Remember how proud the nation was when President and Mrs. Kennedy hosted Pablo Casals at the White House? The Time coverage of the evening was a bit cloying (“it might almost have been a concert led by Haydn at the court of the Esterhazys or a command performance by C.P.E. Bach for Frederick the Great”), but you get the picture: the concert reflected a kind of grace that made Americans feel good about our country. 

Previous postprandial entertainers at the White House had included Lawrence Welk and “shaky soprano” Margaret Truman, Time noted smugly. Well, Lawrence Welk looks pretty good compared to the rapper Common, who has been invited to an “Evening of Poetry” at the White House.

Common has cleverly called for the shooting of police officers and the burning of President George W. Bush:

“Burn a Bush ’cause for peace he no push no button”   

Mr. Common’s grammar leaves something to be desired, no? 

The Daily Caller reprinted the lyrics from Common’s “A Letter to the Law:”

No time for that, because there’s things to be done

Stay true to what I do so the youth dream come

from project building

Seeing a fiend being hung

With that happening, why they messing with Saddam?

Burn a Bush cos’ for peace he no push no button

Killing over oil and grease

no weapons of destruction

How can we follow a leader when this a corrupt one

The government’s a g-unit and they might buck young black people

Black people in the urban area one

I hold up a peace sign, but I carry a gun.

The Daily Caller notes that there is support in some circles for having this thug at the White House:

In turn, left-of-center activists rallied in support of Common’s White House invite. The Atlantic, Media Matters, and numerous bloggers and tweeters scorned Common’s critics, often without addressing Common’s words. Sam Stein, a writer at the Huffington Post, for example, tweeted to fellow progressives that “yeah, Obama is making a comprehensive case for immigration reform. but Common is gonna read poetry at the White House! Eye on prize, people.”

I am disgusted. The White House should reflect the best of America. This is the worst.