Dear Michelle Obama, we’re watching your back. You betcha we are.
As I predicted, the pathetic whisper campaign of the nearly-hysterical Republicans to frame Michelle Obama as bitter, militant, angry, female and above all, BLACK is now reaching fever pitch. Yesterday’s little gem came from Fox News, via Michelle Malkin. (Pssst, Malkin. Did you call her a Muslim, too?)
Can you imagine ANY news outlet referring to Cindy McCain as John McCain’s “BabyMama”? The right-wingers seem to think that because Rupert Murdoch is a self-confessed bigoted dickhead, they’re allowed to unleash the full framing of the absurd around Michelle Obama while singing Hillary Clinton’s praises to the highest bidder?
Well of course they do. Because after all, Hillary Clinton is white and Michelle Obama is black. That’s all it takes for them to rationalize their blatant racism AND sexism, reported in living color by none other than the hideous and shameless Michelle Malkin.
Michelle, we’ve got your back on this one. Here’s what’s happening out in the blogosphere:
- Everyone in our household filed a complaint with the FCC. You can file a complaint, too, right here.
- Jack and Jill Politics points to a site launched to keep track of the smears on Michelle and debunk them immediately. You can find it here: Michelle Obama Watch
- Queen of Spain (Erin) has a reminder for Malkin and Fox: Racism is not okay just because it’s on Fox, or in West Virginia, or anywhere else. It’s despicable.
- Stefania Pomponi Butler, co-founder of MOMocrats, warns that the ‘Republicans are going to get handled come November…’ as well they should if they think this kind of tactic is going to gain any traction.
- Paddy at the Political Carnival reminds that the Republicans are pressuring to ban any sort of fairness doctrine in practice or in law because they are so desperate to use their tools to smear opponents and don’t want any little thing like facts to get in their way. Or fairness.
- Even Laura Bush has some kind words for Michelle Obama.
- Donklephant points out that the Urban Dictionary definition of “Baby Mama” proves the claim groundless (and perhaps actionable?). Ignorance is no excuse for such misused and intentionally racist terminology, even Fox News’ style of ignorance.
Finally, an illustration of Fox News’ and Malkin’s intellectually bankrupt and self-serving righteousness with regard to the question of sexism (I link as documentary evidence only. Don’t feel obligated to click this one unless you think I doctored the clip.)
Here’s Michelle Malkin in 2005:
Liberals say they want women to be taken seriously in the arenas of government and public policy. They claim they want women to be judged based on their ideas, not their physical appearance.
Unless, of course, those women are conservative.
In the same post, she quotes Cheri Pierson Yecke’s op-ed taking feminists to task for allowing blatant sexism and claims that it’s aimed only at conservative women (a laughable assertion, by the way. Just ask Hillary Clinton):
Their silence speaks volumes about their convictions and partisan leanings. After all, it is mainly conservative women who have been the victims of this sort of media slashing. Sad to say, with few exceptions, the circling vultures are left-leaning women.
Has our culture become so shallow, and our sensibilities so numb, that we will accept from adults the sort of vicious behavior that we would never accept from our children?
Fox News and Malkin prove, yet again, that they are against sexism before they’re for it, but have no problem embracing racism no matter which side of their mouths they’re using to argue.
It was a pathetic attempt to marginalize a successful, strong, articulate, passionate woman who also happens to be black. Faux News may think they’re making headway, but all I can say is…
Not this time.
Update: After the onslaught, Malkin makes a pathetic attempt to claim she’s being unfairly judged.
Tonight my daughter asked me why I wasn’t on the moon. I tried to explain my frustration at the grandstanding that had gone on in advance of his speech, not to mention the fates colliding to make sure I couldn’t give it my full attention, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was until I saw this video.
As the daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter of a South Dakota pioneer family, seeing the image of Obama standing at Mount Rushmore at night was a profoundly moving sight. Even more moving? The expressions of absolute joy and yes, hope on the people in Minneapolis tonight. I felt as though I was robbed of the actual moment in some ways, but the images in this video reminded me of what makes me believe in this man, and in the faith of the people who came out and endorsed him today, and the state of Montana, who was the last to vote and gave him a wider victory.
I realized that I didn’t want to think about who would be his vice president, or how he would deal with McCain’s snark, or whether his supporters or her supporters would continue to be divisive.
What I wanted for this night, was to enjoy the moment, the snippet of history, the memory of the scent of possibility. To experience the impact of history being made, not just by Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, but by this entire country, where millions and millions of people went to the polls, made phone calls, donated what they could, wrote friends, wrote blogs, built communities around the web, on Twitter and Friendfeed and even “Plurk”, the latest place, and started to believe in the idea that things can change. Wars can end, and yes, politics of hope can prevail over politics as usual. I wanted, for this night, to shed division and remember that in the end, we are always Americans first. It took me awhile to let that wash over me, but it finally has.
He described the Obama supporters opposed to Hillary Clinton as VP as opposing her nomination because they don’t like her.
I don’t know her. I don’t like things she’s done. That’s not my issue.
My issue is that she is a distraction, an impediment to getting shit done. She is drama queen to his calmer, more efficient style. Putting her in the VP slot ensures drama, and more drama.
I want to get shit done. That’s all. It’s not a personal thing. I just don’t want the stinkin’ drama. I get enough of that at home. Don’t need it in my morning paper. Besides, I lived it once, for a long time, culminating in an impeachment. Don’t need it, don’t want it. Want someone with a style that doesn’t include putting the country in debt or turning women shrill on each other and stirring racial pots and all the rest of it.
So whatever it takes, Democrats, let’s find a place of respect for Hillary Clinton that will get her behind the candidate so we can get shit done. Okay?
Barack Obama will earn the right to be called the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party tonight. This is an historical moment. It’s HUGE. HUGE.
What are the pundits talking about right now?
They could be talking about how monumental it is that this man has overcome the barriers that he has.
They could be talking about the incredible campaign he has run.
They could be talking about the sacrificial efforts of the people in his grass-roots campaign efforts. They could even have interviewed them, followed them, learned to understand them.
They could be talking about the people in the caucus states and the primary states, the voter registration drive, the way Barack Obama never stooped as low as he could have to win this nomination.
They could talk about the history of black people in America, how we’ve come from slavery to this day.
Instead, they’re talking (and talking and talking and talking) about Hillary Clinton and whether she should be his running-mate.
This, after they practically danced on her head to call the primary over before South Dakota and Montana had finished voting, and before the superdelegates made their declarations.
This is a day to celebrate a hard-earned and well-deserved victory for Barack Obama and his legion of supporters. Save the post-mortems for tomorrow, please. Can we just celebrate a little bit tonight? Without all of the worry about Senator Clinton?
To Senator Clinton and her supporters: Stand down. Breathe. Your candidacy was also historic and it has not gone unnoticed. But for tonight, let’s celebrate the common victory of seeing our party finally break the middle-aged white man barrier for our nominee, and then let’s figure out how to get on with the process of forgiving. But for tonight, let Senator Obama and his supporters have their moment. They’ve earned that much.
As I mentioned last night, the meeting of the RBC today is meaningless. Harold Ickes, in high dudgeon, dramatically reserved Senator Clinton’s right to ‘take the Michigan compromise to the credentials committee.”
Clinton supporters, in addition to being incredibly rude and unruly, are unhappy that Obama was given ANY delegates in Michigan, just as I suspected. Everything turns on the Four State Pledge signed by all candidates where they agreed to this paragraph:
THEREFORE, I _______________, Democratic Candidate for President, pledge
I shall not campaign or participate in any state which schedules a presidential
election primary or caucus before Feb. 5, 2008, except for the states of Iowa,
Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as “campaigning” is defined by
rules and regulations of the DNC.
Everything turns on the word “participate”. A couple of facts:
- Michigan automatically adds names to their ballot for their primary on the day that candidates declare their candidacy. Michigan also has a rule allowing candidates to remove their names from the ballot.
- Florida does not have a similar provision allowing candidates to remove their names from the ballot. Once names are there, they’re there.
Participate has an active and passive definition. The active definition is “be involved in; enter a race; enter an agreement; enter negotiation;” The passive definition is to ‘become a participant’ by default (e.g., having one’s name added to a ballot)
If one does not actively pursue adding their name to the ballot, then the term ‘to participate’ has to be interpreted as leaving it there.
Therefore, the only way to stay consistent with the pledge was to withdraw their name from the ballot. Further, voters for Edwards, Obama and Biden were urged by the Michigan Democratic party to vote ‘uncommitted’ to express their preference for unlisted candidates. They did so, with the assumption that either no votes would count, or their ‘uncommitted votes’ would be allocated to some candidate in some fashion later on.
For anyone to argue that Obama wasn’t entitled to any delegates is simply dishonest. For any DEMOCRAT to argue for voter’s rights while simultaneously moving to disenfranchise 238,000 Michigan voters proves the cynical basis for the original argument.
Obama needs 68 delegates to reach the now-firm delegate number of 2118. He will likely win 43-45 after the final primaries. He only needs 28-30 superdelegates to reach the nomination. If an additional 40 superdelegates make a public commitment, the threat of the credentials committee appeal will be irrelevant.
It would be good for Hillary Clinton to be gracious on Tuesday night. It would certainly go far toward healing the very large breach and softening me toward her and her rude, obnoxious supporters who were so incredibly harsh in Washington DC today.
It would be good, but don’t hold your breath.
For more info about the credentials committee, see my post on Delegate Voodoo.
Back in January, before the New Hampshire Primary, Senator Clinton was introduced at a campaign event with the following words:
“Some people compare one of the other candidates to John F. Kennedy. But he was assassinated. And Lyndon Baines Johnson was the one who actually” passed the civil rights legislation.
When the press pushed back on that comment, a campaign spokesman said:
“We were not aware that this person was going to make those comments and disapprove of them completely. They were totally inappropriate.”
I guess she was against assassination analogies before she decided to incorporate them into her campaign rhetoric.
Is there nothing that she can’t rationalize?