CommunityPam's House Blend

Oh, no, Republicans never bring up partisan politics at a funeral…

You know, one thing I do have to give props to Republicans for. They’re ruthlessly efficient. The sun hadn’t even set on Rev. Lowery’s speaking truth to power at Coretta Scott King’s funeral when they brought out the spin. “Horror of horrors! Those nasty liberals using a funeral to attack the president! Have they no decency? We’re shocked, shocked, do ya hear, about the insertion of partisanship into a celebration of Mrs. King’s life! It’s so cowardly to attack the president in a forum where he can’t defend himself!” They’re even trotting out the old “offensive partisan rally at Senator Wellstone’s funeral” chestnut to demonstrate how terrible we liberals are, unable to respect the dead and avoid defaming our political opponents.

We could argue lots of points.
* First, nothing Lowery said is anything Mrs. King wouldn’t have said when she was alive.
* Second, Lowery only told the truth — there were no WMDs, there are misdirections, we are funding the war and cutting social programs* (I guess the Truth does appear as a partisan smear to the Party of Lies).
* Third, black funerals are about witnessing to a person’s life, not spouting pablum niceties. Mrs. King stood for civil rights and tolerance and helping the poor; how you could you witness to that without witnessing the modern obstacles to achieving her vision?
* Fourth, we’d love to speak truth to Bush in a forum where he could defend himself, but he keeps pre-screening us, putting us in “free-speech zones”**, and kicking us out of the State of the Union for wearing T-shirts.
* Fifth, a few hundred cretins out of 20,000 attending the funeral of the most progressive senator in my lifetime booed when the picture of Trent Lott appeared before the funeral even began and Rick Kahn and Sen. Tom Harkin, both progressives, urged attendees to continue Wellstone’s legacy in the next election, and Republicans didn’t even wait until Wellstone’s body was laid to rest to take advantage of the manufactured outrage to benefit Norm Coleman.

But you know, that’s all somewhat subjective. It’s much easier to call them out on another of their talking points, the one where they say that Republicans would never ever use one of their funerals to make partisan political points.

(Oh, man, do I love Google.)

From the funeral of Ronald Reagan, remarks from Margaret Thatcher:

And surely it is hard to deny that Ronald Reagan’s life was providential, when we look at what he achieved in the eight years that followed.

Others prophesied the decline of the West; he inspired America and its allies with renewed faith in their mission of freedom.

Others saw only limits to growth; he transformed a stagnant economy into an engine of opportunity.

Others hoped, at best, for an uneasy cohabitation with the Soviet Union; he won the Cold War – not only without firing a shot, but also by inviting enemies out of their fortress and turning them into friends.

Gee, Maggie, who exactly are you referring to as these “others”?

Remarks of Brian Mulroney:

Some in the West, during the early 1980s, believed communism and democracy were equally valid and viable. This was the school of moral equivalence.

In contrast, Ronald Reagan saw Soviet communism as a menace to be confronted in the genuine belief that its squalid underpinnings would fall swiftly to the gathering winds of freedom, provided as he said, that NATO and the industrialized democracies stood firm and united. They did. And we know now who was right.

Gee, Brian, who exactly are you referring to as these “some”?

Remarks of George W. Bush:

And Ronald Reagan believed in the power of truth in the conduct of world affairs.When he saw evil camped across the horizon he called that evil by its name.

There were no doubters in the prisons and gulags, where dissidents spread the news, tapping to each other in code what the American president had dared to say.There were no doubters in the shipyards and churches and secret labor meetings where brave men and women began to hear the creaking and rumbling of a collapsing empire. And there were no doubters among those who swung hammers at the hated wall that the first and hardest blow had been struck by President Ronald Reagan.

Gee, Chimpy, who exactly are you referring to as these “doubters”?

No, Republicans aren’t upset about anyone besmirching Mrs. King’s legacy with partisan smears. When she was alive, they never hesitated to besmirch gays or John McCain’s so-called illegitimate black baby to score political points. They’re quite happy to undo the lessons learned when government ran amok and illegally spied on citizens like Coretta & Martin. This administration stands as the dark opposite to everything Coretta & Martin stood for, and they’re upset that they are getting called on it. They are upset that no matter how many Armstrong Williamses and Willie Wilsons and Condoleezza Rices they’ve got on the payroll, their approval ratings among African Americans are so low that it’s a number even Chimpy can count to. They are upset that no matter how hard they tried to bring down President Clinton, he still gets thunderous applause in a black church compared to Chimpy’s polite golf clap.

But most of all, they are upset that some Republicans with belief in the rule of law still remain on the Judiciary Committee that may set the stage for Chimpy’s impeachment, that the American people are beginning to demand answers and accountability, that they’re are in danger of losing Congress, and that people are beginning to realize they were lied into a war without end to line the pockets of Bush’s cronies — and they’d like nothing better than to pull another one of those “weapons of misdirection” cards by having us argue about relatively meaningless issues designed to make Democrats look bad.

(Updates to my original post, responding to “more Republicans voted for civil rights than Democrats” and other criticisms, are here.)

*Who needs a draft? Just make life more miserable for poor people and an enlistment looks more appealing. Cut student loan funds and that money for college is much more enticing. Mark my words; the next “draft” will be sentencing low-level drug offenders to military service…

**An oxymoron of the highest order!

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