Oh boy. This is not cool.
It seems clear to me that President Obama took a smack at Republicans during his remarks this morning in South Africa at the memorial for Nelson Mandela, busting them for talking Mandela’s talk while failing to walk the walk.
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 . . . There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality.
Obama, as you probably know, has lately been doing his income inequality schtick, saying it’s the biggest thing that drives him and will be the focus of the rest of his presidency and secretly has been his focus all along and blah blah blah blah blah.
But now it appears that Republicans who oppose his statist and redistributionist measures to achieve income equality lack the moral fiber of people like Obama and Mandela.
Because the blood of Mandela, you see, still flows within Obama:
But let me say to the young people of Africa and the young people around the world – you, too, can make his life’s work your own.
Over 30 years ago, while still a student, I learned of Nelson Mandela and the struggles taking place in this beautiful land, and it stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities to others and to myself, and it set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be a better man. (Applause.) He speaks to what’s best inside us.
Clearly, Republicans need to do a better job finding what’s best inside them. If they could only locate their inner Madiba, they might support universal early childhood education, Obamacare, a $20 minimum wage, and gay marriage.
Speaking at such an historic event overseas, Obama should have made damn sure to steer clear of any hint of partisanship and moral judgement against his political opponents. But he can’t help himself.
Because Obama’s central animating principle as president is not leading the nation; it’s his vision of social justice. He doesn’t view himself as Republicans’ president too, but as the man bearing the progressive banner against their immoral, discriminatory ideology of hate.