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Tilting at Windmills

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February 19, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

"FIRST TIME"?....Speaking of Obama backlash, could we be in for some Michelle Obama backlash as well? We've already been through the "I'm not sure I'd campaign for Hillary" thing, and now we have the "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country" gaffe. James Joyner rounds up the reaction so far, mostly from conservatives. But I'll bet Hillary supporters will jump on board any second now.

Kevin Drum 10:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (169)

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Meh. Her "first time" comment doesn't strike me as much different in tone from Caroline Kennedy's "I wanna President just the one who married dear old mom" endorsement, or pretty much anything else I hear from the Obamamaniacs.

To them, this is the first election that's ever mattered. HE is the first candidate who spoke to them. They've looked into HIS eyes and seen HIS soul...oh wait, that was Bush and Putin. I'm getting my "transformative" politicians confused again.

Kidding aside, while it's less wise and politic for her to say that, it's no different from what I hear daily from other Obama supporters.

Posted by: R.A. Porter on February 19, 2008 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

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

Here really is colloquially used to mean "especially" rather than simply "actually/genuinely." That's it, end of story, nothing more to huff about.

I have a new post up on my blog today about conservatives, Paul Krugman and Paula Poundstone, for any who care to check it out.

http://www.swanpoliticsblog.blogspot.com

Posted by: Swan on February 19, 2008 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think you have to be a conservative, or even a Hillary supporter, to be appalled at Mrs. Obama's comment. I suppose this kind of grimmer-than-thou rhetoric is popular with self-styled victims of America, but it is indefensible.

Posted by: sammler on February 19, 2008 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Almost all people seem to buy into the idea that one must be "proud" of their country, no matter what (lies and wars, suspending haebeous, etc.).

I'm lucky to be a US citizen -- incredibly fortunate. But that doesn't mean I have to always be "proud" (let along "really proud") of my country no matter what -- the idea of "my country, right or wrong" is just what is seems: mindless tripe unworthy of real freedom and liberty.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on February 19, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Why would I be "appalled" at a bit of rhetorical excess?

Posted by: PaulB on February 19, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

I think what Michelle was saying Well yes this is the first time in the history of the United States that it has been possible to seriously entertain the idea, even for African-Americans, that one of them could be President some day.

Posted by: Steve Crickmore on February 19, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

This is hilarious. I've been reading Victor Davis Hanson flogging this nonsense for the last couple days and counting the hours before HRC supporters take up the charge. It's starting to feel like 2004 all over again, but this time in the primaries, with every quote by Teresa Heinz Kerry blown way out of proportion, and people sticking fingers in their ears and yelling "Shameful, shameful!!" without any regard for what a manufactured talking point this is. This is pure swiftboat noise, just like the pathetic "plagiary" allegations. Stick to substance, people.

Posted by: ed on February 19, 2008 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

It's cute how everyone defends everything Obama does by pillorizing Hillary's supporters. That truly is a different kind of politics. Oh wait, no it's not.

How about some discussion about how Obama has donated three times the campaign contributions to superdelegates than Hillary has. Is that a new and different kind of politics, too?

Posted by: Julene on February 19, 2008 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

I'm thoroughly ashamed of George Bush's America. Don't like that, wingers? Kiss my a**.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 19, 2008 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

One-note Hillary blogger Taylor Marsh jumps into the anti-Michelle movement with both feet.

Posted by: neil on February 19, 2008 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, that's a really dumb thing to say out loud, tho i think i might feel something similar if I'd grown up black in this country. Hard to square this with O's seeming commitment to not making white folks feel bad about institutional racism in the US, but if Obama's the nominee they'll survive it. Remember Hillary's "baking cookies" moment?

Regarding your earlier thread on the coming Obama backlash, isn't it a little ironic that Brooks is hitting him for being too dependably liberal while Krugman has been hitting him for not being visibly liberal enough? I mean, i've thought all along that Krugman had something of a point & it was one of the reasons i preferred Edwards. Now that it's down to these two, i'd prefer Obama if nothing more than to not reward the Clinton's for running such an incompetent, divisive campaign & bcz of my concerns with Hillary in the general.

As far as the kind of backlash that Krugman is worrying about, i think that he's a charismatic enough figure to weather it. If it happens tho, his biggest & most acolytic fans will be the worst problem for him. he's like Lynard Skynard in that reagrd.

Posted by: URK on February 19, 2008 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Her comments are sort of adding up. She's smart, she'll figure out how to adjust her comments once she sees how the media can react to it.

But the comments are adding up. 1) "If you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House." Which, is technically true. 2) If Hillary were nominated "I'd have to think about" working for her, which Michelle cleaned up in the next sentence. Now 3) "This is the first time in my adult life I've felt proud of my country" - first time since 1981. Surely it's not the first time, she probably didn't mean it this way.

There's no way Hillary can get the nomination at this point, so the big concern is the damage this will do for November.

Posted by: AF on February 19, 2008 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Anyway, it's not particularly hard to finesse a respectable answer out of this one. "I thought I was proud of my country before, but now I know what it is to be really proud"? What's wrong with that? Isn't lifting America up to new heights what Obama is selling, anyway?

Posted by: neil on February 19, 2008 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

It was a careless comment. But I agree with her! With a few exceptions -- the Internet boom, intervening in Kosovo, maybe, a few cultural/entertainment figures -- what the hell has there been to be "really proud of" during the last 20 years?

Posted by: Ryan on February 19, 2008 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Sigh.

Okay Obama supporters. This is what "being under the microscope" means. The drumbeat has started. You can't hand wave it away (Swan). You can't exaggerate it away (Gore/Edwards 08). You can't even explain it away (Steve Crickmore) because in politics if you are explaining you are losing.

Michelle has to take it back and state a list of the things she has been proud of in America since 1982 and do it quickly.

Posted by: Tripp on February 19, 2008 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Concern trolls are one of the things I'm not proud of.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 19, 2008 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Its apparent that strong women with a mind of their own are rarely treated well by the msm. It happened to Hillary, its happening to Michelle, and it will happen to other articulate women in politics.

Posted by: leslie on February 19, 2008 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

I have a new post up on my blog today about conservatives, Paul Krugman and Paula Poundstone, for any who care to check it out.

meh.

Posted by: not proud of your blog on February 19, 2008 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

has the US done anything else in her adult lifetime that she should she have been really proud of ?

she's what, 40-ish ? what has the US done since 1980 that she should be really proud of ?

Posted by: cleek on February 19, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

ed,

This is pure swiftboat noise, just like the pathetic "plagiary" allegations. Stick to substance, people.

That didn't work in 2004 and that won't work now. Wishful thinking won't change that fact. I agree this is a manufactured talking point. I agree this is nonsense. This is the kind of attacks that will happen over and over and over again and ignoring it is a losing strategy.

Posted by: Tripp on February 19, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Full Michelle quote and a much more serious post on the matter over at The Carpetbagger Report:

http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/14627.html

You just mailing your shit in these days Kevin?

Posted by: frankly pissed in Hawaii on February 19, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Kerry didn't lose because of swiftboating- that's a Very Serious Media legend. He lost because he was a lousy candidate with a poorly organized campaign. Kind of like Hillary.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 19, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Poor Obama! I wish people would stop picking on him! First Bill and Hillary Clinton were picking on him AT THE SAME TIME, and now the mean mainstream media are criticizing him and the comments of his wife too! Waaaah!

Christ, have you ever seen a LESS rough-and-tumble Chicago politician!?

Posted by: Pat on February 19, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

"How about some discussion about how Obama has donated three times the campaign contributions to superdelegates than Hillary has. Is that a new and different kind of politics, too?"

-not surprising that he might need more juice to swing superdelagates since he isn't you know, a former President's wife. Besides, i thought Hillary supporters (often just as ridiculous as fervent Obama supporters) thought this kind of inside baseball was just fine.

Posted by: URK on February 19, 2008 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK


Point 1:
It's not something you want to hear from someone about to move into the White House, but on the concern-o-meter it doesn't even register next to "Things would be a lot easier if this were a Dictatorship" (G W Bush) and "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran." (John McCain)

Point 2:
It's hard to blame any black American for not feeling pride in their country. Pride is also not essential for devotion.

Posted by: Boronx on February 19, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

only Obama acolytes blinded by their devotion have failed to see that Michelle O is a problem - she gives off an obnoxious militant vibe that I imagine behind the scenes and the veneer of public image probably verges on the insufferable. GOP mailers and push polls will have a field day with this latest bit of nonsense from her.

Posted by: guff on February 19, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

I was only a matter of time before Michelle started getting the "Hillary Treatment" ala 1992...

Posted by: elmo on February 19, 2008 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

i've always been proud of my country.

it's the assholes running the executive branch of our government (and frequently the congress as well) that piss me off to no end.

i think that's what michelle obama meant to say.

Posted by: Auto on February 19, 2008 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Ironic that the ones who complain the loudest about this kind of "gaffe" are unaccountably silent about the debacles caused by President Bush's incompetence: tens of thousands of Iraqis killed, almost 4,000 Americans killed (not counting 3,000 on 9-11-01 when Bush went brush cutting for a month in West Texas after getting a Presidential Daily intelligence Briefing: "Osama Bin Laden determined to strike inside the U.S."); Katrina victims because of the politicization of FEMA, the loss of America's goodwill and positive image throughout the world, another $3 or $4 trillion (that's $3,000,000,000,000) in national debt, the despoliation of the U.S. military and its equipment, including every State's National Guard, the loss of civil liberties, officially sanctioned torture, declaring American citizens "enemy combatants" and holding them for years without trial, ..... well, the list is almost endless. So how proud is Victor Davis Hanson and his ilk of those grand accomplishments?

Posted by: James Finkelstein on February 19, 2008 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

This is hilarious. I've been reading Victor Davis Hanson flogging this nonsense for the last couple days and counting the hours before HRC supporters take up the charge. It's starting to feel like 2004 all over again, but this time in the primaries, with every quote by Teresa Heinz Kerry blown way out of proportion, and people sticking fingers in their ears and yelling "Shameful, shameful!!" without any regard for what a manufactured talking point this is. This is pure swiftboat noise, just like the pathetic "plagiary" allegations. Stick to substance, people.

Krugman is shrill! Clinton killed Vince Foster! And those nasty things that Clinton keeps saying about Obama!

Also, any truth to reports from TalkLeft that Obama outspent Clinton in FLORIDA?

Posted by: jerry on February 19, 2008 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

I have to wonder, if this is the sort of thing that is going to make people think twice about Obama, it probably wasn't likely that he'd get their votes anyway.

Joyner's own comments aren't ridiculous, even though I don't agree with him. I think Joyner is on to something when he says that going to one extreme to emphasize the faults of America isn't wise, but I'd like to ask him, how would he respond to someone like Mitt Romney, who said in a debate that there's nothing that he doesn't like about America? To me, that's equally ridiculous.

Posted by: Brian on February 19, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Give the woman a break. Like Barack Obama says, maybe she was having one of the "periodically feeling down" days when women just don't know what they're saying. When she said she'd have to think about working for a Hillary candidacy it's just you know like Barack says sometimes the "claws" come out and women need to "boost their appeal".

Posted by: Chrissy on February 19, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

cleek,

what has the US done since 1980 that she should be really proud of ?

Off the top of my head - for rightwingers - we rebuilt our demoralized military without resorting to the draft. We survived the end of the cold war without using a single nuclear bomb. We pushed Saddam out of Kuwait and kept him in a box.

For both: We lowered the abortion rate. We lowered the crime rate. We increased the high school graduation rate and the college attendance rate.

For the left: We reduced racism somewhat. We eliminated for the most part starvation in the US. We increased the literacy rate. We allowed the opportunity of gays in the military (with restrictions). We created a generation of people who seem to be ready to accept both a woman and an African American as President.

Posted by: Tripp on February 19, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

what has the US done since 1980 that she should be really proud of?

A few...
- Kosovo action and stabilizing Balkans
- International Space Station
- Fight against AIDS
- The internet technically
- The internet as an idea forum
- The PC
- Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus probes and landers
- Our medical industry and the drugs and techniques they've developed
- GPS system

Posted by: sjrsm on February 19, 2008 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Boronx,

Point 2: It's hard to blame any black American for not feeling pride in their country.

Even those privileged to have Ivy league degrees, a combined income of over a million a year, and who send their kids to an elite private school?

See the thing is that if you play the race card for pity when it is not deserved then it comes off sounding phony and ungrateful.

Posted by: Tripp on February 19, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if the Clinton supporters here realize the degree of active hostility towards her campaign that they are generating with their comments. She's gone in my mind from "second choice because of her votes" to "supported by nasty petty people" in a hurry. And I've seen enough Democratic candidates with crummy campaigns to recognize the warning signs of someone who will run a bad one in the general - and that's Hillary by quite a wide margin. She not only didn't stand up to Bush when it mattered; she's also running a campaign that reminds me of Republican tactics, and she's not even doing it well.

Posted by: Marc on February 19, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

sjrsm,

Sheesh, we better stop agreeing with each other or it's going to look bad for both of us!

Posted by: Tripp on February 19, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Frankly I don't think what Michelle said was all that off-base, however, coming from the wife of someone running for president it sounds awful. I don't think it should be so difficult for her to just say she mis-spoke and that's not what she meant or believes. It probably wouldn't be true but hey that's politics.

Posted by: greg on February 19, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

"Also, any truth to reports from TalkLeft that Obama outspent Clinton in FLORIDA?"

No. Jerome completely misread a report, as the authors of that report publicly stated.

Posted by: PaulB on February 19, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

"Even those privileged to have Ivy league degrees, a combined income of over a million a year, and who send their kids to an elite private school?"

Yes. Next question?

Posted by: PaulB on February 19, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Touché Chrissy!

Posted by: Michael Buchanan on February 19, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Again, Kevin and maybe everybody else, should read the full quote: “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country,” she told a Milwaukee crowd today, “and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.” Lazy, lazy people. A much more accurate take on all this at carpetbagger:

http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/14627.html

Posted by: JDays on February 19, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

A nation that allowed a poor black girl to go to Princeton and Harvard Law and attain a high corporate position on her merits wasn't one to be proud of?

Posted by: bob h on February 19, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

What's lazy about the response? I read the full quote, and it doesn't change anything. I'm not outraged by it, but it is a dumb thing to say. And saying "...because I think people are hungry for change” is essentially repeating her husband's campaign slogan, so she's clearly talking about her husband's campaign as the source of her pride.

It's uncanny how many times Obama supporters are willing to step forward and educate us all on what he or his wife REALLY meant to say. For such a great communicator, he sure does need a lot of translators.

And really, I can't believe we're now supposed to give her a pass because she's black. I guess we'll just wait for the Obama supporters to tell us when it's OK to refer to him as the black candidate, and when it's "racist." Stop making excuses for the guy.

Posted by: ChrisO on February 19, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Someone 'claims' that we should be proud of these things. Hello, sir? Have you inserted your entire head into your rectum? These are not things to be proud of. The stock market, yes. This thing we call freedom? Absolutely. Our military? Curiously absent from your list.

- Kosovo action and stabilizing Balkans

Bill Clinton tries to deflect attention from a sex scandal and you call that positive? We wasted a lot of cruise missiles that SHOULD have been fired at Iran, sir.

- International Space Station

That rattletrap paean to worldwide indulgence is still flying? What a bunch of hooey. Can you still poop out the window of that thing and not have the smell paralyze you?

- Fight against AIDS

I'm sorry, but there was an added benefit from the AIDS era--the end of promiscuity. Thanks again, liberals. You've really stepped in it this time. The American people don't like their sex all over the place for free.

- The internet technically

Which gave us Kevin Dumbo. Bravo, sir. Bravo.

- The internet as an idea forum

Which gave us you. Boo! Boo!

- The PC

Now irrelevant, thanks to the cellular phone, which was invented who cares where but has now been turned into a magic portal of wonder.

- Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus probes and landers

None of those programs found life on those planets, hence, they were all failures.

- Our medical industry and the drugs and techniques they've developed

I have a bum knee and a bad elbow--think there's any way I could get something to help me? Of course not. Liberals have ruined health care in this country. AGAIN!

- GPS system

I spent twenty-seven minutes driving around downtown Manchester yesterday, looking for an Italian restaurant that no longer exists, thanks to a faulty GPS system in my Lexus SUV. I promptly threw the thing into the street, smashing it to a million pieces, one of which caused a pool of oil to ignite. Consequences? No, didn't stick around and I don't care, either way.

None of these things have done anything for me. Next time, just say "the stock market" and then shut your yap.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 19, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

I thought Mrs. Obama was talking about Haditha.

Posted by: Hostile on February 19, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Yes. Next question?
Posted by: PaulB

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of self-loathing that can be found on the left.

Norman, are you sure your name really isn't Ignatius J. Reilly? Carry a secret longing for medieval times?

Posted by: sjrsm on February 19, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

"It never ceases to amaze me the amount of self-loathing that can be found on the left."

ROFL.... Dear heart, do please tell me where you find any "self-loathing" in anything I've written.

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of reading incomprehension that can be found on the right.

Posted by: PaulB on February 19, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

No, Norman, it's conservatards like you and conservacriminals like BushCo that I loathe, not myself.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 19, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

What I find interesting from our usual right-wing idiots is that they cannot seem to understand that this is not a binary choice -- that there are a hell of a lot of choices between "really proud of my country" and "ashamed of my country".

Most of these morons are only aware of the first line of Carl Schurz' quote: "My country, right or wrong," forgetting that there was a second line: "if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right."

Posted by: PaulB on February 19, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

she gives off an obnoxious militant vibe

I am not that familiar with Michelle Obama's history, but some African American women I have known grew up in high density low income neighborhoods, where an obnoxious militant vibe is a strategy for survivial. Some people think this 'vibe' is derived from the ethnic culture of its practitioners, but I think it is derived from the socio-economic environment. Chicago's past institutional racism against African Americans created the environment that nurtured Michelle Obama. We need a lot more obnoxious militants from these environments if they are to be eliminated as cultures of poverty.

Posted by: Brojo on February 19, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

ROFL.... Dear heart, do please tell me where you find any "self-loathing" in anything I've written.
Posted by: PaulB

It's right there, lurking beneath the surface. The idea that *nothing* this country has done in 27 years warrants pride, at least if you're black. Until now that is. Now that a black man is running for President, there is cause for pride. And although surely he stands on the shoulders of giants before him, their actions were not pride-worthy.

Posted by: sjrsm on February 19, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK
The idea that *nothing* this country has done in 27 years warrants pride, at least if you're black.
Are you proud of your stupidity in not bothering to find out that that's not what she said?

Kevin needs to recruit better conservatards and concern trolls. This lot is hopeless.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 19, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Well, frankly, I can't think of much that the USA has done to be "proud" about in my adult lifetime, either.

Posted by: kc on February 19, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

My own feelings about America don't have much to do with who the president happens to be at a given time, but Michelle Obama is hardly to first person to equate election returns with increased pride in America. How many times have we heard conservatives say that Reagan "made us proud to be Americans again," as if it was a shameful thing to be an American prior to November 1980.

As far as backlash goes, with McCain as the Republican nominee, that would be the case no matter what. All we can do is try to keep the bastards honest.

Posted by: Hyde on February 19, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

What I find interesting from our usual right-wing idiots is that they cannot seem to understand that this is not a binary choice -- that there are a hell of a lot of choices between "really proud of my country" and "ashamed of my country".
Posted by: PaulB

You must not be a parent, or you'd know it is possible to be proud of a child for one thing and not so much for another. At the same time.

If you disagree with that and assume pride has to be based on the aggregate whole at any one moment, well then surely in your mind Iraq would completely overwhelm and offset the mere campaign for nomination of one black politician. Heck, we've even done that before. He's treading a worn path.

Posted by: sjrsm on February 19, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Are you proud of your stupidity in not bothering to find out that that's not what she said?
Posted by: Steve LaBonne

I'm not saying that is was she said, moron. That is what PaulB said in his 11:40 post.

Posted by: sjrsm on February 19, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Surely the right answer, if/when pressed for clarification, is that Americans of Mrs Obama's age (and mine) have lived in a dark age politically. The first president we remember was Nixon, and political life in this country has been toxic ever since.

Michelle Obama is too young to have witnessed the civil rights revolution. She (and I) have only lived to see the backlash against it, without which no Republican would have ever been elected President.

Posted by: kth on February 19, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

All those folks who have been pooh poohing the sexist behavior of the press towards Hillary and saying she is over blowing it, are about to get it straight in the gut with the MSM's treatment of Michelee Obama.

Believe me they much prefer a drugged out Cindy McCain standing behind McCain with her mouth shut. Wonder why she is never covered in the press? There might be some uncomfortable questions about her adventures in stealing drugs from charity.

Posted by: Teresa on February 19, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Teresa, Cindy is never in the press because only Democratic prospective first ladies are ever "controversial." Try to imagine Hillary, Teresa Heinz Kerry, or Michelle Obama having Laura Bush's particular teenage tragedy in her past, and that still being something completely unknown to the vast majority of Americans.

Posted by: Hyde on February 19, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm thoroughly ashamed of George Bush's America. Don't like that, wingers? Kiss my a**."

I'm ashamed of George Bush, who is merely a temporary employee of America. He doesn't own America and neither does the next temp in the White House. It will take more than an eight year run of the politics of fear and hate to make me ashamed of my country.

Posted by: solar on February 19, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK
I'm not saying that is was she said, moron. That is what PaulB said in his 11:40 post.
That's not accurate either. So far you're batting 1.000. I'm so proud of you. Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 19, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK
It will take more than an eight year run of the politics of fear and hate to make me ashamed of my country.
George Bush, sadly, is only a symptom. The fact that we have so many dumbasses who voted for him twice and in many cases still support him is nothing to be proud of. Serious reflection, not reflexive "pride" (which goeth before a fall), is called for. Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 19, 2008 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Just a reminder. Michelle Obama, presumably near the same age as her husband, i.e. 44 years old, would have been 16 at the beginning of the Reagan administration. She's had 8 years of Reagan, 4 of Bush Sr, 8 of Clinton and 8 of Junior. I don't see anything in that time period to warrant pride 'in the country' in a comprehensive sense.

Posted by: nepeta on February 19, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Norman, are you sure your name really isn't Ignatius J. Reilly? Carry a secret longing for medieval times?

Are you sure your name isn't Foo Foo Dingleberry McPoopy the Bouncing Squirrel?

As to the point of the entire thread, when a woman says that she is proud of her country for "the first time" it means that she loathed, despised and hated her country up to this point. In other words, she admitted she was a liberal, and the natural state of the liberal is to peer through a cloud of blue smoke and yammer on and on about how much they hate their country.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 19, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see anything in that time period to warrant pride 'in the country' in a comprehensive sense.
Posted by: nepeta

So, for example, what would have led you to have had pride in your country? What event or situation would have met that litmus test?

Posted by: sjrsm on February 19, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Laura had a teenage tragedy? Who could have known? What, pray tell, was it?

Posted by: tomeck on February 19, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

There was so much more we could have and should have done. So much wealth and prosperity and scientific knowledge. instead, we built video game empires and swooned for a return to the 1950s.

Chrissy and Hilary people: please stop embarrassing yourselves. We know you support Hillary. But every waking thought is an attack now. STFU already.

Posted by: Sparko on February 19, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see anything in that time period to warrant pride 'in the country'

You didn't feel pride when the stock market hit 11,000 for the first time? You didn't feel pride when downtown Baghdad turned into a glowing pile of hell? You didn't feel your heart move in your chest with admiration when America witnessed the inaugurations of President Ronald Reagan?

Who are you people? You're not Americans, that's for certain. You all must be sitting in a Dutch hash bar, stoked up on something expensive.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 19, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Michelle Obama's comment seems perfectly reasonable to me. I consider myself a patriot, yet I have been feeling pretty miserable about my country. (Oh no, it's a paradox!) Obama's appeal to Americans to engage with government and start righting the ship resonates with me.

Still, Michelle will have to get used to the idea that you can't hand ammo to the troglodytes. She's a very intelligent and poised individual, and she'll adapt.

On the other hand, we have Mrs. McCain, the rich trophy wife Straight Talk McCain married after dumping his first wife, who had sustained debilitating injuries in a car accident (I think it was) and who was not rich.

Bring on the family values, GOP!

Posted by: Lucy on February 19, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Norman, you never answered the question...

What the hell were you doing in 1968?

Posted by: elmo on February 19, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

You didn't feel pride when downtown Baghdad turned into a glowing pile of hell?
Yes Norman, it's surprising Michelle didn't march into the streets screaming "Now that's what I'm talking about, sister, let's burn this muther down!"

Posted by: bjd on February 19, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK
You didn't feel pride when the stock market hit 11,000 for the first time? You didn't feel pride when downtown Baghdad turned into a glowing pile of hell? You didn't feel your heart move in your chest with admiration when America witnessed the inaugurations of President Ronald Reagan?
Wait a minute. Have we been had? I mean, this guy must be being sarcastic- he can't actually believe this stuff. Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 19, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Yikes, I just read the wikipedia entry on Cindy McCain.

She seems to have been quite a decent person before she married McCain and things started going downhill!

Posted by: Lucy on February 19, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

"George Bush, sadly, is only a symptom. The fact that we have so many dumbasses who voted for him twice and in many cases still support him is nothing to be proud of. Serious reflection, not reflexive "pride" (which goeth before a fall), is called for."

The kind of "serious reflection" that confuses a country and what it stands for and has stood for, with some of the people who live there? My, we certainly could use more of that type of intellectually rigorous thought.

Posted by: solar on February 19, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell were you doing in 1968?

The same thing as ex-liberal--piling up deferments in a war he fervently supported and still supports from his comfy position in the 101st Chairborne.

Posted by: shortstop on February 19, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

solar, anybody actually familiar with history knows this country has stood for many things. Some of them are wonderful. Some of them are awful.

We have never, as a people, suffered from an excess of self-criticism or a deficit of chest-beating. Simple-mindedness != lack of confusion. Americans don't need to be told to engage in yet more chest-thumping.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 19, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Steve LaBonne,
Norman is a parody troll. No one, not even Al, is that crazy.

Posted by: bjd on February 19, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell were you doing in 1968?

Besides your mother? Hmm.

I was three years out of Princeton, so at that point I was no longer working in Boston for an investment firm owned by a friend of the family. My time spent there was done, and it was time to work in the corporate development office of my Father's company. My Father ran a firm that had extensive dealings with the US Army during Vietnam, including helping to develop a more lethal form of defoliant spreader, mounted on fixed-wing aircraft, along with Dow chemical. At that point, the family business was diversified between riot suppression and crowd control vehicles, flamethrower technology, and helping to make the harnesses used to keep troops from flying out of the open doors of helicopters and gunships. We were seeing double-digit increases in profits, right up until 1971, and then the whole thing sort of collapsed. I went to a number of countries that year, and had a great time skiing in Europe. I remember that the winter in Zermatt was spectacular. I believe I was there during the Tet Offensive, and I remember telling some Belgians that the end was near for the Vietcong. They sneered at me, as Europeans often do, so I stole a credit card from one of their party and bought myself new skis and rented a car, which I drove down the mountain and into a lake.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 19, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Are you sure your name isn't Foo Foo Dingleberry McPoopy the Bouncing Squirrel?
- Norman Rogers

Norman wins the thread!

Posted by: optical weenie on February 19, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'm proud that, unlike mhr, I'm not demented enough to be proud of those things.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 19, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Um, Steve LaBonne, yes. Norman is our very own dear parody, and we love him for it. A few folks take him seriously, but those folks are irony deficient.

Whether or not Ms. Obama's statement is justifiable and right is beside the point. If your spouse is running for President you just don't say shit like that. It betrays a complete lack of political sense. Even Mrs. T., who is somewat to the left of our friend Brojo, saw that remark on TV and exclaimed how stupid it was.

Posted by: thersites on February 19, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

God help me, I'm in love with Norman Rogers. I can't help it.

Posted by: shortstop, laughing her tail off on February 19, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Wait a minute. Have we been had? I mean, this guy must be being sarcastic- he can't actually believe this stuff

Uh, yes I do believe that the stock market--the triumph of Capitalism--is something to be proud of. Overthrowing a despotic dictator--something to be proud of. And I realize liberals have a deranged hatred of all things Reagan, but there you go. Ronald Reagan was someone to be proud of, because, as your man Obama Hussein says, Reagan did have *all* of the ideas.

Anyone who disagrees with you stoners is a parody, of course, since none of you have had an original thought since Skeeter and Zeke went for more Doritos after Ren and Stimpy ended...

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 19, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Funny, I don't see any invitations to chest-beating here. Perhaps straw man beating would be more like it?

The country is more than the sum of its parts. It's certainly more than each part. My objection to the characterization of my country as "Geroge Bush's America" still stands. My objection to the conflation of my country with any of its citizens still stands. I despair for those who cannot distinguish the difference.

P.S. I also despair for anyone who says "anybody actually familiar with history" and "We have never, as a people, suffered from an excess of self-criticism" in the same post! Hundreds of years of American self-criticism wiped clean by the simple, magical act of being unaware of it.

Posted by: solar on February 19, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Besides your mother? Hmm.

My mother was 14 in 1968.

Posted by: elmo on February 19, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

I think her comment was understandable, even appropriate, for any African-American to say, whatever their soco-economic achievement. But it's a disastrous thing to say in a Presidential campaign.

Maybe MO is suffering from a bit of hubris from the Obama surge and the hithertoo kid glove treatment he's received from the MSM.

Anyway, the shit taste in her mouth she'll have to endure behind this comment hopefully will prevent a reoccurence.

Posted by: Horatio Parker on February 19, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

My mother was 14 in 1968.

Correction, she was fabulous in 1968, sir, and there's no disputing that.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 19, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Correction, she was fabulous in 1968, sir, and there's no disputing that.

Ok, fine, if you're into 450lb harry women. Flies used to swarm around her crotch too, I guess that was your fault...

Posted by: elmo on February 19, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, fine, if you're into 450lb harry women. Flies used to swarm around her crotch too, I guess that was your fault...

I, of course, was just joking, but you, apparently, don't care about your mother. Well, let me tell you something sir--America is about mothers. Mothers are what made this country. Were it not for the cold, steely eye of the mother of George Washington, would we even have a country today? Of course not.

But you don't see that. You see, with your Bush hating deranged eyes, a country in trouble. I see a country ascending to even greater heighths.

I think what you need to do is step away from the Internet for a while, and re-examine your life. You need to stop hating and start to love something. I think that the something--or someone--that you should stop hating and start loving is...yourself.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 19, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

I guess I'm all alone here, but I don't see the problem with her statement. There's nothing wrong with being proud of one's country (though there is a problem with ignorant "my country right or wrong" thinking devoid of honest criticism of our real problems), but I've personally experienced moments in my adult life when I've been less than proud of our nation's record on certain issues, not the least of which is our record on issues of race. If Michelle Obama is proud of her country for embracing a black presidential candidate a mere generation after the fight for equal rights and the end of Jim Crow, well, more power to her. I daresay she is far from alone.

Posted by: Frank Jacobs on February 19, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

-not surprising that he might need more juice to swing superdelagates since he isn't you know, a former President's wife. Besides, i thought Hillary supporters (often just as ridiculous as fervent Obama supporters) thought this kind of inside baseball was just fine.

Indeed. But, we're not talking about Hillary and how she's not an establishment politician representing the biggest change in politics ever. Oh, I see - you just like touting how Obama's different - but not really his policies or how he actually plays the game of politics. Fine with me. You see your honesty how you see it. Seems to be at odds with his campaign messaging, it's really just politics as usual.

Posted by: Julene on February 19, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

People have gotten so literal minded and unforgiving, it's not funny. Essentially, the response of her critics is this pharisaical parsing of her words meant to question her Patriotism, when in fact the sentiment is shared by many: the sense that we are getting out from under a burden of years of the tyranny of low expectations.

I can't tell you how exasperating it has been to watch this country, during the course of my life, lower its opinion of itself and what's worthy of itself. What's happening now, even among the poor, beknighted Republicans, is that people are finally deciding that enough is enough and that we deserve better than this, and I'm damned if I don't consider that something to be proud of with this country.

For my money, I have always been proud of what this country represents, of its great potential and past achievements, but not always proud of what it was doing, what people were accepting, turning a blind eye to. I felt that we have been underestimating ourselves for some time, and that only just now have we begun to work past the inferiority complex and all the pathological compensations we've developed for it, that's haunted us for the last generation.

And that is something to be proud of.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty on February 19, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

solar, I'm speaking for myself only here, but my view is that "George Bush's America" involves and is made possible by movements and trends much stronger than one (supremely bad) administration, and thus reflects the mood and character of the country as well as of the guy currently in the White House.

It's not that we've had a staggeringly corrupt regime; those are possible anywhere, anytime. It's that it's gone completely unchecked, has wreaked untold damage and continues to destroy precisely because Americans--not just Congressional Dems, but voters in general--have allowed it to do so. Whatever one may think about how the 2000 and 2004 elections went down, the fact remains that they were close enough to potentially be monkeyed with because enough Americans voted for Bush. And then they did it again, with evidence galore of what kind of man and what kind of administration we had.

Bush and Cheney have been able to lie continually, wage an illegal and unjust war, dismember the Constitution, make like a runaway train with executive power, take apart many of the domestic programs and policies dear to our traditions and values, and pull too many other craven and corrupt stunts to name because they haven't had to pay the price for it. No price at all.

How many voters know what FISA is? What telecom immunity involves? How many are vocally protesting torture? The rank politicization of the departments and agencies? The suspension of habeas corpus? The abuse of signing statements? Etc.? Etc.? And who among the corporate-owned mainstream media is beating the drum for the principles and values we grew up believing America stands for, as many mistakes as we know we've made in the past--principles we thought were inviolable in theory if not always in practice?

Now even the theory of the things that set America apart is being trashed, with only a few of us standing up and howling. We get upset, and rightly so, at the refusal of the Democratic majority to even craft a decent message calling the Republicans on their obstructionism and plutocratic platform. But who's going to make those Congresscritters pay with the loss of their seats?

That apathy and disengagement on the part of the electorate, much more than this unlawful and unethical administration, is cause to be deeply concerned about the state of the union. It's not an eight-year glitch in an otherwise decent run; it's a terrifying state of affairs that does not bode well for the future.

And it's hard for me to be proud of a country that actively assists in its own destruction and that of other nations, even as I continue to take great pride in certain aspects of our national character and accomplishments.

Posted by: shortstop on February 19, 2008 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

I, of course, was just joking...

Too late, you'll forever be known as the dude who fucked my skanky ass mother...dad.

Posted by: elmo on February 19, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

you'll forever be known as the dude who fucked my skanky ass mother...dad.

Another high water mark for Internet commentary.

Bravo, sir. Bravo.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 19, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

What shortstop said. That's it exactly.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 19, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I personally don't care if Obama or Clinton wins the nomination.

But it is a difficult statement to make. No matter how true it is: I don't think people need/should be proud of their country. Doing the right thing should be a default condition, but it hasn't been here for some time. Not doing harm should also be assumed, but the US keeps doing it. Killing hundreds of thousands of people in the past half century (a few million actually).

There are other nice places (relatively) to live in the world: Canada, Europe, Japan.

But you can't, when running for elective office in the US, slag off on America. Too many idiots who only accept rooting for the home team. It just isn't done. Maybe someday.

Posted by: luci on February 19, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I've been thinknig for weeks now that Michelle Obama being on the media so much is not a smart move for the Obama campaign. For two reasons. 1) She's not as much a disciplined politician as her husband (nor should she be). 2) It's easier to make the "we don't want both Clintons" argument against Hillary if your wife isn't so prominent in your own campaign.

Posted by: Glacier on February 19, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Another high water mark for Internet commentary.

So, you're saying I'm not in the will?

Posted by: elmo on February 19, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

So, you're saying I'm not in the will?

Please. You are one of at least six Rogers offspring born on the wrong side of the blanket. As far as I know, Perez Hilton is the only one he's formally acknowledged.

Posted by: shortstop on February 19, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

wondering here if anybody's read a speech given by Frederick Douglass called "If i had a country I should be a patriot" (title approx)? Michelle Obama's quote is certainly a shade farther from "shame" than that, but Douglass' captures the conflict that i imagine anyone who's black might feel in this society, especially someone who is educated enough to understand the history of instituitonal racism in the US.* That Michelle obama isn't poor, has been succsessful herself doesn't mean she has to be blind to what being black in this country can mean for you. she'd be damn stupid to not get how lucky she's been to be able to use her talents to the gret degree she has. To sugget that she should be proud of a country where a black women of her degree of success is such a rarity is mighty stupid.

I say this not as an Obama "supporter"- at least not the way many mean it when they say it. I caucused for Edwards & I'd happily vote for either of the smart, competent Democratic candidates. I have a slight preference for Obama, but i'm sure neither is either the devil or the second coming.

*-lots of other places too. This isn't about bashing the US, it's about exercising critical judgement in order to make the country better. That the thing to be proud of, the potential to fix the problems.

Posted by: URK on February 19, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

The problem with Michelle Obama is that, sooner or later, it always comes down to something about her -- her story. And it always comes down to race -- or something very close to it. She seems very angry, and angry people don't do well in a campaign.

(The posts above that defend and forgive her because a black woman doesn't have as many reasons to be proud of America as white folks are literally and sadly making my point.)

Just as voters head to the polls in Wisconsin, what would the MSM have them focus on? With MO's help, whether or not she really meant she was really never proud of being an American.

WTF?

She is a time bomb in Barack's campaign. She needs to STFU. She will cost him the White House. Much the same way Bill Clinton has cost his wife the White House.

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 19, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Barack might be the next JFK but Michelle isn't Jackie.

Posted by: leslie on February 19, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Its a rorschach test statement that allows people to say and mean the stupidest of things.

Years from now, Rush Limbaugh will be harking on this little bit of silliness.

Posted by: sdh on February 19, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Please. You are one of at least six Rogers offspring born on the wrong side of the blanket.

Damn! I was going to sue for missed child support. Now you are saying the lawsuit is going to be of the "class action" variety? That means I'll have to share!!!

Posted by: elmo on February 19, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

SS- our country will always fall short of our highest aspirations. Doesn't mean that we shouldn't have them. And it doesn't mean that the country hasn't always had high aspirations.

One of the things that makes me proud of my country is that the vast majority of the country has turned against the Bush administration, despite a very well played propaganda effort on the part of Bush and his MSM enablers to hide and/or distort the truth about his appalling policies and their tragic results. Kinda warms the cockles of what's left of my heart.

Posted by: solar on February 19, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

One of the things that makes me proud of my country is that the vast majority of the country has turned against the Bush administration, despite a very well played propaganda effort on the part of Bush and his MSM enablers to hide and/or distort the truth about his appalling policies and their tragic results.

Oh, that's unadulterated horseshit!

Were Bush running this year, he'd win the Presidency for a third term.

All he would have to do is stand next to Hillary and smile. The American people would take one look at him, and one look at her, and vote for the devil they know as opposed to the She-Devil they know so intimately, their legs automatically cross themselves when she walks into a room.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 19, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Welcome to your modern press corp Obama supporters. I would get use to this kind of thing if I were you. Honestly, you didn't really think Obama was going to get away scott-free here did you. I wouldn't expect much sympathy from the HRC crowd; after all, the press did the same thing to her and you folks were more than happy to pile on. Karma's a bitch aint it?

Posted by: Radix on February 19, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK
Julene: How about some discussion about how Obama has donated three times the campaign contributions to superdelegates than Hillary has. Is that a new and different kind of politics, too?

Ummmm. . . you do know that money was donated to help people run for office in 2006, right? So Obama donated three times as much as Clinton to help Democrats win office in 2006, and you consider that a negative on Obama? Unreal.

Posted by: mp on February 19, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

It's hilarious to see some people crying here about this being soooo unfair. Bottom line: Someone whose husband (a U.S. Senator, BTW) is running for President and who doesn't know not to say stupid shit like this gets all the abuse they deserve. And if you actually think it's unfair, you aren't ready for the general election. Not even close. Which is the main concern I have about Sen. Dreamy and his supporters.

Posted by: Pat on February 19, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

SS- our country will always fall short of our highest aspirations. Doesn't mean that we shouldn't have them. And it doesn't mean that the country hasn't always had high aspirations.

Whoever said we shouldn't have high aspirations? You're moving the goalposts quite a bit from your original statement, which was: "I'm ashamed of George Bush, who is merely a temporary employee of America. He doesn't own America and neither does the next temp in the White House. It will take more than an eight year run of the politics of fear and hate to make me ashamed of my country."

Giving up on high aspirations is quite a different thing from remarking on whether the events of the past few years are limited to a few bad apples in power or indicative of a widespread and dangerous change in the conduct of the electorate. You object to the conflation of the nation with a few of its citizens. Fair enough, but I'm arguing that when the citizens in question represent a majority, it's not accurate to brush off the pride-destroying events as the work of one bad administration. What is a country but its citizenry?

Posted by: shortstop on February 19, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Evan Read, a Milwaukee defense lawyer, didn't think he'd ever be excited to see an Illinoisan -- "as long as the Illinois people stay south of the border, I'm OK with them" -- but last Friday morning, he skipped work to bring his wife and daughter to a Barack Obama rally.

"It's the typical irrational prejudice. You get to know someone, and they're not so bad." Read even bought a $10 T-shirt from a hawker outside the center. Now, he confessed, "I'm kind of a drooling fanboy."

Salon

Good to see that at least one of them can come clean.

Posted by: Steve-O on February 19, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

I dunno.

I think I'm proud that the Democrats are standing up, yes.

Sorta.

I wouldn't say it's the first time, but gosh, the current administration has been tough on the pride. Letting our stats slip below Cuba's is disheartening.

Posted by: Crissa on February 19, 2008 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

MO is an impressive amateur and a natural speaker. If you watch the snippet of footage, her point about her recent sense of national pride makes perfect sense. It's pitched just right. She conveys longing and loss that many of us feel. In print, the sentence is a little unfortunate. She's learning. No big whoop.

Cindy McCain, I see, has already been trotted out to score whatever cheap political points can be made here.

Posted by: paxr55 on February 19, 2008 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Whatcha gonna do when Michelle Obamamania comes for you!

Posted by: Jimm on February 19, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Also, I find Taylor Marsh to be kinda pointless. A single bump on the blogosphere I'd never heard of, and wouldn't bother registering for. No Google/Blogger/Liverjournal/OpenID/anything?

A real DINO, if you ask me.

Not really emblematic of a 'Hillary Supporter'.

Posted by: Crissa on February 19, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Man, whoever thinks the majority of Americans have been proud of their government the last few decades is clueless, but oh my God, Michelle dared not to be PC!

God forbid we actually have some straight shooters running for president, that wouldn't be attractive at all to the voters (oops, I mean the elite and mainstream media).

Posted by: Jimm on February 19, 2008 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, Michelle Obama isn't actually running for president, her husband is, but he seems like a straight shooter too, at least in comparison to your average politician.

Posted by: Jimm on February 19, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Man, whoever thinks the majority of Americans have been proud of their government the last few decades is clueless, but oh my God, Michelle dared not to be PC!
Posted by: Jimm

She didn't say anything about her government, she said she hadn't been proud of her country.

I'm betting it was a slip, not what she meant. At least I hope not. What dismays me a bit is the efforts of people here to give truth to her error.

Posted by: sjrsm on February 19, 2008 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

I guess the Clinton campaign really is desperate!

Posted by: Boorring on February 19, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

She probably needs to rephrase that "country" part, unless she's limiting it to near past (Iraq, Katrina, etc.), but even then she's still talking about the government, so she needs to be careful with that one.

Posted by: Jimm on February 19, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Because when Michelle Obama says something stupid it's the Clinton campaign's fault.

Posted by: Pat on February 19, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Er, SS, I don't know if you are being dense purposefully, or just skipping over what I write in a hurry to reply.

I personally think that the two Bush campaigns (and the permanent campaign he waged once in office) were the worst examples of the government lying to the American people that we have seen in American history. I also think, FWIW, that the decision to go to war in Iraq was not based on anything other than domestic political concerns re: the 2004 election and Bush's (read Rove's) belief that the American electorate would not likely turn out a President during a war. Having said all that, I don't know what the depradations of Bush (or any past administration) have to do with what I'm talking about.

The country I'm proud of is one whose ideals I embrace. It isn't about one moment in history or the bone-headed or evil acts of a few, or even of the many. We are the most tolerant nation on earth, bar none (Ok, maybe Canada, but travel abroad if you doubt this); we cherish individual freedom; we have, since our inception, lurched steadily forward towards a more and more enlightened society. Proegressive politics, self-awareness, and self-examination of ourselves and our need for improvement didn't start and won't end with the Obama campaign. Over the march of our history, progressive ideas (and those most progressive of ideas that formed our nation) are winning. That's what I love about my country and why it rankles me when someone (whether a supporter or detractor)cannot distinguish between our country and its hired help.

Posted by: solar on February 19, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, I haven't said anything about Ms. Obama's remark because it was meaningless. She has said dumber things in the past (hole in the soul, etc.) But guess what? She isn't on the ballot. Did she mean she wasn't proud of her government leadership? Probably. And neither am I, for the most part.

Posted by: solar on February 19, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

The only Michelle Obama comment that has annoyed me so far is this one from yesterday in Wisconsin:

"Barack understands that what we're lacking in this nation are will and hope," she said. "Our souls are broken."

It's not a news story or anything to get upset about. It's just a heightened version of the supremely annoying rhetoric that's coming out of Team Obama. I mean, am I going to need to keep a barf bag handy for the next four years?

Posted by: Caitlin on February 19, 2008 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Er, SS, I don't know if you are being dense purposefully, or just skipping over what I write in a hurry to reply.

Hmmmm, that's just about what I thought when I read your latest, solar.

I've said nothing here about the Obama campaign and its relation to "progressive" politics, nor will I. What I have said, over and over, is that my severely compromised pride in my country is based on the complicity of the majority of its citizens in allowing the significant and extremely hard-to-reverse damages of the Bush administration to occur, and, more importantly, on the disinclination of that majority to change that situation. That's a solidly established state of affairs you're determined to ignore in your insistence that what's broken with this country is limited to the actions of "government leadership" or a "moment in history."

The country I'm proud of is one whose ideals I embrace. It isn't about one moment in history or the bone-headed or evil acts of a few, or even of the many.

Look, a nation is what it does--not what it says it is. When words and actions diverge so radically and thoroughly, the words cease to retain their validity. You apparently believe that a nation's ideals continue to rule when its actions overwhelmingly run counter to those ideals; how do you think we get back to those ideals without a determined, collective effort of the citizenry to reject the wrong paths? That does involve more than changing presidents, you know; it first of all requires actual widespread recognition of what's gone wrong. As I have noted above in my comments on the uninformed and apathetic state of the electorate, we haven't even begun to achieve that.

We seem to have diametrically opposing views of what truly constitutes a national character. I'm content to leave it at that.

Posted by: shortstop on February 19, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Ummmm. . . you do know that money was donated to help people run for office in 2006, right? So Obama donated three times as much as Clinton to help Democrats win office in 2006, and you consider that a negative on Obama? Unreal.

Not unreal, just another passenger in the Fucktardis, dumber on the inside than it appears on the outside.

Among Democrats in the last few weeks before the 2006 election, candidates with cash to spare were expected to help other Democrats' campaigns. Those who didn't were trashed.

Anyone who thinks this is a problem now is either new to politics or not a Democrat.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on February 19, 2008 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

I get that you can't divorce the concept of nation from the actions of those we elected (or didn't really in the case of George Bush) as temporary caretakers. I can, and you have the right to be wrongheaded (in this nation, at least). I am not proud of what my government has done and is doing but the government and the people who make it up are not my country. Your view is much like that of the Bushbots and the Obamamaniacs (who I fear will follow in their footsteps) who believe the state is vested in one person. The most famous advocate of that point of view said "“La nation réside tout entière dans la personne du roi (The nation lives entirely in the person of the king)." it doesn't- not in my nation.

So if you can't grasp the concept that one can be simultaneously proud of one's nation, while deploring the actions of its government, then it is beyond my ability to explain.

Insofar as your mind-reading act, to wit: "You apparently believe that a nation's ideals continue to rule when its actions overwhelmingly run counter to those ideals" I believe no such thing and have not so stated. First, I don't believe a nation, collectively, is the actions of its government (e.g., the UK was overwhelmingly opposed to participation in Iraq- were the actions of Blair's government reflective of the nation?). I believe our nation's ideals are actively at work rejecting Bush, his minons, and his policies. I believe Clinton would defeat McCain in a close race and Obama will defeat him by a greater margin, largely because the public at large has caught on.

If you don't think the massive defeat of Republicans in the congressional elections of 2006 and the excitement engendered by the Democratic candidates this year is a "determined,collective effort" by the citizenry to change the course of the government's policies back to something more congruent with the collective sense of what we are, you haven't been paying attention.

Now here's a little take home assignment. Take a snapshot of everything we as a nation hold sacred every 50 years since the nation was founded. Ask yourself if we have not progressed in each of those time periods towards equal rights, civil rights, human rights, democracy, etc. We are winning the battle of ideas, and one poor president, unless he manages to destroy the world, cannot stem the tide.


Posted by: solar on February 19, 2008 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

The only Michelle Obama comment that has annoyed me so far is this one from yesterday in Wisconsin: "Barack understands that what we're lacking in this nation are will and hope," she said. "Our souls are broken."

This is absolutely unacceptable rhetoric in a presidential campaign. Those of you who support Obama have to write the campaign and tell them to make her STFU.

She is NOT an asset. She is an angry, arrogant, sarcastic piece of work who will kill this guy's campaign -- and ruin dem chances if he is the nominee.

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 19, 2008 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Econobuzz: Michelle Obama is a wonderful person. People like you are attacking her because she has "inauthentic black rage" or some such horse shit. It has taken us how many generations before a Black American could be president? All the way until maybe--just maybe--this year (if Hillary can use the machine to push Obama aside). So we would could be proud of our America only in the sense that it was still an elitist racist state at war with its own soul. And, apparently, it is still a maybe to smarmy closet racists. I am really not liking the Hillary spinners right now. Reminds me of Al #1. Or Charlie. . .

Is "cult" racist code-speak for tribalism?

Posted by: Sparko on February 19, 2008 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Econobuzz: Michelle Obama is a wonderful person. ... I am really not liking the Hillary spinners right now. Reminds me of Al #1. Or Charlie. . .

Posted by: Sparko

I'm an Obama supporter. Barack, that is.

She, on the other hand, is an angry loudmouth who will cost him the White House.

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 19, 2008 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

"This is absolutely unacceptable rhetoric in a presidential campaign. Those of you who support Obama have to write the campaign and tell them to make her STFU"

Um... why? What on earth did you find offensive about that quote?

"She is NOT an asset. She is an angry, arrogant, sarcastic piece of work who will kill this guy's campaign -- and ruin dem chances if he is the nominee."

Well, if she really is that bad, then you should be applauding that this is coming to light now rather than later. Personally, I find your assessment to be pretty questionable, not to mention unsupported.

Posted by: PaulB on February 19, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

I am not proud of what my government has done and is doing but the government and the people who make it up are not my country.

Right. As I've said several times now, the citizens, which in majority have allowed and continue to allow the carnage, are your country. And "the government and the people who make it up" couldn't and can't do what they've done and are doing if we had an informed and involved citizenry. We don't. That's what's scary. That's what kills the national pride.

Get it this time?

So if you can't grasp the concept that one can be simultaneously proud of one's nation, while deploring the actions of its government, then it is beyond my ability to explain.

It appears to be beyond your ability to understand that the actions of the executive branch don't take place in a void: they are enabled by Congress, the judiciary and most importantly, the voters. Your odd insistence on trying to separate the government from the people only makes sense if you also think, "Well, he's president. Damn, now he can do whatever he wants. Sucks, but absolutely nothing we can do to stop him or the Republicans."

Get it this time?

If you don't think the massive defeat of Republicans in the congressional elections of 2006 and the excitement engendered by the Democratic candidates this year is a "determined,collective effort" by the citizenry to change the course of the government's policies back to something more congruent with the collective sense of what we are, you haven't been paying attention.

What I think is what I said: meaningfully shifting the course of action requires more than changing presidents--and, as the aftermath of the 2006 election has very clearly shown (thanks for that additional point), it requires more than electing a Democratic majority. It requires a whole lot more people than a few political geeks actually becoming informed about what exactly has been happening and pushing back for specific policy change, not just voting for a Democrat for president. To effect that pushback, voters have to be a lot more on the ball than they are or appear to be interested in becoming at this time.

Get it this time?

Ask yourself if we have not progressed in each of those time periods towards equal rights, civil rights, human rights, democracy, etc.

And every step of that progress required...wait for it...an engaged electorate. It's not too hard to grasp, then, that when we go backwards, wonky, horribly astray in numerous critical areas (constitutional rights, international law, foreign policy, the environment, health care, education, gay rights, etc., etc.), it's because voters let it happen, is it?

Get it this time?

We are winning the battle of ideas, and one poor president, unless he manages to destroy the world, cannot stem the tide.

Right. But a disengaged, apathetic and passive electorate can, as I keep saying. Over and over. And over.

Get it this time?

No? Well, like I said, we have different views of what makes up national character. Different standards, too. Once again, I agree to disagree.

Posted by: shortstop on February 19, 2008 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm not saying that is was she said, moron. That is what PaulB said in his 11:40 post."

ROFL.... Thank you for proving my point, Mikey, dear. Do try to learn to read, won't you?

"It's right there, lurking beneath the surface."

ROFL... Translation: you can't find it, so you have to make shit up. Thanks for conceding that you cannot support your silly assertions.

"The idea that *nothing* this country has done in 27 years warrants pride, at least if you're black. Until now that is. Now that a black man is running for President, there is cause for pride. And although surely he stands on the shoulders of giants before him, their actions were not pride-worthy."

ROFL.... I do so love a drama queen in full stride, don't you? The fact that it's woefully inaccurate isn't going to stop Mikey, no sir!

"You must not be a parent, or you'd know it is possible to be proud of a child for one thing and not so much for another. At the same time."

Dear heart, since this has nothing at all to do with what I wrote, forgive me if I ignore it as the meaningless drivel that it is.

Mikey, I do have to say that I found your posts to be absolutely hilarious. The willful ignorance, the partisan blindness, the mindless drivel, the inability to read and comprehend... how could we not love you?

Posted by: PaulB on February 19, 2008 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Econo: forgive me for thinking you were lashing out at a strong black woman who had the temerity to call on America to realize its promise to all races. When you do that, you are playing into the Hillary meme: "Michelle Obama has more loyalty to her race than she does to white America." And, of course, the whole cult thing is just code speak for putting Obama supporters into an untrustworthy tribe of heathens. It is tough to get white America to embrace a real change that involves black America; hence the genius of Hillary's campaign in burying closet racists themes.

Posted by: Sparko on February 19, 2008 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

What on earth did you find offensive about that quote? ... Personally, I find your assessment to be pretty questionable, not to mention unsupported.

Posted by: PaulB

"Our souls are broken." Americans' souls are broken? Give me a fucking break.

Unsupported? Have you been watching the news? That asshole -- who went to Princeton and Harvard -- is now just finding something about her country that she can be really proud of? This, the person who didn't know if she could support HRC, were she the nominee?

She is an undisciplined loudmouth who wants to make this about herself. It's not about her, and if she is successful making it about her, he will lose.

It's not, as she is wont to say, a "joint effort." She couldn't get elected dogcatcher. She is absolutely awful -- and playing right into white racist hands.

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 19, 2008 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

I think Econobuzz's issues are more generally with assertive women, black or white. He's made a few Hillary comments along these same lines, so I wouldn't assume it's a racist thing.

Posted by: Mike Hunt on February 19, 2008 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Econo: projecting I see. I have no problem with her at all. I think she is a brilliant woman. But then, I don't believe she has more loyalty to her race than to white America. I believe she speaks from her heart. Sometimes hard for us as white Americans to take.

Posted by: Sparko on February 19, 2008 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

Not the best phrasing, perhaps. As a non-Obamaite (?), I would advise Mrs. Obama to adopt the "politician's pause" before she says anything other than platitudes. It won't prevent her from saying anything worthwhile and it will prevent recurrances of things such as this. And enough such "gaffes" (and that's what they'll be called) can harm a campaign. Because, heaven forbid, the media focus on the candidate's words!

Posted by: Doug on February 19, 2008 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

It is tough to get white America to embrace a real change that involves black America ...

Posted by: Sparko

That's not what the fucking election is about, for Christ's sake. That's what she wants to make it about. And, if that becomes what it is about, we lose.

Barack's gift -- and the reason for so much white support -- is that's not why he is running. To the extent that this becomes a race about race, we lose.

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 19, 2008 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe I'm OOT, but I didn't get what everybody else on this thread got out of her speech.

First of all, she said "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." This means, for the 1st time in 25 years, she is REALLY proud of her country. This DOES NOT MEAN, that she has not been proud of her country. You guys sound like a bunch of wingers. Did anyone really listen to it? There is a huge difference between really proud and just proud, and the distinction is important in the context of her speech.

Her message is upbeat, she is lauding the current positive spirit, not ripping the past 25 years. Her tone is not arrogant condescending, angry or sarcastic. Maybe she has been at other times, but not in the clip I watched.

I have felt exactly what she said, since 1980. The "Reagan Revolution" was a dark time in our country, from my viewpoint. It was an era based on greed and hate. I think "Grab while the grabbin is good" and "It is OK to be a rat" sum up the "revolution" completely. It was all about feeling good about being a jerk.

Is the message just part of the Obama act? Most likely. But it is good to finally see people in this country excited about something, even if it is fantasyland.

And I agree, if she is going to go on the trail giving speeches, she is going to get ripped by the media and she better be able to take the heat.

I didn't see anything at all black in that speech, I guess you see what you want to see.

I do admit, she is full of herself and I don't think it helps Obama's campaign any.

But let's face it, the real problem is that she looks black. Obama looks white enough and talks white enough to maybe get elected.

Econobuzz is 100% correct, if Obama's campaign becomes about race, he is done, get out the fork. And so are we.

Posted by: says you on February 19, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

I really don't see what the big deal is regarding Michelle Obama's comments. I haven't been proud of my country either ever since the U.S. Supreme Court handed the election to Bush.

I haven't been proud that my country uses 9/11 as an excuse to use scare tactics to get people to vote Republican with their "yellow" or
"orange" terror alerts. I'm not proud that my country has abandoned civil liberties under the facade of fighting terrorism. I'm not proud
that Bush uses 9/11 to score political points. I'm not proud that the Fairness Doctrine was revoked so that conservatives control 90% of
the U.S. media.

And finally, I'm not proud that I can't hand out literature in public promoting my favorite candidate without being harassed and bullied by
a conservative 20 year old frat punk in an attempt to embarrass me and draw negative attention towards me from staring passersby just
because he doesn't like the candidate I'm supporting.

Conservatives will look for anything to swift-boat their opponents. Conservatives are intolerant towards free speech and will do anything to make the U.S. undemocratic.

To those who tell me "if you're not proud of this country, you have a right to leave," I have three words for people like you: go to hell. I will not leave this country. It's my country as much as it is yours. I will stay here and fight for changing this country and will stay here just to be a thorn in the side of you conservatives.

As long as I'm alive, you're not going to turn my country into a right-wing dictatorship.

E-mail me at vegasvisitor@hotmail.com with your thoughts.

Posted by: American Patriot on February 19, 2008 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

As long as I'm alive, you're not going to turn my country into a right-wing dictatorship.

I second that...

Posted by: elmo on February 19, 2008 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

It's probably a good thing that Michelle Obama isn't on the ballot, but rather her husband. She's obviously got a big ego and an even bigger mouth, which when open reveals a fair-sized chip on her shoulder.

Should she shut up? No. But she really needs to consider her husband's position, now that he's the established front-runner, and not do such things that draw attention to herself.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 19, 2008 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

ugh, i a so utterly annoyed by these die hard obama supporters, and the defense of this comment is just the latest example. It was at the least stupid, and at the worst offensive. And as other commenters have pointed out, these repeated misteps by michelle obama are gonna be trouble in a general election. and i have no problem with obama as the candidate, i'm pretty up in the air about who i'd prefer between Clinton and Obama so please don't use the tired line about how everyone's attacking because they're clinton lovers. if you can't think of anything to be proud of about america, then you're really stupid or really not much of an american. Our government has done alot of f'd up stuff, but our people have done an amazing amount of good. We have both public and private humanitarian work helping around the world. Certainly we should do much, much more. But to say you've never been proud of america belittles the hard work and dedication of millions of americans to humanitarian causes over the years. And its not a throwaway line. It seems very deliberate and very wrong to me. So can you Obamites please face the truth for one second and admit a mistake on the part of your new god and goddess? maybe? he's not a messiah, he's just a politician like all the rest. Then maybe we can all actually be ready to support him against the really baseless, dirty attacks that are sure to come after he wins the nomination, which i fully expect him to do.

Posted by: kahner on February 19, 2008 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I like Michelle Obama very much and am put off by Econobuzz's vicious dissing, but she could be more politic. Did you hear McCain's speech?

My friends, not a day goes by that I have not felt PROUD to be an American; I am PROUD of this country; I could not be more PROUD of this great nation! I am PROUD PROUD PROUD.

You can't be nuanced during an election. You can't hand a Republican war hero an excuse to grandstand his patriotism at your expense. You can't.

Posted by: Lucy on February 19, 2008 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

ss

Judging by your posts, there is nothing you can "get" that most of my house pets can't (I do have one particularly slow cat, she probably shares some of your beliefs). You find the country indistinguishable from some temporary politicians. I don't. You wallow in a morass of fear and loathing about your fellow citizens. i don't. You lack the long view of American history and fail to see the liberalization of America (the ideas that even most conservative Republicans embrace today would have had you branded a communist 50 years ago). I don't.

And, as I pointed out, there is a tide in American politics that is running away from Bush and his ilk. In America we have these things called elections and many times we use them to balance the country out when things have gotten out of hand. Do we storm the Bastille in off years? No, not so much. Do we elect charlatans and fools, crooks, and liars? All the time.

Even with the disastrous Bush presidency, it won't take six months of a new administration to undue the institutional abuses put in place. It won't even take that long for the ad hoc ones to go away as Bush won't be there to perpetrate new ones. Resilience is another American trait. Makes you proud, doesn't it? I guess not.

Posted by: solar on February 19, 2008 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

In other news, Cindy McCain tonight.....what a beast! Lay off the botox, lady! :)

Posted by: Quinn on February 19, 2008 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

solar,

I admire your views, but you are wasting your time trying to argue with these people.

Today, they will argue till their faces turn blue that we shouldn't be proud of our country because it did this and it did that -- and they'll do so because that's what the current defense of Michelle Obama demands.

Tommorrow, Republicans will attack Democrats as not being fully patriotic, and failing to be proud of our country, and the same people will be outraged -- outraged! -- that any Republican might ever question their patriotism and their pride in their country. It will then be the most obscene smear perpetrated by any human being against another.

There's no consistency; there's no ground truth of conviction; most basically, there's no intelligence or independence. There's only the latest talking point and their master's voice which they must make reverberate in the echo chamber.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 19, 2008 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Checking on the actual language of MO's speech.

Did she not say "really proud"?

The esteemed Norman Rogers does not often get it wrong on substantive matters--when he's not joking--but he's way off base on Mrs. Obama, and I quote Norm's calumny here:

"As to the point of the entire thread, when a woman says that she is proud of her country for 'the first time' it means that she loathed, despised and hated her country up to this point. In other words, she admitted she was a liberal, and the natural state of the liberal is to peer through a cloud of blue smoke and yammer on and on about how much they hate their country."

I'm not sure I'm prepared for Norman to tell me what Mrs. Obama means when I can divine that for myself by listening to her.

If she said she was feeling "really proud" for the first time in her adult life--watching the country respond to a historic campaign--then I am left to conclude that she felt if not really proud, then simply proud at other times, and perhaps less than proud at still other times.

Sounds like a patriot to me.

Posted by: paxr55 on February 20, 2008 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

Even with the disastrous Bush presidency, it won't take six months of a new administration to undue [sic] the institutional abuses put in place. It won't even take that long for the ad hoc ones to go away as Bush won't be there to perpetrate new ones.

Okay, solar. Meet you here in July 2009 and we'll talk about where we are with all the things I named. That offer stands whether it's Madame or Mr. President living in that nice house of white.

frankly0: Today, they will argue till their faces turn blue that we shouldn't be proud of our country because it did this and it did that -- and they'll do so because that's what the current defense of Michelle Obama demands.

LOL...I know it was another rough night for you, Frank, but your reading comprehension isn't getting any better. If you can show me where any of my comments defended or even referred to Michelle Obama's mindlessly dumb remark, I'd be pleased to see it. Or are you too far gone by this hour to make out the fuzzy print when I send you back to actually read the thread and see exactly where and to exactly what I was responding?

Posted by: shortstop on February 20, 2008 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

In other news, Cindy McCain tonight.....what a beast! Lay off the botox, lady! :)

I didn't get a good look at her, but my husband pronounced her "deeply scary." That can't be right, though. I just know St. John wouldn't have cheated on wife #1 with a scary lady. Whatever he does he does for irreproachable reasons having to do with being an American hero.

Posted by: shortstop on February 20, 2008 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

After 7 years of the Bush Presidency what does America have to be proud for.


Starting Wars
Cluster Bombs
Failed Economy
Torture
Gulags

And most of all the USA can be proud of our criminal in chief GBush.


Proud. I'M ASHAMED.


Posted by: Langx on February 20, 2008 at 4:07 AM | PERMALINK

leslie: "Barack might be the next JFK but Michelle isn't Jackie."

I'd settle for Pam Grier's caracter, Jackie Brown.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 20, 2008 at 5:44 AM | PERMALINK

If she said she was feeling "really proud" for the first time in her adult life--watching the country respond to a historic campaign--then I am left to conclude that she felt if not really proud, then simply proud at other times, and perhaps less than proud at still other times.

That settles it for me.

Posted by: Jimm on February 20, 2008 at 6:21 AM | PERMALINK

Did she not say "really proud"?
Posted by: paxr55

I think people are taking it to mean "actually no kidding truly proud" rather than "even more prouder than usual."

Posted by: sjrsm on February 20, 2008 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

Not to mention that this is America, and you are free not to feel pride in your country.

However, it's not the moment for subtleties, particularly when your opponent can't comb his hair due to injuries from torture suffered in the service of the USA.

Eyes on the prize, Michelle!

Posted by: Lucy on February 20, 2008 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

For the record, St. John cheated on disabled wife #1 with RICH, scary wife #2. Not something the media will ever discuss though.

Expect the media (and the right wing echo chamber) to generally savage Obama and sanctify McCain pretty much 24/7 until the general. The mostly politically inexperienced Obamabots who clutch their pearls over timid "experience" attacks by fellow Democrats ain't seen nothing yet.

Posted by: solar on February 20, 2008 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

MSNBC just replayed the MO clip. Kevin's quotation in the OP adds the "really" to the "proud." Fwiw, she said only "proud."

Watching the clip, I was struck anew by what a naturally powerful speaker MO is, especially when she speaks autobiographically. But, yes, agree that she'll need to coordinate her speeches (especially her personally powerful themes) with the larger campaign.

Posted by: paxr55 on February 20, 2008 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

However, it's not the moment for subtleties, particularly when your opponent can't comb his hair due to injuries from torture suffered in the service of the USA.

Indeed. I trust the campaign staff is having some helpful conversations with her about this.

Posted by: shortstop on February 20, 2008 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

For someone to say this, it shows great insensitivity to those of us who are very grateful to live here and very proud to be able to consider ourselves an American. Tried living in another country? These sort of comments also show a serious lack of knowledge or understanding of history. If Michelle, or others like her, could grasp the concept of why this nation was founded and the sacrifices that went into this becoming an independant nation, perhaps they would sing a different tune, and maybe a more interesting one as well. Where else in the world would she have been able to accomplish so much in the educational or professional arena?

Posted by: Allen Kim on February 20, 2008 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

"Where else in the world would she have been able to accomplish so much in the educational or professional arena?"

Quite a few places, actually. Now what was that you were saying about "a serious lack of knowledge or understanding of history"?

Posted by: PaulB on February 20, 2008 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

"There's no consistency; there's no ground truth of conviction; most basically, there's no intelligence or independence."

LOL.... Oh, the irony....

Posted by: PaulB on February 20, 2008 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

"Judging by your posts, there is nothing you can 'get' that most of my house pets can't (I do have one particularly slow cat, she probably shares some of your beliefs). You find the country indistinguishable from some temporary politicians. I don't. You wallow in a morass of fear and loathing about your fellow citizens. i don't. You lack the long view of American history and fail to see the liberalization of America (the ideas that even most conservative Republicans embrace today would have had you branded a communist 50 years ago). I don't."

I do so love a drama queen in full tilt. You can practically see the righteous indignation, hear the throb in the voice, see the clutching of the pearls.

You do realize the several logical fallacies you committed in this passage, right? not the least of which that the whole thing is wholly inaccurate.

Posted by: PaulB on February 20, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

"'Our souls are broken.' Americans' souls are broken? Give me a fucking break."

You're actually in a tirade over a bit of harmless campaign rhetoric? Would you care to regain some sense of perspective?

"Unsupported? Have you been watching the news?"

Um, yes, actually, I have. That says nothing about whether your rant about her was unsupported.

"That asshole -- who went to Princeton and Harvard -- is now just finding something about her country that she can be really proud of?"

LOL.... Oh, really unbiased here, aren't we? For the record, we were talking about the "souls are broken" remark, remember? Show me how outraged people are about that, won't you?

"She is an undisciplined loudmouth who wants to make this about herself. It's not about her, and if she is successful making it about her, he will lose."

As I said, unsupported. This is just silly. Come back when you're ready to make a rational argument.

Posted by: PaulB on February 20, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

"You do realize the several logical fallacies you committed in this passage, right? not the least of which that the whole thing is wholly inaccurate."

I'll leave the whole drama queen schtick to you- you are so much better suited for it.

If your argument isn't any better founded than "I'm right because I'm smarter than you are", you essentially have no argument. Certainly your posts above demonstrate no ability to make a cogent argument, nor any particular intellectual prowess (an argument could be made that the positions you hold are invalid becausue you are moronic, but you aren't interesting enough for me to make it). All you have is a willingness to insult, which is a dime a dozen on the internets.

Come back when the Wizard gives you a brain.

Posted by: solar on February 20, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

"If your argument isn't any better founded than 'I'm right because I'm smarter than you are', you essentially have no argument"

ROFL.... Oh, the irony.... Dear heart, you do realize that that is precisely why I was mocking you? That your argument was not, in fact, founded on anything at all? That there was nothing to attack because you provided no substance?

In such circumstances, mockery is the best option. Sadly, it appears that you still have much to learn.

"All you have is a willingness to insult"

ROFLMAO.... And again, the irony.... Such lack of self-awareness is positively hilarious.

Posted by: PaulB on February 21, 2008 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Hi,

I usually never blog, but with family and friends in the military, this offends me deeply. I am pretty much an independent, and have not voted in Texas yet. This reveling freudian slip made me curious what else is hiding behind the Obamas.

And GUESS WHAT, I found that Mrs. Obama's thesis at Princeston Univeristy titled: "Princeton Educated Blacks and the Black Community"
is blocked till Nov. 5, 2008....(after the election)

source:
http://libweb5.princeton.edu/theses/thesesid.asp?ID=9867

tax records are one thing, but as an American voter I have a right to KNOW what the presidential candidate's wife thinks!

I used to admire Sen. Obama, but no more, I will not be voting for Sen. Obama on March 4th!!!

Thank you.

Posted by: sarajohns on February 21, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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