Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Outrage of Politicizing King's Funeral

Democrat partisans demonstrated again just how low they are willing to stoop by using the solemn occasion of the funeral of Coretta Scott King, the widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., for partisan political ends.

The Drudge Report says, "Today's memorial service for civil rights activist Coretta Scott King--billed as a 'celebration of her life--turned suddenly political as one former president took a swipe at the current president, who was also lashed by an outspoken black pastor!"

The Bush bashing began with the Rev. Joseph Lowery, the co-founder of the Christian Leadership Conference. As Drudge describes it:

The outspoken Rev. Joseph Lowery, co-founder of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, ripped into President Bush during his short speech, ostensibly about the wife of Martin Luther King Jr."She extended Martin's message against poverty, racism and war. She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions way afar. We know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction over there," Lowery said. The mostly black crowd applauded, then rose to its feet and cheered in a two-minute-long standing ovation. A closed-circuit television in the mega-church outside Atlanta showed the president smiling uncomfortably."But Coretta knew, and we know," Lowery continued, "That there are weapons of misdirection right down here," he said, nodding his head toward the row of presidents past and present. "For war, billions more, but no more for the poor!" The crowd again cheered wildly.

Is enacting the largest entitlement since the 1960's--the Medicare drug prescription program--"no more for the poor?" Is providing more funding many times more in AIDS relief than any of his predecessors "no more for the poor?" Lowery's statement is simply indefensible.

Not to be oudone, former President Jimmy Carter got in on the Bush bashing as well, using the occasion to attack Bush's use of government wiretaps in the war on terror and his handling of the Hurricane Katrina efforts. As Drudge reports:

Former President Jimmy Carter later swung at Bush as well, not once but twice. As he talked about the Kings, he said: "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." The crowd cheered as Bush, under fire for a secret wiretapping program he ordered after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, again smiled weakly.

Carter's attack on Bush was not unlike that of the black rapper, Kanye West, who used the occasion of a televised telethon to raise funds for Hurricane Katrina victims to say that Bush "hates" black people to the cheering of Democratic partisans. To even attempt to rationalize such a statement in the face of Bush placing more African-Americans in high level positions in government than any other president in the history of the country, including Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, is a complete absurdity. Oh, I forgot, they don't count because they are Uncle Toms.

Today's Bush bashing at a funeral is reminiscent of a scene back in 2000 on the eve of the election when Democrats used a memorial service for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone as a campaign rally to elect former Vice President Walter Mondale as his replacement. Prominent Republican attendees were booed by Democrats in attendance, causing several to leave the service in disgust. Minnesota voters were also appalled by the unsightly scene and elected Sen. Norm Coleman over Mondale.

There is a growing tendency of Democrats frustrated at losing elections to lower the political discourse of our nation out of a sense of desperation. There are legitimate issues and criticisms Democrats should make of Bush and Republican policies, but they should be raised in the appropriate manner and at the right time and place. Funerals and charitable events are not proper places for politicking.


Greg said...

Your post amused me. I responded at my blog.

Lori said...

I have to disagree Gary. I watched it all and it was fitting tribute to an amazing woman. I am glad I got the chance to hear the message again.

steph Mineart said...

I'll have to do some backtracking, but I seem to recall Mrs. King expressing some strong words in the recent past, especially after Katrina, that were echoed in her funeral speeches. I imagine she was really amused, not upset, by the commentary. She was, after all, a Democrat and a Bush basher herself. Hell if I die before Bush is out of office, I certainly hope someone says "George Bush is retarded" at my funeral in my honor.

Advance Indiana said...

In her lifetime, Mrs. King often appeared in public with prominent Republicans, including the current Bush. She was always very polite and gracious towards them, even if she disagreed with their politial views. I don't believe she would have liked what Lowery and Carter did.

Also, even Clinton seem to be lecturing the crowd when he had to remind them that "let's not forget that there's a woman's body in that casket." That was a very strange comment to make, but quite necessary, under the circumstances.

paula said...

When is the right time and where is the right place when us citizens get thrown out of presidential appearances for the clothes they wear, the signs they hold or the bumperstickers on their cars?