Even in a holiday season, politics requires that politicians put in an appearance. Presidential funerals don’t happen often, when they do, you go. Nothing shows the depth of a man like the way he shows respect to those who went before him. And a show of respect that requires nothing more from you than a plane ride, that you don’t make, speaks volumes.
The White House sent out a press release from Crawford, Tex., detailing the logistics of last night’s service, then added an asterisk: “Please note that President George W. Bush will not be attending this event.” He will pay his respects when he comes back to Washington, then go to the other service on Tuesday. Aides pointed out that this was the same thing Bush did for Reagan’s funeral, but Bush had a better excuse that time: He was hosting the G-8 summit of world leaders, not clearing brush on the ranch.
Instead, Bush phoned in a eulogy, using his usual Saturday radio address to proclaim Ford a man of “selfless dedication” and saying, “He always put the needs of his country before his own.”
It was a rare trait in official Washington last night.
Sadly for America, it wasn’t just the President phoning in his respects. There was a dearth of representatives from both parties. Seems that our elected representatives have taken to showing their dead predecessors the same respect they show their constituents, they mostly no-show unless they need your campaign funds.
Way to go Washington…You probably lucked out because mostly your public wasn’t paying attention, as usual. Someday though they will…Will you know how to act when they do?