Thursday, July 15, 2004

President Bush, The NAACP and John Kerry

President Bush refused an invitation to speak to the NAACP, or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In doing so, President Bush once again demonstrated the character that has made him a great leader in a time of crises. The only thing the NAACP has advanced in the years since the campaign of 2000 is hate of George Bush. During the campaign of 2000, the supposedly non-partisan NAACP ran an ad that implied that then Governor of Texas Bush was complicity in the horrible dragging death of James Bird because he refused to sign hate crimes legislation. Never mind the fact that two of the three responsible received the death penalty and the third received life in prison. Since the election of 2000, the NAACP has compared Republican's to the Taliban, called George Bush an illegal President, and called the President's trip to Africa a photo-op. President Bush has refused to speak to the group since 2000. A man with less character would have accepted the invitation to speak as an opportunity to pander to potential voters. The Bush Administration stated in response to the press coverage of his refusal to speak:

The president "has many friends who belong to the NAACP and respects their proud history of championing civil rights," White House communications director Dan Bartlett said. "Differences of opinion and opposing views are of course part of the national debate. Yet the current leadership of the NAACP has clearly crossed the line in partisans and civility, making it impossible to have a constructive dialogue."

"Despite the current leadership's intolerant views, President Bush will continue to reach out to members of the NAACP and African-Americans from across the country," he said. Bush addresses the Urban League, another civil rights group, next week.

He simply refuses to pander to a group that has questioned his integrity. John Kerry on the other hand saw the President's refusal to speak to the group as the perfect opportunity to pander. And pander he did. Kerry rushed to speak at the conference after the President declined and told the crowd:

"I will be a president who is truly a uniter, not one who seeks to divide one nation by race or riches or by any other label."

John Kerry played the race card (the Democrats play the race card in every election, the only question is when it will make its first appearance) It is interesting that John Kerry believes that by not speaking to a group that has called him a criminal, President Bush is responsible for "dividing" the country by race.

This episode highlights the biggest difference between the two men: President Bush has integrity and strength of character, John Kerry is willing to sell his for votes.