U.S. Pres. Barack Obama has built a legacy of disrespect and disengagement highlighted this time by his decision to not attend former first lady Nancy Reagan’s funeral. Mr. Obama’s decision to skip Reagan’s funeral Friday for a festival in Austin, Texas is not just disrespectful, it is insulting to many Americans. Presidential snubs like this add to the divisiveness and antagonistic reputation of his administration.
Ducking Reagan’s funeral for a music festival speaks volumes about the lame-duck president’s pettiness and is typical of his passive aggression. The South by Southwest Festival — an annual music, tech, and film gathering — announced last week that Obama would be the keynote speaker on March 11, and that Michelle Obama was scheduled to speak on March 16. No other president has attended the little known event. Michelle Obama, possibly better understanding the love and respect Americans feel for Nancy Reagan, will be at the former first lady’s funeral, which will be held at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. But White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed Tuesday that President Obama won’t be there.
“The president will not attend,” he said at the daily White House briefing. “The president is traveling in Texas.” Mr. Obama’s mean spiritedness last surfaced in February when he refused to attend the funeral of conservative minded Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; the president stopped by the courthouse where the justice lay in repose, however skipped the funeral and sent Vice President Joe Biden.
After Nancy Reagan’s passing, the Obamas released a statement saying they were “grateful” for Nancy Reagan’s life.
“Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House. She was right, of course. But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice,” they said.
Not attending funerals for the nation’s first ladies is incredibly offensive and disrespectful but not that uncommon. When Betty Ford died in 2011, Mr. Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter skipped her funeral and sent their wives, Michelle Obama, current Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter. Former President George W. Bush and Nancy Reagan also attended, however Bush skipped Lady Bird Johnson’s funeral in 2007.
Mr. Obama not only shirks his duties when it comes to showing respect for the women who served the country before his wife, he has virtually abandoned his duties as president when it comes to building a working coalition with Congress. Instead, Mr. Obama is governing by Executive Order. Mr. Obama this week went around Congress again when he gave $500 million dollars to the UN to distribute among other countries, ostensibly to spend on global warming. Congress would not approve the money that is part of Mr. Obama’s $3 billion pledge because they say it is simply a slush fund for the UN and American taxpayers have little or no say on how it’s spent.
The country under Mr. Obama has become more divisive as poverty continues to encroach and the middle class shrinks during the slowest economic recovery in history. Mr. Obama’s $3 billion gift to the UN is significant, since the US deficit has grown to more than $19 trillion under his administration. For many Americans, the $500 million that Mr. Obama doled out to the UN would have been put to better use at home making sure the citizens of Flint Michigan have clean drinking water.