by Chuck Norris
Thousands attended U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s funeral mass on Saturday, but not in attendance was President Barack Obama.
Was he too busy? Did he have to feed the dog? Play a round of golf? Packing his bags to go to Cuba? No one knows.
And he is not saying.
At the White House daily briefing last Wednesday, Josh Earnest, the White House secretary, didn’t explain why the president would be “unavailable to attend” Justice Scalia’s funeral.
When pressed further on Obama’s schedule, Earnest retorted, “I don’t have a sense of what the president’s plans are for Saturday.”
Neither did anyone else, Earnest. In fact, throughout the entire day on Saturday, the White House’s own website post for Obama’s schedule read only: “No public schedule available at this time.” Every day since Feb. 1 had a schedule and a list of things Obama did, but not Saturday. Strange coincidence, I guess. I’ll bet a schedule magically appears around the time of this publication. So much for that presidential commitment to transparency.
This is the first time in 60 years that a president has not attended the funeral of a Supreme Court justice who died while serving on the bench.
President Dwight Eisenhower attended the funeral of Chief Justice Fred Vinson in 1953, but had to miss Justice Robert Jackson’s funeral on Oct. 12, 1954, because he was in Denver, Colorado, at Lowry Air Force Base, which was a training base during World War II and the Cold War, for the entire first two weeks of October.
Nevertheless, Eisenhower still had a four-foot wreath of white carnations in the shape of a cross sent to Justice Jackson’s funeral at the Washington Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
When Chief Justice William Rehnquist died in 2005, President George W. Bush gave the eulogy at his funeral.
President Bill Clinton even attended the funerals of Justice Thurgood Marshall, Chief Justice Warren Burger and Justice William Brennan, though they were not even serving on the bench.
Justice Scalia has served on the court for 30 years – longer than any other current justice – and yet the presiding president couldn’t attend his funeral in the very same city?
Would Obama bow out from the funeral of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg if she passed away, too? I highly doubt it.
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As a matter of fact, throughout Obama’s two terms in office, he always seemed to have the time to attend the funerals of various Democrat notables.
Obama gave the eulogy at former KKK clansman, Sen. Ted Kennedy’s funeral in Boston.
Obama gave a speech at Walter Cronkite’s funeral in New York City.
Obama gave another speech at Democrat and former House Speaker Tom Foley in Washington, D.C., just six months after snubbing conservative bastion Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Obama delivered another eulogy at the funeral of Democrat and former state Sen. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston, South Carolina.
Obama gave another speech at the funeral of U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., in Charleston, West Virginia.
Obama gave another speech at the funeral service of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
I guess it was just too far for the president and first lady to travel six whole miles away from the White House to 400 Michigan Ave Northeast in Washington, D.C., where Scalia’s funeral mass was held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
How do you think Justice Scalia’s family really felt as they sat at his funeral Saturday with President Obama just a few miles away? Does anyone really believe the grieving family thought it was no big deal that Obama was AWOL?
My wife, Gena, and my prayers and condolences extend to Justice Scalia’s family, starting with his wife, Maureen, their nine children: Ann Forrest, Eugene, John Francis, Catherine Elisabeth, Mary Claire, Paul David, Matthew, Christopher James and Margaret Jane; and to all of their 36 grandchildren.
Our greatest commendation goes out to Father Paul Scalia, Antonin Scalia’s son, who actually led the mass for his beloved father’s funeral. What a son and saint.
Here’s an excerpt from Father Paul’s words:
“God blessed Dad, as it’s well known, with a love for his country. He knew well what a close-run thing the founding of our nation was. And he saw in that founding, as did the founders themselves, a blessing. A blessing quickly lost when faith is banned from the public square or when we refuse to bring it there.”
Scalia added, “He understood that there is no conflict between loving God and loving one’s country, between one’s faith and one’s public service. Dad understood that the deeper he went in his Catholic faith, the better a citizen and public servant he became.”
Some retort regarding the president’s absence at the funeral, “Well Obama did visit the wake at the Supreme Court on Friday when Justice Scalia’s body lay in repose.” It was only a two-minute passing! The president and first lady spent approximately 35 seconds in front of Scalia’s coffin and then another 67 seconds talking in front of his portrait before they exited.
There’s absolutely no excuse for President Obama’s absence at Justice Scalia’s funeral. It is a gravely offensive act of disrespect to a justice of his magnitude who spent 30 years on the bench. It is also another hugely missed opportunity to ease the partisan warfare that has followed the justice’s death and been a thread of dissension throughout the president’s reign.
Just two weeks ago, Obama confessed that his administration has contributed to the polarizations in our country and with Congress.
“The one thing that gnaws on me is the degree of continued polarization,” he explained to CBS. “It’s gotten worse over the last several years.”
I wonder why. One word: Obama.
And yet, instead of seizing the day and reducing the divisiveness surrounding Scalia’s death and vacancy filling, like a dog that returns to his vomit, Obama couldn’t resist reeling back to his narcissistic and divisive modus operandi.
Since early in his presidency, Obama confessed that he’d like to “bypass Congress and change the laws on my own.” He added, “Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you.”
He doesn’t need to promise us. We believe him, because we’ve been watching his rogue and discordant behavior since the moment he entered office.
And we, conservatives, are the factional and close-minded fools?
Justice Scalia encouraged conservatives to keep fighting, keep the faith and beware of catering to consensus or the elite.
He warned us back in 2012, “We are fools for Christ and we must pray for the courage to ignore the scorn of the sophisticated world.”