March on DC event lacked bipartisan flavor

I watched a lot of the 50th anniversary celebration of the March on Washington event this week and came away with a single disappointment.

There was no sign of leading Republicans at the speaker’s podium.

Of course, leave it to the likes of Fox News loudmouth Bill O’Reilly to claim falsely that “no Republicans were invited” to speak.

Turns out there were invitations extended. Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, got invited but declined — understandably — for health reasons. House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor were invited, but couldn’t attend because of “scheduling conflicts.” Same is true, I suppose, for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The scheduling conflict dodge does bother me. All of these individuals knew long ago that this event was on the calendar. If they wanted to attend this event, they certainly could have had their schedulers ensure they would be available to take part — don’t you think?

Absent their presence anywhere near the DC Mall this week, many of the speeches were tinged with a bit too much partisan rancor from those who argued against legislation to make voting more restrictive, which is a largely Republican initiative being pushed on Capitol Hill and in state capitol buildings throughout the South — and that includes Texas.

There once was a time, about 50 years ago, when Democrats and Republicans locked arms for a single cause, which was equality for all Americans. I was hoping the two parties could put aside their differences to mark the 50th anniversary of one of the great days of the American civil rights movement.

Maybe next time.