The press will dismiss this as just an attempt to provoke the administration, and it is that. But Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY)… suggestion… that President Barack Obama invite the freshly exonerated Officer Darren Wilson to the White House is not without merit.
“I think it would be very helpful if President Obama went and met with the police officer, or at least invited him to the White House,” King said on Fox Business Network.
“And say, ‘you’ve gone through four months of smear and slander and the least we can do is tell you that it is unfortunate that it happened and thank you for doing your job.'”
Reflecting on Obama’s speech last night, King said he thought the President’s remarks were “lackluster.”
“I wish he said one good word about the police — one good word about Officer Wilson who had gone through all this,” King said, noting that the controversy affected both the defense and the prosecution.
Now, it would be an exceptionally bad idea for the president to do this, if only because it would inflame an already tense situation on the ground in Ferguson. Not to mention the fact that it contradicts the ethos of the president’s base of supporters and would likely spark an insurrection among the members of his staff and Cabinet as well.
That said, the administration didn’t shy away from sending three White House officials to Michael Brown’s funeral. If we’re keeping track, that young man has now been determined by a grand jury to have been shot as a result of his assault on a police officer. That is not behavior deserving of a posthumous honor like the attention of aides to the President of the United States. It would only be fair and noble for Obama to make amends for this lapse in judgment by taking King up on his suggestion and inviting the wronged party, Wilson, to the White House.
Again, this is not happening, but King is correct that it would be a gesture which would go a long way toward healing the rift exacerbated by the administration’s knee-jerk decision to elevate a young man who attacked a cop to hero status.
“I thought it was terrible what happened over the last four months where this narrative was put out by our national leaders and by many in the media presuming that the police officer was guilty,” King concluded. “And I think if we are going to have peace, I think it’s important for both sides to be honest here.”
And, you know what? He’s right. For the White House, that is the most painful part.