Saturday, June 6, 2015

Ted Cruz and the Westboro Cult: Slime Oozes On

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Vice President Joe Biden is a good man, a man who has had to shoulder way too much personal tragedy for one lifetime.  Within a few weeks of being elected to the Senate in 1972, but before he was actually sworn into office, Biden's wife, Neilia and their three children were out in the family station wagon doing a bit of Christmas shopping when Mrs. Biden inadvertently pulled into the path of a tractor-trailer rig.  She and the couple’s very young daughter, Naomi, were killed.    The two boys, Hunter and Joe, Jr (“Beau”) had injuries that required hospitalization..   Beau, the most seriously injured, was still in the hospital when he father was sworn into office the following month.  That ceremony took place at the child’s bedside.

(I was a young army officer serving on Okinawa at that time and remember seeing a picture of the crumpled station wagon on the front page of the Stars and Stripes.   One of Biden’s campaign posters was still visible in the car’s window.)

This week tragedy again struck the Biden family with the death of Beau at age forty-six from brain cancer.  He was a married father of two, a lawyer, Iraq war veteran, former attorney general of Delaware, and announced candidate for governor of Delaware. 

The grief of the Biden family must be unimaginable, particularly for Joe who had previously lost his wife and another child.

Beau Biden’s funeral is today in Wilmington, Delaware.  That should be the end to this very sad story – but of course, it isn’t.

For some reason beyond the scope of normal human understanding, the junior senator from Texas and Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, felt that the time was right to tell a Joe Biden joke at a public meeting of Republicans in Michigan.   His attempt at humor did generate some laughter because Ted was obviously not the only insensitive moron in the room.  A reporter asked the jolly jester if he thought his remark about the Vice President had been appropriate, given that his son had just died – and Ted’s response was to turn and walk away.  Later, after the incident began making its way into the national press – Senator Cruz finally coughed up an apology – of sorts.

It’s hard to see how the joke (which wasn’t even that funny) that Ted Cruz told to that Republican county gathering in Michigan could have been anything other than a pre-planned and deliberate attack on a man and his family who were struggling through the grieving process.    Their loved one was dead – and had not even been buried yet.

One is left to wonder if Senator Ted Cruz, like Senator Joe McCarthy from sixty years before, has any sense of decency.

Senator Cruz’s blatant disrespect of the Biden family was quickly overshadowed by disrespect from another source.  The forever ungodly Westboro Baptist cult of Topeka announced they were packing their bags and heading to Delaware to picket the funeral of Beau Biden.    The sacrilegious organization has a long history of disrupting the funerals of veterans and America’s war dead – and young Biden had served in Iraq.    But not being content with just slandering the dead, a spokesman for the group also used the family’s fatal car accident from forty years earlier as evidence of God’s displeasure with the Vice President himself.

I understand the importance of free speech, but it is sad beyond measure to see that constitutionally-guaranteed liberty being abused solely for the purpose of inflicting additional pain on those who are already suffering.

Tail-gunner Joe McCarthy has long since passed from the scene, but his legacy of a lack of common decency oozes on – a cold slime from a dark, dark time.

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