The right has represented perhaps the lone source of outrage over Nelson Mandela tributes since the former South African president died last week, but the indignation has taken different forms.
Some have alleged that the anti-apartheid leader was actually a terrorist whose true legacy had been glossed over, while others have complained that lowering the American flag to half-staff should only be reserved for U.S. citizens. For another group of fringe conservatives, the memorials to Mandela smack of a double standard.
Why, they ask, didn’t Margaret Thatcher get the same treatment when she died earlier this year?
Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) said his wife wondered just that this past weekend.
“We finished family Sunday dinner this evening and my wife Angela asked me a question I had to ponder,” West wrote on his blog. “She asked, ‘Did we make this big a deal over the passing of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as we are for South African President Nelson Mandela?'”
That prompted the ex-tea party congressman to browse the Internet, where he discovered that President Obama’s snub of the Iron Lady was two-fold: the flags weren’t lowered to honor Thatcher and the President didn’t attend her funeral.
The Daily Caller’s Neil Munro, best-known for shouting at Obama during an announcement in the Rose Garden last summer, also offered a critical take on the President’s decision to attend Mandela’s memorial service but skip Thatcher’s funeral.
Over at Breitbart, Ben Shapiro noted the difference in Obama’s reactions with a short post under the headline, “AFTER SNUBBING THATCHER FUNERAL, OBAMA AND MICHELLE TO VISIT SOUTH AFRICA FOR MANDELA.”
Right-wing shock jock Tammy Bruce applauded Shapiro for his “[e]xcellent reminder.”
“I do understand the travel to attend [Mandela’s] funeral, but by attending that one and snubbing Thatcher we get another understanding that both Obamas are jerks,” Bruce wrote on her blog.
Obama issued a statement following Thatcher’s death in April, saying America had “lost a true friend.”