On July 25, President Obama traveled–for no apparent reason other than spending millions in taxpayer money–to Kenya, a nation he had hitherto ignored. Following his diplomatic triumph as Iran’s lawyer he was in a particularly haughty mood. As is his usual practice, he harangued the Kenyans on topics that reflected his personal whims, and as always, he got in a few good jabs at America. The Miami Herald Reports:
President Barack Obama nudged African nations Saturday to treat gays and lesbians equally under the law, a position that remains unpopular through much of the continent. Obama’s Kenyan counterpart responded by calling the matter a ‘non-issue’ for his country.
Obama tackled the sensitive matter on his first full day in Kenya, the country of his father’s birth. He drew on his own background as an African-American, noting the slavery and segregation of the U.S. past and saying he is ‘painfully aware of the history when people are treated differently under the law.’
‘That’s the path whereby freedoms begin to erode and bad things happen,’ Obama added during a joint news conference with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. ‘When a government gets in the habit of treating people differently, those habits can spread.
Really Mr. Obama? Like when the IRS is weaponized and used against your political enemies? Like when you treat our enemies as friends and denigrate and betray our allies? That kind of treating people differently?
Kenyatta was unmoved, saying gay rights ‘is not really an issue on the foremost mind of Kenyans. And that is a fact.’
A number of Kenyan politicians and religious leaders had warned Obama in outspoken terms that any overtures on gay rights would not be welcomed in Kenya, where gay sex is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. The Kenyan gay community also complains of sometimes violent harassment.
Kenya is approximately 80% Christian and about 11% Muslim. I wonder if that has anything to do with why Kenyans are not exactly receptive to Mr. Obama’s current gay obsession (he was previously rhetorically opposed to gay marriage)? Mr. Obama may have had some personal reasons to visit as well:
Obama’s visit to Kenya – the first by a sitting U.S. president – has been long sought by this East African country where he is widely considered a son of the nation.
Acknowledging that some Kenyans have been frustrated that it took him until the seventh year of his presidency to visit, Obama joked that he didn’t want the rest of Africa to think he was ‘playing favorites.’ He will also visit Ethiopia on this trip.
I’m sure the Kenyans found that most amusing and delightful. Mr. Obama took a bit of time to visit with his many relatives:
With a hint of frustration, Obama said he had told his family how sorry he was that his ability to spend quality time with them on this visit was so limited. Logistical constraints and security precautions prevented Obama from visiting Kogelo, the village where his father lived and is buried. But Obama said once he leaves office and is a private citizen, he’ll have a better opportunity to reconnect.
I’m sure Mr. Obama will fulfill that promise as soon as he fulfills his promise to buy a Chevy Volt as soon as he leaves office.
He may also bring back with him a few relatives of his own. Obama said he plans to return with first lady Michelle Obama and his daughters, Sasha and Malia, after leaving the White House.
‘They have great love for this country and its people,’ he said.
The president has written emotionally about his first visit to Kenya nearly 30 years ago, a trip aimed at learning about the father he barely knew.
Of course. This great love for the people of Kenya has motivated them to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on their many lavish vacations to Kenya…what’s that? They’ve never been to Kenya? Oh.
But Mr. Obama wrote emotionally about visiting Kenya…what’s that? He didn’t write that?
Well, I’m sure that Mr. Obama made sure that Secretary of State John Kerry gave the same lecture about gay rights to the Iranians. After all, he has been negotiating with them for some two years, and surely his great concern for the welfare of gay people greatly informed those negotiations. Barack Obama would never be inconsistent or deceptive about such things, would he? By the way, how are things for gay Iranians these days?
Until recently, consensual sexual intercourse between men was a capital offense in Iran. After a change in the country’s penal code, the ‘active’ person in the act can now be punished with up to 100 lashes, but if he’s married, the death penalty may apply. The ‘passive’ person can still be sentenced to death, regardless of marital status. Sexual interaction between two women is punishable by flogging.
Oh. But Mr. Obama would never engage in blatant political pandering or stunts, would he? Wait a minute, I wrote about that sort of thing not long ago:
And now, Barack Obama, who once pronounced himself, as a committed Christian, against gay marriage, celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision as a great civil rights victory. And then he appropriated the People’s House for a blatant political stunt.