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Lt. gov. crashed Marine's funeral, kin say
July 26, 2005 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Lt. gov. crashed Marine's funeral, kin say | This story has caused quite a stir: "The family of a Marine who was killed in Iraq is furious with Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll for showing up uninvited at his funeral this week, handing out her business card and then saying 'our government' is against the war." Knoll has since apologized, as has PA Governor Rendell, but does combing through a simple Google search of the soldier's outraged sister-in-law shed some light on what influenced this 'misunderstanding'?
posted by highsignal (90 comments total)

 
What an asshat. If you're going to go to the funeral and pay your respects, fine, but campaigning is in unbelievably bad taste.
posted by bshort at 9:13 AM on July 26, 2005


It sheds some light on it, but doesn't make it excusable in the slightest.
posted by Espy Gillespie at 9:18 AM on July 26, 2005


two wrongs a right do not make. Poor guy, the last chapter in his book didn't have to close out like that.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:20 AM on July 26, 2005


Knoll was just doing research for a role in the upcoming film, "Funeral Crashers."
posted by thirdparty at 9:23 AM on July 26, 2005


[Knoll] told his aunt that "our government" was opposed to the war

Whose government was Knoll referring to? Pennsylvania's? I can't make any sense of that remark.
posted by alumshubby at 10:05 AM on July 26, 2005


I wasn't aware that funerals were invitation-only affairs.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:16 AM on July 26, 2005


Do outraged sisters-in-law really even count as family?

What a non-event!
posted by wakko at 10:19 AM on July 26, 2005


Obituaries are usually open invitations to the public, but this one seems to suggest otherwise.

Family and friends are welcome

I was going to take issue with the fact that she was "uninvited" (since you don't really "invite" people to a funeral, except through the obituary), but this seems to suggest that the public is not welcome.

However, I doubt Donald Rumsfeld would have been turned away, had he shown up.
posted by ColdChef at 10:20 AM on July 26, 2005


although the departed marine must have been glad as it's god country and corps and such a lofty person attended his funeral even if to say things he couldn't have comprehended such as "against war"
posted by nervousfritz at 10:20 AM on July 26, 2005


that is just crass and tacky ... and the sister in law's politics have nothing to do with how tacky it is
posted by pyramid termite at 10:21 AM on July 26, 2005


Her apology is classic:

"To do anything that was deemed insensitive was completely counter to my intent...If my regard for his family's grief was seen another way, it is thoroughly regrettable. The fact that you have been offended deserves and receives my most profound apology."

Complete unwillingness to admit wrongdoing is not an apology.

on Preview: ColdChef, I doubt anyone would have had a problem if all she did was show up. It was showing up and politicizing/campaigning that people are upset about.
posted by Espy Gillespie at 10:22 AM on July 26, 2005


I'm a little lost too. Wasn't she just paying her respects? Admittedly, she could have just answered the question "who are you" without giving out a business card.

I guess I have no idea what she was "campaigning" for. Why was she looking for publicity? Is she anti-war? That seems bizarre. It almost seems like an intentional campaign by the Army to get some representation at the funerals. I don't understand at all.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:24 AM on July 26, 2005


Really this was just an opportunistic and dunderheaded move on Knoll's part. Trying to exploit people's grief/anger/pain to serve your own political purposes is just plain sleazy and should be left to the inner-circles of the current administration. That said, there shouldn't be anything too controversial in Knoll's statement that the "State Government" doesn't support this war. The way our democracy is supposed to function, it should be perfectly within a state's rights to withhold political support from specific policies of the Federal Government (it's called autonomy). A little off topic: Unfortunately, even many passionate political activists don't take the time to learn enough about our political system to understand its various levels of authority, administrative layers and complexities. I think most people (even the politicians that run things) have a very child-like understanding of how our political system actually works. I think we all want very badly to believe that somewhere in the system, there are some real grown-ups making sound decisions based on good reasoning, but sadly, that's not the reality: We're supposed to be the grown-ups, but we refuse. Our democracy has always depended on its citizenry to act as a foil to the federal government's power. When our most patriotic citizens have come to see their duty as blind allegiance in service to whoever holds that power, then we have a problem.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 10:25 AM on July 26, 2005


Horrible idea, horrible apology. Ugh.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:25 AM on July 26, 2005


a google search of Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll doesn't reveal what her party is. I assume Democrat, but I'm not sure.

It does seem like a non event where her actions seem misinterpreted. I don't think she would go to a funeral to campaign. That's too stupid for words.
posted by clockworkjoe at 10:33 AM on July 26, 2005


Funerals are traditionally not invitation only affairs; but that is because we assume that attendees will observe the finer points of decorum, like "no campaigning" (Marc Anthony's funeral oration notwithstanding).

From the articles linked, it seems like it is a misunderstanding fueled by the particularly impolitic choice by the LT. Governor to show up unannounced and the (understandably) raw emotions of the family (ceertainly bot hepled by the apparent ideological differnces).

Alas, this is not the first nor the last time we'll see politicians campaigning on the backs of the dead.

On preview: Yeah, the obfuscation in the apology does not help the Lt. Gov's case.
posted by Verdant at 10:38 AM on July 26, 2005


You know, never mind what I said before. This looks like political hay made by the "outraged sister-in-law."

She saw an excellent opportunity to skewer the Lt. Gov. and she totally ran with it.
posted by bshort at 10:40 AM on July 26, 2005


I'm failing to see exactly where Knoll went wrong. She goes to the funeral. She pays her respects. She offers a business card to a family member of the deceased.

My understanding is that oftentimes, the families of deceased military personnel run into bureaucratic difficulties of one sort or another. It's sad but true; the government loses the life insurance forms; the checks get made out to the wrong name; the applications for medals/awards are misdirected. That sort of thing. In which case, having political connections (like the phone number of the lt. governor) can expedite matters much more quickly.

Can I see some more support for this "campaigning" claim? From somebody who wasn't a mouthpiece for the college Republicans?
posted by junkbox at 10:42 AM on July 26, 2005


It does seem like a non event where her actions seem misinterpreted. I don't think she would go to a funeral to campaign. That's too stupid for words.

I agree.

I think Goodrich is genuinely outraged (she'd be a monster to calculatedly use her relative's death to smear an elected official without cause), but I also think she's probably instinctively overreacting due to her politics. There is no reason why elected officials should not attend funerals of soldiers--it's not just good politics, it's the right thing to do--but it's such an emotional time that sensitive situations can arise when they and the families don't see eye to eye, and Goodrich was likely just angry to see a prominent Democrat in attendance.

I seriously doubt that Knoll was trying to be anything other than respectful. After the Wellstone memorial, I think politicians are instinctively conscious of such things.

On preview: Verdant's got it right.
posted by Epenthesis at 10:46 AM on July 26, 2005


It's worthwhile to emphasize that she gave one card to one person. It's not like she was giving out "Reelect Knoll" stickers or something.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:48 AM on July 26, 2005


her actions seem misinterpreted.

I'm failing to see exactly where Knoll went wrong.

What wonderful, balanced opinions. You know what? Call me psychic, but something tells me that if a prominant Republican were to come uninvited to a peace activist's funeral, campaign, and proclaim to people that they were against pacifism, the folks here on mefi would be outraged. But because the Marine and his family were from the wrong political party, it's perfectly alright to horn in on their moment of grief. And if anyone dares to be offended, they're either misunderstanding the poor politician, or they're just evil and biased. It's this kind of shit that makes it easy for the Republicans to falsely paint the Democrats as being against the troops.
posted by unreason at 10:51 AM on July 26, 2005


She also spent some time in front of the TV cameras at the funeral.
posted by Espy Gillespie at 10:55 AM on July 26, 2005


The only claim of any "campaigning", or, for that matter, the statement about "our government" being against the war, is complete and total hearsay from the sister-in-law, who apparently has had an axe to grind for some time, given the Google search.
posted by yhbc at 10:59 AM on July 26, 2005


Personally I wouldn't put it past Goodrich to exagerate things for political gain. Like the poster says, google her and look and what else she's been involved in. Recall that another Republican family group was apparently willing to go to similar lengths to smear unions. I'm not saying that Goodrich is a machivalian jerk, I'm just saying it's a possibility and all the story has to go on is her statement.

Right now Lt. Gov Knoll has attended at least one more marine funeral than President Bush has. From my POV its entirely possible that Goodrich as an avid Republican operative has chosen to make her funeral attendance into an opportunity to smear Lt. Gove Knoll, and by extension, all Democrats. Maybe it happened exactly the way Goodrich reported it, but unless there is confirmation from another source I'm not going to take her accusations at face value.

unreason: naturally, its completely impossible that Lt. Gov. Knoll attended the funeral out of a sense of duty and Goodrich invented the whole story for her own reasons, right? Naturally the only motive Knoll could have had is an evil desire to horn in on a family's grief. Its utterly impossible that she showed up because she thought it was the right thing to do, and that Goodrich is the one who turned it into a political event. That's the only possible explination because all Democrats are evil. Glad to know that.
posted by sotonohito at 11:05 AM on July 26, 2005


complete and total hearsay from the sister-in-law, who apparently has had an axe to grind for some time

In other words, she has to be lying because she belongs to the wrong political party. How dare she slander that fine, upstanding politician! Doesn't she know that because Bush is in the wrong that that means that anyone who's a Democrat is good and pure?
posted by unreason at 11:06 AM on July 26, 2005


Uncomfirmed Sources' take on the matter.
posted by yhbc at 11:09 AM on July 26, 2005


naturally, its completely impossible that Lt. Gov. Knoll attended the funeral out of a sense of duty and Goodrich invented the whole story for her own reasons, right?

Of course it's possible. But in general, when two people's words are in question, and on one side you have a greaving funeral attendee, and on the other you have a politician, I think it's not unreasonable to trust the funeral attendee, even if she does belong to a party that you don't like.
posted by unreason at 11:09 AM on July 26, 2005


But because the Marine and his family were from the wrong political party, it's perfectly alright to horn in on their moment of grief.

Does this have to degenerate into name-calling and political baiting? Please--most of the people on the board are genuinely trying to understand this and other situations and see them for what they are beyond all the spin, not merely looking for more culture war ammo. Does invective like this really help the discussion move forward? Reading some of the other MeFites comments here, I actually found my opinion on this changing a little bit to accommodate others' contributions to the discussion. Just out of curiousity, do you come here to have your mind changed, or just to change others' minds? Because you've got to be willing to do both if you plan to do anything other than make noises in the dark.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 11:09 AM on July 26, 2005


unreason: I don't think anyone, let alone a politician, would think that going to a military funeral to protest the war is a good idea. Occam's razor and all that.
posted by clockworkjoe at 11:15 AM on July 26, 2005


Does this have to degenerate into name-calling and political baiting?

Oh? Here are some quotes that come from before my comments in the thread regarding the sister-in-law:

This looks like political hay made by the "outraged sister-in-law."

She saw an excellent opportunity to skewer the Lt. Gov. and she totally ran with it.

Yeah, I'm really the bad guy here. Shame on me for calling other Mefites on their biased opinions! For the record, I'm currently against the war. And I vote Democrat. But that doesn't mean that I think that anyone who dares to vote Republican should be automatically branded a liar.
posted by unreason at 11:16 AM on July 26, 2005


Unreason... I think the thread has established that the "campaigning" aspect is hearsay from the sister-in-law. So discounting that from the discussion entirely, the question boils down to, can someone who is against the war go to a funeral for a soldier to pay his or her respects... are you saying no?
posted by banished at 11:17 AM on July 26, 2005


I don't think anyone, let alone a politician, would think that going to a military funeral to protest the war is a good idea. Occam's razor and all that.

So your point is that a politician can't have done this because politicians are too smart?
posted by unreason at 11:17 AM on July 26, 2005


I think the thread has established that the "campaigning" aspect is hearsay from the sister-in-law.

No, the thread has established that most people here assume she's a liar because she doesn't have the right set of political beliefs.
posted by unreason at 11:19 AM on July 26, 2005


In other words, she has to be lying because she belongs to the wrong political party.

She doesn't just belong to the Republican Party, she's an outspoken activist who hosts anti-Michael Moore parties, gets quoted in the local press fairly frequently, seems to be intimately involved with the College Republicans, and from the way many of these stories have been written, probably called up every newspaper and tv station in town to give background and quotes.

It sounds like she might very well have an axe to grind.
posted by bshort at 11:19 AM on July 26, 2005


Wow, that was in exceedingly poor taste of her. Nice pic of her in the link too, makes her look like a Uncle Fester's twin sister.
posted by fenriq at 11:21 AM on July 26, 2005


No, the thread has established that most people here assume she's a liar because she doesn't have the right set of political beliefs.

Uh, right.

Google on Rhonda Goodrich -Knoll and then tell me that she's just another grieving sister-in-law.
posted by bshort at 11:22 AM on July 26, 2005


most people here assume she's a liar because she doesn't have the right set of political beliefs

Since when did suggesting one or more possibilities become assuming them to be true? There's a big difference between considering something and assuming it--but then I'm probably focusing way to much attention on what the words being used here actually mean.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 11:23 AM on July 26, 2005


Unreason... if the thread has not established that the campaigning aspect of the story is hearsay, I'm very interesting to know what proof you have that that was not the case. Were you there or something? Or can you point us toward more conclusive evidence that campaigning was taking place?
posted by banished at 11:34 AM on July 26, 2005


I'm quite surprised so few of you are astute enough or mature enough to see what is happening in this case.

It's disappointing, really.

See, liberals have a hell of a time in a situation like this. We want to feel sorry for the family, and we want to grieve with them over their loss, which most of us consider to be needless and politically motivated by an inept leader.

So one goes to express her grief, and to try to reassure the family that they, too, believe his death was needless.

But, she failed to recognize that the family was actually more-or-less glad he died, and proud to revel in the fact that he sacrificed himself for a corrupt leadership.

They wanted more flag-waving masturbation and when confronted with the real tragedy of his death, which was that it was preventable and unnecessary, they bristled because that doesn't involve brass bands and parades.

So of course they are offended.

They are also twits.

I am against the war, and I'm very, very sorry that Sgt. Joseph Goodrich died. I would have preferred the war never happened, and Joe be alive today. And he would be alive if the current administration didn't lie to the American people and the U.N. and our allies and invade a country that was not a threat to us.

And if Rhonda Goodrich doesn't like that sentiment, she can go to hell.

Truly an example of the old adage that "No good deed goes unpunished".
posted by Ynoxas at 11:34 AM on July 26, 2005


Nice trolling, Ynoxas.
posted by Espy Gillespie at 11:39 AM on July 26, 2005


I assure you I was not trolling Espy. Those are my legitimate feelings on the subject.

You don't even understand what "trolling" is, newbie.

(Hint, that was one.)
posted by Ynoxas at 11:50 AM on July 26, 2005


Unreason: it's perfictly acceptable to demand more proof of something when it's spoken by someone who obviously has an agenda that's important to them.
posted by delmoi at 11:52 AM on July 26, 2005


You all are unbelievable.

It's this kind of shit that makes it easy for the Republicans to falsely paint the Democrats as being against the troops.

Falsely? Did you read this thread?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:00 PM on July 26, 2005


Well, Ynoxas, if your claim that the family was "more-or-less glad he died" and suggestion that the funeral was "flag-waving masturbation" weren't meant to troll, that's fair enough.

But here's a hint for you: Even if you believe that the kind of hyperbolized fantasy zombie Republican you make these people out to be exist, there's no reason to believe that the man's entire family supported his decision to go to war, and is not completely devastated by his death.
posted by Espy Gillespie at 12:01 PM on July 26, 2005


Falsely? Did you read this thread?

Did you?

No one is speaking out against our troops, asshat.
posted by bshort at 12:03 PM on July 26, 2005


Goodrich's [alleged] response to the allegations that her outrage was politically motivated.
posted by ijoshua at 12:30 PM on July 26, 2005


unreason: You misread my statement. I said that it's more logical to think that her actions were misinterpreted rather than she went to the funeral to campaign, because anyone of at least normal intelligence would understand how enormously stupid and in poor taste that would be. Furthermore, as a politican, she should have some kind of understanding of etiquette and so should be more sensitive to that than a layperson.
posted by clockworkjoe at 12:37 PM on July 26, 2005


From ijoshua's link:

I will be on Fox news this afternoon to clarify all the facts you desire.

Christ. Well, if that's true, then even if Goodrich's response wasn't politically motivated before, it's going to be highly politicized now.
posted by Espy Gillespie at 12:39 PM on July 26, 2005


I wonder if they'll bill her as "Conservative Republican Activist" or as "Outraged Sister-in-law." If she was actually outraged and not just trying to stir up a shit-storm for political gain she would let another family member deal with the press.
posted by bshort at 12:49 PM on July 26, 2005


1. Lt. Governors are pretty much like appendixes.

2. This is why dead heros are so much more useful than live ones. Notice how much Republicans love dead heros? Notice how many actually served?
This is not to say Democrats don't have their fair share of hypocracy.
It all reminds me of Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five where he's lying in a hospital bed trying to tell a guy writing a book on Dresden that he was there and the guy doesn't want to hear about it.

A dead hero can be propped up for anything. Live ones, hell, you can spit on 'em much as you like unless they align with your core values. As much as I dislike Kerry he didn't deserve any of that swift boat crap.

Mebbe she was there to pay respects, maybe not. (see #1)
Either way I feel for this young Marine who has pretty much been turned into a chip on everyone's shoulder.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:23 PM on July 26, 2005


Of course if "Action News" showed up at a funeral of one of mine I'd be kicking their "Action" asses. So I tend to sympathize with the family more.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:27 PM on July 26, 2005


War really does bring out the best in everyone.

My extended family lives in the area, and I suspect I'll hear more about this than I will about, say, anything actually going on in Iraq.
posted by hackly_fracture at 1:39 PM on July 26, 2005


Unreason: Sure livin' up to your name, ain'tcha?
posted by klangklangston at 1:39 PM on July 26, 2005


when people die, its a good idea to be careful with their surviving family members.

it would seem, that in this case the Lt. Governor was not.
i think we can all agree, that if it were true that the Lt. Governor was making a campaign stop at this guy's funeral, that she is a huge asshole, and one of the "bad guys." why do we feel the need to defend people
just because they are wearing the team arm band?
posted by nola at 2:01 PM on July 26, 2005


My extended family lives in the area, and I suspect I'll hear more about this than I will about, say, anything actually going on in Iraq.

Things are going great. The 'enemies of humanity' will soon fall to our greatness and goodness.

Unless you avoid reading the propaganda, then things aren't so great.

Oh, and some activist in Red America is pissed at terrorists, like Michael Moore, who are destroying our victory.
posted by wah at 2:02 PM on July 26, 2005


I tried responding to this thread earlier, but my MeFi was messed up. To recap: the threaded responses began by attacking the Lt. Governor, a 74 year old mother of four, based upon the uncorroborated comments of a family member.

For those who care, here is the PA Governor's official position on the servicewomen and servicemen of Pennsylvania (and perhaps by extension of the nation).

I have read a lot of foamy invective attacking the state's Democratic leadership. I see little to back it up but hysteria. What I do see is elected officials attending a funeral and offering to be there for the family of the fallen citizen. If the family does not want that help, it is their right to refuse it.

To say--without being there--that Knoll "rushed to the cameras" beggars the imagination. That the media hounds would be placidly standing by being rushed by a nearly rabid 74 year old sounds inverrted to say the least. Anytime a camera crew sees anyone with the least bit of media-Q, they are on them like white on rice.

Let's ease off the hysteria here and look at motives. The family member who is so outraged sure spread this story far & wide didn't she? Why?

I believe Knoll when she says that she left one business card for the family as a contact number. Show me different from another source other than the woman with the hydraphobee and I'll apologize.
posted by beelzbubba at 2:07 PM on July 26, 2005


I totally don't understand this story.
posted by papakwanz at 2:27 PM on July 26, 2005


She can't lie! She's 74! And a grandmother! Not like those stinking, lying relatives of dead people. I mean, a politicain, having political motives? Absurd!
posted by Snyder at 2:39 PM on July 26, 2005


Snyder: The relative couldn't lie! She's a common person, not like them high-falutin' politics types! She's got no axe to grind!

Moron.
posted by klangklangston at 3:33 PM on July 26, 2005


But in general, when two people's words are in question, and on one side you have a greaving funeral attendee, and on the other you have a politician

I agree, but it seems that we have politicians on both sides here.

Someone posted a link to a pic of the Lt Gov talking to the press at the funeral. Does anyone have a link to what she actually said on camera? That might sway me one way or another. Because otherwise it seems that we all are taking positions based upon our own political biases, rather than the facts. And frankly, there are very few proven facts [besides the fact that a soldier died and a politician showed up unannaounced at his funeral, which happens all the frikkin' time].
posted by kanewai at 3:43 PM on July 26, 2005


Has anybody considered that perhaps the Grandmother Politician was showing off for the cameras AND The Sister in Law was getting her mad on for the O'Reilly makeover and free plane ride to appear on Fox?

It's not an either or here!!
posted by Megafly at 3:55 PM on July 26, 2005


Megafly gets the prize.

Of course, it would be remiss not to point out that the exact opposite could be true, too: both parties might have completely pure intentions, from their perspectives. And yet, nothing substantial changes about this situation, regardless of which of the competing scenarios we entertain. This is the kind of stuff we waste our time fighting about--how to interpret things--while the real problems go unsolved. I seriously think our culture's going through some kind of collective mental breakdown.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 4:54 PM on July 26, 2005


no megafly, you will find that with partisan membership cards one can only be either or. calling bs, bs is strictly forbidden

but thx for trying to be reasonable. :)
posted by nola at 5:00 PM on July 26, 2005


on preview , what all-seeing eye dog said.
posted by nola at 5:02 PM on July 26, 2005


Moron.

Klang: Feel free in to call me a "moron" when you can actually quote "things I wrote" as oppossed to "things you pretended I wrote in order to insult me." Maybe if you read the post above mine, which uses emotive but entierly irrelevant statements, you'd understand my response. Until then, I'm sure you'll continue throwing baseless insults to anyone who dosen't follow your thoguhts exactly.
posted by Snyder at 5:05 PM on July 26, 2005


On Preview: Megafly and all-seeing eye dog make good points.
posted by Snyder at 5:08 PM on July 26, 2005


If, and I mean if, this was a politically motivated visit to a funeral, then Ms. College Republican now knows how the people of NYC felt when the Bushwhacker stood on the graves of so many and made political hay.
posted by nofundy at 5:29 PM on July 26, 2005


Sweet fancy Moses, not again.
posted by postmodernmillie at 5:37 PM on July 26, 2005


Ugh! Enough!

The actions of both women can be explained in two ways, one innocuous and one cynical. There isn't much evidence either way, so I propose that we interpret everything as charitably as possible and assume that it was a misunderstanding fueled by grief and carelessness.

The alternative is to smear one or both of them. Given the strong likelihood that Knoll was acting in good faith, the certainty that Goodrich is still grieving, and the ugly, petty, ultimately trivial nature of this dispute, let's not waste any more time on it. For God's sake, there are still missing white women out there.
posted by Epenthesis at 5:54 PM on July 26, 2005


i think we can all agree, that if it were true that the Lt. Governor was making a campaign stop at this guy's funeral, that she is a huge asshole, and one of the "bad guys." posted by nola at 4:01 PM CST on July 26 [!]

That is wholly in question, and sort of the point of the entire thread.

I don't think anyone would be defending the lt. gov if she showed up with bumper stickers and a bullhorn and those little hats with her name as the hatband.

However, it doesn't appear this is the case, at all, and appears to be hysterical press-whoring by the sister-in-law, who clearly has an agenda.

She's going on Fox news to respond. She's described in the local press, BEFORE this, as a republican activist.

Something you're missing here? Oh, right, she can't be at fault because she's grieving. Gotcha. She's so torn up she's able to make a media spectacle out of this. Must be her coping mechanism.

One is an old woman in an ancillary governmental position. One is a young political firebrand.

Figure it out.
posted by Ynoxas at 6:02 PM on July 26, 2005


Ah, jesus fuck. I saw "Lt. Gov." and I figured that was her rank. (I swear am not an idiot.) Whatever. Tempest in teapot.

it was a misunderstanding fueled by grief and carelessness

That's what it seems like to me too.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:09 PM on July 26, 2005


Maybe the Lt Governor should have done a google search before attending the funeral.
posted by forforf at 6:18 PM on July 26, 2005


But, she failed to recognize that the family was actually more-or-less glad he died, and proud to revel in the fact that he sacrificed himself for a corrupt leadership.


after a comment like that i have no desire to "Figure it out"

you are working on a level of cynicism i can't comprehend

However, it doesn't appear this is the case, at all, and appears to be hysterical press-whoring by the sister-in-law, who clearly has an agenda.


maybe if you could step away from your "agenda" you could make room for the possibility that you are mistaken.
posted by nola at 7:04 PM on July 26, 2005


For God's sake, there are still missing white women out there.

And children are PLAYING pornography on a VIDEO GAME.
posted by clockworkjoe at 7:16 PM on July 26, 2005


There are reasons why behavior like this does not occur in Oklahoma.
posted by buzzman at 7:34 PM on July 26, 2005


maybe if you could step away from your "agenda" you could make room for the possibility that you are mistaken.
posted by nola at 9:04 PM CST on July 26 [!]


Evidence, please?

Once you show me she was "campaigning", which is what the sister-in-law accused her of, then maybe I will see it in a different light. The two linked news stories say she handed out "a" business card to the family.

Otherwise, kindly allow for your own fallibility.

There are two possible scenarios here:

1. Politician crashes a funeral handing out campaign literature and asking for "your vote in November".

2. Political ideologue takes undue umbrage at presence of elected official not to their liking.

Which seems more plausable to you?

Why also would the sister-in-law be leading this charge, instead of the mother or the widow? The fact that she is an outspoken republican activist is mere coincidence, right?
posted by Ynoxas at 8:21 PM on July 26, 2005


to all the people who are claiming that rhonda made this up ... why would the lt governor apologize for something that didn't happen?

i'm against the war ... i think republicans are grossly mistaken ... and i think the lt gov acted with obvious insensitivity

can't some people simply accept that some of "our" people are idiots and some of "their" people might have a legitimate beef once in awhile? ... is that so unreasonable?

is it really necessary for us to fight and quibble about every goddamned thing that happens in this country? ... because if it is, this country's gone to hell, and guess what? ... some of you helped it get there
posted by pyramid termite at 8:43 PM on July 26, 2005


I think it's pretty clear that, for whatever reason, Democrats seem to have a gift of appearing, through totally normal and acceptable actions, to be total shitheads.

And yet, the Republicans can make what appear to be straightforward mistakes, faux pas, and outright bizarre or ridiculous actions, and somehow they come out of it relatively unscathed. The one exception was Trent Lott, who essentially got booted for making an offhand remark at a birthday party. A birthday party, for chrissakes. In fact, in a sense, it was a very "Democratic"-esque blunder -- saying something in a non-political context, and having it heavily politicized.

And Tom DeLay, who, it is now fairly well established, did a lot of unacceptable things within a politic sphere, and he's still in office.

So, people, here's some nice groundrules:

If you want to get physical with someone, make sure that you're married to someone else already, and then all the sex happens in the office. God help you if you're single and just dating someone.

Don't smoke weed. Weed is seen as a soft drug. Plus, people can't tell when you stop using it. Snort cocaine and drink booze instead.

Whatever you do, don't try to make money as a lawyer. Make it the old fashioned way -- by stealing from pension funds, soliciting funds from oversea investment groups, or working as a CEO. You can also always get away with being born filthy rich. Americans secretly love aristocrats.

If you're going to do something bad as a politician, do it in your office, have it be calculated, and make sure it's at least purposefully evil or unethical. Because if you are merely making an unpolitic blunder, then your ass is grass.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:24 PM on July 26, 2005


Local perspective: this story has been all over Pittsburgh area news for the past two days, and I had the opportunity to hear Rhonda Goodrich interviewed on KDKA radio on Monday afternoon.

Try this on for size: She had no idea that Knoll was at the funeral until well afterward, when other family members complained about Knoll's behavior in "shock and anger" during the post-funeral gathering at the family home. Said Rhonda: I'm glad I didn't know at the time, because I don't react well to things and I might've punched her. That's how high feelings were running within the family, the anger infected a third-party to the point that she felt that she may have been provoked to violence had she been a firsthand witness.

Now, to hear other family members who have now weighed in, because Ms. Goodrich has had dealings with the media in the past because of her activism work, she was chosen to be a family spokesperson to keep the widow and the parents from having to deal with cameras, etc. Even before the funeral and Knoll's attendance, the local TV jackals descended on the family in their typical fashion, to ask how it felt to have a dead husband/son and whether or not they still supported the war now that it had claimed their loved one's life. The family needed someone to run interference for them with the press, and that has become Rhonda's role.

Rhonda isn't the one with the primary beef, Rhonda's speaking on behalf of the entire family. Note that neither Rendell or Knoll's apologies were directed to her, but to the widow. Suggesting that this entire affair is little more than partisan-based slander on Knoll because Rhonda is a vocal Republican is rather like blaming the policies of the White House on Scott McClellan.
posted by Dreama at 12:31 AM on July 27, 2005


I'll believe Rhonda's story, broadcast over the Scaife network, when Rhonda can say "the family" [cough] would have been equally incensed had an insensitive jerk like Rumsfeld or Cheney appeared unannounced at the funeral.

Until then, she's got a track record as a partisan hack who does anything for media attention and is not to be trusted.
posted by nofundy at 5:49 AM on July 27, 2005


Smedleyman writes:
2. This is why dead heros are so much more useful than live ones. Notice how much Republicans love dead heros? Notice how many actually served?

I've always been under the impression that the military was made up of more Republicans; at least that's been the conventional wisdom about presidential elections for as long as I have been conscious.

When boards of elections don't count military ballots because the USPS didn't deliver them on time, the people screaming loudest about it are usually Republican politicians.

Of course these are all generalities, and I have no citations. But does anyone else remember it this way?
posted by bugmuncher at 6:37 AM on July 27, 2005


Nofundy writes:
I'll believe Rhonda's story, broadcast over the Scaife network, when Rhonda can say "the family" [cough] would have been equally incensed had an insensitive jerk like Rumsfeld or Cheney appeared unannounced at the funeral.

Until then, she's got a track record as a partisan hack who does anything for media attention and is not to be trusted
.

Ah, but didn't she already say the family is not upset that the Lt. Gov. showed up? Just that she used the occasion to speak to the media?
posted by bugmuncher at 6:46 AM on July 27, 2005


So the atrocious transgression was that the Lt. Governor of the state talks to the media present at the funeral?
Well of course she should apologize immediately!
How dare she!
I wish to go on record as opposing any politician talking to anyone in the media, especially as an anonymous source, and hereby demand they all immediately resign for such uncouth behavior.
The nerve! Next thing you know they'll go on Fox News or something!
posted by nofundy at 7:22 AM on July 27, 2005


Snyder: Klang: Feel free in to call me a "moron" when you can actually quote "things I wrote" as oppossed to "things you pretended I wrote in order to insult me." Maybe if you read the post above mine, which uses emotive but entierly irrelevant statements, you'd understand my response. Until then, I'm sure you'll continue throwing baseless insults to anyone who dosen't follow your thoguhts exactly.

I wasn't quoting you. I was pointing out that your apopleptic objections were totally baseless by repeating your breathless tone with the opposite viewpoint. My thoughts on the matter are that since the LT. Gov. apologized, only someone with a view to grandstanding would seek to continue the fight, but I have no firsthand knowledge of either side. All I really know is that you're acting like, well, a moron. Cheers, moron.
posted by klangklangston at 8:34 AM on July 27, 2005


Conventional wisdom is wrong bugmuncher. Military voters tend to vote with whatever state they're from. At least from what I've seen.

Also - very few Republican politicians (proportional to Dems) seem to have had service in their background.

It's just what it is. I wasn't asserting that either was more exploitive.
And military service doesn't necessarially mean a good politician.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:28 PM on July 27, 2005


I was pointing out that your apopleptic objections were totally baseless by repeating your breathless tone with the opposite viewpoint.

Ah, by "totally baseless" you mean "actually written by the poster above me." Thanks for the clarification, I just had to translate from asshole to English.

All I really know is that you're acting like, well, a moron. Cheers, moron.

All I really know is you seem more interested in being an idiot toddler on behalf of your parent than actually reading posts in context and responding in sensical way.
posted by Snyder at 4:53 PM on July 27, 2005


Snyder: You wrote this: "She can't lie! She's 74! And a grandmother! Not like those stinking, lying relatives of dead people. I mean, a politicain, having political motives? Absurd!"

I wrote "The relative couldn't lie! She's a common person, not like them high-falutin' politics types! She's got no axe to grind!"

You can check for yourself, you know, above on the page we're at now. Do you see the connection between the two quotes now that they're juxtaposed down here?

All I know is that you were acting like a moron and I called you a moron.
posted by klangklangston at 5:17 PM on July 27, 2005


Whatever. You saw fit to insult because I responded sarcastically to a foolish argument. You are unable to understand that I was responding to the mock-horror of "A 74 year old grandmother could never do such things!" so you attributed an equally foolish argument to me, (one that I never actually stated, mind you,) and repeatedly tried to insult me. If an illiterate shithead like you thinks I'm a moron, then I'm happy to know it and I'll wear the label with pride.

Have fun "defending" your parent with your inane, boorish and, dare I say, moronic responses. I'm sure they're very proud.
posted by Snyder at 11:31 PM on July 27, 2005


snyder wrote: "Feel free in to call me a "moron" when you can actually quote "things I wrote" as oppossed to "things you pretended I wrote in order to insult me."Maybe if you read the post above mine, which uses emotive but entierly irrelevant statements, you'd understand my response. Until then, I'm sure you'll continue throwing baseless insults to anyone who dosen't follow your thoguhts exactly."

Wow. I have a hard time thinking that you read my post (the one above yours that you cite here), since your post attacks me for writing an emotional rather than a rational appeal.

Nowhere did I say or imply that the Lt. Governor could not lie, rather that, on the basis of established ethos, I would tend to believe her unless and until I had evidence that corroborated the invective of the somewhat excitable Ms. Goodrich.

snyder wrote: "Not like those stinking, lying relatives of dead people. I mean, a politicain, having political motives? Absurd!"

So now, I am quoting something you wrote, ostensibly in response to my post. Yet I said nothing about anyone lying. Get a grip on yourself. Your appeal is toward the base, irrational venom. Mine asks for inquiry. Yet you pretend to quote me saying "A 74 year old grandmother could never do such things!"

You put those words in my mouth. So, when you call someone else inane and boorish, I wonder if you should not follow your own advice. You call your response sarcasm in response to "a foolish argument." Point out to me please, where my argument was foolish.

I don't think you are a moron by the way, just a troll.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:04 AM on July 28, 2005


Maybe too late for anyone to see this, but you can find a list of all veterans (with party indicated) in the 108th Congress (we're in the 109th now) near the bottom of this page.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:25 PM on July 29, 2005


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