Coretta Scott King passed away on January 30 and in a fitting tribute to her life and influence to the black community, her memorial service was attended by over 10,000 people and several dignitaries.
President Bush was there because this lady’s husband was revered by blacks everywhere as their leader during a time when racial equality and the Vietnam war were being waged on parallel battlegrounds in this country. George W. Bush came to Atlanta because he respected the historical significance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. What he got instead was a series of petty sniper attacks by those less classy and significant than either aforementioned leader.
Joseph Lowery, eighty-four years old gave his speech with nothing to lose and nothing of substance to really add, either. So, he took his cheap shot at his Commander-in-Chief, "How marvelous that presidents and governors have come to mourn and praise," he said, "But in the morning, will words become deeds that meet needs?" (This speech obviously was first inspired by the Jesse Jackson school of rhyming without reasoning and followed to the letter by Johnny "If the glove don’t fit…" Cochran). I wonder how many people were looking around for Dr. Seuss to make his way to the podium at that point?
Lowery was not done however. He was determined that this was his last shot at immortality even if it meant manipulating the death and memory of a gracious lady. "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 there were no weapons of mass destruction over there."
This was not a funeral, it was a feeble attempt to justify the Democratic party platform at the expense of a legend.
While the mourners were sitting there trying to make sense out of Joseph’s interpretation of Coretta’s journey, he then "popped the weapons of mass destruction weasel" out of nowhere to incite the crowd in an effort to embarrass the President of the United States. Leave it to the liberals who could not get the job done in a forum of statesmanship but who come alive when they get to preach to the choir while our President sits there graciously and vulnerable. John Kerry could not outpoint the President on this subject during the debates, Al Gore failed in a series of muddled speeches, (surprise, surprise!) and Howard Dean is still screaming about our involvement in Iraq. (and, Texas and Ohio and New York and Fresno…) These partisan attacks are politically understandable in a campaign or on the Senate floor. But, at a …funeral? What is the next eulogy topic aimed at belittling the GOP? Coretta King knew how to spell, "potato?" Dr. King never had a secretary who taped conversations on his bus? It was a wealthy, bigoted white person who wrote the Canuck letter?
As he sat down to a loud ovation from the majority of people there who believed it was a Democratic pep rally rather than a poignant good-bye to Mrs. King, I think it was a tribute to our President that he didn’t jump to the dais and declare, "Okay, we have Dumb! Are ya’ll ready for Dumber?"
In the memorable words of Ronald Reagan who first uttered to this shallow little man in the debates of 1980, "There you go again!" shortly before he spotted him the state of Georgia on election night and then proceeded to slam dunk him with the rest of the country; former President Jimmy Carter is still yelping to anyone who will listen. He considers himself the statesman of the 21st Century. He is not. The man who told all of us we were in a, "national malaise," (and we WERE until January 20, 1981!) and who consulted with his daughter Amy to negotiate the nuclear arms race, was given a moment to reflect on the legacy of Corretta Scott King. Big mistake. Huge. When Carter speaks, most of the nation cringes. But, on this day, he told the audience what they wanted to hear, much like he did when he first appeared during the primaries in 1976.
Taking advantage of a funeral for a classy lady who stood next to her husband as they inspired the civil rights movement together and separately for almost fifty years, Jimmy Carter somehow morphed into his brother, Billy, as soon as he realized his microphone was on. The man who admitted to all of us in a "Playboy" interview that sometimes he had, "sometimes lusted after women," but forgot to mention he also lusted after an ability to understand how a President of the United States succeeds, decided he was still on the campaign trail after all these years. "It was difficult for them (Martin and Coretta King) personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated" he inappropriately intoned, "as they became the targets of secret government wiretapping and other surveillance and, as you know, her harassment by the FBI."
He said all this without a beer, proving Billy was smarter — and unfortunately making the faux pas of impugning the memory of the liberal saint Robert F. Kennedy, who approved the secret government wiretaps in the first place.
Finally, there were the Clintons….
The Hekyll and Jekyll of politics, they are like energizer crows who cackle away and say nothing of substance. Somehow, they manage to continually be in power because their party has no one else to foist upon us. Bill and Hillary made blather a staple in politics and they continued their relentless march toward historic banality at the memorial service. Naturally, the most memorable portion of Bill’s speech was as deep as his saxaphone, "I’m honored to be here with my president and my former presidents," as he paused looking coyly at his loopy wife standing next to him. At that point, to Hekyll and Jekyll’s delight, someone in the crowd shouted, "Hillary for President!"
And both Clintons smiled.
This was pure Bill and Hillary. It is one thing to always try and suck the attention at any political function, it is quite another to do it at the expense of someone who has just died. Were they eulogizing Coretta Scott King or…their own political party? Desperate people use desperate measures even standing over a casket that most people in attendance would intelligently believe is the primary goal of the ceremony. Instead, they got more cackling from the hoggy duo who, to paraphrase, "Can’t Stop Thinking ‘Bout Themselves!"
Four people who did not see Coretta Scott King and her contributions to the world as more important than their own agenda. It says something to all of us that if one is willing to place themselves first at the expense of another person, what kind of leadership would typify their office should they get into power over us? We found out firsthand why Jimmy Carter was only a one-term President and why Bill Clinton selfishly took whatever he wanted and whom he wanted because of the authority we gave him. Joseph Lowery may have been a giant in the Southern Christian Leadership, but he was a dwarf when it came to his co-founder who was assassinated on April 4, 1968. If these three buffoons are any indication of how not to behave at a funeral, get ready for the Presidential run of Hillary Clinton. Hopefully, Americans will wake up and wipe that smile off her face. Coretta Scott King was one hell of a lady who deserved a better send off on the day we all said good-bye.
All but four of us said it more appropriately to her.