December 2008 Ethics Dunces

Artist Deborah Lawrence

And once again we enter the controversial world of the politically rude.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that First Lady Laura Bush invited members of Congress to select artists from their districts to create ornaments for the White House Christmas tree. Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington state chose Deborah Lawrence, who specializes in political art in keeping with her progressive views.

The ornament Lawrence created is adorned with the slogan "Impeach Bush."

Foul. If Lawrence, who also says she doesn’t like Christmas (and why are you designing an ornament for a Christmas tree?), can’t bring herself to make an ornament for the President’s home that doesn’t say “Impeach Bush,” “Bush Sucks,” or “Bush Lied and People Died” …nice seasonal greetings all…then her obligation was to decline the invitation. Sending gratuitous insults to someone who is giving you the honor of displaying your art is bad manners and bad ethics, no matter how much you deplore their political views or want them impeached.

Political passion does not and should not preclude basic respect

Meanwhile, we are told, the 370 artists who submitted ornaments were invited to a White House party to see their ornaments sparkling on a cluster of trees on the White House lawn. Lawrence was still invited, and attended, even though her ornament did not make it onto any of the firs. This is because someone at the White House, perhaps Laura Bush, understands and practices the Golden Rule.

Deborah Lawrence does not.




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