Obama Shouldn’t Fire Rahm Emanuel For Saying “Retarded.”

Ironically, after my last post, I’m going to have to…shudder — defend Rahm Emanuel — and disagree with Sarah Palin’s latest comments.

I would ask the president to show decency in this process by eliminating one member of that inner circle, Mr. Rahm Emanuel, and not allow Rahm’s continued indecent tactics to cloud efforts. Yes, Rahm is known for his caustic, crude references 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 himself a disservice by seeming to condone Rahm’s recent sick and offensive tactic.

The Obama Administration’s Chief of Staff scolded participants, calling them, “F—ing retarded,” according to several participants, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the “N-word” or other such inappropriate language, 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.

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A patriot in North Andover, Massachusetts, notified me of Rahm’s “retarded” slam. I join this gentleman, who is the father of a beautiful child born with Down Syndrome, in asking why the Special Olympics, National Down Syndrome Society and other groups condemning Rahm’s degrading scolding have been completely ignored by the White House. No comment from his boss, the president?

Referring to people as “retarded” may be a bit insensitive, but’s not even remotely comparable to dropping the N-bomb. In fact, I’d say that the second word (“F—ing retarded”) is less offensive than the first, which was used publicly by both Dick Cheney and Joe Biden without serious calls for them to be fired.

Now, is it possible that someone might be offended by the word retarded being used? Sure. It’s even understandable, given Sarah Palin’s full throated defense of children with disabilities, that she make take this position. Moreover, after Barack Obama stepped in it with his “Special Olympics bowling” comments, this ties in really well.

However, in the real world, “retarded” gets tossed around fairly regularly and I’d say it’s probably the equivalent to “douchebag” on the offensiveness scale. If saying that is beyond the pale, well, my guess is a heck of a lot of politicians, columnists, and bloggers would have to follow Rahm Emanuel out the door.

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