A eulogy delivered at a funeral is, generally speaking, expected to be an uplifting message focused largely on the life and accomplishments of the deceased individual being honored at the memorial service.
Yet, when former President Barack Obama spoke at a memorial service for late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attack President Donald Trump and transform the solemn occasion into an unabashedly politicized event, The Daily Caller reported.
Obama delivers “deeply dishonest” speech
In the view of top-rated Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Obama cynically sullied the moment of honor for Lewis by using his funeral service as a platform from which to engage in petty partisanship and speak on a host of political issues that were inappropriate for the venue.
Of the former president’s speech, Carlson said, “Obama claimed he was there to eulogize his old friend. But that’s not true and that’s not what he did. Instead, Obama gave a divisive and deeply dishonest campaign speech in church.”
He noted some of the “stupid partisan talking points” that Obama raised in his remarks and lamented the fact that Democrats “cheered” for what had been said instead of being offended that Lewis’ memorial service had essentially been hijacked as a means to attack the current president and push for political change.
Taking aim at Trump
To be sure, Obama’s speech started off appropriately enough as a worthy eulogy for Lewis, but it wasn’t too long until it did indeed become “divisive” and “deeply dishonest,” so much so that one would be led to believe that no real progress on racism and equality have been made since the days of slavery, much less the civil rights struggle of which Lewis was a hero.
Without directly naming President Trump — though there was no question about to whom he was referring — Obama invoked the names of past racist segregationist Democrat leaders in the South in an attempt to analogize the nonviolent civil disobedience of the civil rights era to the lawless riots accompanying protests across the country today.
“Bull Connor may be gone. But today we witness with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of Black Americans,” Obama said. “George Wallace may be gone. But we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators.”
“But even as we sit here, there are those in power that are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting — by closing polling locations, and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws, and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining the postal service in the run-up to an election that is going to be dependent on mailed-in ballots so people don’t get sick,” he continued.
Obama acknowledged that what he was discussing wasn’t appropriate for the setting, but pressed on nonetheless and said, “John Lewis devoted his time on this Earth fighting the very attacks on democracy and what’s best in America that we are seeing circulate right now.”
Wrong place, wrong time
As for Obama’s politicization of Lewis’ eulogy and funeral service, aside from the thinly-veiled swipe at his successor, the former president called for a strengthening of the Voting Rights Act to include such partisan goals as automatic voter registration for all, restoration of voting rights for convicted felons, an expansion of voting access both in-person and by mail, designating Election Day a federal holiday, and more. He also called for the elimination of the filibuster in the Senate that protects the minority party from majority rule.
If Obama wants to viciously attack Trump on the campaign trail or in fundraisers on behalf of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden — which he has done repeatedly, according to The New York Times — that is one thing, but to do so while supposedly paying tribute to a deceased friend is, to most Americans, beyond the pale.