Second thoughts on 'scum' comment

We’re all entitled to having second thoughts, aren’t we?

I put a tweet out there a few days ago in response to Sen. John McCain’s angry comment at protesters who were holding up signs while several former secretaries of state were testifying before McCain’s Senate Armed Services Committee.

He called them “low-life scum.” I said they were entitled to protest.

Well, McCain’s anger was justified in one important sense.

One of the former diplomats they were accosting in the hearing room was 91-year-old Henry Kissinger, who served Presidents Nixon and Ford and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an end to the Vietnam War. Also testifying with Kissinger were Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice.

Yes, the demonstrators had a right to protest. They should have demonstrated at least a bit of decorum and kept their distance from Kissinger, Rice and Albright. Kissinger in particular was actually threatened physically by the demonstrators, who were carrying signs that declared Kissinger to be a “war criminal.”

McCain made no apologies for his outburst. In retrospect, I wouldn’t have apologized, either.

“Of course, I was outraged, and I’m still outraged. It’s one thing to stand up and protest. It’s another to physically threaten an individual,” Chairman McCain said.

You were right to be angry, Mr. Chairman.