(I was going to post about this when it was actually a current event, but didn't have the time. This new "You Gotta See This" category may end up being a good thing, eh? I'll clean out my "Blogworthy" folder in my browser!)
So what happens when you have a state funeral and no one comes? I'm sure it would be humiliating for the family. Well, it just happened - to former President Gerald Ford. Remember that Ford had more than one funeral. He had a private family-only service in California, a state funeral in DC, another service at the Washington National Cathedral and was buried in Michigan. Apparently, everyone skipped the state funeral - you know, the one that Washington dignitaries should be honoring him at...
How disrespectful - from both sides of the aisle.
President Bush sent his regrets; he was cutting cedar and riding his bike on his ranch in Texas. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his deputy, Richard Durbin, couldn't make it, either; they were on a trip to visit Incan ruins. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a pass, too -- as did nearly 500 of the 535 members of Congress.
A 6-to-3 majority of the Supreme Court, including Ford's appointee, John Paul Stevens, ruled against attending. All the nation's governors were invited; few, if any, came. Apparently only two Cabinet members -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez -- accepted the invite.
Congressional staffers and Ford family representatives scrambled to find sufficient greeters and honorary pallbearers to join Vice President Cheney and a score of former lawmakers and Ford administration officials.