Why do the Republicans continue to attack Michelle Obama?

I don't believe that any African=American who grew up in the America that I experienced in the fifties and sixties (and even later) should necessarily have been as proud of this country then than they are now when Barack Obama has climbed to the top of the Democratic Party. So when Michelle Obama is attacked for her comment last February, taken out of context, that she has never been as proud of America as she is now, she is being unfairly accused of everything from UnAmericanism to social evil.

Dan Abrams on MSNBC last night had a great section where he revealed quotes by John McCain where he clearly states that he didn't love America until he was a prisoner of war and was deprived of his country. Abrams pointed out that this could just as easily be taken out of context if Democrats were to do what Republicans like Cindy McCain were doing... and this would be just as unfair.

here's the section of The Verdict where he raises this issue with a mixed panel:

<iframe height="339" width="425" src="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/25274602#25274602" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

Perhaps we can return to debating the actual issues and get away from personality attacks. There is an awful lot to really discuss which has nothing to do with depicting a candidate's spouse in such a manner.

One could hope.

Under The LobsterScope

Tags: Cindy McCain, John McCain, Michelle Obama (all tags)

Comments

26 Comments

Re: Why do the Republicans continue to attack Mich

Republicans continue to attack Michelle because they are desperate. It's all they've got at the moment. Their whole campaign presently is to paint Barack as the angry black man and Michelle as the militant black women. They feel they can get away with this without being labeled racist. Moreover, they don't care about the label so much.

Unfortunately, the media will gnaw on this bone until distracted by another. Right now Michelle is out there doing a PR turn, and so the media is focusing on her, both positive and negative. I'd say that on the whole her coverage is very positive and people, as they get to know her, will like her, so the Fox spin on her could very well blow up in their face.

We are at a point where Barack just making a speech somewhere isn't news, so policies aren't being covered. That's unfortunate, but it's expected. I'm sure the Obama team has some tricks up their sleeves to regain the media focus down the road.

by Travis Stark 2008-06-20 04:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Why do the Republicans continue to attack Mich

Good points all around and well-said.  I hope the Obama campaign has a strong response up their sleeve.  

As much as I'd like to believe that the right-wing noise machine is declining in influence, I suspect they just haven't found their "hook" yet.  When they do, all bets are off . . .

by prodigal 2008-06-20 05:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Why do the Republicans continue to attack Mich

I dont get it. on one hand we are trying to push back the silly notion that she did mean she was never proud of her country...and get aggravated w/ republicans for implying so.

on the other hand we have dem folks pushing that she did mean it and good for her for saying so?

so are you guys agreeing w/ the republicans that she did mean it now?

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-20 06:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Why do the Republicans continue to attack Mich

Nice try.

First, she said that for the first time in a long time she was "really" proud of her country, a word that's always left out in the Republican talking point because it implies a quantity and it's more convenient to just imply she hates her country.

Second, in context, it is totally obvious that she was talking about the political process and increased involvement and how proud she was of that.  

by Travis Stark 2008-06-20 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Why do the Republicans continue to attack Mich

did you read the diary travis?

did you then read my response

try gain , this time slowly..

because your reply = you did not get it...

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-20 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Why do the Republicans continue to attack Mich

No, actually it means you didn't communicate your point very well. I read the diary. I read your response. If you didn't mean what you wrote, then pray, what did you mean?

by Travis Stark 2008-06-20 08:00AM | 0 recs
Easy enough

Democrats won't attack McCain on his comment about when he decided to love his country, because it's tacky and bound to fail, given his military record and the fact that he's a Republican (the GOP seems to get a pass for criticizing the country while the Democrats are taken to task for it... just another way that Republicans have controlled the debate in the last decades).

Thus, with no fear of in-kind reprisal, they can go after Michelle all they want, especially now that they feel that they have an opening with Obama saying that families are off limits but not going after the DNC for noting that McCain is probably breaking the spirit of his own finance laws by not paying Cindy for the use of her plane.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-20 04:28AM | 0 recs
The plane thing

is not a character attack on Cindy, it's McCain getting - literally - a free ride.

However, I agree that the difference is lost on most people.

by Neef 2008-06-20 04:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Why do the Republicans continue to attack Mich

Probably because it worked fairly well in 1992 when another President ran with a strong minded and opinioned wife... thus demonizing her.  I don't think Michelle would ever run for office but it sounds like they are trying to make her a boogieman just as they did with Hillary in 92.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-20 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Why do the Republicans continue to attack Mich

This is EXACTLY what I thought--they are Hillary-izing her, because it worked so well in the 90's against the smartest First Lady the country has ever seen (Elanor notwithstanding). It's the demonization and condemnation of a strong, opinionated woman.

by rhetoricus 2008-06-20 08:59AM | 0 recs
Because Clinton already

aired the dirty laundry that could be used against Barack. If they go that route, as John McCain has tried to do this week, it does not make the front page anywhere. Old news.

She is what they have left to smear Obama.

by Grissom1001 2008-06-20 05:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Because Clinton already


Oh yeah, they would never have thought of that by themself... Thank you Hillary for digging out that hard to find footage of a public campaign rally.

Do you guys listen to yourself?

by TaiChiMaster 2008-06-20 06:40AM | 0 recs
Please chill on the plural

there are 9 zillion O supporters who didn't write that.

by Neef 2008-06-20 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Because Clinton already

The commenter was actually noting that because Hillary exposed the stuff early, Obama is now inoculated against the old smears, which is why the GOP is so short on swiftboat material they have to go after Michelle. In this sense, Hillary did Obama a favor.

Might want to check that knee-jerk reaction of yours.

by rhetoricus 2008-06-20 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Why do the Republicans continue to

See "the scorpion and the frog."

by Mobar 2008-06-20 07:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Why do the Republicans attack Michelle Obama?

It shows that Sexism is alive and well and still politically correct.
Calling Michelle, a well educated smart woman, Obama's Baby Mama shows what Hillary endured all these months.

Racism is a thing of the past (at least in the open) but sexism is still acceptable in society.

by rolnitzky 2008-06-20 07:31AM | 0 recs
Huh?

A thing of the past?

Overt racism as well as more nuanced, institutional racism is very much alive and well.

Notice that you allude to the "Baby Mama" smear as an example of sexism, when the racist undertones of it are far stronger.

by BobzCat 2008-06-20 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?

Please enlighten me explainging the racism in this comment.

What if they were calling a white professional woman, someones baby mama.

Don't you see any sexism in that comment.

It's like the ppl who held signs at Clinton's rallies 'Iron my shirts'

by rolnitzky 2008-06-20 08:05AM | 0 recs
They WOULDN'T say that of a white woman.

Or at least probably not.  That's the point.

Rhetorical questions like that are useless in this case, because it WAS used against a black woman.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-20 08:27AM | 0 recs
Exactly

The fact is, they never would have used the "baby mama" for a white woman. The expression (whose origins date back to Jamaica in the 60s) has always been more common in the African-American and hip-hop communities.

Fox's excuse was that some producer was lamely trying to be hip (funny how it's always the apple's fault and never the tree's).

But it's impossible to paint over the exploitation of racial stereotypes in that caption, which is as strong if not stronger than the sexism implied by such a crass insult.

by BobzCat 2008-06-20 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Why do the Republicans attack Michelle Obama?

1. Hillary wasn't exposed to that sexist vileness "all these months." It was more like "all these years," starting when Bill took office. It only found a slight, and temporary, hiatus in right wing circles when Obama took the lead in the primary.

2. Racism a thing of the past? Are you completely blind, deaf
and dumb?

by rhetoricus 2008-06-20 09:10AM | 0 recs
simple: its racism

because they want to tap into the sentiment amongst whites that while they don't hate all blacks, they particularly dislike black women. Many whites feel less than great about them, because of experiences in many places, stores, offices, and the GOP thinks they can paint Michelle as one of those types. I'm not trying to be racist, but rather, to show why they're going after her

by Lakrosse 2008-06-20 07:55AM | 0 recs
Re: simple: its racism
So you are affraid of black women because of "because of experiences in many places, stores, offices"
How about black men.
by rolnitzky 2008-06-20 08:09AM | 0 recs
I wasn't talking about me

I was talking about stereotypes that white people commonly hold of black women. While they have ideas of black men, part of the stereotypes of women they have are more negative due to added sexism.

by Lakrosse 2008-06-20 12:05PM | 0 recs
Knowing Fox

It's racism, sexism, unwed-motherism, and every other ugly thing wedged in the human psyche.

Fox's goal is to paint everyone left of Cheney as the Antichrist. They are pretty equal-opportunity about the type of smear. Goebbels would be in awe.

by Neef 2008-06-20 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: simple: its racism

So.. should Condi have gotten this treatment, or is she somehow different?

by rhetoricus 2008-06-20 09:11AM | 0 recs

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