by Andy Weddington
Friday, 19 February 2016
Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once. William Shakespeare
Since the White House announced Wednesday President Obama (and First Lady) would not attend Justice Antonin Scalia's funeral, but pay private respects while in repose in the Great Hall, there's been much fuss.
The anger reaction understood.
But think about it.
Justice Scalia was addressed "Your Honor."
The word, according to Merriam-Webster, defined: respect that is given to someone who is admired; good reputation - good quality or character as judged by other people; high moral standards of behavior.
All of that and more (e.g., intellect; principle; decisiveness; courage; faith; et al.) defined Justice Scalia as a man and marked his public service. A purist remaining true to oath, he defended and protected the (sacredness of) Constitution as written.
So setting aside the reactionary fuss, it makes good sense the President (and First Lady) not attend the funeral.
The president is addressed "Mister President" - a title that merely implies honor (and every other expected trait of leadership) but does not necessarily mean presence (of any).
It'd not take much to detail the honorable shortcomings of President Obama but that will be left for each to consider.
Let's just say he, through thought, word, and deed, has proven to be the supreme master of poor judgment (and form) regardless of court, arena, garden or office.
But in this case, president or not and whatever the protocols and traditions, it is fitting an honorable man now with us only in spirit be spared a final insult. And so he, a valiant soul, will be. Thankfully.
America honors you, Your Honor. Most notably through the "judgment" of the president (to not attend your funeral). To which the thoughtful of America offer no dissent.
Farewell, Justice Antonin Scalia. Death, but once, becomes you.
President Obama died long ago. Many times. And still he does - most recently, Wednesday.