Right-wing media have been having the time of their lives chastising former President Obama over the nature of his eulogy in memory of the legendary civil rights leader, the late John Lewis.
The 44th president was just too damn political in that moment, they say. To which I respond: Big … deal! So what?
Obama is getting set to join former Vice President Joe Biden in the effort to unseat Donald Trump in November. That has been known for a long time.
So, the former president weighed in during his time saluting John Lewis to remind the nation of the damage being done by the Trump administration to the very institution — voting rights — that Lewis sought to build and strengthen. He pointed out correctly how “those in power at this moment” are seeking to suppress the rights of African-Americans and other minorities. It would have been horrible in the extreme for Obama or any of the other eulogists to ignore that real-time reality.
In fact, though, Obama’s remarks weren’t in any way out of bounds. They sought to honor the legacy that John Lewis left after dying this past week of cancer at the age of 80. Indeed, Lewis shed blood on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 while marching on behalf of voting rights and human rights.
And while we’re on the subject of political speeches — and please forgive this dose of “what about-ism” — can you imagine Donald Trump eulogizing a politician without tossing out a barrage of political epithets? In an election year, no less?
The right-wing media pundits are entitled to their opinions, for sure. I get that and I honor the U.S. Constitution that provides them their liberty to speak their mind.
Their right-wingers’ criticism of President Barack H. Obama in this context, however, is off base.