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White House gate crashers: We are not amused

November 30, 2009 |  9:18 am

Reactions to the crashing of a White House state dinner have run the gamut from A (for alarm at the security breach, such as it was) to Z (zingers aimed at arrivistes Tareq and Michaele Salahi).

The idea that someone would assault the president with silverware strikes me as improbable. In fact, that scenario reminded me of the state-dinner scene in "Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear," in which Leslie Nielsen's dimwitted detective commits mayhem against Winnie Mandela. As for the tastelessness of the national home invasion -- well, social climbing is as American as cherry pie.

Another angle: Should the leader of this country be holding invitation-only fancy-dress affairs at all? A friend reacted to outrage over the crashing with this populist post on Facebook: "This is an outrage. The next thing you know, the public will be thinking it's THEIR government."

I don't think Obama should follow Andy Jackson's example and invite the rabble to trudge through his house. On the other hand, this is not a monarchy, and so a little restraint and republican virtue might be in order. Black tie shouldn't be optional at a state dinner in a democracy -- it should be forbidden. Then maybe the crashers would stay away.

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