The Washington Post celebrated Martin Luther King Day on Monday by publishing an op-ed on the front page of the Style section by Joshua DuBois -- President Obama's first-term adviser on faith-based initiatives -- that explicitly compared Obama to MLK.
"Lessons from King for Obama's travails," read the headline inside the paper next to pictures of MLK and Obama. Somehow, the fight against Bull Connor and the fight against the Tea Party get merged and blurred together:
The challenges that Obama faced last year and faces now are nowhere near those confronted by King in 1956. Instead of Bull Connor and barking dogs and institutionalized racism, Obama faces unfinished legislative business from immigration to climate change, a health-insurance rollout that alternates almost daily between perils and promises, an economy emerging from the Great Recession and a recalcitrant Congress determined not to make the resolution of these matters easy. But the same elevator that King rode out of his lowest moments might provide a lift to Obama, as well.
Like King, the president may find that as he holds onto his core ideals without compromise — as we saw him do in the government shutdown negotiations — he’ll be buttressed by public support and inner clarity that the purity of principle brings.
And as the president hits the road this year and surrounds himself with those he’s trying to help — Americans who have lost their health insurance, students desperate for an affordable college education, unemployed workers seeking a lifeline — he may find, like King, that the cheers and admonishments from everyday people can provide fuel for his final years in office.
And just like King, the president might be renewed by his inner compass, his sense of purpose, his conversations with God. It was these late-night conversations that allowed King to endure murderous phone calls and official intransigence.
The Post can't imagine reporting the truth that Obama is actually a force against religion and religious liberty, and that DuBois was appointed to put a plastic veneer over Obama's secular outlook and upbringing. Under Bush, leftists denounced the faith-based initiatives office as a transparent black-outreach program. Under Obama, that was apparently a terrific thing.