May 6, 2008

"Michelle Obama seethes with bitterness. While she preaches the gospel according to Barack, she wears resentment and bitterness on her sleeve."

Scott Johnson lights into Michelle Obama.

Here's my post after seeing MO speak in Madison. I didn't see the problem.

Hitchens is on her case too:
I direct your attention to Mrs. Obama's 1985 thesis at Princeton University. Its title (rather limited in scope, given the author and the campus) is "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community." To describe it as hard to read would be a mistake; the thesis cannot be "read" at all, in the strict sense of the verb. This is because it wasn't written in any known language.
Here's my post on MO's thesis. I didn't see the problem.

149 comments:

downtownlad said...

Isn't it actually pretty clear that conservatives have a problem with Presidential wives who don't conform to a traditional role. Look at how Hilary Clinton was demonized when Bill Clinton ran, despite having been named one of the top 100 lawyers in the country. Theresa Heinz Kerry was made out to be a traitor. And now Michelle Obama is bitter and anti-American.

Yet nobody says a peep about McCain's wife. Nobody cared about Laura Bush. Barbara Bush was never attacked.

The first lady is not elected and she's not making public policy. So I can't comprehend for the life of me the venom in which these women are (and have been) attacked, except through pure sexism. It's the only thing that makes sense.

Yachira said...

"...my post after seeing MO speak in Madison. I didn't see the problem."

Then you'll want to listen to MO's NC speech, Ann. It's not pretty, and not open to wildly diverging interpretation either.

Oh, and downtownlad, what are you doing posting at this time of day? Your parents should have insisted that you go to school!

P. Rich said...

I didn't see the problem.

You've obviously bonded, Althouse. It's no longer what you saw but how you feeeeeeel.

paul a'barge said...

lad: Isn't it actually pretty clear that conservatives have a problem with Presidential wives who don't conform to a traditional role

That's certainly one way to look at it.

Another way to look at it is to see that the wives of Republicans tend not to be mutts.

Quayle said...

The mass refusal to admit the obvious - that Obama is completely lacking in any experience relevent to being President - is pretty amazing to behold.

But Michelle Obama's shallow world view is equally obvious, as no less a observer than Christopher Hitchens can plainly see.

What we're getting from the Obama's is a happy face on the surface, but the Reverend Wright-esque intellectual structure can be seen in full view beneath the surface.

Michelle is angry. She live's in the most socially mobil, most free, and most wealthy country in the world. She went to two of the best schools in the world. She makes half a million a year combined. And she is still angry?

Go figure.

SteveR said...

DTL, I don't think the "role" that Hillary, Michelle and Theresa played was as much of a problem as the things they said. "I'm finally proud to be an American" or "I'm not going to bake cookies and stand by my man".

And no one's ever made fun of, or criticized, Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Fred Thompson's wife, Nancy Reagan, Elizabeth Dole have they?

Invisible Man said...

Downtownlad,

I wrote a similar post on OTB a month or so ago, also wondering when first ladies became the subject of such scrutiny. Yesterday, I caught a glimpse of Laura pretty insensitively interrupting a press conference about the devastation in Myanmar with details of her daughter's wedding celebration, but I can barely raise my temperature over lukewarm because she's pretty irrelevant to my life.

Republicans have decided to create some blood sport of shredding first ladies, that looks more and more like a pattern than a coincidence. We already know enough by just loose coverage about Cindy McCain that we could run her through the wringer if we wanted to, but I guess most of us have better issues to worry about like health care, the economy and the war. I guess the country is lucky that Edwards isn't winning so we don't have to hear how Elizabeth hates her children by putting her life on the line on the campaign trail and might just be faking the whole cancer thing (actual sentiments that I've heard expressed in wing-nut land).

downtownlad said...

I don't understand the wingnuts anymore. I really don't.

They are so afraid to debate their actual policy beliefs that they resort to the politics of personal destruction. Just compare and contrast this to Reagan who won on a campaign of ideas. He never attacked Carter personally or went after his wife. He discussed policy.

And he was the last Republican to do so. After that, starting with Lee Atwater, the Republicans have made everything the politics of the personal. Dukakis looks stupid in a tank. Bill Clinton had an affair. Al Gore invented the internet. Obama has a black preacher and doesn't wear a flag pin. These are important issues my friend!

If Democrats want to win, they will have to do the same thing. Attack McCain. Talk about how he was brainwashed by the Vietcong, about how he left his first wife when she was disabled, how he only married his second wife for his money and the marriage is a sham, and start attacking Cindy McCain.

That's what Americans want. It's not like we have a war or an economy that's worth debating.

Windbag said...

Michelle Obama and the un-Rev. Wright should be given a microphone as often as possible. Let both talk as long as desired.

downtownlad said...

And the only policy debate I've heard recently is about the gas tax - and Obama is right on that one.

section9 said...

DTL:

McCain's wife is a recovering addict who owns a beer distributorship.

Hillary and Michelle are both trial lawyers.

Case closed for this Republican. Belly up to the bar.

William said...

I'm white, but I grew up in public housing on welfare. I was given a scholarship to an expensive prep school. My fellow students were decent enough people, but I harbored a fair amount of resentment towards them and a fair amount of guilt about my resentment. I could compete academically, but I knew that I would never have that easy self-confidence that comes with being born in a comfortable situation and knowing the rules without having to learn the rules. I had the feeling that for me the good things were always going to be upstream--accessible but with effort--and for them the good things were downstream--accessible and you didn't arrive sweaty and misshapen from the journey. I was grateful for the ladder offered and resentful that the steps on the ladder were so inequitably distributed. This doesn't reflect any credit on me, but those were my feelings. As noted, I'm white. My guess is that these feelings for a black person would be magnified by a factor of ten or more. I would cut Michelle a little slack. People have started with more and finished with less.

AJ Lynch said...

There is a standard for candidate's spouses: Don't get into the big potentially controversial issues! Stick to the soft topics. Or you become fair game. Someday DTL there will be a gay candidate and his significant other will be deferential and soft spoken and won't be fair game (I doubt if it will be you).

Carter's wife was not attacked either. Teresa Kerry sounds like a kook and possibly is a kook. Eliz Edwards spoke out on big potentially controversial issues and so she was fair game. Ditto for Michele Obama who sounds truly angry if you look at enough of her speeches.

Crimso said...

"and doesn't wear a flag pin"

Guess he doesn't want his fellow traveler Ayers stomping on his chest.

So when it's pointed out that MO isn't exactly a pleasant and grateful person (and I don't give a f**ck if her ancestors were slaves 150 years ago, she's priveleged NOW), it's the politics of personal destruction. Because not wanting either of the current Dem possibilities couldn't possibly be because they're Marxists, now could it?

Face it. Their policies are in fact repugnant to many Americans. The fact that their opinion of this country is equally repugnant is icing on the cake (if not entirely predictable).

franglosaxon said...

Scott Johnson has a tiny, tiny penis, so small it's probably concave.

Christopher Hitchens is a sodden, stinking drunk who hates women.

Michelle Obama is a strong black woman. She brings out the ire of all the middle aged white people who feel bullied by sassy clerks at the DMV (the only black people they ever come in contact with). When black women are smart and speak their minds they are "bitches," like strong white women, but also a little worse, "mutts" (see above), somehow unnatural and unholy to these losers.

No one with an ounce of brain could see this woman for something other than what she is-- good at her career, a good mother, a supportive, devoted wife, a socially engaged member of her community, a potential force for good as first lady.

Freder Frederson said...

The Powerline crew should know about seething with bitterness. They are certainly bitter about a whole lot.

Freder Frederson said...

The mass refusal to admit the obvious - that Obama is completely lacking in any experience relevent to being President - is pretty amazing to behold.

This is rich coming from the side of the aisle that elected Bush based on the fact that he would be more fun to have a beer with (even though he was apparently a mean drunk and claims he doesn't drink any more).

Original Mike said...

MO said: “The bar is constantly changing for this man,”

Welcome to life. Sheesh.

Palladian said...

"They are so afraid to debate their actual policy beliefs that they resort to the politics of personal destruction."

LOL. That's rich coming from you. In another thread today you referred to a white commenter's daughter's relationship with a black person "jungle love".

TMink said...

Back to the topic, just for fun, I read about a third of her paper, and while it was not particularly well written, but it was certainly not unreadable.

I did not perceive her as bitter but as obsessed with race. There are entire departments in colleges that are obsessed with race. Race is an interesting topic, I minored in African-American studies and learned a lot of American history that had been neglected in previous education.

The classes I attended were primarily strength based instead of victim based though, and I think that is a rarity. Ms. Obama's paper reads as if she could have used a greater appreciation for the strengths of the black communities.

Really the most salient aspect of the exercise for me was how it gave me a more realistic concept of the Ivy league! I obviously had a greatly inflated view of the level of scholarship that went on there. I think my daughter will be able to write a paper that is the equal of the one I read by the time she is a senior in high school.

Think of the money I can save by sending her somewhere less expensive than the Ivy League schools! Thanks Michelle!

Trey

TMink said...

Isn't the focus on the potential first ladies or gentlemen a distraction from the policies of the office holder? Why bother?

Pay no attention to the partner behind the candidate, or something like that.

Trey

Martin Gale said...

Here's my post on MO's thesis. I didn't see the problem.

Your judgement was clouded by her cute kids. And where's the cruelty we were promised?

Crimso said...

"Scott Johnson has a tiny, tiny penis, so small it's probably concave.

Christopher Hitchens is a sodden, stinking drunk who hates women."

Careful there, Franglo. That sounds an awful lot like the politics of personal destruction, and everybody knows your side doesn't do that.

"No one with an ounce (AND NO MORE)of brain could see this woman for something other than what she is-- good at her career, a good mother, a supportive, devoted wife, a socially engaged member of her community, a potential force for good as first lady."

Fixed that for you.

Sadly typical. If you have an issue with MO, you must be racist because you've never seen an opinionated and strong black woman. It's just such assumptions that result in the Left not having a clue as to why anybody could possibly oppose the Kwisatz Haderach. It never, ever, EVER occurs to them that maybe the opinions are those of a crackpot, and so should be mocked and discounted on that basis alone. Nope. Must be the color of her skin. Hey lefties, I assume that those of you who won't be voting for McCain will not do so because he's white and Barack is black (of course, he's every bit as much white as he is black). Racists. You can't possibly vote against McCain unless you're a racist.

See how clever and irrefutable my rhetoric is?

Pogo said...

DTL: They are so afraid to debate their actual policy beliefs that they resort to the politics of personal destruction

Isn't it ironic...don't you think?
A little too ironic... yeah, I really do think.

Anyway, the black liberation theology stuff is just to hard for me to get past. It's an automatic disqualifier, much as it demonizes all whites. Whether embraced by Michelle or Barack, it's as unacceptable as being in the KKK. The actions of the Obama family speak far louder than words.

They stayed in the church for 20 years. Brought their 2 kids.
20.
Oprah quit going there because of what she heard. Why not Michelle?
Why not Barack?
Read her senior thesis and understand a bit more.

Simon said...

I have to be honest, Ann, the characterization of her as seething with resentment and bitterness much more closely matches my impression of her than does your characterization of her as lovely and expressive.

Bob said...

We pay attention to the candidate's spouse because once elected, we get to see them on a regular basis. To me Michelle has a snarky air about her. Sometimes bitter but mostly just snarky.

And I'm glad to find out the Left never demonized Nancy Reagan. My memory was wrong I guess. Or Laura or Babs. Actually I can't remember a single first lady who wasn't demonized by someone except Betty Ford.

vbspurs said...

I didn't see the problem.

Take a pinch of frown, add a dose of bitter laugh, and allow the mixture to seep in its own juices for 44 years.

Ann, it's a judgemental woman thing. You wouldn't understand.

(Since we're being ridiculous and nasty today, on this blog, I decided to join in the hilarity. Am I having fun yet?)

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Actually I can't remember a single first lady who wasn't demonized by someone except Betty Ford.

Well, I don't remember it, because I was too young but traditionalists did indeed criticise her for supporting the ERA and for publicly mentioning her breast CA surgery.

BTW, one day when Ingrid Bergman was watching television, the news of Betty Ford's breast cancer was mentioned on the news.

She absent-mindedly started touching her breast, in what sometimes is an unconscious trigger, and found a lump.

Though she later died of breast cancer, of course, she credited Ford with saving her life, at least for the meantime. I love me some Betty Ford.

BTW, very few First Ladies went unremarked upon or uncritised.

What is different NOW is that candidates' wives are fair game.

Interestingly, some candidates' strategies made sure their wives were not all that in the limelight.

Joan Mondale was judged to be a handicap nationally by his advisors, I think because she was not a looker..., so she rarely made more than a cursory appearance by his side, as I read once in a political bio.

Cheers,
Victoria

franglosaxon said...

Let's play on your turf and make this about personality and character. Sure.

Your big dig at the Obamas is that they took their kids to church. Apparently the Trinity UCC is some kind of extremist nazi organization that believes white people should be killed. Wait, what? That's not what it is at all? It's a UCC with an African-American cultural focus, since it serves a primarily African-American congregation? Yes, that's, that's about as racist as a St. Patrick's Day parade.

So the Obamas took their kids to church... for 20 YEARS.

Meanwhile... John McCain cheated on his model first wife because she had become ugly after being in a bad car accident. He cheated on her with his subordinates in the Navy's Senate liason office. Later, he cheated on her with a woman 17 years younger than him. After abandoning his wife and child, he married Cindy a month later. Her family wealth and connections in Arizona helped propel his political career. Then Cindy stole drugs from her own charity organization to feed the addiction to Percoset (hello Rush!) she developed during the Keating Five scandal.

On the other hand, the Obama's took their kids to church. That's racist. And Michelle has the temerity to suggest America can be improved!!!! Terrorist!!!

Hoosier Daddy said...

It's just such assumptions that result in the Left not having a clue as to why anybody could possibly oppose the Kwisatz Haderach.

Wow Crismo, nice. So much better than messiah.

frango Your big dig at the Obamas is that they took their kids to church

Actually I personally can give two shits. I care that Obama has the most liberal voting record in Congress and I think that's not good for America. I don't think going after 'big oil' when the problem has always been OPEC is good for America. I don't think rescuing a faltering economy by raising taxes is good for America. I don't think more giveaway programs in the interest of fairness is good for America. I don't think turning a blind eye to an open border is good for America.

Those are my big digs. I could give a shit about his wife or his kids. I think his policies suck.

That good enough for you or does that make me a racist?

Zeb Quinn said...

I didn't see the problem.

Allow me to interpolate that remark: "I drank the Kool-Aid."

franglosaxon said...

Hoosier Daddy-- Yes, you are fully justified in opposing Obama on those grounds. That's policy, governing philosophy. That's real.

The problem is that Republicans can't win on such ground in this electoral climate. So we can expect the Republican campaigners to make the election as much about Obama personally as possible. Really, who can blame them. Except I would hope that reasonable people could see it for what it is.

I don't advocate it for either candidate, and if I do the same thing above, it's just to point out that Democrats can take it there about McCain too.

MadisonMan said...

Carter's wife was not attacked either.

That's not my recollection. I recall a lot of fairly pointed comments when news came out of her sitting in on Cabinet Meetings.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't advocate it for either candidate, and if I do the same thing above, it's just to point out that Democrats can take it there about McCain too.

I suppose if Cindy runs her mouth than I guess she can be fair game. There is a difference between dragging a candidate's spouse into the fray and a candidate's spouse that drags herself into the fray. Cindy for the most part plays the part and stands there looking pretty. Michelle despite enjoying wild success as an attorney from a prestigious university and living a lifestyle the majority of American's don't, understandably honked off some with her 'finally proud to be an American comment.' As if the country sucked up to the point they thought her husband was as Crismo pointed out: the Kwisatz Haderach (I love that one Crismo).
Oh and when Michele is talking to blue collar moms about how hard it is to swing piano and dance lessons on $500K a year, it does sound a bit shallow don't it?

I'm not making excuses for McCain or Cindy but thus far she has had the sense to keep her opinions to herself. Maybe because she understands this election is about the candidate and not first wives.

vbspurs said...

I recall a lot of fairly pointed comments when news came out of her sitting in on Cabinet Meetings.

I think, MM, that only came to light after President Carter gave that interview to Playboy. You know the one, where he admitted he had lusted after other women in his heart.

Then 60 Minutes did a piece on her, where this fact came out (that she sat in on Cabinet Meetings), which not even Eleanor Roosevelt had done or Edith Wilson admitted to.

Americans have a problem with the wife of a president putting in their two cents. They elected him, not her, and that's just the way it is.

"Billary" will be interesting to watch, if it comes to pass.

Denis Thatcher minded his own beeswax, so he was largely left to his gin and tonics alone.

Cheers,
Victoria

John Z. said...

Check the story on salon.com about Illinois' gas tax holiday. Supported by none other than BHO, who voted in favor of it three times.

What a hypocrite.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Denis Thatcher minded his own beeswax, so he was largely left to his gin and tonics alone.

My image of the Iron Lady was that she would not have had it any other way either.

Martin Gale said...

Splunge, it doesn't mean yes and it doesn't mean no, and I'm not being indecisive.
--Monty Python


Well if every criticism amounts to demonization, and every attack is a smear, and taking note of lurid, long standing, and influential associations is nothing more than the McCarthyism, then what are people supposed to talk about for the 18 months of a presidential campaign? Right: cute kids. Awww.

franglosaxon said...

If the standard is that once you've taken a position in your political career, you can never change it, Republicans are in T-R-R-O-U-B-L-E with McCain.

Obama said that the tax holiday didn't work in Illinois, which is why he doesn't support it now. Hypocrisy? Or learning?

AJ Lynch said...

Thanks Victoria for defending my comment that Carter's wife was not a target.

I don't recall it but if Rosalynn Carter sat in on Cabinet meetings, she deserved the extra scrutiny.

BTW - which of the 3 current candidates would give the voters a guarantee that their spouse will not sit in on a Cabinet meeting??

John Z. said...

But economists who studied it said it did work. There's a paper linked at the Salon article.

Guess all economists don't agree on this issue after all!

Go Hillary!

JohnAnnArbor said...

If the standard is that once you've taken a position in your political career, you can never change it

I think it would be more like "change without explanation." It can be hard for a politician to change position, but a reasonable explanation of why can do wonders.

chickenlittle said...

franglosaxon:

John McCain's transgressions and character flaws are not directed at me personally.

One of Obama's flaws (personified by those who surround him) is palpable anger/resentment directed at me, my wife and my children, (and all my ancestors for that matter)- just because we happen to be white. It's really that simple according to identity politics.

TMink said...

Franglo wrote: "Yes, that's, that's about as racist as a St. Patrick's Day parade."

Only if the parade included blaming the British for inventing alcoholism to kill the Irish, only if the Irish chanted "God damn England" while they marched.

Not quite the same thing.

Not by a long shot.

Trey

paul a'barge said...

lad: I don't understand the wingnuts anymore. I really don't.

They are so afraid to debate their actual policy beliefs that they resort to the politics of personal destruction


You mean actual policy beliefs as in: what are Barak Hussein Obama's actual policy beliefs?

Of course, there are none. The man and his wife are complete cyphers. They refuse to even utter an actual policy belief. On real, substantive issues Barak Hussein Obama consistently voted ... (wait for it) present.

How pathetic.

MadisonMan said...

I thought there was a fairly famous picture of her sitting in on a Cabinet meeting, but now I can't find it, so maybe it was only famous in my mind :)

Cindy for the most part plays the part and stands there looking pretty.

...looking pretty vacant.

MadisonMan said...

Of course, there are none.

Yes, if only we knew what he felt about a Gas Tax Holiday!

George said...

Go ahead and talk about him because he makes you doubt, because he has denied himself the things that you can't live without.

Sen. Obama don't make no promises that he don't keep.

gophermomeh said...

Other people are nothing if not simply a MIRROR to ourselves.

Chip Ahoy said...

That's what passes for a thesis paper at Princeton? Oi Veh. Never realized a senior paper could be so freak'n introspective. I would never have dared to even think of turning in a paper like that at Regis.

I realize '85 was the year of the Selectric®™, but com'on. "D" for you! All this time I held Princeton helped students see beyond their own noses. *smacks self*

Titan said...

Hitchens posits that Michelle led Obama to Wright. I don't know; it was my understanding that Michelle is not religious and Barack went to church on his own. Don't seem to fit Hitchen's picture.

Pogo said...

"It's a UCC with an African-American cultural focus"

Wrong. Their foundational philosophy, the "black liberation theology" is based on the work of writes such as James Cone who regard Jesus Christ as a "black messiah" and blacks as "the chosen people" who will only accept a god who assists their aim of destroying the "white enemy."

Cone wrote: "If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill gods who do not belong to the black community."

Chip Ahoy said...

The distress of reading that has caused me to photoshop a Venus flytrap. <--possible lie.

Quayle said...

It surely is the very lowest form of argument to counter with what essentially is a variation of the grade-school retort, "so do you!"

McCain's shortcomings (and there are plenty) is no answer for Obama's lack of experience, lack of new ideas (other than the idea of saying we need new ideas, which isn't really new), and lack of a sound world view.

This shouldn't be about bending facts and reasonable conclusions in order for a party to win. To hell with parties when they come in conflict with the establishment of true facts and reasonable conclusions.

Obama is a lightweight in accomplishment or experience. He and his wife reveal a world view that looks a lot like a disturbingly narrow branch of liberal acadamia's "american-can-do-no-right-ism." His chosen spiritual advisor is drenched in emnity and is willing to say and repeat preposterous notions to keep his congregation buzzing, probably all for money.

Non of that is made more true or less true by McCain's failures which, again, are many.

vbspurs said...

My image of the Iron Lady was that she would not have had it any other way either.

Possib-lee. :)

From my study of history, I've seen that powerful women often seek out the subsidiary role with their husbands, in private. That is especially true of Queens, like Maria Theresia and Victoria, history's first female leadership case studies.

In a sense democracy has come late to the women-in-power game. Inheritance knows all about it.

Cheers,
Victoria

Ralph said...

I don't recall anything derogatory about Rosalyn before the 76 election, or much about Mrs. Mondale at any time. We learned Kitty Dukakis was Jewish and a recovering alcoholic, which Cedarford didn't like, but did anyone else care?

Ralph said...

history's first [married?] female leadership case studies.
Mary Tudor? Her sister?
Mary Stuart/Darnley/Bothwell?

madawaskan said...

Well I read the damn thing backwards-it's a weird habit of mine-and it was boring as sin.

Christopher Hitchens probably read it front to back 'cause that's how he rolls and latched on to the name of a guy that he actually knows and had a visceral reaction.

Hitchens explanation of the guy-got me going but damn Hitchens does get weird on Princess Di and Mother Teresa.

Damn it the guy has ruined some of his credibility to the point that when it comes to religion or women I shrug him off.

What the hell is it with attacking the Femme?

It almost excuses Obama-Obama is responsible for Obama-no one else is.

Are the same people who thought Hilary was pulling all the strings the same people that think First Lady is not a qualification?

[that would be interesting...]

Ya so all this over-emphasis on the femme is rather excessive.

OR maybe just because Obama is such an unknown quantity it's rather excessive. It could be a simple function of just that.

Obama's campaign theme should be-

Not Being There.

Also I watched Ann's video and if you got past the intro part of Michelle's speech she was lovely.

I have to wonder if Ann was too busy setting up the camera and framing to "hear" the beginning of her speech-

It was -

THEY said -"it couldn't be done"

THEY said " you have to NOW make this new mile post"

Damn it I am paraphrasing-BUT if she was saying that the press had been unfair to Obama {remember this was shortly before or after New Hampshire when the press was holding a virtual Obamathon for his campaign} then-

It was UNbelievable that she was complaining about the unfairness of the THEY.

Ann maybe you have to take a second look,er listen at/to that video you made...

Roger Sweeny said...

For 20 years, Barack Obama went to a UCC which taught that white people are constantly screwing black people. I have a problem with that.

If John McCain went to a UCC which taught that black people are constantly screwing white people, I would also have a problem with that.

Of course, many people would say the two are different because the first is true. That is certainly the attitude of many in academia. I suspect Ann is used to that being the default position of the people she works with, which is why she "didn't see the problem" with the things Michelle Obama has written and said.

In academia, or say on NPR, it is a respectable, comfortable position. I suspect a majority of the country feels otherwise--though I am not really sure.

vbspurs said...

Mary Tudor? Her sister?
Mary Stuart/Darnley/Bothwell?


I didn't want to post immediately after to correct myself, but just to clarify -- obviously there were other Queens before Maria Theresia of Austria and Victoria of Great Britain. :)

The lack of parenthesis did me in.

Since I'm posting, two more things:

1- Chip, LOL @ Venus Flytrap.

2- Successful men who reach powerful positions are almost certain to have extremely ambitious women seconding them. It's part of the reason of why commanders like generals then and CEOs now get chosen. It's a fact of life, and has been for eons.

But unfortunately, neither men nor women wish to admit that because it doesn't sit well with most of us, *yet*.

We would rather continue the pretense that Mrs. Obama will never look at the cabinet briefings, that Hillary Clinton was shunted off to one wing of the White House after the fiasco of Hillarycare, never to again have any input, or that neither Mrs. Bush ever discussed policy matters with their Georges.

That's utter nonsense. Thank God most people on Althouse don't believe that...right?

Cheers,
Victoria

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah Victoria- I agree there is pillow talk and then there are the activist buttinsky spouses.

On one hand, I am sure Laura Bush heard plenty of pillow talk. On the other, I bet Hillary was too impatient to wait for that :)

Roger J. said...

While I am not an Obama supporter, and believe him to be an empty suit filled with only ambition, I could care less what his wife says or thinks. This is a bogus issue as far as I am concerned.

I have no idea who voted HRC one of the top 100 lawyers in the country, but it certainly isnt because her legal credentials. We can certainly look at her legal publications or some other metric, but somehow I don't think we will find them. Brad de Long has already skewered her manageial ability, but ultimately we vote for a president, not his wife.

Simon said...

George said...
"Sen. Obama don't make no promises that he don't keep."

Just to start with, I thought he'd promised a new kind of politics, that he'd made promises of bringing the nation together, neither of which he has the remotest ability to achieve.

Triangle Man said...

Simon, did Obama actually promise a new kind of politics, or is this like "compassionate conservatism" ? More of an objective.

Revenant said...

Michelle Obama strikes me as the black equivalent of those rich white girls who go through private school, then off to college on their parents' dime -- and then start ranting about how horrible the patriarchal oppression of women is.

She's never known oppression, so she has to imagine that some exists.

former law student said...

Instead of serving up yet another disconnected argument, based on misrepresenting facts, I wish the anti-Obama commenters would just create a lolcat. This will get you started:
http://bp2.blogger.com/_mveHL3n_4ME/R-rTkocQUmI/AAAAAAAAAGU/w2Kps2jK900/s1600-h/do+not+want_obama_wright.jpg

Michelle isn't angry. She says se benefited greatly from her public school, which offered many programs that have been eliminated from today's schools.

With no sense of irony about his namesake, Quayle said Obama is completely lacking in any experience relevent to being President

And this makes Obama different from Hillary and McCain how, exactly? Don't blame me, I voted for Romney.

the characterization of her as seething with resentment and bitterness much more closely matches my impression of her

Simon, seek and ye shall find. Her speech seemed happy and optimistic to me. She is proud to be a graduate of the Chicago Public Schools. She tweaked Hillary for deprecating all of Barack's successes, contending that only hers really mattered.

Pogo, et al: If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem. (quoted variously to the late Sydney J. Harris and Eldredge Cleaver.)

But if you think Obama has palpable anger/resentment directed at me, my wife and my children you haven't been listening.

I couldn't make any sense out of this next comment at all. Could he be talking about Groucho Marxism? What Democrat policies are "repugnant" and what is "repugnant" about them? In contrast, sacrificing 4000 American lives for no articulable reason is repugnant to me and many Americans:

Because not wanting either of the current Dem possibilities couldn't possibly be because they're Marxists, now could it?

Face it. Their policies are in fact repugnant to many Americans.






Hoosier Daddy version: her finally proud to be an American comment.'

What Michelle Obama actually said: "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country

made promises of bringing the nation together, neither of which he has the remotest ability to achieve.

Another assertion without proof. I would be very interested in how simon could reach such a conclusion.

former law student said...

She's never known oppression, so she has to imagine that some exists.

Rev, I spent 2/3 of my life on the South Side of Chicago. I dare say I know more than you on this subject: Michelle overcame real obstacles to get where she is today.

Pogo said...

Like what?

Triangle Man said...

Well, there's the traffic for one.

Maguro said...

Plus, the White Sox were lousy for most of her adult life.

Revenant said...

Michelle overcame real obstacles to get where she is today.

Her parents were married. Her family was middle-class. She grew up in South Shore, which was a nice neighborhood. She attended the best public high school in the city, Whitney Young (the city's first magnet school). Then she attended Princeton and Harvard.

What, exactly, were the "real obstables" she had to overcome?

The Political Jerk said...

Do you think the bitterness and anger comes from sexual frustration? It's got to be hard for any spouse to keep it together when the candidate is putting in 19 hour days.

Sordid Business said...

Michelle's an angry black woman...uh, DUH. She is just personifying the STEREOTYPE of successful African American women (not all women of color conform to the stereotype--Michelle apparently DOES)...the chip on the shoulder is so huge it has a zip code. B & M are just the updated version of the '92 Bill & Hillary---Bill had the silver tongue, and Hillary (at the time) had the bitchy attitude. Now, Barack has the silver tongue, and Michelle has the bitchy attitude (although I don't know if Michelle's bitchy attitude will ever soften).

Sordid Business said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sordid Business said...

Ann, I adore you, but you do know that our favorite self-righteous Limey is going to scream that you are trafficking in Anti-Obamaism, right? Maybe you can offer him a Xanax?

:-)

Simon said...

Triangle Man said...
"Simon, did Obama actually promise a new kind of politics, or is this like 'compassionate conservatism'? More of an objective."

In announcing his candidacy, he grounded his purpose in his concern for "the smallness of our politics," whining that "our leaders in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, common sense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence, that we can't tackle the big problems that demand solutions. ¶ And that's what we have to change first. ¶ We have to change our politics, and come together around our common interests and concerns as Americans." A new kind of politics wasn't just his promise, it was his raison d'etre.

vbspurs said...

Michelle's an angry black woman

Yes, I think she is too. I personally do not like it, one bit.

But how is that relevant to an Obama presidency?

Maybe the other First Ladies were just better at hiding it.

Cheers,
Victoria

Quayle said...

Former Law Student - perhaps you need to go back to law school and review, because your argument is a weak non sequitor.

You use a relative scale of experience and fitness to justify Obama's compitence, then you only include Hillary, McCain, and Dan Quayle (???) as the control group? (Surely a more reasonable group would at least include Johnson, FDR, Nixon, Clinson, Truman, and Ike, and Carter.)

But even by keeping the group small and skewed as you want, you still prove my point: Obama is as unqualified as was Dan Quayle. Quayle was a stupid choice, and so would Obama be.

Obama v. McCain on experience isn't even close. Obama v. Hillary isn't much better.

You surely know, even if you don't admit it: Obama was sold as the new voice, the new visionary, the respit from the old "politics as usual". He was supposed to be the bridge builder.

But that was just the sell job. Upon real inspection, we see that Obama is not really so inventive or creative. We also see that he isn't a bridge builder, as he has failed right before our eyes to bridge the gap between his old minister et. al. and normal, regular, non-hating, non-racist white america.

He may be a reasonably good guy and in time and after experience may be an excellent choice. But in this round he has seriously over sold the product.

Simon said...

FLS said...
"What Michelle Obama actually said: 'For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country'"

And you think that this is in some way less damning of her?

"[That Obama made promises of bringing the nation together, neither of which he has the remotest ability to achieve is a]nother assertion without proof. I would be very interested in how simon could reach such a conclusion."

Because he evinces not the slightest capacity to find non-liberal solutions to divisive problems, as Amba well-explained here.

Withyouanon said...

"What Michelle Obama actually said: "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country"

Erm, Nope-a-dope.

She commented twice. At the first event she said

"For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country"

At the later engagement, she added 'really'.

The evolution was televised.

Simon said...

former law student said...
"Michelle overcame real obstacles to get where she is today."

One way to answer this is to take the point at face value, in which case the answer is that your comment is true of anyone who is anywhere, regardless of race or gender. So your comment only makes an interesting claim if we read it to mean that she had to overcome extraordinary obstacles, obstacles that most people do not. But if we do that, it becomes necessary to answer your comment in the second possible way, which is as Pogo and Rev have: incredulity and a demand for examples.

chickenlittle said...

FLS said "you haven't been listening"

I've been listening but cannot hear your version of the message.
I hear what Hitchens hears.

It's all perception and votes isn't it?

Sloanasaurus said...

Based on Michele Obama's divisive and vitriolic speeches to date, it is not hard to predict that she will quickly become the most hated first lady ever in history.

It won't be just people hating Obama, it will be people hating the "Obamas." That's just what the country needs.

paul a'barge said...

Former Law Student: Michelle isn't angry

Dude, this woman is dripping with hostility. She reeks of anger. Look at her face when she speaks. Her mouth, cheeks and jaw just radiate bitterness.

Look, if you want to argue policy find. Argue policy. If you want to argue character, fine. Argue character. But trying to peddle the nonsense that Michelle Obama is anything other than a walking bag of boiling, seething anger is just delusional.

You have only to look at her to see the anger. She is an anger radiator. The woman virtually never smiles.

Please. Peddle nonsense at onion.com

chickenlittle said...

People scrutinize those surrounding Obama because there is such a lack of legislative record to scrutinize. The alternative is to trust a neophyte. Half the country did that in 2000 and many regret it. You're asking us to do it again?

George: that Dylan song fits GWB better...isn't he the "property of Jesus?"

montana urban legend said...

What's the problem today, Wingnuts? Michelle Obama not acting "white" enough for you? I mean, I know that American history and literature is replete with a rich array of black servant women for MO to have modeled herself after, all pretending to be cheerful and whatnot, but perhaps those weren't very accurate role models for her to emulate - seeing as how they would be lynched or worse for not acting that way. Perhaps some of you could be so kind as to loan your characters and personalities to her, complete with the gift of blissfully ignorant carelessness for what it meant to be a strong black woman during the duration of our mostly slave-owning and segregationist past. Perhaps you could make her exude the kind of gratitude that you think she owes you. Or perhaps you could stop being so paranoid as to project your delusional fears of [insert generic angry black woman stereotype here] onto her.

Conservatives get more credibility on their lipservice for respecting history and tradition when they stop projecting their own views and versions of it onto everyone else.

vbspurs said...

The woman virtually never smiles.

Except when she's talking of Barack, have you noticed?

In every marriage, there is a compensatory factor which plays a role in the decision to join forces.

E.g. my father is serious, my mother is theatrical. My father has on many occasions said that was a primary factor; she takes him out of himself.

I'm sure that's the same in your marriages, too.

So, since we're on this rather insipid topic, let's truly attempt an analysis.

What's the balance Michelle brings to the union?

What did one see in the other, both transparently ambitious people, to make them realise one complimented the other?

Cheers,
Victoria

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But how is that relevant to an Obama presidency?

Victoria, I think the relevance lies in the closeness of the President and his spouse in terms of her being able to give counsel and advice. If she an angry, butter etc etc wife, I'm quite sure that she will influence him as any normal man is influenced by his spouse for the good or the negative.

The big issue is not that she and he are spouses who presumably think along similar lines.....it is that he could be President of the US and these influences matter. This is also why we have devoted much attention to his Pastor and his good friends.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Gaaah Bitter not butter. /forehad smack

MadisonMan said...

Re: Michelle O's perceived anger. Please re-read gophermomeh's 1:38 comment.

Original Mike said...

FLS said" "Michelle overcame real obstacles to get where she is today."

Simon responded: One way to answer this is to take the point at face value, in which case the answer is that your comment is true of anyone who is anywhere, regardless of race or gender. So your comment only makes an interesting claim if we read it to mean that she had to overcome extraordinary obstacles, obstacles that most people do not.

I get the impression that Michelle Obama thinks along the lines of William from today's thread: I could compete academically, but I knew that I would never have that easy self-confidence that comes with being born in a comfortable situation and knowing the rules without having to learn the rules. I had the feeling that for me the good things were always going to be upstream--accessible but with effort--and for them the good things were downstream--accessible and you didn't arrive sweaty and misshapen from the journey.

Personally, I don't think there are very many people in this world who achieve without effort or struggle, but I think that there are a lot of people who think there are. And some of them (not William, but apparently Michelle) are angry about it.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

The big issue is not that she and he are spouses who presumably think along similar lines.....it is that he could be President of the US and these influences matter. This is also why we have devoted much attention to his Pastor and his good friends.

DBQ, I agree with you totally there, but until we have the smoking gun, as it were, of some proof that Michelle Obama is the instigator, or enabler in these friendships* -- then I think it's an irrelevant point.

*I'm also talking of Ayers, and others. Actually, the more I read about it, the more it becomes apparent it is Senator Obama who formed these friendships/associations without benefit of his wife's counsel.

And that's even more scary than a shrewish wife.

Also, the Clinton Paradigm (which I swear sounds like the newest Dan Brown novella) is playing a distinct role in our minds.

Now that the Evita Syndrome (Michael Crichton this time) has finally arrived to the shores of the USA, we'll always have in the back of our minds that a forceful, outspoken lady is poised to be the newest Hillary Clinton.

And folks, as much as I would dislike a President Obama, I would dislike a President Michelle Obama more.

This is what the legitimacy of power does. It allows one to predict.

So I counsel myself and others to stop dialing Sylvia Browne, and just concentrate on the lady and the facts, themselves.

Cheers,
Victoria

former law student said...

Her parents were married.

Well, whoop-ti-do. Isn't this the soft bigotry of low expectations?

Her family was middle-class.

Sorry, but "middle-class" is not an infinitely elastic term. Her dad was a plant operator. They lived in a bungalow's attic, which had been converted into a one-bedroom apartment -- for four people. They were working-class at best.

She grew up in South Shore, which was a nice neighborhood.

South Shore had been a nice neighborhood thirty years before. During the sixties, black people poured in as the Irish and Jews fled as if Conelrad had sounded. As physicians abandoned Pill Hill, black celebrities like Tyrone "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time" Davis moved in. When Michelle was six years old, the proprietor of the local toy store was gunned down in his shop by a gang member. Right now, Michelle's old zip code ranks 13 out of 57 for crime.

She attended the best public high school in the city, Whitney Young (the city's first magnet school).

The best public high school in the city is ranked no higher than Hillary's suburban neighborhood school. Michelle's elementary school, where she was first recognized for her brains, pales by comparison with Hillary's, with fewer than half the students performing at grade level.

Then she attended Princeton and Harvard.

Pretty amazing, huh. I take my hat off to her.

Pogo said...

Still waiting, fls.

What were Michelle's struggles exactly?

former law student said...

In Michelle's Feb 18 speech in Madison, she says "really proud". Isn't that when Ann saw her? Watch the linked video for yourself.

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/02/pride_in_the_na.html

former law student said...

Because he evinces not the slightest capacity to find non-liberal solutions to divisive problems, as Amba well-explained here.

Amba must be the Delphic Oracle for you, because all I could glean is that a man is judged by the company he keeps, and apparently the only people Barack knows are three sixties radicals.

Revenant said...

Well, whoop-ti-do. Isn't this the soft bigotry of low expectations?

No, it is just one of the many ways in which Michelle's family was typically middle-class.

Sorry, but "middle-class" is not an infinitely elastic term.

They weren't poor and they weren't rich. That makes them middle-class.

South Shore had been a nice neighborhood thirty years before. During the sixties, black people poured in as the Irish and Jews fled as if Conelrad had sounded.

"It used to be a nice neighborhood, but then the black people moved in"? Nice one.

South Shore was, and is, a fairly nice area. Sure, it had crime -- it is in a big city -- but it wasn't a particularly high-crime area in the 60s and 70s.

Right now, Michelle's old zip code ranks 13 out of 57 for crime.

"Right now" is 27 years later.

The best public high school in the city is ranked no higher than Hillary's suburban neighborhood school.

It was, and is, ranked well above the national average.

I asked you to name the obstacles Michelle overcame. You couldn't name even one. Your original claim stands revealed as a lie; you know of no significant obstacles Michelle faced.

former law student said...

It's all perception and votes isn't it?

Sorry, perception must have some basis in reality. What did Obama say that you can reasonably construe as embodying anger and resentment for you and your family?

Revenant said...

and apparently the only people Barack knows are three sixties radicals

You lefties keep complaining that we're focused on Barack's radical friends, but you never seem to manage to point out any of the nice moderates that you imply he's equally friendly with.

former law student said...

Michelle is angry because she seldom smiles -- got it, thanks!

Kirby Olson said...

The article brought up the question of whether one can change classes.

Did the Beverly Hillbillies change classes or not?

Did the Obamas?

In gender theory there is the argument that you can perform as a man or a woman, and this demarks your gender.

Is it the same in terms of monetary class? If you perform as a wealthy person -- checking in as a millionaire, does that make you a millionaire?

Oh, to be a radical set theorist!

At any rate, did the Beverly Hillbillies change classes, or not?

I think if we could find the answer to THAT, the rest would fall into place.

Sordid Business said...

I was thinking about what Victoria wrote when I was at the gym, and in response, I refer to the Hitchens piece over at Slate this week. He put forth the theory that *perhaps* the reason why B.O. stayed with Trinity so long was because MRS Obama decided they would stay with Trinity--offensive comments, racial paranoia, et al. For a man who has dreamed of the presidency for decades, this church was bad news to stick with. If this is in fact the case, then this shows two things--first, Obama is a bit too passive in dealing with his wife (posibly to his long-term detriment), and two, this makes Michelle Obama fair game to discuss. The Obamas (without saying it outright) are giving the subtle impression of "two for the price of one". Remember that? Like it or not, Michelle Obama is now on the discussion menu, because Michelle Obama seems to exert questionable influence on her husband, and because she *seems* to buy into the "racial grievance" construct, and if the American people are supposed to elect her husband, then the American people get to go over her with a fine-toothed comb, too.

former law student said...

They weren't poor and they weren't rich. That makes them middle-class.

Disregarding the fatuity of this statement, I'm going to come down on the side of poor.

Obstacles:
Poor -- one bedroom attic conversion for four people
Black
Uneducated parents
Violent neighborhood
Crappy local school

Advantages:
Loving parents
Brains

David said...

Going after the wives is stupid. Voters don't like it. Much of Hillary's popularity derives from people not liking the attacks on her as First Lady.

That having been said, Hillary was never named one of the top 100 lawyers in the US. She was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers by the National Law Journal when she was a director of Wal-Mart. NLJ has been complaining for years about her saying "best" or "top" rather than most influential, but she won't stop. That's her psychic reality.

former law student said...

quayle -- I thought your nom-de-internet was ironic, that's all. Sadly, little Danny Quayle was no more qualified than W. to run the US.

chickenlittle said...

"What did Obama say that you can reasonably construe as embodying anger and resentment for you and your family?"

It's what he didn't say immediately after the Wright story first surfaced. Wright's ideology is the threat.
Later, Obama realized what others could easily see. Poor judgement on his part.

vbspurs said...

I asked you to name the obstacles Michelle overcame. You couldn't name even one. Your original claim stands revealed as a lie; you know of no significant obstacles Michelle faced.

In fact, she had the same types of obstacles and hardships Condoleeza Rice had, which is to say very few given the broad African-American experience in the late 20th century.

They are in fact, similar women, with successful lives by any standard -- but ridiculously so, given the happenstance of being black in America.

In the book I am reading, "Confidante", the famous anecdote of Condi Rice standing up to one of her professors is again noted.

Quote:

"In one of her freshman classes, where she was one of two or three blacks in a lecture hall of 250 students, a professor embraced the theory that whites are genetically superior to blacks in intelligence.

Rice stood up and protested, 'I'm the one who speaks French. I'm the one who plays Beethoven. I'm better at your culture than you are. This can be taught.'"


Heavens above, that's quite a retort, and very much speaking truth to power.

But because she's a Republican, both her supporters and detractors read into her personality what they will.

For trenchant Democrats, she's an pliant, near despicable Uncle Tom character. For Republicans, she's soft, ladylike, diplomatic.

I guarantee you if instead of Condi Rice above, I had fibbed and said Michelle Obama said that to her prof, most of us Repubs would've been up in arms about the remark (or at least, given her a second, criticising look).

And the Democrats would've hailed her as a "you go girl, you make us proud" sistah-heroine.

I'm sick of this rhetoric. I'm sick of this spin.

When is this nation and its discourse going to be "normal" again? You know, without the spin?

Or is it too late to put humpty-dumpty back together again...

P.S.: I love Condi. But she'd suck as C-i-C or Veep.

Cheers,
Victoria

Ralph said...

Quayle had 8 years in the Senate and 4 in the US House. And he wasn't running for president half the time, so he may have learned about something besides fundraising/schmoozing.
Didn't Michelle's older brother get better grades and go to Princeton first? Wouldn't that make her life easier?

Maguro said...

Didn't Michelle's older brother get better grades and go to Princeton first? Wouldn't that make her life easier?

It also didn't hurt that Craig Robinson was a two-time Ivy League player of the year in basketball.

vbspurs said...

History has show that this:

Advantages:
Loving parents
Brains


Will almost ALWAYS trump this:

Obstacles:
Poor -- one bedroom attic conversion for four people
Black
Uneducated parents
Violent neighborhood
Crappy local school


For blacks, for whites, for anyone.

Did she go hungry? Was she beaten or bullied? At home, at school, in her neighbourhood? Did she have frequent power cuts, to prevent her from studying or doing homework? Was there not a public library nearby? Did she not have the presence of extended family to give her a sense of heritage? Did her school counsellours not care about her future?

I could go on, but I think you get the drift. Michelle Obama wasn't poor, by any definition of poverty in America.

No. She was "merely" black. That doesn't cut it as the sole explanation of struggle, anymore.

Cheers,
Victoria

Quayle said...

To former law student:

Cheers. I agree.

Withyouanon said...

Michelle's 'humble origins', and it takes a UK newspaper to factcheck the fairytale.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=517824&in_page_id=1879

"...Indeed, according to family friends, Michelle's father was a volunteer organiser for the city's Democratic Party, a by-word for machine politics in America, and his loyalty was rewarded with a well-paid engineering job at Chicago's water plant. Even before overtime, he earned $42,686 - 25 per cent more than High School teachers at the time."

I felt I was pretty clear, She spoke in Milwaukee and Madison on the same day - February 18th 2008.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGjR81pFJI4&NR=1

former law student said...

you never seem to manage to point out any of the nice moderates that you imply he's equally friendly with.

Let's start with the remainder of the Woods Fund Board, the directors of the Joyce Foundation, Obama's National Finance Chair Penny Pritzker, Lester and Renee Crown, Paula & Jim Crown, Lisa & Howard Green, Sheila & Joe Gutman, Sandy & Jack Levin, Penny Pritzker & Bryan Traubert, Michael Polsky, Nancy & Lee Rosenberg, Norma & Lester Rosenberg, Cari & Michael Sacks, Marcie & Avy Stein, Anne & Marcus Wedner, Steven S. Rogers, John W. Rogers Jr., chief executive of Ariel Capital Management, which oversees $16 billion in investments, played basketball with Mr. Obama’s brother-in-law at Princeton University. Quintin E. Primo III, who made a fortune financing commercial real-estate deals, and Louis A. Holland, an investment manager,Robert D. Blackwell Sr., a management consultant, Valerie Jarrett, a Chicago businesswoman, David B. Wilkins, a Harvard law professor, George and Cheryl Haywood, George Soros, John Gorman, chairman of Tejas Inc., Vernon E. Jordan Jr.,
David Geffen, the Hollywood mogul, Michael Froman, a Citigroup executive, North Carolina native Julianna Smoot, Florida investment manager Mark Gilbert, Louis B. Susman, the Citigroup executive who headed fundraising for Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) in 2004. Kirk Wager, a Florida trial lawyer and Kerry fundraiser, James L. Hudson, a D.C. developer, Scott Blake Harris, a Washington telecommunications lawyer whose son worked as an intern in Obama's Senate office, Neil G. Bluhm, Magic Johnson, and Hugh and Christie Hefner

Withyouanon said...

That is:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/
article.html?in_article_id=517824&in_page_id=1879

http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=EGjR81pFJI4&NR=1

Reconnect to the backslash

MadisonMan said...

ralph, speaking as a younger sibling, I will say that having an older sibling do well doesn't make life easier.

Why can't you be like your brother!

Victoria, you're 5:59 comment is spot on.

Revenant said...

Obstacles:
one bedroom attic conversion for four people

Not an obstacle.

Black

Also not an obstacle. Indeed, by the time Michelle applied to college it was an advantage; a middle-class white guy with her credentials would have a much harder time getting into Princeton.

Uneducated parents

Also not an obstacle. Especially considering how politically connected her "uneducated" father was.

Violent neighborhood

A lie.

Crappy local school

Also a lie; the school was of excellent quality.

Advantages:
Loving parents
Brains

Black
Female
Middle-class family
Excellent schools

Disadvantages:
None

Revenant said...

Let's start with the remainder of the Woods Fund Board, the directors of the Joyce Foundation

Let's stop right there, because I asked you to list moderates and you started off with two left-wing organizations.

Revise your list and resubmit.

Original Mike said...

My opinion of your 5:59 comment is the oposite of MM's, Victoria.

Given your set up: "In one of her freshman classes, where she was one of two or three blacks in a lecture hall of 250 students, a professor embraced the theory that whites are genetically superior to blacks in intelligence.,

I would have applauded the response:

'I'm the one who speaks French. I'm the one who plays Beethoven. I'm better at your culture than you are. This can be taught.'"

no matter who said it.

But then, I'm not a real Republican, so maybe there's your out.

vbspurs said...

Withyouanon, consider the source. I'm British so I can tell you that the Daily Mail is an old-fashioned, pro-working class tabloid which veers way right (in our culture's context). Unlike the Sun, it is more pro-authoritarian and espouses green causes.

You can see the slightly ridiculous quality of the inferences. They make her street name, the innocuous American street name of "Euclid" somehow the sign the neighbourhood was chock full of intelligentsia.

Also this:

Once she had arrived amid the fauxgothic precincts, however, she found herself surrounded by spoilt white students from wealthy families. She, in contrast, was obliged to take out loans to pay her way and this rankled, as she revealed in a 1985 thesis.

The document, now locked away by the university until after the election in November, betrays an angry, campaigning brand of politics which in no way fits with the mild-mannered advocate of common sense now winning hearts and minds from coast to coast.


Ann, Hitchens, and I last night linked to this very thesis. If Princeton are keeping it locked up, they aren't doing a very good job of it.

The Mail seem to infer they have an untapped source which gave them access to this damning document.

What bosh.

I'll await a proper bio of the lady, rather than to get it from hacks like that.

Cheers,
Victoria

Revenant said...

Even before overtime, he earned $42,686 - 25 per cent more than High School teachers at the time

More than both of my parents put together, at that time. Oh, the terrible "obstacles" I had to overcome in my life!

Martin Gale said...

In fact, she had the same types of obstacles and hardships Condoleeza Rice had, which is to say very few given the broad African-American experience in the late 20th century.


Victoria, this observation is incorrect. Condi is 10 years older than Michelle and spent her childhood in segregated Alabama in the decade preceding the '64 Civil Rights Act, rather than integrated Chicago circa late '60s to early '70s. Several of Condi's childhood friends died in a church bombing that was a signature event of the civil rights movement; not so, Michelle. Condi's forbearance and undimmed patriotism in the face of this country's worst racially motivated violence makes her a regular Mandela in comparison to the spoiled, cranky spouse of the chosen one. (Also, Condi was somewhat of a children prodigy, while Michelle was nothing special.)

Original Mike said...

More than both of my parents put together, at that time. Oh, the terrible "obstacles" I had to overcome in my life!

Hey? Me, too! Oh, nobody knows the trouble I've seen.

Crimso said...

"What's the problem today, Wingnuts? Michelle Obama not acting "white" enough for you?"

"Conservatives get more credibility on their lipservice for respecting history and tradition when they stop projecting their own views and versions of it onto everyone else."

Irony-impaired?

Original Mike said...

You were lucky, Rev. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down t' mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep wi' his belt.

chickenlittle said...

Hey me three! Mt Dad was a janitor and I was the first to go to college and even made it to assistant professor at a major research institute. Only in America, and I've been really proud of it for most of my adult life!

Methadras said...

When are you people, especially you stupid, stupid leftists going to understand that people like the Obamas are bitter, unhappy people. They see boogey men around every corner and underneath every bed. They see nooses wherever they go and expect to be lynched at any moment. This is the general mental condition they operate under. Victimology and persecution complexes abound with these two, but especially Mrs. Obama, the affirmative action pick Princetonite. Leftists like the Obamas see oppression wherever they go because that is how they have been conditioned to see the world. Through the eyes of those less fortunate, those that hold out for government intervention to all that ails them in their lives. They are hoping that they can get into office to become that which they so desperately wanted, an overseer, a state nanny, someone or something to tell them what to do, when to do it and how to do it. They want to take over those reigns and shape policy and process based on those desires.

Show me a happy leftist who isn't angry or apathetic at the world or their lot in life or fawn over the guilt of the less fortunate and I'll show you someone who isn't a leftist. There isn't a single redeeming quality in the leftist ideology. Not one. Come one DTL, how about you Alpha, what about you Titus, oh and I can't forget Cyrus. How about you defenders of the leftist faith, like good ole Michelle show me the redeeming qualities of your ideology of stupidity, your bankrupt and contrarian political points of view. Let's see the happy face of leftism shall we? I'd ask Michelle, but she is to busy plotting her next essay on how angry she is about being vilified because by people who see through the Obamaian illusion of hope and change for the sake of just saying it.

I'm really starting to bear a big dislike for the Obamas. I am disliking him more because he means nothing because he is trying to be everything to everyone which only makes him nothing to anybody. He wants to distill all of his political/sociological points of views into the carafe of Utopian ambrosia. Also, because if they should ever make it into high office, they will have basically shit into the well trying to get there. We already know that a Clinton win will be like a Rolling Stones reunion. Same players, same tune, just a little more aged around the corners. But the Obamas will make bitterness and resentment the cornerstone of their policies.

However, he's been able to dupe enough people into thinking that somehow he's their guy. Well, you can have him and when, hopefully he loses his ass in the general, we will see how long he lasts being Senator do-nothing from Illinois.

Original Mike said...

Bet you don't make $500k/yr, chickenlittle. However do you manage?

vbspurs said...

One last response, before going out to dine. :)

Victoria, this observation is incorrect. Condi is 10 years older than Michelle and spent her childhood in segregated Alabama in the decade preceding the '64 Civil Rights Act, rather than integrated Chicago circa late '60s to early '70s.

She was also more significantly coddled by her parents, who made sure she never experienced any or FEW of the realities of segregation.

They told her that she could only drink water at home (poor thing), and never let her try on garments in the segregated department stores.

Her father was not prosperous, but they had a lovely house (much nicer than Michelle's if you can go by those hacks' photo ;), and her dad had a huge, brand-new car. He was, of course, a pastor and not a handyman. They later moved to an even more upscale situation in Colorado, where he was vice-chancellor of the University of Denver.

Still not upper-middle-class or anything, money-wise, but I'd put her above Michelle socially, for sure.

Several of Condi's childhood friends died in a church bombing that was a signature event of the civil rights movement; not so, Michelle.

That story has been partly exaggerated. Yes, she knew ONE of the girls who was killed, but they were not playmates, or anything. It's like someone saying that I was affected by the Lockerbie tragedy, because one of my schoolmates' brother was killed on the plane (he was, sadly).

Condi's forbearance and undimmed patriotism in the face of this country's worst racially motivated violence makes her a regular Mandela in comparison to the spoiled, cranky spouse of the chosen one.

Yes, I agree with that. :)

(Also, Condi was somewhat of a children prodigy, while Michelle was nothing special.)

I disagree with the "nothing" special, but clearly Condi was very special, whatever her skin shade.

The difference is that she doesn't reduce her gains or losses in this society by them.

She seems to suggest it's her doing, her parents helping, her country's blessings, and God's will.

It's not easy to dislike Condi Rice, which is why it makes it so hard to read people's racist vitriolic comments on her. And those are from her own...

Cheers,
Victoria

paul a'barge said...

FLS, are you implying that David Geffen and George Soros are moderates?

Help me out here. You're joking, right?

Methadras said...

montana urban legend said...

Or perhaps you could stop being so paranoid as to project your delusional fears of [insert generic angry black woman stereotype here] onto her.


I'm sorry, what are you railing against again? Your myopic viewpoint that conservatives, oh sorry, wingnuts, can't stand the seething easy bake oven heat that someone like Mrs. Obama projects? It's not paranoia, you insipid idiot. It's the fact that she presumes to be the concentrated, collective voice of the bitterness and resentment of all blacks. Hmm, I wonder were she got it from. Jeez, I'm really stumped. Gosh and golly, I wonder if sitting for God knows how many years in a particular church may have contributed to her righteous indignation?

However, I'm not sure what you are defending? Are you defending her resentment, bitterness, and anger? Are you supporting it? Or are you just one of their many gullible tools, who clap like seals whenever they say something profound and yet devoid of substance and meaning? Hope and change sound familiar. The Obama message is high on intent, high on carbohydrates, but very low on protein.

Withyouanon said...

I am aware of the Mail's FOXlike untouchable status for the so-called cognoscenti.

Irrespective of the source, I hang my hat on the attributed comment of the friend, the timing of the article (before their elitism was on the table) and thus I see no reason why the wage figure is falsified.

The date of the article is clearly some time ago, before the document became widely accessible by whatever means.

Hitchens isn't raving about her or her lousy thesis BTW.

paul a'barge said...

FLS: Michelle is angry because she seldom smiles -- got it, thanks!

Um, and all the other stuff.

Oh wait. I see. You're being disingenuous.

Sigh. Never mind.

George said...

Out, out, vile Clinton, where is thy lustre now!

former law student said...

In one of her freshman classes, where she was one of two or three blacks in a lecture hall of 250 students, a professor embraced the theory that whites are genetically superior to blacks in intelligence.

Her daddy was a Dean there (U of Denver). Hardly an example of speaking truth to power.

Even before overtime, he earned $42,686 - 25 per cent more than High School teachers at the time."

What year was this? The year he died? How much was he making when Michelle was a little girl? A friend of mine is making decent money working for "Streets and San", but he's been there 25 years, and went from Engineering Tech I to Engineering Tech VI in that time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGjR81pFJI4&NR=1
Something a partisan mashed up? Pardon me if I don't lend it much credence. The Journal-Sentinel did not mention her alleged lack of pride in their report on her Pabst Theater speech that day.

former law student said...

[Michelle] [spent her childhood in] integrated Chicago

I got your integrated Chicago right here:

http://www.gangresearch.net/Globalization/guggenheim/images/animsidelegend.gif

The story of Chicago is the story of segregation and re-segregation.

Violent neighborhood

A lie.


Why did all the white folks leave, then? Are you arguing they were purely racist?

Crappy local school

Also a lie; the school was of excellent quality.


Then you'll have no trouble linking to evidence of that.

When are you people, especially you stupid, stupid leftists going to understand that people like the Obamas are bitter, unhappy people.

When we see an objective manifestation of their bitterness and unhappiness.

chickenlittle said...

FLS- neat graphics, but I don't think it helps your point.

amba said...

William, 10:46 A.M.:

Thank you.

former law student said...

FLS- neat graphics, but I don't think it helps your point.

You can watch the South Side neighborhoods change from 100% white (blue) to 100% black (red) -- except for Hyde Park, home of the Obamas. The idea of growing up in an integrated Chicago is absurd.

Revenant said...

Why did all the white folks leave, then? Are you arguing they were purely racist?

The only two reasons you can think of for moving out of Chicago are "racism" and "fear of crime"? There was a general exodus of whites from the cities to the suburbs during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. There were a lot of reasons for that exodus, but "fear of crime" wasn't particularly one of them.

"the school was of excellent quality."

Then you'll have no trouble linking to evidence of that.

No trouble at all. A tidbit from that: "Whitney Young has been the winner of the City Academic Decathlon 24 out of the last 27 years[...], state champion for 22 of the last 23 years, and finished in the top five nationally for 14 of the last 16 years.

Wow. What "a crappy local school". Oh, by the way -- the first year they won the Chicago Academic Decathalon was the year Michelle graduated. I'm sure it was just a fluke.

So tell me, Mr. "I Want Citations", what was your source for the information that Michelle Obama's school was a bad one? Your ass?

franglosaxon said...

Revenant, you're a pure ass. Every speech she gives, Michelle Obama talks about how she is the product of "an excellent public school education" and how we need bring public schools back to that excellent level, everywhere.

So what is your ^$&%^*^&( point???

Pogo said...

So what is your ^$&%^*^&( point???

Simply that any argument suggesting that Michelle Obama grew up disadvantaged and facing more obstacles than most was pure ^$&%^*^&(. hogwash.

former law student said...

"crappy local school" = Michelle's neighborhood elementary school, not Whitney Young Magnet High School, which was some 13 miles away from their apartment. Please try to keep up.

Maybe 13 miles is local for you, but it's well beyond easy walking distance.

chickenlittle said...

Some students (not me) in my high school were bussed in from 20 mi away. That was local for them and they turned out OK.

Was MO bitching about her grade school or are you just projecting again?

Revenant said...

Every speech she gives, Michelle Obama talks about how she is the product of "an excellent public school education" and how we need bring public schools back to that excellent level, everywhere.

I wasn't aware of that, but that's certainly further proof that FLS's "crappy local school" claim was a lie.

So what is your ^$&%^*^&( point???

That FLS is completely full of shit. But I think that point's been made. :)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Even before overtime, he earned $42,686 - 25 per cent more than High School teachers at the time."

What year was this? The year he died? How much was he making when Michelle was a little girl?


Give me a break. I graduated college in 1990 and started working at US Steel for an outside contractor doing furnace maintenance and made a whopping $20,000 a year (before OT). My old man was a county cop and was barely scratching $30K and that was with 20+ years. So cry me a fucking river that her uneducated daddy was knocking down $40K+.

Maybe 13 miles is local for you, but it's well beyond easy walking distance.

Oh, so if you can't walk to school its an obstacle. See they have these things called school buses. My daughter rides one because her school being 6 miles away isn't exactly easy walking distance either.

FLS you are really showing your ass with this line of debate.

TMink said...

FLS wrote: "Her parents were married.
Well, whoop-ti-do. Isn't this the soft bigotry of low expectations?"

You are wrong on this one pal. Having unmarried parents is one of the prime predictors of poverty and social failure. Children from homes with married parents are more often neurologically sound and more likely to have brains that preform well. High functioning brains lead to success more times than not.

Trey

former law student said...

hoosier -- I thought it would be clear to you which school I was talking about. It wasn't. Good to know that you live out among the yellow school buses, though.

It's also illuminating that you made $20K out of school in 1990. Were you supporting a wife and two children at that time? Were you all living in a one-bedroom attic apartment? Hopefully in the intervening years you have advanced in your career and are making quite a bit more. For reference, I was making $32K out of school in 1985.

No, Michelle Obama did not complain about her crappy elementary school. In fact she praised her public school education, somehow displaying neither resentment nor bitterness.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I thought it would be clear to you which school I was talking about.

What that her elementary school sucked? So did mine.

It's also illuminating that you made $20K out of school in 1990. Were you supporting a wife and two children at that time?

No my wife also worked rather than stayed at home. Putting it another way, Michelle's daddy was making far more coin in terms of real dollars than I was.

Were you all living in a one-bedroom attic apartment?

No a two bedroom 820 sq ft home.

Hopefully in the intervening years you have advanced in your career and are making quite a bit more.

Yes I did as did Michelle who clearly had about as tough a childhood as I did.

For reference, I was making $32K out of school in 1985.

That's quite a bit of coin back then.

I guess the whole point of this discussion is Michelle's obstacles were about the same as any other middle class person. They certainly weren't poor. To think that she somehow struggled as opposed to some suburban white kid is a major stretch.