Sunday, May 25, 2008

Why can't we criticize Michelle Obama?

The Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby first. Then my comments below the star line.

Jacoby begins - - -

On the website of the Tennessee Republican Party is a short video in which residents of Nashville talk about the pride they feel for their country.

One man, for example, mentions his esteem for the First and Second Amendments. A Vanderbilt graduate student says he was proud when Ronald Reagan told Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall - "and I was prouder when it came down." A young professional woman extols the "academic and job opportunities that women have in this country." A police officer named Juan says he is proud of having immigrated to the United States, learned English, and become a citizen of this "land of opportunity and the best country in the world."

The video makes its point by alternating these upbeat comments with clips of Michelle Obama telling two different audiences in February: "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country."

In an understated press release announcing the video, the state GOP welcomed Mrs. Obama to Nashville and remarked: "The Tennessee Republican Party has always been proud of America."

One would have to have skin of microscopic thinness to take offense at so gentle and indirect a critique.

No surprise, then, that Barack Obama took offense, reacting as if his bride had been slimed by slurs akin to those that enraged Andrew Jackson when he ran for president. (During the campaign of 1828, supporters of John Quincy Adams maligned Jackson's mother as a "common prostitute" and mocked his adored wife, Rachel, as a "convicted adulteress" and a "strumpet.") In an interview on ABC, Obama growled that Republicans "should lay off my wife," and described the inoffensive Tennessee video as "detestable," "low class," and reflecting "a lack of decency."

If Republicans "think that they're going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign," he added ominously, "they should be careful." . . .

Jacoby's entire column's here.



I looked at the ad and thought it was very, very tame. What upset Senator Obama?

Jacoby doesn't see any reason why Ms. Obama shouldn't be subject to criticism as long as she's out campaigning for her husband. I don't either.

I wish Obama's MSM supporters would ask him to explain why he doesn't think people should criticize his wife for criticizing America.

There must be a reason.

I'm all for Michelle Obama's right to say she's never been proud of America until it looked like her husband might get the Dems' presidential nomination.

It's a free country, after all.

But people should be able to criticize her, too.

That's where I stand.

How about you?

Final thought: I liked the history lesson and links Jacoby provided.


Anonymous said...

Obama has a typical liberal view of Freedom of Speech. He can say anything he wants but when people respond it's somehow wrong (usually it's racist or some such nonesense).

What I wondered about when I heard his comment was the "they better be careful" warning. Clearly it's a threat but what exactly is he going to do? Whine some more? Call them names?

Anonymous said...

I think he is setting a line of defense for something on the horizon concerning Michelle. As long as she is out campaigning she is fair game.

I shudder to think if Obama keeps dictating what we can, and cannot discuss. If everything we say is mean, racist or some other offence, our dialog is stifled, and it would seem, free speech is relegated just to the Rev. Nasty.

This does not bode well for the future of ‘Change we can believe in.’

Anonymous said...

"What I wondered about when I heard his comment was the "they better be careful" warning. Clearly it's a threat but what exactly is he going to do? Whine some more? Call them names?"

I suspect that his campaign is planning on attacking Cindy McCain over her finances and previous (and honestly admitted) problems with prescription medications. They're going to go after her unmercifully and this will be their "excuse."

Anonymous said...

John -

As I mentioned earlier, Obama thinks he's going to be America's first affirmative action President. He can say anything he wants about anybody, but no one can say a thing about him, his wife, his preacher, etc., etc.

Jack in Silver Sping

Anonymous said...


"Affirmative action president"? That is offensive. If nothing else, Obama has proven through his life that he is accomplished by his own right, not by entitlement. You don't become the editor of the Harvard Law Review by being a minority; you get it by being the best in your class. Criticizing him with racist remarks is beyond the pale of reasonable discussion. While we are on the subject of Harvard Law Review, it is refreshing to have 3 candidates for President (almost 2) who are intellectually up to the task, I hope they seek broad based solutions to the many problems currently facing our country, as it seems both will as centrist candidates.

I agree with John and everyone else here that Michelle should be fair game, as should his pastor, or others he chooses to associate with. But please remember to hold the other candidates responsible in the same manner. It should be unacceptable for pastors supporting McCain to say that: the Catholic Church is "the great whore" (Hagee), Hitler's holocaust was "God's work" (Hagee), or it is the historic mission of the US to see the "false religion" of Islam "destroyed" (Parsley). Yet the media didn't jump on their boy McCain for weeks because of the words of the pastors he associates with (that libral bias strikes again!).