I see that there are complaints in various and sundry places regarding the dearth of Republicans at the 50th anniversary commeration of the March on Washington. May I suggest that in the future, if one wishes to get certain elected officials to a particular gathering, one ought to give them plenty of advance notice by way of invitation?
Not a single Republican elected official stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday with activists, actors, lawmakers and former presidents invited to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington — a notable absence for a party seeking to attract the support of minority voters.
Event organizers said Wednesday that they invited top Republicans, all of whom declined to attend because of scheduling conflicts or ill health.
But aides to some GOP congressional leaders said they received formal invitations only in recent weeks, making it too late to alter their summer recess schedules.
[. . .]
House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio), the highest-ranking Republican in Washington, was invited to attend Wednesday’s gathering but declined because of a scheduling conflict, aides said.
Boehner was in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and had no public schedule Wednesday but has been headlining dozens of GOP fundraisers nationwide this month. Aides noted that he led an official congressional commemoration of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech on July 31 at the U.S. Capitol that other top congressional leaders attended.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) received an invitation to attend 12 days ago, which was too late to change scheduled political appearances Wednesday in North Dakota and Ohio, aides said.
Cantor led a congressional delegation to Selma, Ala., in March to observe the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” march at the invitation of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the only surviving speaker from the 1963 March on Washington.
Daughtry said Cantor tried hard to find another GOP lawmaker to take his place but was unsuccessful. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) also was invited to speak but declined for scheduling reasons, she said.
Now, it is possible that “scheduling reasons” may have been an all-purpose excuse for people who didn’t want to go to the commemorations under any circumstances. But why not give those people plenty of advance notice so that they would have had no excuse whatsoever for not attending? If it is indeed true that Boehner, Cantor, McCain and other Republicans received invitations only at the last minute, then no one who is familiar with the calendars of politicians should have been surprised when those politicians were unable to RSVP in the affirmative.
Oh, and am I supposed to applaud this?
Some Republicans noted that organizers did not invite Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), the only black Republican senator, who was appointed to his seat this year. Aides said Scott planned to attend a church service honoring King on Wednesday night in North Charleston, S.C.
What possible justification could there have been for this?