Friday, October 7, 2011

Conservative Ex-Bear Argues FOR Going to White House

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Ex-Bears teammate lashes out at Dan Hampton for White House snub

Some non-Bear fans may have missed that Obama has extended an invitation to honor the 1985 Chicago Bears at the White House, a courtesy not enjoyed by the famous Superbowl team due to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.  Defensive Tackle Dan Hampton is not going.  And a fellow conservative called him out.  My thoughts at the end.
Former Bears tight end Tim Wrightman, a self-proclaimed conservative, has no problem attending the team’s Super Bowl XX celebration on Friday with President Obama at the White House.

In fact, Wrightman had some sharp words for former teammate Dan Hampton, who snubbed the invitation, citing personal reasons and his disdain for Obama.

Here’s what Wrightman posted on his Facebook wall:
“Why I’m going to the White House:
“Out of all the players from the ’85 Bears arriving on October 7th I would probably say I am the most conservative. I live in the reddest of red states and I make a living with guns…I am also not a fan of the policies of the current President; however this is a celebration for the achievement of a great football team not a political rally. I mean did you really think it was appropriate for Marlon Brando to not accept the Oscar? I can differentiate between celebrating our team, the President and the Institution of the Presidency of course I played on the “smart side” of the line of scrimmage. This is the Bears once in a lifetime opportunity that has been given a second chance.
Wrightman adds:
"Besides, the White House is not President Obama’s house it’s the people’s house. Some of my more notable team mates have stated various reasons they will not attend…And they have every right to have their own opinion and reasons for not going. “I’m not going because they didn’t invite our wives…” well would you take the wife you had when we won or the newest one? “It was 25 years ago, let it go…” will you stop doing car commercials that say you were a Super Bowl Champ? And so what if it was 25 years ago …If winning the Super Bowl is so easy, how come the Bears haven’t won since?
Does visiting the White House endorse Obama?  Wrightman doesn't think so:
“Further, I’m not so arrogant to think that by going to the White House people are going to believe I endorse the President. Nor do I believe my invitation will cause people to vote for President Obama just because I visited the White House. This is a great opportunity for me to see my fellow team mates one more time and as a Conservative I never take myself out of the game. I always want an opportunity to discuss and to debate my positions. You never know who’s mind you might change and decisions you may influence. Being together as a team and a country is the only way we can get through our current predicament… GO BEARS
I have been conflicted about this from the beginning.  As one of the most famous NFL football teams of all time, not just in Chicago but nationwide, the Bears organization, players and fans all greatly deserve this honor.

But getting congratulated from Chicago carpetbagger and (I'll be kind and not use the 13 other descriptions that begin with "C"), is like getting your Presidential Medal of Freedom from a Saint Louis Cardinal like .  And of course, President Obama had to put the focus on himself by comparing himself to a race car driver.
"NASCAR is a sport where anything that can go wrong will go wrong at some point during the season, similar to being president," 
It's because of this kind of stomach turning narcissism that I was thrilled by the NASCAR drivers who refused to be used as pawns at the White House photo op.  NASCAR is similar to being President?  Wouldn't it have been more gracious to say, "Being President has made me wonder if this is what NASCAR is like..."  or something?

If it was Ronald Reagan honoring the '85 Bears and he called the 'Fridge the "Freezer" and I'd laugh and think it was the best thing ever.  If it was Obama I'd call for impeachment hearings immediately.  I admit my bias.  

Here is where I think I tend to agree with Wrightman and you'll be shocked it was researching the NASCAR episode that solidified it for me.

We were all wrong.

The NASCAR "snub" was nothing of the sort, although as usual, the ESPN liberals immediately denounced it as 'disrespect' to the President.  But I can't blame them, because I did the same thing.  Turns out.  It wasn't true.  To a man, Tony Stewart and the others went out of their way to explain they truly had scheduling conflicts.

And that would be the most cowardly thing to do.  If it was a political statement, and you wimped out - you don't deserve my praise.

And, unlike the subjective NASCAR acknowledgement giving Obama still another distraction from serious issues ...and golf, the '85 Bears DO deserve long over due acknowledgement from the SYMBOL of leadership of our country.  With Walter Payton now deceased, some others in bad shape, who knows if it would be remembered and who would miss the opportunity.

As conservatives we SHOULD hold ourselves to a higher standard of civility, respect and to not take offense easily.  I'm thankful it was a former Bear and a conservative  who made me see that.


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