This column went up at FrontPageMag.com early this morning.
Like Bill Clinton’s female counterpart Hillary, Michelle Obama is arguably more radical in her outlook than her husband. Leon Puissegur at Freedom Outpost is in the midst of compiling what can be gleaned from Mrs. Obama’s light historical footprint.
More recently, Mrs. Obama’s February 2008 reaction to her husband’s breakout performance in the previous two weeks’ Democratic primaries may have been the most direct window into her soul we will ever see.
Her husband Barack’s presidential candidacy had turned an important corner earlier that month. He outperformed rival Hillary Clinton in a slew of contests on February 5 and 12, establishing a significant lead in Democratic Convention delegates and a clear perception of unstoppable momentum. To Mrs. Clinton’s chagrin, “first black president” was in the process of completely trumping “first woman president.”
So what emotions should one have expected from Michelle, a seasoned political spouse, once it was evident that her husband had just become the favorite to win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination? Positivity, excitement, and optimism, of course.
But that’s not we saw.
Instead, she acted as if some — but far from all — of the weight of over a quarter century of misery had been lifted from her shoulders — not once, but twice in the same day:
Speaking in Milwaukee, Wisconsin today, would-be First Lady Michelle Obama said, “for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”
Then in Madison, she said, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”
Michelle Obama has been an adult since her eighteenth birthday on January 17, 1982.
The second statement, moving from “I’m proud” to “I’m really proud,” looks like a reluctant and impotent attempt, especially when seen on video, to water down the first.
Despite her Madison protestation, Mrs. Obama’s professed newfound pride was almost definitely short-lived and, to the extent that it ever existed, completely about her husband’s success. It was not at all about “hope,” or what it might have said about America’s willingness to consider a presidential candidate regardless of his or her color.
An early March 2008 New Yorker magazine article, “The Other Obama: Michelle Obama and the politics of candor,” exposed the self-adopted strident tone of Mrs. Obama’s stump speeches:
Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we’re a divided country, we’re a country that is “just downright mean,” we are “guided by fear,” we’re a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents. “We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day,” she said, as heads bobbed in the pews. “Folks are just jammed up, and it’s gotten worse over my lifetime. And, doggone it, I’m young. Forty-four!”
… “The life that I’m talking about that most people are living has gotten progressively worse since I was a little girl. . . . So if you want to pretend like there was some point over the last couple of decades when your lives were easy, I want to meet you!”
Collins importantly noted that Mrs. Obama composed the speech herself, delivering it “without notes” — and, it would appear, without a teleprompter.
There’s very little chance that Mrs. Obama’s pride lasted. One does not suddenly get past such a repeated display of open contempt for America and the everyday people who live in it and permanently find pride simply because your husband is on a political hot streak.
Michelle Obama’s long-term and still-existing shortage of pride originates in a deep-seated belief that America remains, in the words of leading black socialist Cornel West, “a ‘racist patriarchal‘ nation where white supremacy continues to define everyday life.”
In 1984, while an undergraduate student at Princeton, then-Michelle Robinson promoted and attended “a ‘Black Solidarity’ event for guest lecturer Manning Marable, who at the time was, according to West, probably ‘the best known black Marxist in the country.’”
Her 1985 thesis buys into the harmful belief of 1960s black radicals Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton that “Before a group can enter the open society, it must close ranks.” The problem is that once groupthink dominates, philosophical separation from the rest of society almost never goes away.
Michelle was married to Barack Obama in 1992 at the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ. Wright is best known for saying less than a decade later that America, based on its history of “terrorism,” deserved what happened to it in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He invoked Malcolm X as he said that “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”
Less visible but even more crucial is Wright’s belief in the “American/European Rhetorical Ethic,” which states the following:
Rhetorical ethic is the hypocritical exercise of white supremacy used to service the same. It sets laws that are only to be adhered to by others. But if those laws or structures get in the way of white supremacist actions of power, they will not apply. Such is the history and current state of this American government.
In broader terms, the ethic sees the law as an artificial construct only to be applied to the powerless and which can safely ignored by the powerful. Now that they’re in power, it’s interesting how operating above the law — “the hypocritical exercise of leftist supremacy,” if you will — seems to be the guiding philosophy of Barack Obama’s presidential administration.
When the spoken and written statements of Wright and other TUCC clerics threatened to derail Obama’s 2008 general election campaign, the Obamas chose to resign. Even though the resignation letter’s text was written in first person singular, its lead signature, conveniently released on a Saturday evening, was Michelle’s. The resignation letter made sure not to reject Wright’s “theology,” which when broken down was essentially Black Liberation Theology tinged with bitter, delusional attacks on “white supremacy.”
Though she has largely restrained herself since her husband assumed the presidency, there’s little evidence to support the notion that Michelle Obama’s core beliefs have changed. Unless we see otherwise, the default assumption should be: Once a far leftist, always a far leftist.