Loooong-time readers of this blog will be unsurprised that I agree with Charles Pierce about Tim Thomas’s right to refuse an invitation to the White House. Thomas’s politics aren’t mine. In fact I’ll go so far as to say they’re loopy. But it’s perfectly honorable to say “no thank you” to a White House invitation for political reasons. Especially when you do it with reasonable class.
I think I’d be softer on an invitation to a private function. One does perhaps have a duty to advise a president. But ceremonial functions are fair game for refusals as statements.
Roald Dahl, Aldous Huxley, JG Ballard, and lots of others have turned down an hono(u)r from the Crown.