Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mandela Funeral Spawns Two Faux Controversies for President Obama

The worst thing that ever happened, part 1. From LA Times.
In my previous post, you can see President Obama's eulogy to Nelson Mandela. The consensus was that the speech was "moving" and "touching," and clearly, the President himself was very warmly received. The event was billed as a celebration of Mandela's life, rather than a dour, sad affair. That stands to reason, with a figure who was himself not particularly religious, had affected so many people, and who had lived to such a ripe old age.

Right Wing World (aided and abetted by the--I-can't-believe-they-still-call-them-the--liberal media) focused more on twin faux outrages. One, was a "selfie" photo taken by Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt of herself with Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron. The other was the fact that Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro. Both are ridiculous things to be "outraged" about.

The worst thing that ever happened, part 2.
From USA Today.
Why? Because they aren't the least bit out of the ordinary. Though this was a funeral, it was not entirely funereal. As previously stated, it was a celebration of life. That said, I've been to funerals that were entirely somber affairs. Even so, there were moments of levity. Pictures taken (including smiles), even some basic goofing around by family members. It not only happens, it happens frequently. And at a long, star-studded event like Mandela's memorial? Do you really think anyone there sat in quiet contemplation for the entire event? So of course it would be possible to "catch" President Obama in lighter moment. Anyone dinging him on this one is being unfair and ridiculous. More on that in a second.

Short memories. Dubya making out with the Saudi Prince.
Image from detroityes.com.
As for the Castro handshake, this one is even dumber. World leaders who adore, like, loathe or can't stand each other shake hands. They bow. They have entire books of protocol to follow so as not to offend each other. They give each other gifts, and stage (sometimes phony baloney) summits. There are countless photos of countless Presidents and other high-ranking officials shaking hands with countless friendly and less-than-savory world leaders. There are pictures of George W. Bush holding hands and kissing Saudi King Abdullah!

So, conservatives, please do us a favor and just get off it. You'd be outraged at anything this man did or didn't do. The fact that these two harmless events lit your world on fire on Monday is evidence that you'd bitch about anything. Calm down, take a breath, and look at this photo of our previous President. Your guy. At the same Mandela funeral. Hmmmm. He's posing for a photo, isn't he? With a celebrity! Clutch-the-pearls, at a funeral? Oh, my stars!

Sources: New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, USA Today

President Bush and Bono at the Mandela funeral.
Image from New York Daily News.

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