That doesn't mean that the attacks are just, though. The first is a projection piece by Yulal Levin at the National Review complaining that Michelle Obama articulates a sense of "bitterness" (the ultimate insult!). The warrant is that Michelle's speeches often hit on themes regarding how people no longer feel like they're in control of their destiny, that they can't make change in the world (obviously, the fulcrum to Obama's message that "yes, we can" make change). It's a pretty silly argument, that boils down to "there's no anxiety in America, because many of the people Michelle Obama is talking to are middle class or wealthy, and if there is, it's because we rock that much the harder," which I feel misreads the current sentiment of the American people by reducing the only possible source of anxiousness to money concerns. In any event, as in all arguments that flow from a perception that something is wrong with America, Michelle is being critiqued for daring to mention that all Americans might not exist in a state of ecstatic joy, all the time (how can we not? This is the greatest nation in the history of the world!).
The second is an article by equal-opportunity religion-hater Christopher Hitchens, who tries to blame Michelle for Barack's membership in Rev. Wright's church -- a membership which can only be explained by sympathy to radical Black separatist ideology. Since Barack clearly doesn't believe in separatism (nor, I'd wager, does Rev. Wright, but no matter), it must be Michelle. He spends literally one half of a paragraph providing evidence for this -- and (I'm not making this is up), that one piece of evidence consists of Michelle Obama's 1985 senior thesis (my senior thesis is online for all to see -- am I doomed?). That's it, and it's in the last paragraph. Contrast that to the two opening paragraphs, dedicated to wholly gratuitous references to Louis Farrakhan. This the best you've got? [
While I'm on that last point, the discussion by PG and myself on the prospect of a Bobby Jindal VP position reminds of something. In addition to the latest go around of "is Obama a closet Muslim or a radical Christian Black separatist? Or both!?", there's been a persistent rumor fest that Obama only converted to Christianity and joined his church as a furtherance of his political ambition. Would Jindal, who converted from Hinduism to Christianity, face the same scrutiny of political motive? I mean, good luck getting elected as a Hindu Republican in Louisiana. Still, my guess is no, both because the pre-existing narrative of a 5th column (radical Hindus are trying to subvert America and Jesus!) isn't there (oddly enough, since Hinduism, as a non-monotheistic [or at least not traditionally monotheistic] religion would seem to be more theologically dangerous to Christianity), and because the arbiters of who is sufficiently close to Jesus to be allowed to participate in American democracy (i.e., the Christian right) seem to have given him the a-okay. Still, fascinating contrast.