They came to praise King and bury Bush

    George W. Bush’s pathetic attempt to turn Coretta Scott King’s
    funeral into a politically-advantageous photo op fell flatter than his
    State of the Union speech Tuesday – a textbook example of just how out
    of touch the President has become with the American people.

    “This commemorative ceremony this morning and this afternoon is not
    only to acknowledge the great contributions of Coretta and Martin, but
    to remind us that the struggle for equal rights is not over,” said
    former President Carter, who remarks brought loud cheers. “We only have
    to recall the color of the faces of those in Louisiana, Alabama and
    Mississippi, those who were most devastated by Katrina, to know that
    there are not yet equal opportunities for all Americans.”

    Carter’s comments ring true about Bush and his right-wing Republican
    followers — a group of rabid racists whose tokenism only deepens the
    racial divide in this country.

    But Carter drew even louder cheers when he compared King’s struggles
    against FBI harassment and surveillance to Bush’s use of the National
    Security Agency and other government agencies to spy on Americans.

    “It was difficult for them personally,” Carter said of both Kings, “with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated as they
    became the target of secret government wiretapping, other surveillance,
    and as you know, harassment from the FBI.”

    Bush tried his usual plastic smile but his body language clearly
    showed discomfort as speaker after speaker zeroed in on the hypocrisy
    of his Presidency — one that talks unity but practices division.

    He offered phony applause when the Rev. Joseph Lowery, King protege
    and longtime critic, who cited Coretta King’s opposition to the war in
    Iraq and scored the administration’s phony commitment to helping the

    “She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions
    way afar,” Lowery said. “We know now there were no weapons of mass
    destruction over there. But Coretta knew and we knew that there are
    weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health
    insurance. Poverty abounds. For war, billions more, but no more for the

    When Bush’s turn came, the audience, for the most part, sat on their
    hands, offering only muted applause for his seven-minute eulogy. It was
    a pitiful performance by a President whose legacy is marked all too
    often by shameless self-promotion.

    But Bush, despite his clumsy attempts to put on a strong public
    face, should realize he is living on borrowed time, not only as a lame
    duck President but as one who could well face impeachment if enough
    Democrats win seats in this fall’s House and Senate elections.

    There is little doubt that George W. Bush will go down in history as
    one of the most controversial, morally-challenged, dishonest Presidents
    to serve at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. What remains in doubt is how his
    Presidency will end and whether or not there will be an America left to
    put that painful memory behind it.