Dear President Bush: Please RSVP soon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 6, 2003

You’ve got to hand it to the freshman representative from the Seventh Congressional District. He doesn’t miss many opportunities to make a point.

At first glance, U.S. Rep. Artur Davis and President George Bush don’t share a lot in common. Part of that stems from their political persuasions. Davis is a Democrat; Bush is a Republican. But it goes much deeper than that. It would be fair to say that they approach many of the basic problems facing our nation from vastly different perspectives.

Bush has surrounded himself with a Cabinet that can boast strong ties to corporate America. During a fund-raising swing in Birmingham earlier this week, Bush raised nearly $2 million in campaign contributions.

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Davis, on the other hand, represents some of the poorest counties in this country. It is not surprising, therefore, that Davis and the president would hold very different priorities concerning the direction the nation’s economy should take.

During his stopover in Birmingham, Bush was quick to claim credit for last quarter’s robust 7.2 percnet growth in Gross Domestic Production, a key economic indicator. He predicted that such growth is a sure sign the economy is bouncing back from its sluggish ways of late. We hope he is right.

Not one to miss an easy political lob, Davis publicly cautioned the president that those economic indicators don’t tell the whole story of how the economy has affected the less fortunate people in this country.

He even invited the president to visit the Black Belt.

As of this date, the president has not accepted Davis’ offer. He has not even bothered to RSVP. Maybe that’s how they do things in Washington, D.C., but it seems downright unneighborly to us.

We hope Mr. Bush changes his mind. The people in the Black Belt need to know that

the president cares about people who can’t afford to attend $1,000-a-plate dinners.

And while we may be poor, we pride ourselves on our Southern hospitality.