Okay, so President Obama is in Johannesburg attending Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, and gives a stirring speech in front of world leaders where he says:
“…in America, and in South Africa, and in countries all around the globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not yet done. The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality or universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before, but they are no less important. For around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger and disease. We still see run-down schools. We still see young people without prospects for the future. Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs, and are still persecuted for what they look like, and how they worship, and who they love. That is happening today.”
How’s that for lecturing the world’s despots and tyrants on the importance of equality? Predictably, it was not enough to keep Republicans and conservatives from yet another bout of Obama bashing. Before giving the speech, President Obama did the unforgivable – he shook hands with – horrors! – Cuban President Raul Castro. Let the rage begin.
Marco Rubio, the Tea Party’s golden boy:
“If he was going to shake his hand, he should have asked him about those basic freedoms Mandela was associated with that are denied in Cuba.”
Republican Rep. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida.
“It is nauseating.” and “Sometimes a handshake is just a handshake, but when the leader of the free world shakes the bloody hand of a ruthless dictator like Raul Castro, it becomes a propaganda coup for the tyrant.”
In response, let me just quote a TPM reader who cuts through the bullshit in one fell swoop.
Clearly funerals are the happenin’ place for confrontations between world leaders. Obama was raised in Kenya, so he missed the civics class where this is explained. This will be the most outrageous thing possible for 24 hours, until the next most outrageous thing possible happens.
I guess this is going to be the right’s shiny new toy for the week.