As usual, he’s a day late and a dollar short.
After mounting criticism over his failure to lower the flag at the White house to honor the five members of the military killed in Chattanooga on July 16 by a lone gunman, Barack Obama finally got around to doing the right thing. Shortly after noon, he issued a proclamation calling for the flags at the White House and other public buildings to remain at half-staff through Saturday.
The proclamation read:
Our thoughts and prayers as a Nation are with the service members killed last week in Chattanooga. We honor their service. We offer our gratitude to the police officers and first responders who stopped the rampage and saved lives.
We draw strength from yet another American community that has come together with an unmistakable message to those who would try to do us harm: We do not give into fear. You cannot divide us. And you will not change our way of life.
White House flag lowered to half-staff in honor of service members killed in Chattanooga pic.twitter.com/S2b9OSfrVH
— Dan Linden (@DanLinden) July 21, 2015
It might have seemed heartfelt had he delivered it in a timely fashion. At this late hour, the words ring hollow.
It is unclear why he stubbornly resisted calls from congressmen, veterans, and generally patriotic Americans to acknowledge the deaths of five men nominally in his command.
One might be charitable and say, “Better late than never,” but he has pulled this schtick so often — with his refusal to salute the American flag but not the flag of Ghana, his lapel flag pin kerfuffle, his latte salute — that you’d have to be a masochist to want to cut his slack this time.