In a rare episode in American politics the leader of the Chicago gang in the White House got caught using the F___ word and a derogatory characterization of America's special needs children, "retarded", and was immediately called on the carpet by Sarah Palin.
Damage control by the White House was swift as they already had practice at covering up such derogatory blasphemy since President Obama had earlier stepped on his tongue when making fun of the Special Olympics.
Why is it that the liberal community remained silent on the Emanuel lip slip when special needs is a cause of concern to liberals? There is a hypocritical silence by the liberals when anyone in the Obama administration mocks liberal causes but Sarah Palin came to their rescue blasting Emanuel and calling for his firing as a leader of the American government.
Emanuel was quoted in the Wall Street Journal last week making the comment in an August meeting with some liberal activists who were threatening to run TV ads against conservative Democrats hesitant to embrace President Obama's approach to health care reform.
After the Journal story was published, Emanuel called Special Olympics Chairman and CEO Timothy Shriver to apologize. The Special Olympics announced Tuesday evening that members of the disabilities rights community will meet Wednesday afternoon with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, after the fiery Chicagoan admitted to having referred to some liberal activists as "f---ing retarded."
The Special Olympics said in a statement: "The meeting will be a face-to-face discussion with Rahm Emanuel about the suffering and pain of people with intellectual disabilities that is perpetuated by the use of the terms 'retard' and 'retarded' as well as the damage that can be done by the casual use of the R-word – even if it is not directed toward people with intellectual disabilities."
This was a well rehearsed performance of damage control at the White House since Shriver seems to be the designated Democratic cover for big mouths. His father started the Special Olympics program and Timothy continues the family commitment. A relative of the Kennedys, his father was once vice presidential candidate for the Democrats. Oh yes, and Special Olympics CEO Shriver is a contributor to the Obama campaign.
Last March Obama got in hot water when he appeared on the Jay Leno show and when asked about the bowling alley in the White House, Obama joked to Jay that his average score of 129 "was like the Special Olympics or something."
Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver, who said Obama called him that time from Air Force One to apologize for the comment, talked about it on ABC's "Good Morning America" March 20.
"He expressed his disappointment and he apologized in a way that was very moving. He expressed that he did not intend to humiliate this population," Shriver said, adding that Obama said he would like to have some Special Olympic athletes visit the White House to bowl or play basketball.
Shriver added that despite the apology, "I think it's important to see that words hurt and words do matter. And these words that in some respect can be seem as humiliating or a put-down to people with special needs do cause pain and they do result in stereotypes."
Perhaps the incidents would be a little more sincere if a Democratic campaign contributor had not been the first and only call by the President and Chief of Staff. There are a lot of special needs children, 40 million families are affected, and there are a lot of good organizations besides the Special Olympics.
However, managing damage control for the tasteless jokes and stinging rebukes by White House staff, not to mention the periodic blunders by Vice President Biden, is about the only sign of leadership and taking responsibility by this White House. If only they applied the same leadership to running the government.