Snubbing Thatcher's Funeral? No, Obama Is Consistent!
Is President Obama snubbing Lady Thatcher's funeral in London? No, he's simply being consistent. Mrs. Thatcher was a great defender of democracy. Mr. Obama is not.
Mr. Obama went to London in 2009. There, he bowed to that desert despot, Saudi King Abdullah. It was Abdullah who refused in 1998 to give the U.S. access to Madani al Tayyib, the financial kingpin of al-Qaeda. So, of course, Mr. Obama would bow to Abdullah.
Back home, the new president tossed a bust of Winston Churchill out into the snow. The brave champion of freedom who resisted Hitler's "Nozzies" triumphed over tyranny.
Mr. Obama extends his hand to tyrants.
And, after all, he did give an iPod with recordings of all his speeches to Britain's Queen. It was a most thoughtful gift -- just in case Her Majesty was having trouble with insomnia.
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2009 invited him to come to Berlin to help celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Fall of the Wall, Mr. Obama gave her the back of his hand. Instead of joining the festivities to salute Germany's democracy, he sent a video message. In it, he welcomed the Fall of the Wall, but mainly because it resulted in the election of a black president of the United States and a female chancellor. Political correctness über alles!
He sent Vice President Biden to pro-life Kenya to bully them into including abortion in their new constitution -- or risk a cutoff of U.S. aid. Then he sent Hillary Clinton to Canada to give a public tongue-lashing to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government. The Canadians were bullyragged for not including abortion in Ottawa's humane aid program for new mothers in Africa. Canadians are freedom's friends. Argo, anybody?
President Obama created a stir when he went to Normandy in France to join the ceremonies in remembrance of D-Day. There, as Newsweek's Evan Thomas gushingly reported, he "hovered over the nations" like a "sort of god." Nobody can remember what Mr. Obama said there, but hover he did. Lately, he's let his drones do the hovering.
Let's not forget how he took former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to Ray's Hell Burger outside Washington, D.C. This "hamburger summit" took place just days after he sent ten arrested Russian spies home without so much as a TSA pat-down. Later, he told Medvedev to carry the word to Moscow: "I will be more flexible after the election," he wanted Vladimir Putin to know.
Now, even the liberal New York Times is noting that Mr. Obama's decision to blow off Mrs. Thatcher's State Funeral in London is causing ripples on both sides of the Atlantic.
The official American delegation named by the White House was led by two more former secretaries of state, George P. Shultz and James A. Baker III. But some British Conservatives complained that President Obama did not send a senior serving member of his administration.
We dissent, respectfully, from our Conservative British brethren. We are glad that President Obama is not going and not sending a senior member of his administration. His administration is working night and day to undo the great work of President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher. It is far more appropriate to send to our great ally's obsequies a delegation composed of those Americans who were actually Britain's allies when Mrs. Thatcher governed at Number 10 Downing Street.
Should Mr. Obama send his vice president? Perish the thought! In 1979, as Mrs. Thatcher came to power in Britain, U.S. Sens. Joe Biden (D-Del.) and Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) went to Moscow. There, they managed to convince the Communist rulers of the Kremlin and the KGB that the U.S. did not care about human rights and that we were really interested in arms control. As a result of their intervention, we got no arms limitation for another decade, and thousands of Russians were thrown into the Gulag.
Snubbing the British is something of a tradition for the president's party, after all. President Lyndon Johnson pointedly spurned the State Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965. He didn't even send his garrulous vice president, Hubert Humphrey.
He did send Chief Justice Earl Warren, a Republican appointee. Warren conducted himself admirably. And Queen Elizabeth II invited former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Churchill's great wartime ally and friend. Ike was on hand to watch the royal family stand for Winston's favorite hymn -- "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Hmmm. America was well-represented on that memorable occasion. And we didn't have to live down any oafishness by LBJ.
Speaking of oafishness, better to keep Joe Biden at home. Besides, he has to go round to the Secret Service cottage on his property and collect the latest rent check from the annual $26,000 we are paying the veep.
So thank you, Mr. President for not going and for not sending Joe Biden. Your conduct during this time of mourning for our close friends in Britain should remain what it has been for the past four years. You've made it clear you don't care about Britain -- or any of America's other democratic allies. Now, Sir, you and your cohorts should stay away.
Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior fellows at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.