She was a great person, oh and by the way, YOU SUCK!!

I don't normally get involved in politicking on this site, but if you can turn a memorial service into a public nipple-tweaking, then I can have some leeway. Jaquandor posted his comments ("Exactly.") to a Matthew Yglesias opinion about the remarks made by the democratic friends of Correta Scott King. Here's Matt's blurb:
    Just a quick rhetorical question on the Corretta Scott King funeral "controversy" -- wtf? When we honor a recently dead person, we always leave it up to the judgment of the deceased's close friends and families to use their best judgment as to how that person would want his or her life to be commemorated. Since when did these arrangements come to be subjected to criticism by random pundits? I hope to God that if through some misfortune I drop dead tomorrow, the organizers of my funeral won't shy away from mentioning the small matter of the political causes I've spent my entire (and admittedly brief) professional career fighting for.

    The only reason the general public cares about King's funeral is that she was a political person. She fought for political causes. Not only for in-retrospect-uncontroversial ones like "black people should be allowed to vote," but for issues that continue to be contentious today. Did the Bush administration not overrule the opinion of professional lawyers that the Texas re-redistricting plan violated the Voting Rights Act? Did they not file a brief encouraging the Supreme Court to restrict affirmative action in college admissions? Do we think King approved of that? Did she expend no small effort in recent years to support gay rights and oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment? Did the Bush administration not support the FMA? Should we really pretend all this never happened to avoid tweaking the sensibilities about Republican politicians?
My first reaction when I heard the remarks made by the Joe Lowery and Jimmy Carter was strong and immediate. I felt embarrassed for everyone at the memorial for their unbelievably rude behavior. At this time you should be remembering the person being put to rest, not using it as a chance to get a few of your own cheap shots in to further your agenda. It was crude, juvenile, and seriously pathetic. What's worse, is by taking the low ground, you actually make George W. Bush looks classy and sympathetic. What an achievement that is! CNN analyst Jeff Greenfield provided some commentary and a little more insight into this angle during an on-air interview:
    GREENFIELD: Back in 2002, shortly before the election, Senator Wellstone was killed in a plane crash. And at the memorial service, a number of political people made the point to honor Paul Wellstone's memory, vice president -- ex-vice president Mondale who was running in the state should be elected. There were also -- there was some booing, apparently, not that much, directed at some Republican senators there.

    It became an article of faith on the political right that this had become a real ugly moment, when partisanship replaced memorials. After the funeral yesterday, Kate O'Beirne, a prominent conservative writer, said liberals don't know how to keep politics out of their funerals.

    And on the Daily Kos, which is a site from the left, the argument was these conservatives had nothing to do with civil rights, they have no right to lecture us.

    O'BRIEN: Well, let's talk about this, because when you talk about a Wellstone moment, timing is an awful lot in politics. And the timing there very different than here.

    GREENFIELD: Absolutely. That memorial service happened literally three or four days before the election. And there was a backlash to it that may have helped the Republicans take that Senate seat.

    We're now in early February. The idea that this is going to have some political implication, you have to really be overcommitted to endless analysis.

    I do, however, think that in a more subtle way, this actually rebounds to the credit of President Bush. I mean, he came to the funeral, changed his plans, made a gracious speech. And I think for people who are not politically committed -- I mean, if you don't like George Bush, this was fine. If you like George Bush, this was horrible.

    I think for a lot of people the idea is, do you really do this at a funeral?
While listening to some talk radio last night, the host (I don't recall his name) postulated that about 40% of America is going to vote Democrat no matter what next election and about 40% is going to vote Republican regardless of the candidate. The remaining 20% (not a scientific figure!) is the swing vote of politics, and where elections are really decided. I agree with this assessment of the political landscape, and frankly I'm part of that 20%, although I do have more leanings toward the right. One of the many reasons that I lean towards the right in the last five years is that I perceive the democrats to be the complaining party. Whine, whine, complaining, cry. Over and over. I'm not sure what they thought would happen when taking political jabs at a funeral, but they clearly hadn't thought the matter through. Once again, their inability to hold back the whining has left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, and a lean towards the dark side.

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