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Tilting at Windmills

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February 8, 2006
By: Amy Sullivan

A PROPER BURIAL?....I don't have much time to comment on this right now, but I feel the need to say how absurd and ridiculous the whole debate about Mrs. King's funeral is. I was on "Scarborough Country" to argue about it last night (you can see the shout-fest here), but I figured this was just a stupid debate Scarborough ginned up so he could have something to talk about. Plus, he was joined by Tucker Carlson, who you may remember was one of the guys responsible for screaming "outrage!" after Paul Wellstone's funeral.

They're the ones making this political. As far as I'm concerned, everything I heard at the funeral was in the spirit of the Kings' lives and legacies. These were not shrinking violets who stood on ceremony and mouthed niceties to political leaders. They spent their lives preaching truth to power, specifically saying the hard things that needed to be said.

Conservatives don't seem to be as concerned when solemn events are made political in a way that suits them. In 1993, for example, at the dedication of Washington's Holocaust Museum, keynote speaker Elie Wiesel turned to President Clinton and admonished him for not getting involved in Bosnia, telling him that once again the U.S. was turning a blind eye.

The official white-washed (no pun intended) version of the Kings may be that they were all about love and peace and overcoming differences (all true), but to leave it at that is to do them both a disservice. They were radical in their own way, pushing conservatives and a lot of liberals down a path that the rest of the country would have preferred to tip-toe along. They couldn't be silenced in life and they can't be silenced in death. Shame on conservatives for even trying.

Amy Sullivan 1:28 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (226)

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Comments

Why shame on them? It works. No Dems have the guts to stand up and call BullShite.

Posted by: Gore/Obama '08 on February 8, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

It's amazing how the party holding all the power can play the victim card so effectively.

Posted by: none on February 8, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Dems don't understand that you should't use a corspe as a soapbox.

Dems don't understand how wiretaps on suspected terrorists are different from wiretaps on Martin Luther King or Nixon's political enemies.

Dems don't get elected when what's obvious to the majority of Americans flies right over their heads.

Posted by: Frank J. on February 8, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

I don't have much time to comment on this right way, but feel the need to say how absurd and ridiculous the whole debate about Mrs. King's funeral is.

Kevin it was not ridiculous. Liberals just don't know how to keep politics out of funerals. Conservatives were acting dignified at the funeral and yet angry liberals tried to trash it. All liberals can do is throw cheap shots at conservatives instead of respecting the dead. This is why liberals will continue to lose elections.

Posted by: Al on February 8, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Why not have sponsor decals all over the casket like a NASCAR racer?
One cannot explain good taste except to someone who has it. You cannot demand a respect you do not earn.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on February 8, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

"You cannot demand a respect you do not earn."

Wow. I cannot believe somebody (even Wallis) would post that in a thread about Coretta Scott King, RIP.

Posted by: theAmericanist on February 8, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Amy, part of the problem with the Democrats is that they have no clue how their boorish behavior comes across to middle America.

Remember the Wellstone memorial? Democrats thought their behavior was just fine. They seemed stunned about the backlash that evidently gave Coleman the margin over victory over Mondale, Wellstone's replacement.

If Dems can't get it that politicizing a funeral is bad taste, there is little hope for them to connect with most Americans.

Posted by: GOPGregory on February 8, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

I disagree that the Republicans are making it political, but I disagree, also, that there is something bad or outrageous about it being political. It is hardly as if the the Kings were apolitical. Their lives and legacies cannot be separated from politics (the same was true for Wellstone).

A funeral is not an inappropriate place for calls to action directed at the congregation to remember the values and goals that the deceased dedicated their life to, and to honor the deceased by carrying on the fight for those goals.

Certainly, that's more appropriate than mouthing empty generic platitudes and then getting busy with forgetting everything the supposedly honored deceased stood for.

If the Republicans don't like what the Kings stood for, of course, that's their problem.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

The republicans want to remake the Kings image into shrinking violets begging for change (like Washington democrats), not people willing to risk all to stand up for the truth.

When someone doesn't act the way democrats are supposed to act (cowardly, apologetic, defferential), they got attacked visciously.

Posted by: derek g on February 8, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK
Dems don't understand how wiretaps on suspected terrorists are different from wiretaps on Martin Luther King or Nixon's political enemies.

Right. Martin Luther King was wiretapped because he was a "suspected Communist" -- suspected, supposedly, of conspiring with others for the violent overthrow of the US government.

The point is, there is no difference. FISA was enacted specifically to guarantee that the "suspected" enemies monitored by the executive were, in fact, suspected of being agents of foreign enemies on legitimate, rather than spurious, grounds. Bush's evasion of the standards of review in FISA raises exactly the specter of repeats of the abuse directed at King and other domestic political opponents of past executives that FISA was put in place to prevent.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

The best response to such Republican idiocy is to laugh it off.

Why do dems try to defend against such baseless charges? Repubs love this.

Posted by: lib on February 8, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

What do you think Mrs. King would have preferred, that people use her funeral as an opportunity to try to keep her legacy alive, or that the mourners say nicey-nice things to people who never had any respect for her or her husbnd?

Posted by: Boots Day on February 8, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it great that Bush was finally confronted with reality? If it had to be at a funeral, so be it. There probably wasn't any other way it would have happened. Bush could have chosen not to go. He thought he would get some political advantage by going (after all he's avoided the NAACP confabs during his entire term).

So the republicans are burned because they televised the funeral? Good. Someone has to tell the truth to power, the democrats can't so I'm sure Mrs. King would have been pleased.

Posted by: MaryAnne on February 8, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kanye had it right: Bush (and Al) hates black people.

It is not hard to figure this out.

Posted by: reader on February 8, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

just curious, Amy,

Why do you agree to go on things like Scarborough Country? All you are doing is lending legitimacy to fake news operation. It is a shout fest, and it is bad for the country (See Jon Stewart)

By agreeing to argue the premise, you lend legitimacy to the fake arguement those guys are making. Even they don't believe what they are saying. why do you agree to the shoutfest when it isn't even trying to find the truth, just trying to promote propoganda?

Posted by: exhuming mccarthy on February 8, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

I was alive when King was alive. He was nonviolent, but he was a fiery and constant verbal opponent of EVERYTHING that struck him (usually correctly) as unjust. He would not have objected to that rhetoric at his wife's funeral in the slightest; he would have regarded it as a crucial opportunity to reiterate attacks on injustice, and he would have regarded it as immoral to miss such an important opportunity to do so.

He was not alone. Let me quote one of G.K. Chesterton's poems:

"Sonnet With the Compliments of the Season (To a Popular Leader Much to be Congratulated on the Avoidance of a Strike at Christmas)":

I know you. You will hail the huge release,
Saying the sheathing of a thousand swords,
In silence and injustice, well accords
With Christmas bells. And you will gild with grease
The papers, the employers, the police,
And vomit up the void your windy words
To your New Christ; who bears no whip of cords
For them that traffic in the doves of peace.

The feast of friends, the candle-fruited tree,
I have not failed to honour. And I say
It would be better for such men as we,
And we be nearer Bethlehem, if we lay
Shot dead on scarlet snows for liberty,
Dead in the daylight upon Christmas Day.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on February 8, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Doesn't everyone prefer the Democratic Party confront Bush with reality during the various election cycles not during a memorial service?

Posted by: greg wirth on February 8, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe the royalists would also prefer that the provocative "Give me liberty, or give me Death!" be omitted from our reminiscences of Patrick Henry, too.

Posted by: ferd on February 8, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

I love how Scarborough interrupts everybody then complains about being interrupted lol.

Posted by: Jonesy on February 8, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

I find it amazing that even a hack like Chris Mathews fails to point out to Kate O'Beirne of the National Review when she goes off on people eulogizing Coretta King that it's the right wing that has a lot to answer for when it comes to civil rights. National Review was an enemy of Dr. King's when it mattered and openly supported the segregationists. For someone who writes for that rag to object to any reminders of what Coretta King believed and stood for at her funeral shows that they still stand against the King legacy.

Posted by: brucds on February 8, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

I grew up "middle American", pentecostal. I don't appreciate much how conservatives always tell me how to think about Democrats.

If you call people who speak truth to power "boorish", then you were probably one of those who would have called Jesus boorish. How do you think middle Americans like that? Spare me the GOP talking points.

Posted by: gq on February 8, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Doesn't everyone prefer the Democratic Party confront Bush with reality during the various election cycles not during a memorial service?

Restricting the truth to election seasons while the Republicans spread their propaganda 24/7 is a good way to start every election season way behind.

I think that a memorial service is a perfect venue, as I said, for calling on people to remember and carry on the struggles that were central to the deceased life and to the importance they had to the lives of many others.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Well, since he took the fun out of dysfunctional, Bush might as well try to take the fun out of funeral.
My question is: why is a pol, who was elected as a consequence of the 'Southern Strategy'{the cynical exploitation by the GOP of white southerners dislike of MLK and all he stood for} even doing at this event? That is the true outrage.

Posted by: old gold 30 on February 8, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

President Bush used his 7 minute speech to pay tribute to Coretta Scott King and honor her legacy. It was a gracious and fitting tribute to Mrs. King.

Some of the other speakers, including Jimmy Carter and Joseph Lowery, went out of their way to include cheap shots at President Bush, who was sitting just a few feet away.

Sorry, Amy. Bush comes across looking gracious. Carter and Lowerey come across like no-class ingrates.

Posted by: GOPGregory on February 8, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Bush and his whiny cronies are such pussies.

I mean honestly.

Maybe if he wouldn't confine patriotic American citizens who dissent in his Orwellian Free Speech Zones ( Remember when the whole country was a free speech zone)....and maybe if he wouldn't the caskets of Kids he's killed....and maybe if he wouldn't speak in front of handpicked sycpphants....

then maybe he wouldn;t take it up the butt when he goes out into public.

Bush can sure dish it out but he and his surrogates cannot take it.

People do not like him. And his followers hate it.

GO REVEREND LOWERY.

JM

Posted by: JMaccabee on February 8, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

..Carter and Lowerey (sic) come across like no-class ingrates..

To whom should they have been grateful, and for what?

Posted by: nut on February 8, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Elie Weisel was urging Clinton to do something that was in play at the time.

It was Bobby Kennedy and LBJ who were wire tapping King. Nixon was elected AFTER King was assassinated. Jeez.

The raucous behavior is one more reason why the Dems will not gain seats in November. Remember who won the election after the Wellstone rally ?

Probably not because you don't even know when King was assassinated and Nixon elected.

Posted by: Mike K on February 8, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

I was glad Carter brought up the wiretapping and felt it was relevant, but that Lowery went overboard with his comment about WMD.

Posted by: Jonesy on February 8, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK
It was Bobby Kennedy and LBJ who were wire tapping King. Nixon was elected AFTER King was assassinated.

Maybe if you could both read and think, you would realize that the wiretapping of King and Nixon's wiretapping of his political opponents were cited as separate abuses, not the former as an instance of the latter, so your entire complaint is irrelevant to anything in this thread.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Of course it's ridiculous... it's especially ridiculous that a man who consistently opposes & undermines everything that Mrs. King ever stood for was even there, to be honest. As someone who once had a loved one's funeral at least partly hijacked for the religious validation of attendees who never liked the deceased much, and always disagreed with him, I'm going to say that Mrs. King's funeral was for those who loved and supported her, and was in no way an opportunity for her enemies to gloss over their consistent rejection of every ideal she held dear.

I suppose right-wingers will argue that funerals are for the living, which is mostly true. But they are meant to honor and comfort those who truly mourn the deceased and hope to carry on their legacy, not to assuage the guilt of their political opponents.

Feh... to be lectured on decorum by such savages would be funny if it weren't so sad.

Posted by: latts on February 8, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

I for one was happy to hear that the speakers at King's funeral spoke truth to power. Just as Coretta and MLK did when they were alive. I WASN'T so happy to hear daughter Bernice go on and on about her legacy and the church they were in. Knowing full well that Bernice and that church have actively worked to suppress gay civil rights. In direct opposition to Coretta's own work in support of gay civil rights. Someone should called Bernice on that.

Posted by: DC1974 on February 8, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Let's put it this way: I wish some Republican would have had the balls to say to ANY of the King family during the service that Lowery, et al, were out of line.

How do you think Bernice would've handled it?

Posted by: theAmericanist on February 8, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Not only does speaking truth to power adhere to the King legacy that was being celebrated, but how many times in the last 5 years has GW been available to a crowd of real Americans? For someone not to have spoken up would have been far worse.

Posted by: Cali4nian on February 8, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

If the GOP is basing the 2006 midterms on "Democrats are rude at funerals", they are in deep, deep shit.

Jimmy Carter is a personal friend of the King family. Is Tucker Carlson? Jow Scarborough? No? So why does Tucker or Joe get a veto on what's appropriate at this funeral?

There's also a little trifling detail of all the STANDING OVATIONS generated by the political comments. Looks like the only people offended by the comments at the funeral who were actualy there were named George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Laura Bush.

The other couple of thousand people who were there are deafeningly silent about the 'desecration'. Surely there must be one or two who would be willing to go on Fox and complain. Quite the opposite- the Minister delivering the service did the news shows today to defend the political comments.

If Republicans really thought that Carter's speech hurt the Dems, they would be burning DVDs of it right now for mass mailing. The fact that the tone of their comments is "how disgusting, shut up" tells me that what they really are worried about is that more people will see it, not less.

Posted by: Alderaan on February 8, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who thinks political rhetoric at a funeral is out of line might want to Google a little funeral speech called "Eulogy to the Victims of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing."

The words of its author, one Dr. M.L. King, Jr., may prove illuminating.

Posted by: PCashwell on February 8, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Amy did a nice job. I especially liked the shot about Tucker Carlson not watching the Wellstone funeral.

This is tempest in teapot and will be gone by tomorrow. Remember, these 24 hour news networks need a story of the day and this was yesterdays.

Posted by: JMNYC on February 8, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Using Mrs. King's funeral to bash President Bush is tacky.

If Dems can't see that, they are in worse shape than I thought!

Posted by: GOPGregory on February 8, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Saying (as Amy does) that it's appropriate for someone to say what was said at a funeral may be true, but it misses just how far conservatives are reaching to stir this up. Look at how Willis, Frank & Al are weighing in: "Liberals were", "Dems, don't," etc. One of the best ways to fight this is to point out that the statements were made by Rev. Joseph Lowery, on the occassion of the death of a dear friend and longtime ally in what even conservatives have to agree (at least in public) was an important American political struggle. It's really not Tucker Carlson's business to decide what is appropriate and inappropriate for Rev. Lowery to say at his friend's funeral.

Add my general sentiment to dicely's above too, regarding the general appropriateness of the occassion. I doubt that Bush would show up if there weren't political gain in it for him, but even if he was sincere, since he stands to benefit politically from attending then he certainly is in no position to demand deference from people whose committment to the deceased cannot be questioned.

Posted by: URK on February 8, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Amy. Bush comes across looking gracious. Carter and Lowerey come across like no-class ingrates.

Ingrates? I suppose that's better than him calling the Reverend Lowery "uppity."

Really, there are few things more vile and disgusting that watching these Republican lickspittles, servants of the right-wing which opposed everything that Dr. and Mrs. King stood for, smarmily chide the black folk for not showing proper deference to Massa Bush at a funeral that he wasn't fit to attend, much less speak at.


Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, pity the poor Dear Leader and his robot wife, how horrible that Junior had to sit and listen to his failed policies be criticized, oh the horror! I mean, he is such a wonderful and effective leader he just simply cannot tolerate to ever hear anyone take him to task for his actions. What do they think he is, preznit or something?

I love how uppity white republicans react to a funeral for a wife of a civil rights leader. Too bad the black folk don't do what you say anymore, and see how fast honkies get scared when they speak their minds.

And I love more the line, well RFK was tapping MLK, blah blah

Is this all the loser GOP troll brigade has to offer? Pathetic.


Posted by: Gouz on February 8, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

man I can't stand the phrase "truth to power." what's it supposed to mean? saying something that evokes a big ol' "Word" from its listeners? power to do what? whenever I hear it being used, nothing ever gets done from what was said.

Posted by: Lynn on February 8, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Well said, Amy. Mrs. King's legacy is a living one. Her funeral should not be focused simply on looking at the victories of yesterday. Her funeral needs to focus on how yesterday's victories must be applied to tomorrow's victories. The presidency of George W Bush runs contrary to the true American values that the Kings stood for. His administration represents the insane agenda and priorities that the King's fought and we must continue to fight in their spirit.

Posted by: Andrew Slack on February 8, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

What we're really seeing is a continuation of the copious and frantic attempts by Republican conservatives -- which are so absurd that they'd be amusing if they weren't disgusting -- to pretend at this point that they REALLY always supported everything King stood for at the time. Riiight. Take a look at what National Review consistently wrote about him and his actions while he was alive, and for quite a while afterwards. (Take a look, for instance, at W.H. von Dreele's 1978 poem comparing him to Father Divine.) Conservatives at the time virtually universally hated King's guts, and he returned the sentiment. But now that he's conclusively won that argument in the eyes of both the general public and history, they are frantically trying to cover up their previous attitude toward him. (It would be very interesting to hear what President Bush says about King in private.)

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on February 8, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

The politicization of Wellstone's funeral happened AFTER the funeral, but it's a great story. One of the standard in the Republican electoral kit'n'kaboodle.

Apparently, strident outrage, either provoked or manufactured, is part of the Right Wing's standard playbook. There's an article at Salon today about how the right wing in Denmark used the Mohammed-insulting cartoons purposefully too stir things up. What a surprise when their outrage-loving Islamic political counterparts took them up on it with manufactured riots and "outrage" of their own.


Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 8, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Reading these posts, you have to conclude Democrats feel justified in launching cheap shots at President Bush, even at a funeral.

Rewind to 2002. They also felt justified in turning Paul Wellstone's service into a campaign rally.

Have the Dems learned anything at all??

Posted by: GOPGregory on February 8, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK
man I can't stand the phrase "truth to power." what's it supposed to mean?

The phrase is "speaking truth to power", and it means telling the truth, even when that is unwelcome, to people in positions of power.

Its not really that hard to understand.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

It was disgusting Bush spoke at the funeral. The stage should have been rushed with finger waving mad people shouting him down and out of the building, non-violently, but with a very loudly communicated contempt. Will there ever be another chance to give Bush a public comeuppance, besides meeting with Hugo Chavez?

Posted by: Hostile on February 8, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

I would prefer that no funerals go politicized - even those of people who were political radicals in life, such as Ms. King. Death just seems bigger than politics.

However, this was probably the only time in the last two or three years that the younger Bush was in front of a crowd that might disagree with him. So under those circumstances, I guess you have to make your criticisms heard whenever you can.

Posted by: mmy on February 8, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

"Have the Dems learned anything at all??

What we've learned is that the right will use ANY excuse to try to paint us as the bad guys. No matter how ridiculous what they're saying is, they keep going, knowing it will feed the fake outrage machine they've got going.
Of course when people spend their lives involved in politics, others will talk politics at their funerals. Take your propaganda machine elsewhere, where your sycophants can pretend they're not acting like morons.

Posted by: Mike B. on February 8, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

I almost forgot, no one's ever allowed to criticize the all powerful president. I'm surprised Laura didn't shed a tear.

Posted by: Cali4nian on February 8, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

GOPGhoul,

CSK was the wife of a civil rights leader, okay? Do you understand that much?

What is said at her funeral is whatever her friends and family wanted to say. Think about this if you can. If it was Michael Jordan's funeral, they would have talked sports. If it was Prince's funeral, they would have talked Music.

Who was her husband? What was his life's work? Civil rights, equality, justice. That's what they talked about.

Do you think MLK if he was alive today would be for or against the Iraq war....hmmm...tough choice.

Isn't it terrible when those black people don't behave in public, and don't kiss Juniors ass like he is used to? Who was being disrespectful? Was it not Junior who sat slumped in his chair looking bored? He can't even fake it, that's how much he doesn't give a shit.

Do you think anyone gives two shits about repercussions over what someone said at a funeral?
What was said was the truth, and a spoiled brat like Junior W. can't stand to be in the room when someone tells him something he can't hear.

Real tough leader you elected.

Posted by: Gouz on February 8, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Instapundit 2/7 has a few links about the service.

Apparently some Democrats WERE embarrassed.

Posted by: GOPGregory on February 8, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

GOPGregory you need to understand there is a fundamental difference in the Dem reaction to occasions like funerals.

While you conservatives feel free to attack and debase the very American service that simply magnified the works of people like Coretta Scott King and Wellstone, Dems were restrained from attacking the awful, excessive, crass display that went on for days and days ad nauseam for Reagan.

In addition to being crass, excessive and way over-the-top, it was also so un-American and more fitting for some two bit monarch or imperial poobah.

In the same way Dems didn't criticize that awful display for Reagan, you should refrain from criticizing the funerals of Dems.

Posted by: Chrissy on February 8, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Is Laura Bush too angry to be First Lady?

Posted by: Hemlock for Gadflies on February 8, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

GOPGregory:
yeah, I mean *really*..how DARE those uppity friends of Mrs. King say such mean things about Our Most High Lords and Masters, who were gathered specifically to stifle yawns during the platitudes, after which they would resume pissing on Dr. & Mrs. King's graves, as usual.


Posted by: Satan luvvs Repugs on February 8, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Yep. Democrats should learn to keep politics out of funerals. You know -- like the Republicans did in Simi Valley at Reagan's funeral. Noooooooo politics in that one....

Posted by: Hemlock for Gadflies on February 8, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives were acting dignified at the funeral
Yes, I know this is probably the "fake Al", and annoying as it is when people pretend to be others, this idea is quite common, so I'm addressing it.
This, I think, is what annoys me most about conservatives, on a personal level. They really seem to think it's up to them to tell you what is proper. I know it's often used as a political trick, but it works because so many of them really do think it's all up to them to decide.
My response? Go F*@K yourselves. How people act at a funeral is for THEM to decide. They get to act as they think shows respect for the deceased. And, if you don't like it, no one cares.

Posted by: Mike B. on February 8, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Haven't the resident trolls learned to stop lying about Senator Wellstone's funeral?

Why, the very thought that politics and social justice would be discussed at the funerals of people who made politics and social justice their life's work! Really, there was simply no mention of politics or conservatism at Reagan's funeral, was there? Oh my, I'm about to faint dead away just thinking about the sheer impropriety of it all....

Seriously, though, the fact that these vultures are ready to seize upon even an event such as Mrs. King's funeral for their partisan political gain shows that there's nothing, absolutely nothing at all, that the right-wing will not stoop to in their attempt to smear and slime their way across the floor of American life. They have no respect or common human decency. They are ghouls.

Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

As far as I'm concerned, nothing will top Bush's thinly veiled call to war at the National Cathedral on the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, September 14, 2001. Who can forget:

"War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and murder. This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger. This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others; it will end in a way and at an hour of our choosing. . .

They have attacked America because we are freedom's home and defender, and the commitment of our fathers is now the calling of our time. . . "

Posted by: pj_in_jesusland on February 8, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

GOPGUNK, Are you kidding with that lame instacracker comment? Which democrat, according to instantcracker is embarrsed? Chris Matthews?

Bwahahahahahaaaaaaa!!!!

What a joke you are, but keep on pretending that you are offended.

Posted by: Gouz on February 8, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Wait, you mean at the funeral of a woman who spent her entire life publicly demanding that the powerful be held accountable, her friends and allies publicly demanded that the powerful be held accountable?

I'm terribly sorry it made the President uncomfortable to be held accountable. I'm sorry he didn't get the photo-op he wanted. But it was Mrs. King's funeral, not his.

If he didn't want to be held accountable, he shouldn't have gone to honor a woman whose legacy was holding Presidents accountable.

I mean, It's not like he was her friend.

Posted by: theorajones on February 8, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Look, Bush came to the funeral only because he thought it would be a great gesture to demonstrate what a "compassionate", tolerant conservative he was, OK?

Really, Bush showing up for that funeral is like a selfish and abusive son turning up at his father's funeral, suddenly on best behavior because he's expecting a nice legacy.

If the relatives at the funeral remember the history, and cast a little snark his way, don't you think that might be, well, human?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 8, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Amy, part of the problem with the Democrats is that they have no clue how their boorish behavior comes across to middle America.

Oh, I love it when the reactionaries speak fondly of "middle America." The all-GOP land of bedrock virtue and simple homespun wisdom, where the men are still men and the women know their place!

Please, GOPGregory, tell me more about the region of the country where I've lived all my forty years. I'm sure it'll be quite illuminating.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on February 8, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

You wanna know tacky? Tacky was Bush the Elder waxing lyrical about King's widow, yet somehow neglecting to mention his own opposition to little things like the Voting Rights Act of '65, which the Kings were, y'know, kind of interested in.

There's a long tradition of political oratory at funerals of public figures. All this whining is Republican pussies wanting to have it both ways -- as usual.

Posted by: sglover on February 8, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Manufactured outrage." We all have to drive home that phrase day after day. Manufactured outrage about this funeral. Manufactured outrage over the "war against Christmas." Manufactured outrage over Hillary's "plantation" comment.

The professionally indignant Republican talking heads (Bill O'Reilly, anyone?) have to gin up manufactured outrage about something or else they'd be stuck discussing Republican policies.

Tough choice. Manufactured outrage it is.

Posted by: Greg VA on February 8, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

If George Bush wasn't so cocooned by his handlers, this would hardly be a story. But since the boy king seldom get to witness negative public responce to his policies,such an event makes news.

Wow, in the world's most advanced democracy, the president is given neative feedback in a public event. Will mankind survive?

Posted by: Keith G on February 8, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats feel justified launching cheap shots at President Bush, even during a funeral. We can all agree on that - scroll up and lots of Dems list the reasons why the attacks were justified.

But I am interested in the larger question - why do the Dems do this even though the evidence shows it backfires?

Every 2 year old feels a tantrum is justified. But a mature person realizes a tantrum is not effective - even if justified!

You want evidence these things backfire? Just ask Walter Mondale - he would be a Senator today if the Dems had shown some class at the Wellsone memorial.

But admit it - not throwing a tantrum, even when you think a tantrum is called for - takes some self-control.

Posted by: GOPGregory on February 8, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

But RFK tapped MLK.

Yes. He was also a lawyer for McCarthy's committee back in the 50s. But not two years after his stint as AG, after much actual soul searching and self-reflection, he dedicated himself to King's cause. We should have such moral, humble, leadership these days.

Politics, at a funeral?! How DARE the Democrats!

Unlike the measured, completely unpolitical posturing of the GOP who embrace the burnt, crushed corpses of the World Trade Center for alltime -- unless their widows want accountability. The entire GOP convention was a gleeful showcase of their joy that NYC was attacked on their watch, giving them their much-needed platform on the graves of the dead.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

If repubs don't like "political" funerals, then they ought to be taking their president to task who went to Mrs. King's funeral for an expressly political purpose. Bush was trying to embrace the King legacy -- which includes non-violence, as well as civic and social justice -- things that are nowhere near priorities for repubs and that they are actively hostile to when demanded by people of color. If repubs did not want to be reminded of the King legacy and how that never squares with their authoritarian world view, then they should not choose to go to these events.

I will also remind repubs and anyone else who has issues with this funeral -- it is long past time that white folks can dictate to black ones how to behave. What you witnessed at Mrs. King's funeral was an outstanding example of how black people say farewell to their loved ones. A rousing reminder of what Mrs. King's life and legacy meant to the speakers, a reminder of the pain and obstacles she overcame, and a reminder of how her life interesected with those present are standard issue. Mrs. King had the incredible benefit of being able to command remarks by many of her friends and colleagues who did not get their positions via their parents, did not have the luxury of shirking their duty to country, did not have the freedom to defer their adulthood until age 40.

President Carter and Clinton as well as Rev. Lowry came to the funeral prepared to participate in a ritual they knew well. The fact that neither Bush was ready for prime time is the real indicator of who exactly politicized this thing. And that is the sum of repub outrage on this thing, right? That their boy had to endure being reminded of all of the things they distain.

Posted by: cassandra on February 8, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Put me down as a Dem who'd rather an occasion like this not be used to make policy attacks on someone who came and spoke graciously. I just think its an occasion for showing a little class. There's always the other 364 days and 22 hours to speak truth to power.

The analogy that pops into my mind is using the funeral of a parent to call out a sibling who maybe wasn't as devoted to Mom as you were. You may be right, but you'd look like a jerk doing it, IMO.

That said, its a very minor issue that some GOP hacks are trying to exploit.

Posted by: Chris Thorpe on February 8, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

You want to know what's tacky? Living through the Civil Rights movement, or if you're too young, learning about it in school, then walking into a booth and voting for Bush.

Posted by: Boronx on February 8, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Amy--your best post ever on this site. I have disagreed strongly with a lot of what you've written, but this is spot on, thank you.

man I can't stand the phrase "truth to power." what's it supposed to mean?

The phrase is "speaking truth to power", and it means telling the truth, even when that is unwelcome, to people in positions of power.

Its not really that hard to understand.

It may be a cliche to say LOL but I really genuinely did break out laughing over that one.

--One more thing. I should be used to this by now, but still I cannot bring myself to believe these self-righteous, self-appointed scolds who see fit to criticize activism at an activist's funeral. Funny that the natural enemies of what MLK and CSK (who were unabashed radicals, let's not forget) stood for are the ones calling for the smelling salts after that Uppity Negro said something "ungrateful" in the presence of Almighty Bush.

The time is always right to do what is right.--Letter from Birmingham Jail

Posted by: nota bene on February 8, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Furthermore, there is a difference between white funerals and African American funerals. The white variety are all about a (manfactured) sense of dignity and a "stiff upper lip" nobilty.

The nonwhite variety is about emotions, as in "let 'em fly". The output can make make a self possessed cracker squirm.

Posted by: Keith G on February 8, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

I just think its an occasion for showing a little class.

It would have been classier still if Bush sent his regrets. Having dodged NAACP conventions for the past five years and twiddling while New Orleans drown, King's funeral was hardly the time or place for him to spit bromides out at black america.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

As it turns out, I am very much allied with what cassandra typed a wee bit earlier.

Posted by: Keith G on February 8, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

shorter me: I am so convinced of my own righteousness that I will lecture Democrats on propriety and manners. Not that I have Democrats' best interests in mind, but that doesn't stop me from demonstrating what I really think about "agitators" like Dr. King.

shorter shorter me: sit down and shut the fuck up, you uppity bastards.

Posted by: GOPGregory on February 8, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

"burrish behavior perceived in the Heartland"

Better check the latest Missouri election returns. Democrats winning in heavily Bush and Blunt areas.

Has Saint Ronald been interred yet? Seems as though that was a 10 day "heavily political" event.

GOPGregory, how is your James Earl Ray celebration day going?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 8, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

What's really burning the conservative Manners Brigade is not the bit about WMD but this: "millions more for war, but for the poor, no more."

The irony of sending untold billions--even trillions?--to waste in the desert, where they brag about building schools, firehouses, infrastructure, when the same is needed within our own borders on the Gulf Coast, is not lost on anyone. This atheist doesn't wish to offend by quoting the Bible, but it seems to me there's a line in there about trying to remove the speck from your brother's eye while ignoring the plank in your own.

I think that's why these sorry fools want to criticize Lowery--he really did speak the truth.

In rhyme, no less.

Posted by: nota bene on February 8, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

"Conservatives don't seem to be as concerned when solemn events are made political in a way that suits them. In 1993, for example, at the dedication of Washington's Holocaust Museum, keynote speaker Elie Wiesel turned to President Clinton and admonished him for not getting involved in Bosnia, telling him that once again the U.S. was turning a blind eye"

Was Elie Wiesel a Republican? Is this all you've got?

Posted by: Campesino on February 8, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Keith G. You and I probably agree wholeheartedly about the issue at hand, but your post about "black" and "white" funerals being different would be more accurate if you qualified it a little. "Many" or even "most black funerals," or "black funerals throughout the south" etc. -Not so much about being politiclaly correct as just being correct & not making sloppy genralizations.

Posted by: URK on February 8, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans as church lady. Kinda doesn't fit with the Machiavellian swift boating of anyone who gets in their way. They want it both ways, arbiters of our morality and denigration of those who might oppose them. They can dish it out but they sure can't take it!

Posted by: MaryAnne on February 8, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

It's a pretty clear litmus test for whether we as a nation have forgotten what the King legacy really is.

An obvious political gambit like this -- 'oh, it was SO tacky to make political speeches at Coretta Scott King's funeral, with the President right there, too' -- isn't directed at African Americans, nor liberals, Latinos, not even at wage working whites, and certainly not at the investor class.

It's aimed at white suburban swing voters. Those are folks who do NOT want to consider themselves moved by appeals to racism, but who aren't all the comfortable with race-conscious politics in the first place.

These are EXACTLY the folks MLK meant when he wrote from the Birmingham jail that he had almost concluded the real barrier to African-American progress wasn't the openly racist Bull Connors of the world, but the white moderates who advocated going slow: "I feel the need to be free now."

Anybody who thinks anything political said at Coretta Scott King's funeral was inappropriate -- didn't know Coretta Scott King.


One other thing, just cuz I LOVE it: ever notice that she was Coretta SCOTT King until the day she died? Martin married up-- and she never, ever, let him forget it.

Posted by: theAmericanist on February 8, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Ever since the wingers managed to slam Howard Dean for making a campaign rally into a campaign rally, it's been clear that there's nothing you can do that they can't twist.

Posted by: DonBoy on February 8, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Some people just don't understand that this kind of church and this kind of religious devotion has something to do with actually CARING about people's problems and working to make things better for those who have least. If that kind of talk makes conservatives uncomfortable or angry, well, tough shit.

If MLK were alive today, speaking out against poverty, racism and war, every conservative on this board would condemn him as a traitor and then make snide remarks were he to be assassinated.

We all know it's true.

Posted by: mercury on February 8, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Rewind to 2002. They also felt justified in turning Paul Wellstone's service into a campaign rally.

And right after my post pointing out that that was a myth. Uncanny.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 8, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Just ignore the Cato Burns among us. It's yet another attempt to control everything we say and do.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on February 8, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Keep up the good work, Amy. I was especially impressed with your ability to keep your composure while debating Scarborough. I would likely have kicked him in the nuts on general principle.

Posted by: Violet on February 8, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Amy's hot."

Is she? I like how she likes to talk about movies.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 8, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Here's to marrying up!

Posted by: Boronx on February 8, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, pointing out the racial and economic inequality that still exists and was exposed by Katrina, or that there were in fact no WMD in Iraq--that amounts to a tantrum.

Get a fucking clue, and can the phoney outrage--the best indicator of whether it was appropriate at that funeral was the reaction of everyone there. All that I heard was laughter and applause.

I demand that all Republicans submit there funeral speeches to the DNC from now on for vetting. After all, if you can tell us what's appropriate, then we can tell you--morons.

Posted by: Ringo on February 8, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

If MLK were alive today, speaking out against poverty, racism and war, every conservative on this board would condemn him as a traitor and then make snide remarks were he to be assassinated.

Absolutely, and it can't be said enough. If Dr. King was still with us and still raining rhetorical fire down on the ruling classes we all know that the resident wingnuts here would be daily lambasting him as a moonbat, lefty, loon and traitor. They don't have the guts to attack him directly anymore, because they know that would reveal them to the swing voters as the closet racists they are, so they resort to attacking his widow and his friends instead.

Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

If that kind of talk makes conservatives uncomfortable or angry, well, tough shit.

Right on, they can eat it. We don't care about this, and we never will, no matter what some conservative pundits say.

Posted by: American People on February 8, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe I have to turn in my Democrat card, but I find myself agreeing with Scarborough & Carlson here. Not that I object to politics at funerals, no funeral I can think of was more ripe for politics. But to bring up pet issues of the moment, cheapens the life of someone who fought for something much greater than that.

Posted by: Dustin Ridgeway on February 8, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats didn't lose in Minnesota because of the way they behaved at the Wellstone memorial. They lost because of the way the Republicans spun the Wellstone memorial, and the fact that the press repeated the spin. I'd like any of those Republicans on this board who keep mentioning the Wellstone memorial to specify exactly what went on that was so offensive.

And PCashwell, thanks for bringing up King's "Eulogy to the Victims of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing." It was illuminating both for the fact that he used the occasion of the funeral to call out Southern Dixiecrats and racist conservative Republicans, and also because it was an outstanding oratory that I hadn't read before. For those who didn't bother to Google it, you really should.

Posted by: Chris on February 8, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe I have to turn in my Democrat card, but I find myself agreeing with Scarborough & Carlson here.

Yes, I'm afraid you do have to turn in your Democrat card now. My fingers would break themselves before they'd let me type a sentence containing the words "I find myself agreeing with Scarborough and Carlson here...."

Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Amy,
I think that John Aravosis has the answer for these goons. Take a look at Americablog.blogspot.com

David

Posted by: David in NY on February 8, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

But to bring up pet issues of the moment, cheapens the life of someone who fought for something much greater than that.

Do you honestly believe, even for one second, that Scarborough and Carlson's manufactured outrage was due to their humanist concern for the legacy of Martin Luther King and his struggle for racial and social equality, or that it was due to ghoulish calculation that their feigning the vapors at Mrs. Scott King's funeral could be used to bash Democrats? Now remember, before you answer this question, this is Scarborough and Carlson we're talking about.

Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

But to bring up pet issues of the moment, cheapens the life of someone who fought for something much greater than that.

Do you honestly believe, even for one second, that Scarborough and Carlson's manufactured outrage was due to their humanist concern for the legacy of Martin Luther King and his struggle for racial and social equality, or that it was due to ghoulish calculation that their feigning the vapors at Mrs. Scott King's funeral could be used to bash Democrats? Now remember, before you answer this question, this is Scarborough and Carlson we're talking about.

Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Am I the only one who noticed that Jimmy Carters remarks were all about Jimmy Carter? The 125 countries hes visited; his dedication of the MLK portrait at the Georgia Capitol Building in 74, giving Mrs. King the Liberty Medal awarded to MLK posthumously in 77; shaking her hand when she blessed his run for the presidency; how he quoted MLK when he (Jimmy) received the Nobel Peace Prize. Always, always about Jimmy. No couth, no class. A small man who knows in his heart that history will not treat him well.

Posted by: Sojourner on February 8, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't see the King Memorial so I will just comment on why the Wellstone Memorial didn't sit well with me. One of the greatest traditions in all of sports is in the NHL playoffs where even after you have been trying to tear the other guys head off for 2 weeks at the end of the series both teams line up to shake hands. That even though you fought tooth and nail with the other person- they still deserve to be treated with respect afterwards. To me thats what a funeral is- the game is literally over and its time to pay respects to the person even if you completely disagreed with them. I tuned into the Wellstone Memorial because I respected him even though I didn't agree with him on much. To me what I saw was like a team refusing to shake hands after the series- then going to the lockeroom and finding the nearest reporter to keep tearing at the opponent.

I think that part of it is that Conservatives think that liberals mean well but just are wrong on the issues. Liberals tend to think that conservatives are actively trying to screw at least half the country (and the rest of the world) and must be opposed at every opportunity. That you don't shake hands with the enemy even after the game is over- you just wait for your chance to fight again. I am not trying to speak for all conservatives- but thats why I was so surprised by what happened with Wellstone.

Posted by: Damon on February 8, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still amused at the idea of Tucker Carlson as the arbiter of "taste" at funerals or otherwise.

Meanwhile, this funeral was ABOVE ALL an opportunity for the family and close friends of Coretta Scott King to celebrate her life and mourn her loss as they see fit. If they have a problem with anything said at that funeral, as far as I am concerned, they are the only ones with a right to speak out about it.

Tucker, it wasn't "your" funeral... Get it?

When you have your funeral, I won't begrudge your family and friends the right to stand up and say what a proponent of intelligent discourse, how you fought out against the evil left wing conspiracy and their moronic actions and how you were the classiest thing in a bow tie. Even if members of "left wing conspiracy" are sitting at your casket's feet.

Posted by: DK on February 8, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

But to bring up pet issues of the moment, cheapens the life of someone who fought for something much greater than that.

Yeah small, pet issues like war. After 2,300 American deaths, 18,000 casualties and countless more Iraqi civilians, how fucking obtuse do you have to be? Clutch your pearls and stay inside. It's much safer for the likes of you there, in the dark, behind the curtains.

Sojourner, that's hilarious. How dare Corretta Scott and Martin Luther King play such a large part in Jimmy Carter's political life! That braggart. Telling ancedotes about the person who you are eulogizing! What's next? Honoring her and her husband's committment to civil rights?

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

I really, really hope the Democrats keep acting so stupid. I conducted a poll of a majority of the people i know and to the last one stated how much they thought the Democratic display put on at the King Funeral was totally tasteless and out of line. I might add that several of them are Democrats. It seems that a few of us out here in america can agree on some things

Posted by: Michael Roberts on February 8, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still curious to see if anybody has a theory on why the Dems engage in this behavior despite the evidence most of the public is turned off by it.

Yes, I know you Dems honestly believe the cheap shots were justified. My question is, why do Dems do these things when the evidence shows they backfire??

Posted by: GOPGregory on February 8, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently some Democrats WERE embarrassed.

Sure- there are always people who think that bullies are right to pound on them, sad to say. And there are still a few Dems who think that dignified silence in the face of relentless attacks will eventually impress the mushy middle, while Republicans use this tendency to claim we're weak. As Clinton has said several times, they do this stuff-- this lying & abuse-- because it works. I'd love it if we could stay above it all, but they've been living in the gutter for so long that we're going to have to go sweep them out. The ones who are "embarrassed" can either enjoy their lofty & powerless positions while the rest of us actually battle these nuts, or I guess they can join the GOP in the mud & slime... makes no difference to me.

And I really love GOPGregory's continual references to "cheap shots"-- constant repetition of talking points may convince people like Chris Matthews, the ones who are easily distracted by shiny objects, but every. single. point. was. true. And they know it, which is why they're all so desperately trying to cling to CSK's corpse while trying to render anyone who actually wants to carry on her legacy impotent. Bunch of sick, lying bastards.

Posted by: latts on February 8, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure Bush knew exactly what he was getting himself into, and was hardly surprised or offended by any of it.

Posted by: bob h on February 8, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

"You want to know what's tacky? Living through the Civil Rights movement, or if you're too young, learning about it in school, then walking into a booth and voting for Bush.

Posted by: Boronx"

Yeah, better to pull the lever for Grand Kleagal Byrd.

Do you happen to recall the vote on the Civil Rights Act ?

I know you need help so here it is.

Posted by: Mike K on February 8, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Damon,

You seem like a nice guy. But your understanding of American politics is ridiculous. The Wellstone funeral that so upset you wasn't MEANT for you. You didn't like the guy, didn't agree with the guy and you have no fucking clue what he was trying to accomplish in his life. Who the fuck cares what you think about those who actively loved him, believed in him and wanted his legacy to continue? Why should you care?

And as far as that notion you have that Conservatives simply think liberals are wrongheaded, if harmless, is about as stone blind a statement that has been made. Liberals, in case you haven't been paying attention for, oh, the last 12 years or so, have been called terrorists, traitors, Fifth Columnists, anti-Americans, hateful, scary, crazy, anti-religious, communists, et. al. Glad to know that was all part of the 'game'.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK
But to bring up pet issues of the moment, cheapens the life of someone who fought for something much greater than that.

You seem to think that the grand struggle for equality and social justice is something distinct from winning all the little battles for equality and social justice.

Its not. And I don't think anything in the Kings history would suggest they would think it was.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

n.o.t.l.f wrote: How dare Corretta Scott and Martin Luther King play such a large part in Jimmy Carter's political life! That braggart. Telling ancedotes about the person who you are eulogizing! What's next? Honoring her and her husband's committment to civil rights?

Try reading my post again, n.o.t.l.f. The point was that the only anecdotes Carter shared were ones designed to promote Carter, not the Kings. Corretta Scott King's commitment and leadership, as well as her husband's, truly deserve honor and our gratitude. They certainly have mine. So drop the sarcasm. As far as I'm concerned, Carter obviously lacks the class, grace and intelligence Mrs. King consistently demonstrated. He may have been a friend, but he obviously didn't learn anything from her example.

Posted by: Sojourner on February 8, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K,

Yeah, it's a good thing that Byrd didn't, you know, speak at the King funeral. What's your point? And how's multi-culturalism been treating you lately?

Hey Micheal Roberts,

Funny, I just asked a bunch of my friends -- some of whom are conservatives -- and they think that the PC, sensitive, pear-clutching likes of you are an embarrassment to thick-skinned Republicans everywhere.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't see the King Memorial so I will just comment on why the Wellstone Memorial didn't sit well with me. One of the greatest traditions in all of sports is in the NHL playoffs where even after you have been trying to tear the other guys head off for 2 weeks at the end of the series both teams line up to shake hands. That even though you fought tooth and nail with the other person- they still deserve to be treated with respect afterwards. To me thats what a funeral is- the game is literally over and its time to pay respects to the person even if you completely disagreed with them. I tuned into the Wellstone Memorial because I respected him even though I didn't agree with him on much. To me what I saw was like a team refusing to shake hands after the series- then going to the lockeroom and finding the nearest reporter to keep tearing at the opponent.

I think that part of it is that Conservatives think that liberals mean well but just are wrong on the issues. Liberals tend to think that conservatives are actively trying to screw at least half the country (and the rest of the world) and must be opposed at every opportunity. That you don't shake hands with the enemy even after the game is over- you just wait for your chance to fight again. I am not trying to speak for all conservatives- but thats why I was so surprised by what happened with Wellstone.
Posted by: Damon on February 8, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

1) Your shake-hands analogy is bogus. I think you forgot what everybody was playing for: freedom, equality, justice. People who actively seek to deny you those things do not deserve a fucking handshake, rhetorical or otherwise. They deserve shame and ignominy, now and forever.

2) The Wellstone funeral-cum-rally meme was debunked by Al Franken, who was actually fucking there. And you idiots pulled this same tsk-tsking crap for the same reason--somebody dared to defy you.

3) (Most) liberals think the ruling conservatives--not Joe Conservative on the street, but the people who actually wield power--are greedy and shortsighted and really are genuinely actively trying to screw lots of people. Cf. Katrina, Rita, etc. Jonah Goldberg made jokes about the Superdome while thousands were stranded there. No, I don't have a problem opposing these people at every opportunity.

4) One more time for the slow....this wasn't a funeral in your family, so kindly shut the fuck up. You don't seem to have learned a thing from the Kings.

5) You posted this comment verbatim at RedState. You posted this transparent "can't we all get along" bullshit on a thread that is obviously racist. Your pleas for comity ring hollow.

Posted by: nota bene on February 8, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Fascinating how the Dems are excoriated for not standing up and being more aggressive for themselves. And when they are, they are called for being impolite.

It's the Republican strategery in action.

Posted by: hrc on February 8, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Sojourner, I mocked what you said about Carter because I think you are lying or are so insanely foolish as to think Carter made his eulogy all about himself.

He said, among other things, that in his travels around the world he has found a "remarkable gratitude" for what she and her late husband meant to people in other lands.

He said that the King family is admired around the world because the late civil rights leader and is wife "have been able to climb the highest mountain."

"They overcame one of the greatest challenges of life, to wage a fierce struggle for freedom and justice and to do it peacefully."

Carter said the Kings "brought to our nation the admiration of the entire world."

"They enhanced human rights in all nations. At the same time, they transformed our relationships in America, breaking down racial barriers that existed for almost two centuries," Carter said.

Wow, what a selfish man! How improper of him, to say the Kings were noble, globally respected people who influenced his own life! It's because you are full of shit, Sojourner.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still curious to see if anybody has a theory on why the Dems engage in this behavior despite the evidence most of the public is turned off by it.

Yes, I know you Dems honestly believe the cheap shots were justified. My question is, why do Dems do these things when the evidence shows they backfire??
Posted by: GOPGregory on February 8, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

What evidence? Where? I notice you have not bothered to actually parry any "cheap shot," because the "cheap shots" were the truth. I'm sorry that it hurts.

Posted by: nota bene on February 8, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

t was a great service, much better than the Reagan service, and I did not see the eulogy McCain gave for Goldwater, only read about it.

Still the funerals of Reagan and Goldwater were highly political, we should not forget that.

Posted by: Renate on February 8, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Amy, I saw the clip, and you did a fantastic job.

The faux outrage is a bit much,don't you think, guys? I'm like someone upthread. Why acknowledge the outrage? This is the way the Republicans do everytime that think the veil has been lifted a bit to see what our glorius leader really looks like -- a king no clothes.

Posted by: pol on February 8, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

n.o.t.l.f:

Do I detect the need for a little anger management. Your choice of language and ad hominum attacks explain why you keep missing the point. I suppose one would have difficulty recognizing Carter's lack of couth and class if those qualities are absent in their own character.

Posted by: Sojourner on February 8, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

I want all you trolls to consider this:

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.--Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

If MLK were around today and said that, what do you suppose FOX would say? What would Rush say? Hell, what would Joe Lieberman or Zell Miller say? Do you suppose Dr. King would have supported the Iraq invasion? I can't claim to speak for the dead but I think the answer is obvious.

And so all the macho uberhawks we're afflicted with, left and right, would have labeled him a terrorist-sympathizer, a Saddam-lover, a 5th columnist, a traitor who deserves a dog's death, like they've been saying about anyone who dares oppose the will of The Great and Godlike Bush.

You people with your crocodile tears fucking absolutely disgust me.

Posted by: nota bene on February 8, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

pol,

The fake outrage will be there whether we ignore or not. We ignored it during the Wellstone moment because most of us couldn't believe anyone would take it seriously -- decrying politics at a funeral of a politician? No way, right?

Well, it can't happen again. The King legacy is not a muted one. And the politics these losers decry were those of the Kings themselves. They deserve to be heard.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

*I* watched the Wellstone Memorial and was surprised by it. You want a memorial to be just for a select group of people then don't televise it. Don't invite anyone but who it is for. I am not trying to speak for why anyone else was upset about Wellstone- but my viewing that is what I was so shocked by.

Nota Beneou are just backing up what I am saying. The analogy holds very well but you think that republicans are actively trying to screw people and don't deserve their hands shaken under any circumstances. Thats just not how I feel about democrats so thats why it is so mystifying to me why the memorial service was like that. I am sure that when Dobson dies his supporters who do think that democrats are evil will have no problem at all raking dems over the coals for the same reason. To me wellstone meant well and sacrificed for what he believed in but was just flat wrong on the issues- and that is someone I would like to pay respects to when they pass on. I am not speaking for anyone else for why they watched the Wellstone memorial- but you put that on TV for everyone who respects him to tune in and if people don't like what they see thats just a natural reaction.

Posted by: Damon on February 8, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Let me only add one thing: the same rule applies to conservatives. If they honestly believe that a certain policy by liberals is seriously dangerous or unjust, and they are speaking at the funeral of a political figure who held the same belief, unless the family objects (or the person himself had stated before his death that he didn't want it mentioned) they not only have the right to bring up that issue -- they have the moral obligation to do so.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on February 8, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Elie Wiesel is a former Republican president? I had no idea.

Posted by: Chris on February 8, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Sojourner,

Whine on sister. Now, if you'd only, you know, quote what Carter said, as I did (see, ad hominem plus facts = a good blog argument), there might be something more to go on other than your disingenuous argument. Which relies on nothing more than your own perception. No quotes. No context. Nothing. Just your whiny complaint over Carter's 'lack of class' because he had the temerity to mention how through his travels he saw first hand how world viewed his friends. Again, I think you are full of shit.

Either you don't know what Carter said, or you're misrepresenting his overall message -- choose one. Either way, worrying about my anger management issues isn't an argument.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Well no one obviously heard the jokes at Reagans funeral


"In his last years, with his bladder failing, only then did Reagan truly understand the trickle down theory"

Posted by: Al on February 8, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Carter, Lowry, etc. would have said what they said even If the Bushes hadn't been present. Mrs. King's family and friends expected it and appreciated it.

THAT is what sticks in the GOP craw.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on February 8, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

You want a memorial to be just for a select group of people then don't televise it.

Unreal. Literally stupifying.

How's this Einstein if you don't like a guy's politics, don't be surprised that you won't like the politics of those eulogizing him? That work? Wellstone didn't die so you could feel satisfied you're so respectful.

He died while on a political campaign that meant a lot to a lot of people. It was broadcast because literally of millions of his supporters couldn't make the memorial. Not for you.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

*I* watched the Wellstone Memorial and was surprised by it.

Would you care to give us an example of what was so shocking? One specific thing that happened that struck you as unacceptable?

Cuz I don't believe you.

Posted by: Boots Day on February 8, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

It's also worth noting that this is a sorry way to repay the King family for the class they showed in inviting -- ALLOWING -- both of the Bush Presidents to speak at their mother's funeral.

NONE of the King family has expressed any dissatisfaction whatsoever with what Lowery (an old family friend) or any of the others said.

For Republicans to act as if this is THEIR complaint to make, is despicable.

Posted by: theAmericanist on February 8, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

I'm outraged that Democrats (and the daughter of the deceased) would use a funeral to talk about ethics, values and encourage people to take action.

I can't imagine anyone of good upbringing and breeding doing something like that. Mr Antony would certainly never do such a thing at the funeral of his friend Julius.

Posted by: CurtisE on February 8, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Dang, Sojourner of Untruth, you nailed it with the comment about the 125 countries being all about Carter - Yeah, he talked about skiing, scuba diving, frolicking and cavorting, er NOOOO.

After mentioning the 125 countries that he and his wife had visited, he added,

"They've been mostly nations where people are suffering; almost 45 of them are in Africa. And we have found in those countries a remarkable gratitude for what Martin and Coretta have meant to them no matter where they lived. It's interesting for us Americans to realize that we do not have a monoply on a hunger for democracy and freedom."

Go to the Washington Post, by the way, for transcripts of the eulogies.

So Sojourner, your seeking of the truth, has been sadly detoured by your rampant ideology and you have simply become a lost Misguided and Befuddled Wayfaring Stranger.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 8, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

For Republicans to act as if this is THEIR complaint to make, is despicable.

I sent an email to MSNBC that made just this point-- that Republicans had no standing there-- not that they'll listen, of course. But they sure do love those dead liberals, don't they?

Posted by: latts on February 8, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Why in the world, in this day and age, would somebody sit at a computer with a browser window open and type the question "what does 'speaking truth to power' mean?" in a blog comment?

for crying out loud people - google. internet/google. Use it.

Sheesh.

Posted by: Tripp on February 8, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

They were radical in their own way, pushing conservatives and a lot of liberals down a path that the rest of the country would have preferred to tip-toe along.

It's important to remember that no matter how necessary or RIGHT this was, the current reign of the Bushies is the political price for being pushed along the path. Would I do it again? Damn straight I would. We'll win this round too.

Posted by: MNPundit on February 8, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

I am outraged that Bush would even show up at Corretta King's funeral.

Bush is hated by Blacks, and his policiies have really hurt both Black people and the principles the King family stood for.

Bush should stay in Crawford or wherever brain cells and the truth go to disappear.

Posted by: JMaccabee on February 8, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

BTW

"I can't imagine anyone of good upbringing and breeding doing something like that. Mr Antony would certainly never do such a thing at the funeral of his friend Julius."

I couldn't imagine anyone of good upbringing to lie to the entire country.

Posted by: JMaccabee on February 8, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

If all you Dems think this was so appropriate, so be it. If you think former Pres. Carter was not disrespectful, so be it. If you think the King family was ok w/ former Pres. Clinton basically announcing the candidancy of his wife, so be it. Hey, it's your perogative.

I have just two words for you that you better get used to - minority party. You're turning off this country and you defending shameful behavior to the death. You just don't get it.

Posted by: Chris on February 8, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Fascists hate it when they're called fascists.

Posted by: ckelly on February 8, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, n.o.t.l.f, but I'm not to going to play your game. I watched the funeral service on C-Span, I heard what Carter had to say, and I don't need a transcript to prove it. If you read the transcript, then you know my examples support my conclusion. I expressed an opinion, as you did you. What context do you need -- read the transcript. I'm not making an argument -- you are -- and I couldn't care less what you think about my opinion or me. You're right about one thing, I'm not going to waste any more time defending my right to have and express my opinion. You are what you are -- but to express another opinion -- you didn't learn anything from Mrs. King's example either. May she rest in peace while the rest of you hurl epithets at one another.

Posted by: Sojourner on February 8, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

"Furthermore, there is a difference between white funerals and African American funerals. The white variety are all about a (manfactured) sense of dignity and a "stiff upper lip" nobilty.

The nonwhite variety is about emotions, as in "let 'em fly". The output can make make a self possessed cracker squirm."

....Yeah, keith g., dem African folks' funerals are all the same. Same goes for those tight-assed honkies.

Easily the most racist sentiment expressed in this thread....

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Truly, the ignorance of the Bushtards knows no bounds.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on February 8, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Via AmericaBlog, via BOPNews, try this on for size....MLK, in his own words, speaking about his own wishes for his own funeral:

I'd like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day, that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day, that I did try, in my life, to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say, on that day, that I did try, in my life, to visit those who were in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness.

I see no dissonance between this--in the man's own words, no less!--and the events at his wife's funeral some half-century later.

Damon: the funeral being televised still doesn't change the fact that you're not related to the deceased. You have not addressed this fact because you can't.

notlf: when they start bitching about class and decorum, it's because they're weak. They know they're in the wrong on most, if not all, the major contemporary issues confronting us. They know they're going to face a backlash in November, they're probably going to lose the Senate and they're going to have bust their ass to hold onto the House. Go easy on us, they say. Don't be so radical, they say.

I say fuck that. They've been playing hardball since Bush v. Gore and don't any weak-kneed liberal, Democrat, Green, lefty forget it. They were the ones who brought the gun to the knife fight, and now that we've wised up they bitch about decorum. I've been called names up to and including traitor many times over the last five years. Where were the calls for decorum when Robertson called for the assassination of Chavez? When Norquist likened bipartisanship to date-rape? When Congressional Republicans shut Democrats out of reconciliation conferences and insert language never before discussed? When they held open votes? When the Swift Boat liars were allowed to perpetrate their slander? I could do this all day. They have nothing but contempt for us.

But now that a reverend makes a negative comment with the President's dainty ears at risk, and suddenly calls for decorum are coming from people that support the party of Jesse Helms, who openly, swaggeringly opposed everything Martin Luther King stood for.

Posted by: nota bene on February 8, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

*I* watched the Wellstone Memorial and was surprised by it.

damon,

I give you credit for admitting this but geez Louise, you were suprised that people at a funeral would quote the words of the deceased and would use the event to carry on his legacy?!

That surprised you?

How old are you? Where were you brought up?

American culture is full of just this sort of thing - at a funeral you idealize the deceased and exhort people to carry on the his legacy.

Posted by: Tripp on February 8, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

And the GOP is sure turning on the country, Chris, everything from no WMDs, to Terri Schiavo, to Jack Abramoff, to Bush slashing the budget for veteran widows. Nice cozy warm stuff the average worker just loves.

Two words, power failure.

Posted by: Chris's ugly mom on February 8, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

I guess the GOP would rather not even acknowledge a funeral. Like all those caskets we're not supposed to see coming from Iraq.

Posted by: ckelly on February 8, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

good one ckelly!

Posted by: Gouz on February 8, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Sojourner of Untruth,

Thanks for sharing your selected hearing and comprehension with us. Was the volume fading in and out just a touch?

Chris Matthews, a Democrat? Chris of the "If Democrats would just follow everything Bush says and wants, I would vote the Democratic ticket again."

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 8, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, this isn't the first time the right has tried to hijack the King name.

Strange how they have to keep borrowing other people's heroes. Every election, the Republican claims to be the heir of Harry Truman (though in Bush's case, I think he was just confused).
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on February 8, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

I have just two words for you that you better get used to - minority party. You're turning off this country and you defending shameful behavior to the death. You just don't get it.

Oh, Chris, we "get it"-- we get the lies, manipulations, anger, cowardice, shallowness, and general lack of character that characterize GOP ideology. And we certainly get that a small-but-politically-crucial percentage of otherwise fairly decent people are too disengaged and inattentive to see all this cheap grandstanding and deception for what it is. However, we also know that if we go along with Republicans in validating people's worst & most selfish instincts, allowing this embrace of ignorance and belligerence, this country will for all practical purposes be dead, and political victories won't be of much use.

Be honest here-- all of these GOP hot points, like flags, gays, my-country-right-or-wrong, raging fundamentalism, social Darwinism, international aggression, disregard for civil rights, and so on are directly antithetical to the founding principles of this country. If you deny the Enlightenment, then America just ain't special any more... and I can't think of a single Republican who would recognize that philosophy if it bit him or her on the ass.

Posted by: latts on February 8, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

CARTER: It was difficult for them personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated as they became the targets of secret government wiretapping, other surveillance.

Yeah, simple things like remembering that the FBI admitted to illegal survellance on the Kings is a dig at the current administration.

Buh?

Sensitive, are we?

What's the newspeak appropriateness, trolls?

Posted by: Crissa on February 8, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

I forgot...

Dems don't understand how wiretaps on suspected terrorists are different from wiretaps on Martin Luther King or Nixon's political enemies.

...How is it different?

Posted by: Crissa on February 8, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Sojourner,

Sure, slander Carter, whine about his incivility and then proudly claim that you don't need stinking facts to 'prove' your case! That's what Corretta would surely want!

If you read the transcript, then you know my examples support my conclusion.

When your conclusion is that Carter selfishly spoke for himself and not about the Kings, it, in fact, does not support your conclusion. But then, your opinion matters more than the words spoken. After all, you have meaning to impart on them.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

As to the funeral, people can say whatever they like, and since it was all recorded, people can draw their own conclusions. The notion that people heavily involved in politics, no matter from what place on the political spectrum, have a perception of what constitutes normal behavior that differs from the common citizen, is pretty unremarkable. Heck, the typical participant in forums such as this is pretty skewed, in terms of what the common citizen thinks constitutes a normal view of the role that politics plays in daily life, and there's nothing wrong with that.

I do wish people who use the "speak truth to power" trope would differentiate between people who, when they engage in such activity, are taking real, significant, risks, like MLK himself was doing, when, on the eve of his murder, he seemed to forsee what was in store for him, and political partisans who really aren't risking anything significant when they affect that stance, but are really just playing to their political base.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Reagan gave his first campaign speech of the 1980 season in Philadelphia MS. There is exactly one reason I can think of for that, and that reason ought to make you hypocrites hang your heads in shame. Rev Lowery was co-founder of the SCLC. Do you think he maybe remembers something about Philadelphia MS?

Posted by: nota bene on February 8, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Bootom line is: if you liberals think it's a good idea to turn a funeral into a campaign rally, then by all means, keep doing it.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 8, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Does Reverend Lowery have a political base? Does Jimmy Carter? What is his, those who support Habitat for Humanity?

Posted by: Wombat on February 8, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Glad that Fighter of Freedom is able to post her/his thoughts from the Green Zone - Ten days of political campaigning is another name for the Saint Ronny Festival of Bereavement.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 8, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

To me, the most amusing thing about the right wing reaction is the sheer desperation it demonstrates in them, in trying to find some way, any way, to get the political ball moving in their direction.

They obviously think that if they can just manage to replay one of their greatest hits from years ago, this time the Wellstone moment, it might get them back on track.

Such deluded, pathetic fools to imagine that a single vote might change over the tempest they've created in this teapot.

Guys, you're trying too hard. It shows. And how are you going to convince America that the Democrats were being too political when it's so blatant that that what's you're doing too?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 8, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Bootom line is: if you liberals think it's a good idea to turn a funeral into a campaign rally, then by all means, keep doing it.

Why is it a bad idea? You haven't said!

What was political about the funeral anyhow? You haven't said!

How could you not make a political statement when talking about someone who died in the line of political duty?

Should we forget the ill treatment the government did towards the Kings at their funeral? Should we ignore the bravery with which they faced adversity? Should we dismiss their work and dreams and cover up, returning to how it was before they were alive?

Posted by: Crissa on February 8, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

I imagine the Reverend Lowery's is much like most Reverends'; their base is whomever reliably gives money. Carter's is like anyone whose life has been consumed with politics, and you don't get to be President without that happening. The notion of a former President of the United States "speaking truth to power" in the manner that three murdered civil rights workers did is just grotesque, which is why I would prefer that phrase be reserved for people who take real risks.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

freedom fool is just another junior GOP loser who has to wear a tie to high school, ensuring no girl will ever talk to him.

Posted by: Dee Markos on February 8, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Nota Bene- I am tryign to tell you why the Wellstone memorial rubbed people the wrong way. I am telling you why it did for me. I am guessing its a similar reason why other people took it bad. You want to argue about whether people SHOULD have gotten upset and thats an entirely different conversation. I am just talkign about why. I don't need to convince you about it. For people who don't think that republicans are evil reincarnate they think that a funeral is a time where people can put aside differences of opinion in order to pay respects to each other.

Posted by: Damon on February 8, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: To me, the most amusing thing about the right wing reaction is the sheer desperation it demonstrates in them, in trying to find some way, any way, to get the political ball moving in their direction....Guys, you're trying too hard. It shows. And how are you going to convince America that the Democrats were being too political when it's so blatant that that what's you're doing too?

Not to mention their continued pretending that Mrs. Scott King's funeral was somehow organized by the Democratic Party rather than by the King family.


Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Damon,

You 'paid respects' by sitting on your ass, watching TV and then bitching about what his closest friends and family said.

I was personally offended watching the Nixon funeral that no one drove a stake through his heart to make sure he wouldn't rise again but I didn't expect his friends who whitewashed his crooked, corrupt (and not entirely evil) political career to be beholden to my desires.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Nota Bene- I am tryign to tell you why the Wellstone memorial rubbed people the wrong way.

OK, why?

I am telling you why it did for me.

OK, why?

I am guessing its a similar reason why other people took it bad.

What's that reason?

You want to argue about whether people SHOULD have gotten upset and thats an entirely different conversation. I am just talkign about why.

OK, why?

I don't need to convince you about it. For people who don't think that republicans are evil reincarnate [sic] they think that a funeral is a time where people can put aside differences of opinion in order to pay respects to each other.

Again, what happened? You keep blathering on about how it was so terrible but you never give one example of something that actually happened, something that someone actually said that caused you to faint dead away with shock.

Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Damon: OK, so you're upset. Great. Go bellyache about something more important. The funeral doesn't mean the war stops in the desert, and it doesn't mean that New Orleans still is in pieces. You're still trying to tell mourners how to mourn, and you're shocked--shocked!--that it riles people up.

shorter Will Allen: there aren't any more heroes left, because Joe Lowery and Jimmy Carter weren't in any physical danger at the funeral of Coretta Scott King.

I see the point you're trying to make, but forget the semantics already. Somebody actually penetrated the Bush bubble without having to be a mile away in a cage. I got a proposition for you: if you give a shit about all those murdered in the struggle for equality, how about you avoid talking shit about people trying to carry on their work?

Posted by: nota bene on February 8, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

What probably galls Bush and his lickspittles the most is that this was the one event where Bush has been confronted where his goons haven't been able to haul people who disagree with him away by force.

Posted by: Stefan on February 8, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

The Rude Pundit (scroll down past the McCain/Obama part) has one of his semi-regular episodes of great eloquence:

In death, the Right, especially, so needs to neuter people who disagreed with them, taking away their real meaning for something more nebulous, "universal," and utterly meaningless.
...
Deaths have meanings because of the particulars of a life, not because they can be reduced to fortune cookie messages. Lowery, Carter and others stated, to the President's obvious, slouching discomfort, that the woman's life work continues, and if that makes some people unhappy, well, they weren't too happy with the work or the life to begin with.

Posted by: latts on February 8, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and the points about fortune-cookie messages and general denial of meaning apply to the right in more areas than their treatment of dead liberals, of course.

Posted by: latts on February 8, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Nixing the mixing of funerals and politics.

One of the earliest, most studied and cherished poltically motivated defenses of democracy was written for and spoken at a memorial service for (gasp) casulties of war some 2300 years ago in Athens. History does not record if conservative Athenians got their chitons in a wad.

Posted by: Keith G on February 8, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, nota, when did the Thorazine wear off? How is it "talking shit" to note that the phrase "speaking truth to power" has a different dimension when people aren't actually risking anything, much less their lives? And how does noting that taking significant risk is an integral part of heroism equate to an assertion that there are no heores? Your problem is that your world is either so cloistered, or your view of the world so skewed, that you believe that a pol, or preacher, in the United States, in 2006, is heroic, because they share your political preferences.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

All you proper Republicans giving us etiquette lessons. It's obvious the only reason you're bellowing about this funeral is because the excellent eulogies given by Carter and Rev. Lowery and the standing ovation given the Clintons made your boy look about two-inches-tall and made him squirm like an earthworm on hot pavement.

Posted by: SED on February 8, 2006 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Keith G., 'dem Greeks have funerals where 'dey let dem' emotions fly like black folk, or dey' like dem tight-assed crackers, manufacturin' dignity an' all 'dat?

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

I can't speak for nota, but I think a guy like Lowery who led the Montgomery bus boycott and the march on Selma fits the definition you're looking for Allen.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Will, I see you're posting in blackface tonight...charming.

Posted by: Keith G on February 8, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Check out the latest Political Comic from H.L.

Carter Meets Bush At King Funeral
The Hollywood Liberal

If you like it there is lots more at Theres lots more at H.L. Comics Links
Thank You

Posted by: Jack on February 8, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

As charming as the stereotypes you indulge in, Keith G.. Say, do they dance and sing better at non-white funerals too? Those people have such a wonderful sense of rythymn, you know.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

Tell me, in what way does speaking at a funeral in Atlanta in 2006 resemble leading the Montgomery bus boycott?

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Tell me how does it diminish his heroism?

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

W. Allen

Why are you attacking me? Because I left off some qualifiers, like "many", "frequently" or "most"?

Well if that's the case, I'm sorry, next time I will add necessary words to protect the feelings of all involved.

Still I am curious, where is the anger coming from?

Posted by: Keith G on February 8, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

OT, but it was nice of Vicar Amy to show up on Lou 'I hate me some wetbacks' Dobbs and perpetuate the 'feckless Dems' meme.

I hope your book sells well, Amy. You're much more part of the problem. Sheesh.

Posted by: ahem on February 8, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

So GOPGregory is a spambot. Note how his repetitious statements never have any interaction with the comments around him.

Normally he does his little 'bot thing a few comments into a new thread, then books. Repeating himself so often in this thread would seem to indicate the Bush boys are pretty steamed that President Slump 'n' Scratchit got his assed kicked so rightly and mightily in his first actual public appearance in aeons.

Posted by: shortstop on February 8, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Still I am curious, where is the anger coming from?

Oh, Will's always angry. Real, real angry. He's not going to take the constant persecution of the right by those self-righteous lefties any more.

Posted by: shortstop on February 8, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK
Tell me, in what way does speaking at a funeral in Atlanta in 2006 resemble leading the Montgomery bus boycott?

Apparently, both are rubbing the faces of the powers-that-be in the mess of racial injustice that they have created and protected and don't wish to acknowledge -- and pissing them off mightily in the process.

And that is speaking truth to power. Its not about the level of physical danger involved -- though certainly that speaks to a different, but not entirely unrelated, kind of courage -- its about the moral, rather than physical, courage
to face those in power with uncomfortable truths and not allowing them to ignore or paper over them.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Allen, here's what you wrote:

I do wish people who use the "speak truth to power" trope would differentiate between people who, when they engage in such activity, are taking real, significant, risks, like MLK himself was doing, when, on the eve of his murder, he seemed to forsee what was in store for him, and political partisans who really aren't risking anything significant when they affect that stance, but are really just playing to their political base.

You think Lowery didn't do anything particularly heroic in Atlanta, that he didn't 'speak truth to power' while addressing war, because this, you mock, in 2006 is hardly a brave act.

Sure, no one has been able to say it to the President's face because he screens his audiences and refuses to meet people who disagree. But, yeah, a guy whose entire public life has revolved around taking real risks Lowery is no longer worthy of the true respect of a hero because he addressed a funeral in an Atlanta that he helped create, indirectly addressing a president who was only there because the war that Lowery believed in, fought and helped win the civil rights movment had been waged at great risk to himself. You mock Carter for being a former President who shouldn't have compared himself to 3 dead civil rights workers, fine, but Lowery put himself straight into the sights of the white establishment 45 years ago and he's still doing it today.

That you seek to diminish that act as something less than heroic is, ironically, a testament to Lowery's own life and the battles he and MLK, jr. won at great cost.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 8, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Tell me, in what way does speaking at a funeral in Atlanta in 2006 resemble leading the Montgomery bus boycott?

Because both set you up to be the target of shameless, racist attacks by reactionary white conservatives.

Posted by: Boots Day on February 8, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Will Allen, just 18 days left to purchase a black arm band. The sad day of 33 years ago, that mournful day of February 26, when your favorite Saint Bull Connors passed away. Perhaps Twiggie will have it officially named a National Day of Mourning, so you, Jay, Fighter of Freedom and others of the Repugs can cry in your beer as you toast your hero.

But, his funeral was a solemn affair - Not one like dem "darkies" throw. Real dignified. Even the many police dogs howled in sorrow and fire hoses were sprayed on the masses in the "colored areas" in tribute.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 8, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

I despise generalizations made about very large groups of people based upon race. I despise the use of the words "cracker", or "nigger", or "white trash", or "ghetto welfare queen", or any such garbage. That's where it is coming from.

n.o.t.l.f., where did I say the actions in Montgomery were diminished? I said "speaking truth to power" has an entirely different dimension in 2006, when nothing is being risked. For a successful Reverend or religious figure of any kind to do something heroic in the United States in 2006, it would almost always entail saying something which is greatly offensive to his financial supporters. The Reverend Lowery ripping Geroge Bush doesn't qualify. Now, I could see where somebody like Lowery, or religious leaders associated with Republicans, might take such risks on any number of issues, and if Lowery has done so, that is a demonstration of courage, and no, I'm not suggesting that such people should go out of their way to offend their supporters to simply demonstrate their courage. Making statements in 2006 that 90-plus percent of your supporters agree with, however, is not "speaking truth to power" in the way that people who take real risks "speak truth to power".

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

hey Will, no one gives a flying fuck what your own personal definition of "speaking truth to power" is.

What's it like, being the most tedious, boring, pointless jackass on the face of the earth? Just wondering.
A minister stands up, and has the audacity to point out, in front of the president, that there were no WMD in Iraq. That's the truth, and he spoke it to the powerful(the president). Therefore he was speaking truth to power. Don't like it? Oh well, too bad, tough shit, suck on it.

Posted by: haha on February 8, 2006 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

What hypocrites both sides are. Joseph Lowery could have spoken truth to power on another day. By injecting politics into it the only thing that will be remembered about Mrs. Kings funeral is this food fight regarding President Bush. Mrs. King, the flesh and blood woman who lived a long and eventful life and her grieving children and friends deserved better. The funeral was supposed to be about her life, and not about the views of the speakers. Did Dr. Lowery tell the King family he planned to talk about the war. I doubt it but it made for great tv and he stole the show, from the deceased no less. As for the President and his minions; he is milking the situation for all its worth. The propaganda patrol is already out with the fake outrage not against the people who offended them but against all Democrats and African Americans. Its win win for them. President Bush he gets to play the race card and the victim card. Don Imus can lecture us about Presidential decorum. The base is outraged. Lets just hope the next time a prominent Democrat dies, the Republicans stay home, then we can be spared the fake outrage and the offended sensibilities.

Posted by: ALINE on February 8, 2006 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen says

I despise generalizations.

And Will Allen says

I imagine the Reverend Lowery's is much like most Reverends'; their base is whomever reliably gives money. Carter's is like anyone whose life has been consumed with politics, and you don't get to be President without that happening.

Posted by: Keith G on February 8, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Illiterate as always Keith, in that you left out that I was referring to generalizations pertaining to race, not chosen occupation. Once again, it must be asked: are you dishonest, or merely stupid? I'm serious. Are you a nitwit or a liar? Besides being a racist, of course.

haha, when somebody stands up and says something that only a tiny percentage of the audience he is speaking to will take issue with, and there are no negative ramifications that will be endured, what is said may be true or it may be false, but what it isn't is "speaking truth to power" if the phrase means speaking truth to an entity which has the ability to inflict painful consequences. What's it like to be an imbecile?

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Pretty accurate, ALINE.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

You know what really is fueling all the GOP blowhards and apologists? The fact that illegal wiretapping was even brought up. They desperately try to scrub the history books. More GOP rewriting of history. How dare anyone mention the unapproved version of the past.

Posted by: ckelly on February 8, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

...if you liberals think it's a good idea to turn a funeral into a campaign rally, then by all means, keep doing it.

Yes, the re-elect Jimmy Carter campaign is in full swing. So's the Bill Clinton Part 3 Campaign. Ditto the Dr. Lowery Pastor '06.
You fucking twit.

Posted by: ckelly on February 8, 2006 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

I had hoped the Iranians and Contras could have spoken at Saint Ronnie's funeral.

Posted by: ckelly on February 8, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

YOU JUST DON'T GET IT: THIS WAS A FUNERAL FOR A GRACIOUS LADY, NOT HARDBALL WITH CHRIS MATTHEWS.

The reason it was outrageous is that for Bush to have fairly defended himself against this blind-side attack, he would have had to turn the funeral into political debate at a level of some crass evening talk show. It's not appropriate to be debating politics, in which both sides have points to make, at a funeral for a gracious lady.

Bush reminds me every day why he's a success and Carter was the worst President in American history. Bush, like his father, is a gentleman. James Earl Carter is a self-absorbed pretender to such. Lowry, too.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on February 8, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

How could Dr Lowery be that stupid? Blowing all of those Faith Based Initiative grants from Sam. Why couldn't he be like all of those other Uncle Tom Pastors, such as the one in Philly; just kiss Twiggie's behind and load up on grants. A little money for the program, a ton of money for the "administration" of the program. Say Hal-a-loooo.
Hell, Mehlman, the Mailman to the Black Ministers, is passing out tons of money in PA to convert the Black Pastors.

Of all the times, to stand up for his and Mrs King's convictions, and have the COURAGE to speak to the Little King and receive the umbrage of the RACISTS and Bull Connor lovers, oh, my oh my.

To all of those, who gave eulogies to Mrs King, KUDOS, KUDOS, KUDOS.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 8, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

When the history of our times is seen from the perspective of a century or so hence, Object, Martin Luther King and his wife, of the Atlanta Scotts, are gonna be studied for their astonishing contribution: they led the nonviolent marches that finally killed Jim Crow.

Bush and his father are gonna be remembered for... little. Senior had a job when the Iron Curtain fell.

Junior was on watch when the twin towers fell.

Lowery will be one of those folks that doctoral candidates argue over -- because he was not the star, a workhorse more than a showhorse, in the Boycott, the Poor People's March, and such.

But, you condescending bastard, do NOT pose that Coretta Scott King was merely a "gracious lady", somehow honored by the presence at her funeral of a one term President like Senior and our current CinC, who hasn't done a damned thing in his whole life worth even mentioning in the same breath as the achievements of Coretta Scott King and her husband.

Has the King family objected to what Lowery said?

Then who the hell are you to complain?

Posted by: theAmericanist on February 8, 2006 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

The eulogies for LSK all were meaningfull and fitting, just beautifull.If it was political it was fitting.

Reagans funeral was full of Kitsch and jingoism and full of getting a lot of mileage out for the republicans and Bush. The kissing of the coffin being shown over and over again on tv alone was enough to make one want to puke. In my opinion that was not dignified.

Posted by: Renate on February 8, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Quit being disinegenuous, cmdicely. One cannot be courageous in any manner whatsoever unless something is risked. Lowery risks nothing by preaching to the converted, even if it makes George Bush absolutely furious. You're not as stupid as some in this forum. Stop pretending otherwise.

Also, stop lying by claiming that I said Lowery was not due the respect he earned duirng the bus boycott, or through other acts of courage. Why do you think such a blatant lie is an effective form of rhetoric? I said it take no courage whatsoever to rip George Bush in front of a crowd which is well over 90-plus percent in agreement with you, which is not anywhwere close to saying that Lowery is not due the respect for what he did previously. If I said it takes no courage for Lowery to drink a glass or orange juice, would that be disrespectful? Again, why do you believe such rank intellectual dishonesty serves you well?

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

MR. DRUM PROVES HIS LACK OF MANNERS.

He presumes to stand up for oneself is to be completely-in-the-right and thus without error. That is not so; ever.

So, would Bush been in the right to defend himself? And, if he had disparaging thoughts about Mrs. King(like how she shamefully copyrighted her husband's speeches in order to become rich off of them by limiting their accessibility and propagation), should he have pointed them out? Should he have pointed out how she suffered Dr. King's sex-addict promiscuity and adultery.

Carter, Lowery took cheap shots and are cheap men.

Dr. King, whom I admire greatly, NEVER would have done it and never did. With his adultery being a glaring exception and a notable personal failure that made him in the end the worst of all liars, an oath-breaker, he was otherwise and publicly a gentleman.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on February 8, 2006 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

"TRUTH-TO-POWER"

Truth is power; if you think you are talking truth to power, rethink. My point is that things are as they are for 1,000,000s reasons than the U.S. government and the political and socio-economic intitutions dereived therefrom.

Those were opinions to power.

TOH

PS Mr. Drum is falling fast as a polemicist; this "truth-to-power" business in infantile.

Posted by: The Objective Historian on February 8, 2006 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK
Lowery risks nothing by preaching to the converted, even if it makes George Bush absolutely furious.

As you note, this wasn't going to be seen just by the folks in Atlanta. The U.S. is not "the converted", and Lowery risks one of the few things he has -- his moral authority and public position, gained at great expense over a lifetime.

Particularly because Bush and his frothing followers will be -- are, as has been demonstrated in this thread and throughout the nation -- furious.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2006 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Bottom line is: if you liberals think it's a good idea to turn a funeral into a campaign rally, then by all means, keep doing it.

Fine, I'd rather be right, and continue the legacy of a wonderful American than win an election any day.

For the record. if I died tomorrow, and George Bush came to my funeral (hey, I have a better chance of that than the soldiers in Iraq) you all have my express permission to stand up and tell him that he is an asshole. I fully expect that people who love me, and want to talk about me, will discuss the fact that I dedicated my life to environmental justice (and in my worst nightmares, I could never face what Mrs. King faced in her life, to ignore that in her would be a million times more insulting) To have dedicated myself to education and environmental justice, I would be insulted if no one cared enough to talk about that at my funeral. If I am incredibly fortunate, and work my ass off, I will leave a minute fraction of the legacy of Mrs. King behind, and have one person who cares enough to carry on what I'd like my legacy to be.

Posted by: northzax on February 8, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Lowery has no moral authority or public position with those who are furious with him anyways, cmdicely, and you know this. He risks nothing, which is no great or harsh criticism of him.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Particularly because Bush and his frothing followers will be -- are, as has been demonstrated in this thread and throughout the nation -- furious.

Yeah, what with their fondness for blowing agents' covers & wiretapping, I imagine Rev. Lowery will have an uncomfortable few years ahead of him. And I'm betting that the IRS will be all over his church(es) within a few months.

BTW, someone might want to tell Objective Historian (although s/he is apparently neither) that the original post is Amy Sullivan's, not Kevin's. Bonehead.

Posted by: latts on February 8, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, what with their fondness for blowing agents' covers & wiretapping, I imagine Rev. Lowery will have an uncomfortable few years ahead of him. And I'm betting that the IRS will be all over his church(es) within a few months.

Nah! Will Allen has explained it all to us. Bush has no power among King funeral attendees, and so he must have no power beyond the confines of that gathering, either.

It's a two-for-one bonehead special tonight with the trolls.

And they surely are angry. That's unbelievably telling.

Posted by: shortstop on February 8, 2006 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

As you note, this wasn't going to be seen just by the folks in Atlanta. The U.S. is not "the converted", and Lowery risks one of the few things he has -- his moral authority and public position, gained at great expense over a lifetime.

Particularly because Bush and his frothing followers will be -- are, as has been demonstrated in this thread and throughout the nation -- furious.

Actually Lowery hasn't been getting badly treated at all with many thinking he didn't even step over the line or not by much. The Fox roundtable agreed Carter showed his customary lack of class and Bill took advantage to plug Hillary but found it all harmless and soon to be forgotten.

That the NAACP might take shots at conservatives is hardly news. That it's tacky to do so at a funeral is obvious but who cares? While it was broadcast to the nation those watching on TV were little different than those invited. It was the same choir. All 3 of my local papers covered it without suggesting any controversy as did the AP feed I saw.

There's some ginned up outrage but this was radically different than the Wellstone debacle. The story will not have legs especially with other, bigger stories such as the cartoons and Iran on the frontburner.

The more interesting consideration is what respected Black leaders from the civil rights era are left. Lowery is an honorable man but there will not be 6 hour ceremony for him. Rosa Parks is gone. That ERA is leaving us.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Lowery has no moral authority or public position with those who are furious with him anyways, cmdicely, and you know this. He risks nothing, which is no great or harsh criticism of him.

We have the perfect example of an ass arguing against himself. Let's review: Lowery isn't risking anything because he's no longer at risk -- like MLK, his friend and contemporary. Yet, those who oppose him will be furious with him anyway. So, there is a large segment of the population furious with him no matter his position. Why?

Because they've never accepted what he has long stood for. Civil Rights. MLK is harmless to them because he is 'universal' and conveniently for them, dead.

So while people hate him, he's at no risk! There's some impressive arguin' Will. He was speaking at his friend's funeral, a friend with whom he shared the struggle of a century, but he's showing no courage -- even though people who are opposed to his cause still find his argument unpersuasive and will NEVER agree with it. So, despite these intractable enemies, he's just another hack preaching to the choir.

Listen, Allen, that's the stupidest fuckiing arugment you've ever made -- and you fancy yourself to be such a tough minded sort. The guy's literally risked his life -- along side MLK and Coretta Scott King -- countless times. More than the likes of you. Yet you find his speech tiresome and trite. Lacking courage.

You're a real tough guy. Honorable. Sure, you can't even defend your thesis coherently anonymously on a blog thread -- but yeah, calling a President on his greatest failure to date is really just the safe move for a preacher.

You, sir, are a joke.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f on February 9, 2006 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

And you, notlf, are a bore. In reading your posts, I'm still looking for an intelligent thought, but I love love your penchant for calling people names in lieu of making a reasoned argument. If you can't best them with your brain, just call them a name. As I said earlier, may Mrs. King rest in peace while blowhards like you keep repeating the same epithets.

Posted by: Sojourner on February 9, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK
Lowery has no moral authority or public position with those who are furious with him anyways, cmdicely, and you know this.

He has as much as King did -- that is, so long as he doesn't get too noticed for things like opposing the present right wing and still caring about equality and social justice, they'd probably be willing to make nice noises about him when he dies in order to try to court the black vote and cloak themselves in the mantle of his legacy (so long as no one tried to suggest that the struggle continued to have any current relevance).

He risks nothing, which is no great or harsh criticism of him.

I agree that nothing that you've said in this thread, even when it has a passing connection with
the truth (which most of it doesn't) is a substantial criticism of any of the people you've directed it at.

Which makes me wonder what your point here is.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

remind me never to piss of n.o.t.l.f

Posted by: Spain on February 9, 2006 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

No, n.o.t.l.f., you are a cretin, in that you are unable to discern that unless others are willing to take action against a person, the person is at at no risk, no matter how furious others may be. One thing that has not been lacking over the last five years is people willing to very publicly express their contempt for George Bush. What price have they paid? Oh, the price that has been paid by Michael Moore, who has hideously been made to increase his net worth by tens of millions of dollars! The Horror! The Horror! How can one bear to watch the cruel afflictions rained down upon Al Franken, tortured into selling millions of books and forced to sign multi-million dollar media contracts! Oh, the Humanity! Can there be a God in a universe where such hateful things are suffered by Those Who Dare Speak Truth to Power!! Perhaps we should inquire with the Reverends Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, both of whom who have so terribly suffered during the Reign of Bush the Impaler! Oh, when will their terrible suffering end!

On an empirical basis, there is no reason to think that those who have expressed contempt for George Bush in a very public manner over the past five years have endured any great price, thus there is no reason to think that Lowery is risking anything. As much as it disturbs the void which lies between your ears, every once and a while you may actually endeavor to observe the world around you, and draw conclusions from those observations, instead of strictly relying on the fantasies that are more properly the province of third-graders with over-excited imaginations.

Finally, you half-wit, it is no great criticism to say that a speech lacks courage, for the simple reason that it is rare that one can make a speech that does really risk anything. It's just a speech, you idiot. Hell, one of the greatest speechs in American history, the Gettysburg Address, really didn't risk anything of Lincoln's, given that the speech really wasn't given much attention at that time, and really had no effect on Lincoln's life prior to his murder. It wasn't as if his election chances in 1864 were affected one way or another, or Booth had any greater motivation to kill him due to the speech. Can you possibly get any more stupid? Now, MLK in 1963, on the steps of the Limcoln Memorial, THAT was a speech that took risks! That you cannot discern the differences really leads one to ask whether you have a single thought in your head which was self-generated.

cmdicely, why on earth would Lowery possibly care whether people who are furious with him now would make nice noises about him after he has died? Geez, you really do hold Lowery in contempt, don't you? What is the source of your contempt for the Reverend Lowery?

Posted by: Will Allen on February 9, 2006 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK

Also, stop lying by claiming that I said Lowery was not due the respect he earned duirng the bus boycott, or through other acts of courage.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Lowery has no moral authority or public position with those who are furious with him anyways, cmdicely, and you know this. He risks nothing, which is no great or harsh criticism of him.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 8, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

You sound conflicted. He is due "respect" but "has no moral authority," and you are "furious" with him.

Posted by: nota bene on February 9, 2006 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

But here I am, a third worlder speaking truth to power.

And I say, when did President Carter become Martin Luther King? Do black causes need white liberals to speak for them?

Lastly, when did King call a foreign party? By linking the two, you suggest he was talking to some foreign power when wiretapped. Have you no shame?

Posted by: McA on February 9, 2006 at 2:59 AM | PERMALINK

Yet another illiterate. nota, please show where I indicated I was furious with Lowery. I have no opinion on his speech of the other day, other than it wasn't any act of courage, and did not "speak truth to power" in the sense of saying unpleasant or unwanted things to a powerful person which will potentially result in any negative consequences for the speaker.

Is the median reading conprehension level in this forum about the third grade?

Posted by: Will Allen on February 9, 2006 at 3:17 AM | PERMALINK

So, Allen, in short, your choleric, incoherent screeching has all been to point out that you don't like the phrase 'truth to power'.

Wow. What a stand! Truly, you are a man for our times, inessential, petty and particularly angry about semantics.

Sure, you don't hate the Rev. Lowery (even though you admit people do), but you don't think it's particularly courageous to point out in front of a president that he lied because he's at no risk. How brave of you.

I disagree, and by the very evidence of your immesurate ranting over how overwhelmingly pissed off you are that anyone would think such a thing courageous it seems that Lowery struck a nerve with the unhinged class out there. Does that put him at greater risk? Or are you just steamed that people think he was courageous?

Professional ranters and the preening 'victims' in the GOP (not that I'm including the independent likes of you in that rabble) sure have turned up the notch on their fake outrage over the very idea that anyone would deign to be politicial at great public figure's funeral -- but surely that holds no risk for Lowery, because, as you must agree, it's nothing but hot air to begin with. Otherwise such intemperate rhetoric, such hostility towards Carter and Lowery (not by you, naturally, you're just the straight shooter who sees through the cant, right?), not to mention those of us who agree with the sentiments, would actually mean something right?

After all, a controversial black man speaking out against the President of the United States is such an ordinary, run of the mill event in the 21st Century, even the million of wingnuts and assorted screamers couldn't possibly take offense to something like that, ergo -- it's nothing but risk-free posturing by yet another liberal. And that took you 20,000 words to say?

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on February 9, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK
But here I am, a third worlder speaking truth to power.

Aren't ethnic Chinese an economically dominant minority in Malaysia?

And I say, when did President Carter become Martin Luther King?

Uh, he didn't. Nor did he claim he was.

Do black causes need white liberals to speak for them?

Social justice and racial equality are certainly causes that have particular importance for blacks, but they are not "black causes", they are universal human causes. That is certainly something the Kings believed. And it is certainly something that Carter, and many of the other speakers believe.

Lastly, when did King call a foreign party?

Probably many times.

By linking the two, you suggest he was talking to some foreign power when wiretapped.

No, I suggest that then, as now, the abuse of wiretapping power was justified by the domestic targets being labelled suspected associates of a foreign threat -- "terrorists" today, "Communists" then -- and that was used to excuse the abuse. Indeed, the earlier abuse provoked the laws broken by the present abuse, creating a sharp nexus between them, even if the precise details of the abuse very. Things can be alike in important ways without being alike in every way, idiot.

Have you no shame?

Have you no brain?

Did you know his niece is an anti-abortion activist?

And his (and Coretta's, naturally) daughter Bernice is, opposed to Coretta on this point, an anti-gay activist and minister, and spoke at the funeral. So what?

Shouldn't she speak for him.

No, no one should speak for Martin Luther King, or for Coretta Scott King. But all the speakers at the funeral, including those from the family, and including those with very different views on some issues than the speaker you complain about, or Coretta herself, spoke of the Kings.

She'd blood after all - not sure what Elmer Fudd Carter is.

"Elmer Fudd Carter" is a product of your fevered imagination.

James Earl Carter, Jr., on the other hand is a former President of the United States who spoke about the influence the Kings had on the world from his own experience, something that people are wont to do at funerals, both of the well-known and of the less well-known. Its what the speakers -- family and not -- at my fathers funeral did (though none was a former or current US President), and its something I expect to see people do at funerals.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

It's worth remembering, too, that Carter was a child of Jim Crow, no less than the Kings and Scotts.

The moral impact that Martin Luther King and his beloved Coretta had on America surely feels different to someone of Carter's age and background.

It would have been easy, it was expected, that even a fundamentally decent white man of Carter's generation in Georgia would regard Martin Luther King as a troublemaker, someone who somehow was impeding the very goals he claimed to seek -- because he wouldn't wait for rights to be GRANTED, he was leading people to claim them as their birthright.

Too bad we don't have NSA transcripts of what Condoleeza Rice thinks about all this: she was a childhood friend of one of the girls murdered in the church bombing, she was close enough to hear the blast. I doubt her adult opinion is that MLK was wrong to speak of right and wrong and justice and changing the law at that funeral.

She was also much more like Coretta Scott King than you might think -- the kind of highly accomplished, intensely educated and wrapped REAL tight African American elite women that Jim Crow produced.

The Secretary of State knows, I suspect, that she owes every opportunity she's ever had in her life to the achievements of Dr. King, and not a few of them to the example of Coretta Scott King. (For one thing, Coretta could have broken down in 1968, as she had every right to do. She could have sought vengeance. Neither would have exactly helped the Cause.)

I wonder if anybody has had the nerve to ask Condoleeza Rice if Lowery was wrong to speak over Coretta Scott King in the manner she lived.

Posted by: theAmericanist on February 9, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Is the median reading conprehension level in this forum about the third grade?

that's where it sinks to every time you post here.

I have no opinion on his speech of the other day, other than it wasn't any act of courage, and did not "speak truth to power" in the sense of saying unpleasant or unwanted things to a powerful person which will potentially result in any negative consequences for the speaker.

Yes, that's exactly what it was. Just because you spam the comments with your shitheaded view to the contrary, doesn't change the fact that the majority see it the other way.

Posted by: haha on February 9, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

I'd also like to know who appointed the douchebag Will Allen as the one who defines certain phrases. Is he certified by some sort of Board of Definitions or something?
And, considering we have a president who admits to illegal wiretapping, how does anyone know what the consequences might be for Lowrey speaking the truth and embarrassing a president who we all know is petty and vindictive? Even John Dean says that he's worse than Nixon. So, even if we adhere to the definition that the moronic douchebag Will Allen, self-annointed minister of definitions, says we should use, it's still speaking truth to power.

Suck on it.

Posted by: haha on February 9, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist,

May I add that Condi's father realized that in order to proper, they had to leave Alabama for Colorado.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 9, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, n.o.t.l.f., you disagree, due to your inability to observe events around you which contradict your fevered, adolescent, imagination. Publicly demonstrating contempt for George Bush is muti-billion dollar industry. Hell, people line up to do it, and if you had an I.Q. above that of the average parakeet, you'd understand that the great willingness of many, many, people to engage in this activity, indeed, to make very large sums of money in doing so, combined with the remarkable lack of evidence of any of these people suffering any negative consequences, strongly indicates that the activity isn't risky in any sense. Of course, given that a battle of wits bewteen you and said parakeet would likely result in a shot of self-estemm for our avian friends, and likely call for a closer examination of the theories of evolution, while causing division among the intelligent design whack-jobs, the previous statement is somewhat irrelevant. My apologies.

Posted by: Will Allen on February 9, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Reid Aided Abramoff Clients, Records Show

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(AP) Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff, and the senator's staff regularly had contact with the disgraced lobbyist's team about legislation affecting other clients.

The activities _ detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press _ are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients.

Reid's office acknowledged Thursday having "routine contacts" with Abramoff's lobbying partners and intervening on some government matters _ such as blocking some tribal casinos _ in ways Abramoff's clients might have deemed helpful. But it said none of his actions were affected by donations or done for Abramoff.

"All the actions that Senator Reid took were consistent with his long-held beliefs, such as not letting tribal casinos expand beyond reservations, and were taken to defend the interests of Nevada constituents," spokesman Jim Manley said.

Reid, D-Nev., has led the Democratic Party's attacks portraying Abramoff's lobbying and fundraising as a Republican scandal.

But Abramoff's records show his lobbying partners billed for nearly two dozen phone contacts or meetings with Reid's office in 2001 alone.

Most were to discuss Democratic legislation that would have applied the U.S. minimum wage to the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory and Abramoff client, but would have given the islands a temporary break on the wage rate, the billing records show.

Reid also intervened on government matters at least five times in ways helpful to Abramoff's tribal clients, once opposing legislation on the Senate floor and four times sending letters pressing the Bush administration on tribal issues. Reid collected donations around the time of each action.

Ethics rules require senators to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest in collecting contributions around the times they take official acts benefiting donors.

Abramoff's firm also hired one of Reid's top legislative aides as a lobbyist. The aide later helped throw a fundraiser for Reid at Abramoff's firm that raised donations from several of his lobbying partners.

And Reid's longtime chief of staff accepted a free trip to Malaysia arranged by a consulting firm connected to Abramoff that recently has gained attention in the influence-peddling investigation that has gripped the Capitol.

Abramoff has pleaded guilty in a fraud and bribery case and is now helping prosecutors investigate the conduct of lawmakers, congressional aides and administration officials his team used to lobby.

Abramoff spokesman Andrew Blum declined to comment on the Reid contacts.

Reid has assailed Republicans' ties to Abramoff while refusing to return any of his own donations. He argues there's no need to return the money.

"Senator Reid never met Jack Abramoff and never has taken contributions from him, and efforts to drag him into this are going to fail," Manley said. "Abramoff is a convicted felon and no one has suggested the other partners we might have dealt with have done anything impermissible."

While Abramoff never directly donated to Reid, the lobbyist did instruct one tribe, the Coushattas, to send $5,000 to Reid's tax-exempt political group, the Searchlight Leadership Fund, in 2002. About the same time, Reid sent a letter to the Interior Department helpful to the tribe, records show.

Abramoff sent a list to the tribe entitled "Coushatta Requests" recommending donations to campaigns or groups for 50 lawmakers he claimed were helpful to the tribe. Alongside Reid's name, Abramoff wrote, "5,000 (Searchlight Leadership Fund) Senate Majority Whip."

Following a pattern seen with Abramoff and Republicans, Abramoff's Democratic team members often delivered donations to Reid close to key events.

Reid himself, along his Senate counsel Jim Ryan, met with Abramoff deputy Ronald Platt on June 5, 2001, "to discuss timing on minimum wage bill" that affected the Marianas, according to a bill that Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff's firm, sent the Marianas.

Three weeks before the meeting, Greenberg Traurig's political action committee donated $1,000 to Reid's Senate re-election committee. Three weeks after the meeting, Platt himself donated $1,000 to Reid.

Manley said Reid's official calendar doesn't list a meeting on June 5, 2001, with Platt, but he also said he couldn't say for sure the contact didn't occur. Manley confirmed Platt had regular contacts with Reid's office, calling them part of the "routine checking in" by lobbyists who work Capitol Hill.

As for the timing of donations, Manley said, "There is no connection. This is just a typical part of lawful fundraising."

The Marianas, U.S. territorial islands in the Pacific Ocean, were one of Abramoff's highest-paying clients and were trying to keep their textile industry exempt from most U.S. laws on immigration, labor and pay, including the minimum wage. Many Democrats have long accused the islands of running garment sweatshops.

The islands in 2001 had their own minimum wage of $3.05 an hour, and were exempt from the U.S. minimum of $5.15.

Republicans were intent on protecting the Marianas' exemption. Democrats, led by Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Rep. George Miller of California, wanted the Marianas to be covered by the U.S. minimum and crafted a compromise.

In February 2001, Kennedy introduced a bill that would have raised the U.S. hourly minimum to $6.65 and would have covered the Marianas. The legislation, which eventually failed, would have given the islands an initial break by setting its minimum at just $3.55 _ nearly $3 lower than any other territory or state _ and then gradually increasing it.

Within a month, Platt began billing for routine contacts and meetings with Reid's staff, starting with a March 26, 2001, contact with Reid chief of staff Susan McCue to "discuss timing and status of minimum wage legislation," the billing records say.

In all, Platt and a fellow lobbyist reported 21 contacts in 2001 with Reid's office, mostly with McCue and Ryan.

One of the Marianas contacts, listed for May 30, 2001, was with Edward Ayoob, Reid's legislative counsel. Within a year, Ayoob had left Reid's office to work for Abramoff's firm, registering specifically to lobby for the islands as well as several tribes. Manley confirmed Ayoob had subsequent lobbying contacts with Reid's office.

Manley cast doubt on some of the contacts recorded in the billing records, saying McCue was out of Washington for a couple of the dates. But he acknowledged the contacts could have occurred by cell phone.

In January 2002, McCue took a free trip, valued at $7,000, to Malaysia with several other congressional aides. The trip, cleared by Senate ethics officials, was underwritten by the U.S. Malaysia Exchange Association, a group trying to foster better relations between the United States and Malaysia.

The trips were part of a broader lobbying strategy by Malaysia, which consulted with Abramoff and paid $300,000 to a company connected to him, according to documents released by Senate investigators. The arrangements included a trip by then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and his wife to Malaysia in October 2001.

While Abramoff worked behind the scenes, the Alexander Strategy Group run by two former DeLay aides, Ed Buckham and Tony Rudy, publicly registered to lobby for the U.S. Malaysia Exchange Association.

Rudy, who was cited in Abramoff's court case, had worked temporarily for Abramoff before joining Buckham at Alexander Strategy, and the three men were friendly. In January 2002, Alexander Strategy arranged two congressional trips to Malaysia underwritten by the association.

One trip took a delegation of Republican congressmen. A Democratic consultant hired by Alexander Strategy, former Clinton White House aide Joel Johnson, invited McCue and went on the second trip with congressional staffers.

Johnson said he invited McCue on behalf of Alexander Strategy and went on the trip with her but said he knew of no connections to Abramoff. "My interest was in getting Democrats to travel to the country and to learn more about Malaysia," Johnson said.

Reid intervened on other matters.

On March 5, 2002, he sent a letter to the Interior Department pressing the agency to reject a proposed casino by the Jena band of Choctaw Indians in Louisiana. Fellow Nevada Sen. John Ensign, a Republican, also signed.

The Jena's proposed casino would have rivaled one already in operation in Louisiana run by the Coushattas, and Abramoff was lobbying to block the Jena. The day after Reid's letter, the Coushattas wrote a $5,000 check to Reid's Searchlight group at Abramoff's suggestion.

Reid and Ensign recently wrote the Senate Ethics Committee to say their letter had nothing to do with Abramoff or the donation and instead reflected their interest in protecting Las Vegas' gambling establishments.

"As senators for the state with the largest nontribal gaming industry in the nation, we have long opposed the growth of off-reservation tribal gaming throughout the United States," Ensign and Reid wrote. Reid authored the law legalizing casinos on reservations, and has long argued it does not allow tribal gambling off reservations.

On Nov. 8, 2002, the Nevada Democrat signed a letter with California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein urging Interior Secretary Gale Norton to reject a proposal by the Cuyapaipe Band of Mission Indians to convert land for a health clinic into a casino in southern California.

The casino would have competed with the Palm Springs gambling establishment run by the Agua Caliente, one of Abramoff's tribes.

Two weeks later, Reid went to the Senate floor to oppose fellow Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow's effort to win congressional approval for a Michigan casino for the Bay Mills Indians, which would have rivaled one already operating by the Saginaw Chippewa represented by Abramoff.

"The legislation is fundamentally flawed," Reid argued, successfully leading the opposition to Stabenow's proposal.

The next month, Reid joined six other Democratic senators in asking President Bush in mid-December 2002 to spend an additional $30 million for Indian school construction. Several Abramoff tribes, including the Saginaw and the Mississippi Choctaw, were seeking federal money for school building.

Six weeks after that letter, three Abramoff partners _ including Platt and Ayoob _ donated a total of $4,000 to Reid's Senate re-election campaign. Later in 2003, the Agua Caliente contributed $13,500 to Reid's political groups while the Saginaw chipped in $9,000.

Reid sent a fourth letter on April 30, 2003, joining Ensign a second time to urge Interior to reject the Jena casino.

Two months later, Abramoff's firm threw a fundraiser for Reid at its Washington office that netted the Nevada senator several more donations from Greenberg Traurig lobbyists and their spouses. Ayoob was instrumental in staging the event, Reid's office said.

Posted by: Skippy Liberal on February 9, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

mmy said "I would prefer that no funerals go politicized - even those of people who were political radicals in life, such as Ms. King. Death just seems bigger than politics."

I'm going to disagree.

Death is not just bigger than politics, it's bigger than life. I mean, look at how long you're alive, and how long you're going to be dead.

A funerals is a ceremony holding up the small candle of one life into and against the dark void. A funeral absolutely SHOULD be about that one life. And THIS life was about social justice, in the old lefty manner. A life that was Anti-War (yes, capital A capital W). A life about the Have-Nots as opposed to Bush's self-described base, the Have Mores.

It does not honor someone for their enemy to show up and eulogize them at their funeral. Bush is the one who should be ashamed of himself, as Mrs. King would have told him to his face if she had had the chance.

That others should tell him so to his face, in her stead, after she no longer could, is the absolutely most proper thing that could be done.

Posted by: Cal Gal on February 9, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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