The new tone of civility certainly does not seem to apply when it comes to conservatives, be they former Presidents or future Presidents. Both George W. Bush and Sarah Palin have been forced to cancel appearances under threat of violence.
According to The Hill, former President George W. Bush was supposed to speak at a Jewish charity gala in Geneva, Switzerland, on Feb. 12. But threats of violent protests by radical groups and demands by certain Swiss politicians that Bush be arrested upon the charge of ordering torture forced the charity and former President Bush to cancel the speaking engagement.
This travesty has passed largely unnoticed by the mainstream media. Most believe that diplomatic protections, not to mention common sense, would have prevented Bush from actually being arrested by a foreign country despite the pernicious doctrine that former and current government officials could endure that for actions taken in their official capacity. But the idea that a former American President cannot speak in Switzerland, of all places, a country usually known for its adherence to law and order should be sobering to anyone of good will.
Meanwhile, an appearance by former Alaska Gov. Palin at an event sponsored by the Sharon K. Pacheco Foundation for May in Glendale, Colo., had to be canceled because of, as the Denver Post noted, “safety concerns resulting from an onslaught of negative feedback received by the organization.” The Foundation further noted, “Due to an onslaught of personal attacks against Gov. Palin and others associated with her appearance, it is with deep sadness and disappointment that, in the best interest of all, we cancel the event for safety concerns.”
The event was to be a fundraiser for military families in need and to build a grief camp for children who had lost a parent in combat in service of their country.
The idea that any American cannot go to an American town and give a speech and not have her physical safety guaranteed should hit everyone like a two-by-four across the face. Palin is not a political office holder and is not currently running for any office. She is just an American woman with certain experience in public service with opinions and ideas. And there are people who want to harm her or even kill her just for that.
It is even more bitter to note that in each case, of Bush in Geneva and Palin in Colorado, the biggest losers are going to be the people for whom each charity was going to benefit.
The really sad part of the whole sordid state of affairs is that President Barack Obama, so eloquent after Tucson, Ariz., is silent when his own side is preventing public figures from speaking. The least he can do is to say that threatening to hurt people if they show up to help others in need is wrong. For shame.