Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 21, 2011

THE RIGHT HAS FASHION POLICE, TOO?.... This week, some conservative outlets ran pieces connecting Michelle Obama's anti-obesity efforts to pedestrian traffic deaths. As it turns out, it wasn't the only ridiculous push the right was making with regards to the First Lady.

The right-wing media attacked First Lady Michelle Obama for wearing a red dress to the White House State Dinner, suggesting she did so to honor "Commie Red China." The right has a history of seeing political messages in Michelle Obama and other administration figures' attire.

It's crazy, but it's true. Drudge said Michelle Obama's dress was "China Red." A writer at Malkin's site told reader she "appropriately enough wore a red dress." Jim Hoft -- the one who saw secret White House messages in the Tucson memorial service's Jumbotron -- blasted the "Commie Red China" dress and the "fit of the gown."

Seriously, is there something in the water driving these folks to madness?

Please, conservatives, grow up. Let there be a part of you that says, "If I'm writing about the color of the First Lady's clothing, maybe my hatred of the White House has reached an irrational level."

Steve Benen 4:50 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

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Didn't Nancy Reagan wear red all the time to everything? Or was she actually a commie?

Posted by: Kerr Lockhart on January 21, 2011 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Nancy Reagan's favorite color was red and she often wore red dresses and suits as first lady. It was because she liked red and looked good in it. I think we can assume the same for the current first lady.


Posted by: Artemesia on January 21, 2011 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think it is the color of Ms. Obama's dress that is driving conservatives to an irrational level.

Posted by: T2 on January 21, 2011 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

T2: Bingo
And no, the right will never admit to being irrational about anything.

Posted by: es on January 21, 2011 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

T2 for the win.

Posted by: doubtful on January 21, 2011 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

They forgot to say she's of African descent. If you were looking for real fashion you should see Virginia Foxx, John Boehner or Jean Schmidt. Beacons of fashion to be certain!

These people are uncivil and disgusting, when is the war again? Oops, I'm not supposed to espouse violence, am I...

Posted by: Trollop on January 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Probably red is a color liked by Lloyd Blankfein.

Posted by: Corsage on January 21, 2011 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Steve: the type of vituperative assclowns who are going to get their panties in a twist over trivial crap like the color of the First Lady's dress probably aren't the sort to ever admit that there is anything "irrational" about their hatred of the White House, ever. And as T2 sez: it ain't the color of the house, either....

Posted by: Jay C on January 21, 2011 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Hmm...I was at a staff meeting with a few older Russians and that "red" dress came up as someone browsed the news sites and mentioned "Communist."

"Communism"? replied Boris. "You smell communism?.
For 40 years we lived under communism...we know communism. This is not communism."

Ah, but what does he know?

Posted by: Michael on January 21, 2011 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, is there something in the water driving these folks to madness?

Not in the water, in the White House.

Posted by: AK Liberal on January 21, 2011 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

The wing-nut have been viciously attacking Michelle Obama about her looks and stature in many ways from the get go. I would doubt they will be changing their ways any time soon.

Posted by: H.Finn on January 21, 2011 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

This is what's so scary. We don't have (any more) a social consensus on what is sane and what is totally demented.

Posted by: SqueakyRat on January 21, 2011 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's just time to walk away from the term 'conservative' altogether. Seriously, what does it mean anymore? None of these people think straight.

A more accurate picture of the country's mindset would categorize the electorate as: "liberal," "moderate" and "whackjob."

Posted by: eric on January 21, 2011 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

What's in the water? It's the Fluoride of course! ;)

Posted by: Raptor on January 21, 2011 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Red is an important color in Chinese culture. This was the case before 1949, and will almost certainly remain the case after the current government collapses.

Or are were all the anti-communists in Taiwan secret communists for continuing to have all sorts of red lanterns and such post-civil war?

Posted by: Jon on January 21, 2011 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

In a saner time, these folks would have had to carry their own soap boxes (literally, soap boxes) to the street corner and pester passers-by with their foam-flecked rants until the cops ran them off. Nowadays they have web sites, syndicated radio shows, and bloated salaries on Fox News (sic).

O Tempora, O Mores...

Posted by: Decatur Dem on January 21, 2011 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

And when their boys wear RED ties all the flippin' time??? Ahhhhhhhh...patriotism. Sexist, ranting aholes.

Posted by: SYSPROG on January 21, 2011 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Wait, they IDENTIFY themselves as RED states!

And isn't Sarah Palin's fave color red, too?

Posted by: g on January 21, 2011 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

That'll teach her! I'm sure that, in the future, she'll be careful not to express solidarity with the Red Menace States: Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Utah, Wyoming...

Posted by: exlibra on January 21, 2011 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

This is a total mystery to foreigners. The Republican party's colours are red. Are they not therefore the commies? Nobody appears to be forcing them to use 'red' as their party's official colour. Very, very suspicious for those of us who keep tags on these things.

Posted by: Keith on January 21, 2011 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

"China red" (like Russia's "Red Square") predates communism anyway, those Chinese restaurant colors have nothing to do with "Red China" but you'd figure the dishonest Righties and their dumb sickophants would buy into such pointless symbolic digging.
From http://hubpages.com/hub/Colors-and-Their-Meanings-in-Chinese-Culture
we find this and as I have heard elsewhere:
The color red signifies happiness and good luck.
* Red clothes are preferred when you celebrate your birthday

Speaking of which, Michelle Obama turned 47 on Jan 17 which was only two days latter IIRC from that State dinner with Hu Jintao. Drudge and all those hacks are so stupid or dishonest, their grip on things (and lack of adequate pushback from the "normal" institutions) is a national disgrace.

Well, what about "Red State" and Palin's red dress? (In any case, check out that "Steampunk Palin" comic, I just got it today - wow, stupefying.)

Posted by: neil b on January 21, 2011 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

PS: the cons are probably going to start picking on Sasha the Obamas' daughter, since she spoke in Mandarin Chinese to Hu at the event! We already know they are not above picking on kids ...
Obama's daughter, Sasha, practices Chinese with Hu

Posted by: neil b. on January 21, 2011 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

They called it Reagan red when Nancy Reagan wore it so I suppose that makes all the difference.

Posted by: thebewilderness on January 21, 2011 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Red has been a traditional wedding color in many South and East Asian cultures, and was in Rome, as well. It was well-loved in Russia centuries before it had a political significance, and was frequently the color of a young woman's best sarafan (the everyday one was likely to be blue nankeen- a denim-like work fabric). In the dress-for-success Eighties, it was almost every career woman's "power blouse". I guess only Negresses in the White House can't wear it.

Posted by: Reynardine on January 21, 2011 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Reynardine is correct. Red has been a traditional color of celebration in southeast Asia for centuries. What a silly controversy this is.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 21, 2011 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

Red has been a special colour in all cultures, for centuries. It's the colour of blood, and therefore life. And it's a damned difficult colour to obtain and keep stable; if you do laundry with any regularity, you'll know that that's the colour that's most likely to "bleed", even after many washings. So, naturally, it's highly prized.

Posted by: exlibra on January 22, 2011 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

Stop the presses! Stunning new evidence that Pat Nixon was also a Communist agent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:President_Richard_and_Pat_Nixon_on_Great_Wall.png

Posted by: Nelson on January 22, 2011 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

What's more, I understand one of her daughters likes to wear pink (the color of gay socialism!) and the other one insists on pretending she's a "princess" (evil monarchist child!)

Is there no end to this family's wretched depravity? Also, they're black.

Posted by: Matt on January 22, 2011 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

On Michelle Obama's color dress makes it fit for her and making her an simple elegant and conservative.

Posted by: Susy "hersolution" Lampson on January 23, 2011 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK



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