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A detail from the Thomas Hart Benton painting in the House Lounge on the third floor of the Missouri capitol [Show Me Progress file photo].

David Marner posted a photograph of two individuals exchanging phone numbers using a panel of the priceless Thomas Hart Benton mural in the Missouri capitol House Lounge as a convenient writing surface. Apparently this happened at pro “right to work” media event hosted/attended by a number of republicans.

It’s not necessarily stupidity. Ignorance? Personal exceptionalism? Notwithstanding the inability to contemplate the damage done to a work of art by one individual behaving in that manner, what of the damage done if the thousands of visitors who go to see that work every year acted in the same way?

We can understand, though not excuse, stupidity or ignorance. Personal exceptionalism is neither understandable nor excusable and is much more destructive.