Monday, January 24, 2005

Hypocrisy, or common sense?

Marshall Whittman snarks about President Bush's failure to appear in person at the pro-life rally today (courtesy of Matthew Yglesias
Today is the annual anti-abortion march in Washington. Like past Republican Presidents, W. will likely deliver a phone message that will be broadcast to the marchers. It is interesting that "ardently" pro-life Presidents never appear in person at these marches even when they are sometimes just a few blocks away in the White House. After all, W. is not reluctant to appear in person at business groups to tout his tax cut or social security plans.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but business groups tend not to meet in public crowds of 200,000 people on the Mall.

The failure of Republican presidents to appear in person to address the March for Life gatherings used to bother me, until I considered the unmitigated security nightmare of a president speaking in front of such a large gathering. If people complained about the cost of staging the inaugural, how much higher would the cost of the March be if the President were to personally appear? Besides, I am not aware of any long tradition of presidents personally addressing protest marches. This is just a feeble attempt to spark a contoversy where there is none.


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