Via Glenn Beck's Blaze, I see that Joe Scarborough was criticizing President Obama this morning for talking about budget issues while the Washington Navy Yard shooting rampage was taking place:
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Tuesday insisted liberals "would be killing George W." if the former president had given a partisan speech in the midst of a national tragedy like President Barack Obama did on Monday....Politico also criticized the president:
"On the day where people were hiding, people were bleeding, while people were dying, while the nation was locked in on this, he's talking about hard partisanship and Republican wanting to hurt people," Scarborough said.
And he seemed stunned by the lack of backlash Obama received for it, compared to what would have happened to his predecessor, George W. Bush.
"Can you imagine what certain people at this network would have said?" Scarborough asked. "[Co-host] Mika [Brzezinski] would be killing George W., everyone here on this network would be killing George W."
... on Monday, instead of calling for national unity -- as he has in the wake of similar events -- Obama spent most of his only public event slamming Republicans on budget matters.(UPDATE: Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell, too. AND: Fox, of course.))
Is it true that George W. Bush would never have done a thing like this? Well, in fact, on the morning of April 16, 2007 -- as the Virginia Tech massacre was under way -- George W. Bush appeared in the East Room of the White House to chide Congress for holding up the supplemental appropriation for the Iraq War. This is from the transcript on the official archived Bush White House site:
... We must give our men and women in uniform the tools and resources they need to prevail. Providing these resources is the responsibility of the United States Congress. And that is why, 70 days ago, I sent Congress an emergency war spending bill that would provide the vital funds our troops urgently need. But instead of approving this funding, Democrats in Congress have spent the past 70 days pushing legislation that would undercut our troops. They passed bills in the House and the Senate that would impose restrictions on our military commanders. They set an arbitrary date for withdrawal from Iraq. And they spend billions of dollars on domestic projects that have nothing to do with the war. After passing these unacceptable bills, House and Senate leaders then chose to leave town for spring recess, without resolving their differences or sending any legislation to my desk....Sounds pretty partisan to me. The time stamp on that transcript: April 16, 2007, at 11:00 A.M.
Congress' failure to fund our troops will mean that the readiness of our forces will suffer. This is unacceptable to me; it's unacceptable to you, and it's unacceptable to the vast majority of the American people....
Now, here's part of the timeline of the Virginia Tech massacre, which was taking place one state away:
9:45 a.m. -- The campus police respond to a 911 call about a shooting at Norris Hall, an engineering building, where the front doors have been chained shut from the inside. The police break in and hear gunshots coming from the second floor. When they get upstairs, the gunshots stop, and the officers find the gunman has killed himself.See also this post from right-wing blogger Sister Toldjah, time-stamped 10:50 A.M. and citing an AP story at the NBC News site. All this happened before Bush spoke.
9:50 a.m. -- Virginia Tech officials send [an] e-mail, warning students that a gunman is loose on campus. They ask everyone to stay inside and away from the windows until further notice.
10:16 a.m. -- [Another] e-mail from university announces that all classes have been canceled. It also advises people on campus to remain behind locked doors and for those who are not on campus to stay away.
10:52 a.m. -- University officials send another e-mail saying that a number of people have been shot inside Norris Hall. They repeat earlier warnings to stay inside.
Bush suspended politicking later in the day, although, as BooMan noted at the time, the administration's first statement from the administration included a shout-out to gunners:
Bush's comments on the shooting (as conveyed by Dana Perino, White House Deputy Press Secretary):Now, maybe the timelines aren't quite analogous -- the horror of the Virginia Tech rampage wasn't fully understood until later that day. But the incident had been taking place for several hours, and was being reported by major news outlets. And Bush went right on being the leader of his party.
"He was horrified and his immediate reaction was one of deep concern for the families of the victims, the victims themselves, the students, the professors and all the people of Virginia who have dealt with this shocking incident," White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino said. "His thoughts and prayers are with them."Questions for Ms. Perino: Isn't it just a wee bit inappropriate to insert the 2nd amendment and the right to bear arms in the same breath as your statement about the President's reaction to this horrible event? Is that really the best time to openly kowtow to the NRA and the gun lobby?
"The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed," Perino said, noting that Bush and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings held a conference on school gun violence last October. "Certainly, bringing a gun into a school domitory and shooting ... is against the law and something someone should be held accountable for," Perino said.
And no, I don't recall howls of outrage from Democrats.