The Moose tells a sad tale about immense deprivation and woe.
This is not a post about the tsunami tragedy or the Iraqi violence. No, this is a story about overwhelming humiliation and degradation. It is about the most dedicated activists and money men for the President being denied a place at the inn.
In a little noticed story in Friday's New York Times titled, Price of Bush Inauguration Party Is Too Rich for Some, we learn that there may be some young Republicans who will suffer the social stigma of not attending the inaugural gala events,
"Planners for President Bush's inauguration next month have scheduled a full lineup of exclusive parties and receptions for top Republican fund-raisers. But some of those V.I.P.'s say the perks come with a price tag they cannot afford.
"Attending the entire slate of events during the three days of inauguration festivities could easily top $10,000 in tickets and other expenses for a fund-raiser bringing a spouse or guest. Some who helped bankroll the president's campaign, particularly young fund-raisers or those participating for the first time, are looking for ways to economize or are just planning to skip official events entirely."
If you can tolerate the injustice of it all, read this tale of individual human suffering,
"Indeed, many fund-raisers are cutting costs. Justin J. Sayfie, a 36-year-old Florida lawyer who raised at least $200,000 for Mr. Bush, said that he sought a less expensive hotel than was offered through LogiCom and was having his law firm pay part of his travel costs.
"It's the first time that we get to participate so we are kind of excited," Mr. Sayfie said. "It's not cheap, but it's a unique opportunity. I've been working 18 months to see this day."
He is also skipping the $2,500 candlelight dinner. "I'd like to go," he said, "but it's a stretch as it is."
The Moose is a sensitive mammal but even he is having difficulty empathizing with the pain of these elephants given the scale of the human tragedy in Iraq and Asia. But nevertheless, the show must go on! The Bushies are determined that this public party be held despite the carping of the critics such as the Moose. Yesterday, Frank Rich had some choice words on the spectacle,
"Washington's next celebration will be the inauguration. Roosevelt decreed that the usual gaiety be set aside at his wartime inaugural in January 1945. There will be no such restraint in the $40 million, four-day extravaganza planned this time, with its top ticket package priced at $250,000. The official theme of the show is "Celebrating Freedom, Honoring Service." That's no guarantee that the troops in Iraq will get armor, but Washington will, at least, give home-front military personnel free admission to one of the nine inaugural balls and let them eat cake. "
Let them eat cake indeed. We live at a time when wounded troops returning from Iraq have their incomes reduced because they are denied full combat pay, but America can afford a $40 million gala party.
Let the good times roll.