Aides to President Barack Obama acknowledged Tuesday White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel apologized to leaders of the special needs community after a recent screed involving the mentally disabled. At a White House meeting, Emanuel reportedly scolded a group of liberal strategists for attacking wayward Democrats over health care, dismissing the suggestion the White House alienate moderate Blue Dogs as “f–ing retarded.”
Sarah Palin, the mother of young child with Down Syndrome, sharply criticized Emanual’s remarks, writing on her platform of choice, Facebook: “Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities — and the people who love them — is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking.”
As a matter of “decency,” Palin said, President Obama must immediately fire Emanuel.
“Yes, Rahm is known for his caustic, crude reference about those with whom he disagrees, but his recent tirade against participants in a strategy session was such a strong slap in many American faces that our president is doing a disservice by seeming to condone Rahm’s recent sick and offensive tactic,” she wrote.
Obama did not–and, by all accounts has no intention to–fire Emanuel, but the second-most powerful man in Washington was forced to apologize.
Emanuel phoned Tim Shriver, who launched a campaign against the “r-word” as Chairman of the Special Olympics, to apologize for the nature of his comments, according to Politico.
Emanuel’s apology was accepted, but Shriver was not the offendee; those present at the strategy meeting–the Democrats he called “f–ing retarded”–and all those living with the reality of intellectual disabilities were.
We have long since exceeded our quota for apologia go-to guys. Still, Obama and Emanuel were intent nonetheless on creating yet another Democratic-sin absolving moral arbiter by offering a sham private apology to Shriver.
Unfortunately, Emanuel’s apology to Shriver was not the first he received from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
In March, 2009, Obama appeared on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” in which he compared his poor bowling performance–an object of great ridicule by his former primary opponent Hillary Clinton–to that of Special Olympians.
“It’s like — it was like Special Olympics, or something,” Obama said of his foray into the world of bowling.
Whatever critiques of Palin exist, it cannot be said the former GOP vice presidential nominee is not consistent, as she quickly decried the President’s comment as insensitive.
“I was shocked to learn of the comments made by President Obama about Special Olympics. This was a degrading remark about our world’s most precious and unique people,” she said, “coming from the most power position in the world. I hope President Obama’s comments do not reflect how he truly feels about the special needs community.”
By now, President Obama no doubt has Shriver on speed dial.