The comparison is striking, even telling.
When Nelson Mandela died the Obama administration accorded him all of the proper honors. The president and first lady headed a high level delegation at his funeral.
It was a bipartisan delegation. Republican and Democratic former presidents attended, accompanied by high level members of the administration and representatives of both parties in Congress.
Delivering the ceremony's most important eulogy Obama referred to Mandela by his clan name,“Madiba.” It felt like our president was talking about a fellow comrade in arms, someone for whom he felt a special affinity.
Compare it to the administration’s failure to honor Margaret Thatcher when she died.
True enough, Mandela helped end the evil of apartheid, but Thatcher helped end the evil of Communism. Considering the historical link between American and Great Britain, and considering that the two nations have together led the world, politically, economically and militarily for the past few centuries, Margaret Thatcher deserved more than she received.
Then again, perhaps Obama refused to attend her funeral because she was a woman!
Victor Keith drew the comparison:
Four U.S. Presidents, current and former, will attend the funeral of Nelson Mandela. Upon his death, flags were ordered flown at half mast. Nelson Mandela, no matter what one's opinion of him, was indeed a historical figure who sacrificed much to end a morally evil system of government that denied rights to citizens based upon their race….
Margaret Thatcher, on the other hand, was not only a historical figure in British history but she was also a tremendous ally of the United States during the Cold War. She stood side by side with the U.S. during a time when it was not domestically popular to do so. Both her economic and foreign polices helped to maintain Great Britain as a serious player in the world affairs.
Upon the death of the Iron Lady, however, this administration did not bother to fly the flags at half mast. Not only did the president not attend her funeral, but no member of his cabinet deemed it worth their while either.
Keith explained the disparity by saying that many Americans, especially those who belong to the radical academic left, no longer identify as Americans. They see themselves as citizens of the world, members of an international in-crowd.
There’s truth to what he says, but there is more to it. It is true that the current American president has disparaged and insulted Great Britain. He has shown contempt for the prime minister of the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.
Yet, he shakes the hand of Raul Castro and is hard at work ensuring that Iran acquires nuclear weapons. He supports the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and turns a blind eye to al Qaeda in Libya.
There’s more to it than wanting to belong to the in-crowd.
It feels closer to what David Goldman describes as Barack Obama’s visceral identification with the so-called victims of colonialism and imperialism. Obama feels more at home with “Madiba” than he would have with Margaret Thatcher.
He [Obama] deeply identifies with the fragile, unraveling cultures of the Third World against the depredations of the globalizing Metropole.… It goes beyond the post-colonial theory of liberal academia. For Obama, it is a matter of personal experience. His father and stepfather were Third World Muslims, his mother was an anthropologist who dedicated her life to protecting the traditional culture of Indonesia against the scourge of globalization, and four years of his childhood were spent at an Indonesian school.…
We are witnessing something quite extraordinary. Barack Obama is producing a cultural realignment. It involves foreign policy, but it’s about more than foreign policy.
Obama does not seem to identify with America’s great achievements. He seems more to be afflicted with the leftist guilt over America’s successes.
Yet, his is not the opinion of a single individual. The symbolism of Obama’s gestures must have a direct effect on the nation’s psyche.
Obama does not identify with the America that was a beacon of freedom and a great practitioner of free enterprise capitalism. He feels close to those who are supposedly the victims of America’s success. He sees life as a zero-sum game. America’s success could only have come about at the expense of other people.
It’s of a piece with the radical left's hatred of Israel. It believes that the Jewish state could only have succeeded at the expense of the Palestinian people. Anti-Semitism lives!
In the same way Obama believes that rich Americans became rich because they stole from America’s poor. Social justice tells him that he must steal from the rich and give to the poor, even if the policy does nothing to help the poor to overcome their condition.
Obama’s America is not going to strive to succeed or to work harder to pull itself out of its crisis. It is going to do penance for the sins of its fathers.
Don’t expect to see too much initiative, too much effort, too much pride or too much confidence in Obama’s America.