The President, as a matter of fact, was visiting with the families (not all of course, but he was) but NOT making a show of it. For a couple of reasons, first and foremost it really is not a show and it was the RIGHT thing to do. Second because those same iggies condemning the President for not visiting with the families would condemn him for using the visits to score political points and to create flattering images of a caring president ("I feel your pain"). Of course, if the President had made public show of those visitations, his critics would be RIGHT to criticize the visitations as cheap politics.
Well, Michelle Malkin and other bloggers document such politicking going on at funeral for a fallen soldier in Iraq. According to reports, Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll of Pennsylvania. Not only did the Lt. Governor show up UNINVITED.
The Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh broke the story.
Let us compare with another memorial speech delivered in Pennsylvania:
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Blackfive notes an e-mail the deceased soldier sent to his wife:
Clearly, the Lt. Governor does not believe in what we are doing in Iraq. Perhaps, she felt a need to attend, most families I believe would be flattered and grateful for such a visit from one of our political leaders. But, to act in the officious matter she did and then to stick it to the family and the memory of their fallen soldier the way she did is beyond decent.
The reports I have been reading indicated that Governor Rendell is apologizing for the incident. Why? The Lt. Governor should go on prime time TV and apologize for this incident.