedom and justice and to do it peacefully.”
The Rev. Joseph Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr., spoke directly to the current administration’s foreign and domestic policies.
“Our marvelous presidents and governors come to mourn and praise … but in the morning will words become deeds that meet need?” Lowery asked.
“For war, billions more, but no more for the poor,” he said, in a take-off of a lyric from Stevie Wonder’s song “A Time to Love,” which drew a roaring standing ovation. The comments drew head shakes from President Bush and his father as they sat behind the pulpit.
Classy, folks. Very classy. Lovely of you to remember the occasion for which you were gathered and make the event a celebration of the life of the deceased. I’m sure your Moms would all be very proud. I am confident that both current and former President Bush were having a hard time believing that anyone who would profess to respect the person who had passed on would be gulity of trying to advance their political position while speaking at that person’s funeral. Common courtesy is clearly beyond the scope of these individual’s capacity. It’s low and its inexcusable.
The story I’ve linked doesn’t even do the good Reverend Lowry’s comments justice. His full quote:
|::::::::||Lowery, former head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which King helped found in 1957, gave a playful reading of a poem in eulogy of Mrs. King.
“She extended Martin’s message against poverty, racism and war / She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions way afar,” he said.
“We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there / But Coretta knew and we knew that there are weapons of misdirection right down here / Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor.”
That’s what passes for “playful” on the planet this Reuters reporter comes from? My ass. It was nothing short of a sneak attack and a vile desecration of a memorial service. Perhaps one day the clueless fools who stood and applauded will see their actions today in support of small, bitter men and women and have a small glimmer of shame and regret. I’m not betting on it, but hey… I have a dream.
Update: I note that Ed Morrissey over at Captain’s Quarters feels much the same way.