February 9, 2006


Classless Acts (Lee Harris, 09 Feb 2006, Tech Central Station)

[Jimmy Carter and Rev. Joseph Lowery] 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.

Carter, for example, used the opportunity to insinuate that Bush's "domestic spying" was like the spying done by the FBI on Dr. King. Carter commiserated with the King family for having been subjected to such an ordeal at the hands of their government, and, by implication, he also commiserated with those Americans who had been subjected to Bush's domestic surveillance. But does this analogy honor the memory of Dr. King and his movement?

Let's make a simple thought experiment to find out.

It's more unfair for Jimmy Carter to praise someone who isn't there to defend himself.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2006 3:58 PM

If Bush had been smart, he would have gone to the funeral with a rabbit in his lap.

Posted by: John at February 9, 2006 4:13 PM

or some of the embassy hostages.

Posted by: toe at February 9, 2006 4:20 PM

What amused me about Carter's electronic surveillance dig was that President Kennedy and his Attorney General brother approved it, and received briefings on information that resulted from the intercepts. Apparently this fact evaded not only Carter, but brother Ted, who was also present at the funeral.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at February 9, 2006 4:23 PM

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Bush has been shoveling coal on their heads for 5 years now. Here's to 3 more.

Posted by: Bruno at February 9, 2006 4:25 PM

He could also have worn a grey cardigan sweater. But the rabbit was a good one.

Posted by: ratbert at February 9, 2006 4:46 PM

Or, he could sit there non-reactive, like, say, um, a mature and authoritative adult, and watch as the Democrats grease up the 'ol shotgun and blow their own feet off...... AGAIN!!!

Buncha centipedes, those guys.

Posted by: Andrew X at February 9, 2006 6:13 PM

The President should have brought these 2 with him:


Posted by: Bob at February 9, 2006 9:04 PM