Bill O’Reilly, the other day, ranted on how not a single Republican was invited to the memorial commemorating Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a Dream” speech. He reprimanded Democrats for apparently excluding Republicans, who would have, according to Mr O’Reilly, dropped everything for the opportunity to address a crowd honoring Martin Luther King. He assumed that those heartfelt speeches given in front of a statue of Abraham Lincoln (a Republican) excluded, by design, any Republicans.
The following day, he, after actually studying current events before commenting on them, admitted that he was wrong. His exact words were, “I simply assumed that since all the speakers were liberal Democrats, Republicans were excluded. So, here’s the “Tip of the Day” — always check out the facts before you make a definitive statement.” Bill O’Reilly, a self-described journalist, gives us advice on checking the facts before making a statement? Thanks for that lesson Billy, but the dearth of ethical rigor appears to reside in your grey matter, not ours.
OK, so I’m accustomed to O’Reilly and his knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing Sarah-Palin-for-President club minions jumping on any opportunity, real or imagined, to bloviate about how Democrats are even remotely as petty as Republicans. But there was one glaring omission from his broadcast that evening: That omission was to ask why those who were in fact invited decided, en mass, not to show up! Why didn’t O’Reilly get nearly as upset that the reason no Republicans were at the event was that they all declined to come!
Stay with me on this folks. When he thought that the Republicans had purposely not been invited, it was somehow quite insulting and worthy of extreme criticism that Republicans should be excluded from this ostensibly historic event. Yet when he found out that they had not been excluded, the event was apparently not nearly as important as his ersatz sanctimony would have lead us to believe just the evening before! If it were, he would have immediately shifted to admonishing the Republicans for not having attended!
Somehow, he forgot about that part. Apparently to Mr. O’Reilly and his Republican co-conspirators, not to be invited is the height of insult to him and his tribe, but to be duly invited and nonetheless snub a memorial to one of the most important civil rights leaders in a generation, well, that’s OK. They were busy…
Here’s how busy they were:
Speaker of the House, John Boehner, claimed he had honored Dr King at an event in July. He said, in effect, “I gave at the office”.
Eric Cantor, House Majority leader, was visiting with some oil industry constituents. Former Florida representative Allen West, a black man who likely would never have been elected to the house were it not for King, was attending another rally at the Republican National Committee. Just down the street.
George HW Bush (89 years old and in ill health) declined due to health reasons. George W Bush (67 years old) declined because of, ahem, “health” reasons, (although he attended a football game the day before),Jeb Bush just declined. (FYI, Bill Clinton is also 67 years old and has had major heart surgery, but somehow made it up the steps). And finally, Tim Scott, the sole black man in the United States Senate declined as well.
There were over 25 currently and recently serving members of the Republican party who were invited to this historic event who either declined or just no-showed.
This comports quite interestingly with Reince Priebus’ (RNC chairman) suggestion the other day that the Republican Party must “change its message” and become the “party of inclusion” in 2014 and 2016.
Yeah, (chuckling to the point of choking), good luck with that, Reince. I’m sure no black people were watching any of that stuff at the Lincoln Memorial the other day. None of them noticed the absolute absence of Republicans speaking on those historic steps. Just keep telling yourself that Barack Obama only got elected because he’s black. Twice. Yeah, other than that, Black Americans would have just flocked to the Republican Party-you know, the “party of inclusion”.
Yeah, (snort, choke, holding my sides) I’m sure that’s true…