Massachusetts Governor criticizes Tim Thomas for skipping White House event

Tim Thomas sure stirred up a hornet’s nest, didn’t he?  The Boston Bruin’s goalie made a personal decision to not meet President Obama.  He said his piece on Facebook about why he decided to forego the meeting.  Fair enough. Of course, Governor Deval Patrick seems to feel that Thomas was lacking “courtesy and grace”:

Governor Deval Patrick struck a disappointed tone today as he commented on Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas’s decision not to attend a White House event earlier this week honoring the Stanley Cup champions.

“He’s a phenomenal hockey player and he’s entitled to his views, but it just feels to me like we’re losing in this country basic courtesy and grace,” Patrick said.

I didn’t think much of President Bush’s policies – two wars on a credit card, prescription drug benefit that we couldn’t afford, deficit out of control – but I always referred to him as ‘Mr. President.’ I stood when he came in the room,” Patrick said in his monthly appearance on the “Ask the Governor” segment on WTKK-FM.

“There are rules to live by so I don’t want to make more of this than is deserving. I guess I’d prefer to pay more attention and offer more commentary when there are acts of grace as opposed to the reverse,” he said, moving onto the next topic.

Interesting.  Please note the part in bold.  Obviously, Thomas simply must have said something horrible. Luckily, we can go to the tape, so to speak…or at least Thomas’ Facebook page.  There, Thomas says this:

I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT

First, I’d like to note that Obama’s name isn’t mentioned at all.  Not once.  Further, Thomas goes on to criticize both parties for the mess we’re in.

The fact of the matter is that Thomas is dead on correct in everything he said in his quote.  However, Gov. Patrick seems to feel that any criticism of Obama is somehow discourteous.  Of course, this is quite amusing since we all watched Democrats criticize President Bush repeatedly…even if they called him “President Bush”.

Things like civility, courtesy, and grace are all fine and good.  However, people like Thomas are also free people who are free to exercise their options.  It’s considered a privilege to meet the president.  However, a priviledge does not equal an obligation or responsibility.  It’s also a priviledge for my son to get ice cream for dessert, but that doesn’t mean I make him eat it if he doesn’t want any.

As for courtesy and grace, I don’t see anything particularly discourteous or ungraceful in Thomas’ actions.  While it may not have been the most courteous actions the man could have taken, it’s far better than going to the White House and refusing to shake President Obama’s hand, spit in his eye, or a million other things he could have done to make this a bigger deal.

The fact of the matter is that Thomas made a stand, and people don’t like it because of which team the guy in the Oval Office plays for.  Four years ago, Thomas would have been hailed as a hero all over again.  Courtesy and grace only matte when it’s your guy who’s not getting it.

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