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Wednesday: Two things

A bit busy today.  Have to bop over to the library and look up some new papers.  So this will be brief.  (Ha-ha, it never is, right?)

Thing One: It looks like Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee.  How can we tell so early in the primaries, you ask?  Well, unlike the byzantine and UN-democratic Democratic primary system, which can be reconfigured on the spur of the moment to suit the intended outcome of the party uberclass (and its Wall Street backers), the Republican primaries are winner take all.  So, in just a few states, the frontrunner can put a sizeable distance between himself and the next tier.

What is interesting to me is the positioning of Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum.  It signals to me that the people of New Hampshire want more of a “moderate” Republican and cooled to the religious nutcases.  In fact, knowing my own religious nutcases, they might have thought Santorum’s thoughts on birth control extreme.  For one thing, they’re not against birth control, as long as it’s only for married couples.  But Santorum didn’t sound like he was discriminating between FORNICATORS and married men and women doing whatever unspeakable things they want to do in the dark.  And THAT probably made them focus on another aspect of Santorum’s person- he’s a papist.  Yup, and he’s not the John Kennedy “this is the 60’s, we’re enlightened Catholics and don’t take orders from the pope” kind of papist.  Santorum is the Torquemada kind or the kind that would have made Galileo renounce the heliocentric theory.  He’s the baaaaaad kind of papist who probably gets email messages with orders straight from the Vatican itself every morning.  He’s the kind who we suspect scourges himself right after he has sex with his wife.  The one thing the evangelical fundy distrusts slightly less than an atheist and a muslim is a papist.

Santorum got all giddy and is now going to suffer from the “Oh, shit, did I say that out loud?” gaffe.  The evangelical fundy crowd is still going to need a religious type to balance out Romney the Mormon.  Maybe Santorum will get VP.  Who knows.  But Romney is going to bring the nomination in for a landing.  And if it’s Romney, Obama is going to have some problems because to the rest of us, the only difference between the two of them is that Obama didn’t run a private equity firm first.

Thing Two: Does anyone remember when Michelle Obama in 2008 made that crack on an ABCNews interview about how she was going to be paying close attention to Hillary’s tone?  Ahhh, here it is.  (H/T Delphyne):

I don’t know about taking the country in a new direction but he most certainly did take the Democratic party in one, specifically wayyyyy to the right.  But I digress.

I remember thinking that Hillary wasn’t running against Michelle but this was a diabolical move by Obama’s campaign staff to set up a Crystal Carrington- Alexis Carrington “cat fight in the pool” scene.  I appreciated how Hillary refused to take the bait.

Then Michelle moved into the White House and played the role of suburban stay-at-home  wife that is all too common around here in central NJ when hubby’s income reaches the level to which they intend to become accustomed.  It doesn’t matter how long she took to get her law degree or masters in public administration or MBA, she quits and stays home to tend the garden.  You won’t hear another controversial or opinionated statement out of her mouth ever again.  She will become as boring as lemon jello.  Having a life outside the home is no longer her role.  Her role is to maintain relationships with the other couples in the neighborhood.  It’s strictly social.  Work?  That’s for women who are married to losers or who aren’t married at all.  Ladies do not work.

Then Michelle docilely travelled the world in her awkwardly tailored, but modest and boring A-line skirts and twin sets, assuming the role of the tall but silent second class sidekick.  Well, of course, it was all perfectly arranged by his advisors so as to look like she wasn’t interfering in his work, that she knew her place and that was to be invisible, or as invisible as a beautiful, statuesque amazon was supposed to be.  Her brains were of no interest to them.  The less known about the internal workings of Michelle’s brain, the better.   The Washington press corps and their little Village does not understand women who think for themselves and it was much better for Michelle to know her place than push the envelope and stir Sally Quinn and her hive into a frenzied, relentless pursuit of trivialities and rumormongering.  And besides, the first lady doesn’t really have any official capacity, and lord help us, we don’t want her to develop any policies that might prove to be crucial 15 years later, unless she’s secretly lobbying for some hospital association but strictly on the QT.

Michelle bought into this.  In fact, she bought into it so thoroughly that she had to have her mother move in and take over some of her duties so that any perceived power was even further diluted.  And what the heck was going on with Desiree Rogers who got her ass canned for dressing too nicely and unintentionally letting the riff raff in to a “members only” soiree at the White House?  Well, anyway, the role of woman in the White House is to 1.) look ornamental 2.) keep her mouth shut  3.) keep The Village quiet and 4.) not make policy.  This applies not only to the first lady but also to the women who had to work for her husband, like Christine Romer, Sheila Bair, Elizabeth Warren, people like that.  One might have thought that Michelle would have spoken up for them but she did not.

She *could* have taken a different route.  She could have been more of a Rosalyn Carter or a Hillary Clinton.  But then, we would have been complaining about her “tone” and Michelle has shown by her own example, that she would prefer to take a backseat and be a model of the flavorless surburban privileged woman and not a courageous leader who bucks the trend and tries to break new boundaries for American women.

I don’t mind that she wanted a nice family life.  I don’t begrudge that of anyone who lives in the White House, including Anne Romney who is living with MS.  If she thinks that being a good mother means staying at home to tend to two tweens who are at school for most of the day, who am I to judge?  And if she wants her husband to take her to a night out to NYC for a play, I’m all for it.  No, seriously.  Life in the White House is grueling no matter how cul-de-sac you arrange your life to be.  Anyone who lives in that environment needs a little privacy and normalcy.

But if  you signed up for Betty Crocker and the long suffering Griselda, if you turned your back on millions of working women with brains, both in the White House conference rooms and out in the civilian working world, don’t start looking for sympathy later.  Don’t complain about your husband’s advisors who strapped you into this role and from whom you accepted the harness voluntarily.  We don’t care, Michelle.  By your example, you set the rest of us back by four decades.  You abandoned us and let us fend for ourselves in the west wing and the laboratories and factories and the conference rooms and the universities and the sports fields and the abortion clinics.  You’ve spent three years in absence after your husband cheated a more worthy person out of a nomination.  You did not pick up the standard that she had to leave behind.  Challenging the status quo wouldn’t have made you an “Angry black woman”.  It would have made you a person in your own right.   The fact that you have to defend yourself to say that you played no role in your husband’s administration is not a good thing, Michelle.   If you’re not going to assert yourself, it would be better for you to now remain silent.

Don’t make it worse for us.

36 Responses

  1. This year the early GOP primaries are not winner take all but split like the Dem primaries. The first winner take all state is Florida. Several states, including NH, lost half their delegate for moving their primaries. Does that sound familiar?

    They have several caucus states later which are not winner take all and Ron Paul will use those to gather delegates to create mischief at the convention. He’s a demented neo-confederate loon, but it could make the convention fun to watch.

    • I stand corrected. Must be unusual for Republicans. Nevertheless, Democrats don’t have any winner take all primaries, iirc.

      • It’s a first. Appears they changed their rules so they could pull a DNC Rules Cmte action if it was necessary.

        • I think the reason for the change was to prolong the agony so that more republican voters would turn out. Hillary going to the wire ultimately energized a huge democratic base, the republicans are trying to do the same thing.

          I do find it interesting how the media is trying to say the republican race is already over, since that would de-energize republican voters. \

          Which would make HillBuzz’s assertion in the past that the media is in democrats backpocket have some merit.

          • Frankly, barring a really weird occurrence, the race belongs to Romney. That’s just the way it is.

          • AM: I rather think it might indicate that both parties belong to the Malefactors Of Great Wealth, and that the MOGW have decided that Obummer has performed to their satisfaction, and so they want him again.

            If that be the case, then the MOGW have decreed that the Reptilians will play the role of the Washington Generals to the Dinocrats’ Harlem Globetrotters this presidential election, as happened in 2008.

          • Aww, I neglected to add “and the Corporate Media” after “both political parties”.

  2. I don’t remember that comment but I do remember Michelle refusing, fairly early in the race, to say that she would support Hillary if she were the eventual Democratic nominee.

    Screw Michelle.

  3. http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/02/michelle_obama_id_have_to_thin_2.php

    Love the part about her husband taking this country in a “different” direction.

    • Ya gotta admit it was “different”. Hosed but definitely different.

      • {{snort!}}

      • What I’m curious about is how Obama is going to differentiate himself from Romney. It would have been so much easier if it had been Ron Paul or Santorum or Gingrich. But Romney or huntsman? That’s a lot tougher. I know that some party loyalists will say there is a difference but I’m just not seeing it.

        • I’ve watched Romney make his speech in Iowa and in NH and he is absolutely awful. He opens his mouth and just sucks all the energy out of a room. It’s amazingly bad. Here’s Charles Pierce’s take on his Willardness. It’s funny and very accurate.


          If the economy isn’t even worse than now, Obama may beat him like a drum. Or maybe not?

          • Maybe not. Given the small difference between Romney and Obama,
            if Romney gets the R nomination, some DDs (Disgruntled Democrats) will feel free to vote against Obama. Maybe a lot, maybe just enough.

  4. Great points RD. Michelle could have taken women power to a new level in the White House. Instead, she chose to take the easy road and remain mute, unless its to support her husband. What kind of message did this send to the thousands of female-head-of-households within minority families I can only imagine??

  5. *snorts* love the tags ‘feminist she is not’

    If Romney wins the general, the only plus side is there will be talk almost immediately of who the dems will run in 2016. I dont think I can handle another 4 years of “Obama and the tea party circus” live from DC

  6. RD, you can say in a few paragraphs what it would take many of us pages of purple prose to articulate. This is one of the very best summary of MO’s three years in the WH I have read-

    BTW, I just heard on CSpan that Hillary received 10% of the vote last night in New Hampshire – sweet-

  7. OT but I like it. Elizabeth Warren announced raising $5.7M in the 4th quarter, beating Scott Brown’s total by $2.5M. And to think just a day or so ago a CNN reporter was gushing about Brown’s fantastic numbers for the 4th quarter 🙂

    Go Warren!!!!

  8. If Mittens gets the GOP nod I suspect the Dems will go with the coat tail defense. You know, support Obama for the sake of the lower positions on the ballot.

    Unless he does something incredibly stupid like choosing Bungalow Dick or Perry for a running mate, Romney (r-dog on the car roof) just might win.

    Mittens and a sane republican (oxymoron?) on the ballot and I’ll probably sleep in rather than get up early to vote. A Perry or Santorum and I suppose I’ll have to go vote to keep the loons out of the White House.

    • The coat tail defense? I have a feeling that the congressional candidates will flee from Obama if mittens gets the nomination. The electorate wants a change. They didn’t get it with Obama, they might get it with mittens. The best thing that congressional candidates can does change too and become real Democrats. They might make it as long as they keep Obama at arms length.

    • Well . . . Romney/Huntsman. or some such thing.

  9. Riverdaughter, you might have missed my reply a couple of post down about access to your scientific journal articles- I posted just before the thread closed. I’ll copy the reply here because it might be one way you could access them from home:

    Are you a member of your town’s free public library? Do they have a website with a page with research databases? My public library system does and our patrons can access the databases from home. We have at least three databases that archives all kinds of journals, including scientific- Masterfile Premiere, Academic Search Premiere and JSTOR. I know there are other databases out there that do so as well.

    While it requires more time searching through the results, it could help you from really falling behind on what’s being published in your field. And since they are archived you can go back and find them later. You can also print them out at home, etc….

    • I checked with my public library when I first laid off and my county system doesn’t offer them. I’m not surprised, scientific journals are very expensive. Even big corporations are choking on the license fees these days. My friends in the industry have yet to find a satisfactory solution to this and professional orga like the ACS are only recently starting to wake up to this unmet need. The closest library with a full suite of journals is Princeton’s. And some of those journals have a weird disclaimer on the first page of the PDF. That’s something new that just showed up recently. I might need a sponsor at princeton in the future in order to read papers. There’s also the Rutgers chemistry library but that’s farther away for me. Anyway, it’s a royal and unnecessary pain in the ass and I don’t really understand it except that someone must be making money by the boatload.

  10. I haven’t commented here in a long time even though I regularly visit and will come back more often this election year. I’m so glad to see at least one left blogger mention Michelle Obama’s comments because no one else in the left blogosphere is taking her to task for her “angry black woman” comments and I’m sure most will agree with her in order to protect her husband’s reelection campaign.

    First, when I read about her interview I thought to myself, “oh no, here we go again”. I think there were several reasons behind her comments. One is to use the race card to shore up the black vote again for the election. The second is that I think Michelle really does view America through a white vs. black view where any attack on her or her husband has a racist motive. I also have remembered her comments in 2008 both about Hillary as well as her being proud of her country for the first time. Despite being an intelligent and educated woman, her comments show someone who has a naive and narrow historical and cultural perspective of America and who is tactless when speaking publicly on issues of race.

    In fact, when I read the NYTimes article by Jodi Kantor on Michelle Obama, it actually made me sympathize for Michelle more than I ever had before which is why I am left quizzical by her dismissal of the book. It portrays her as someone more than just a stay at home first lady who works in the garden. For the first time, Michelle is shown to have more gumption and political acumen than her husband. A good thing in my view but perhaps in her view a bad thing that she could be portrayed as not an angry black woman but another Hillary Clinton involved with politics and policy rather than dressing up in designer clothes and keeping her mouth shut?

    This interview will not help her husband’s campaign other than perhaps energize her husband’s shrinking fanbase.

    • I’m more likely to see the book as campaign propaganda. She’s in a no win situation here. If she tried to influence her husband, it’s pretty clear that she had no impact on him or his advisors whatsoever. That doesn’t surprise me but then I’ve never bought into the idea that Barack Obama was an exceptional human being who was going to make an exceptional president.
      But what’s really karmic is the fact that she even has to back away from the assertion that she tried to influence him – at all. She is being forced back to the garden by the campaign or the Village.
      What Michelle Obama doesn’t seem to realize is that the pejorative word in the term “angry black woman” is “woman”. Any woman in this country who has tried to assert herself and gets too successful is taken down. Think Martha Stewart and Hillary Clinton. It was Michelle’s turn to face the music and not back down and what did she do? She grabbed a trowel. If you’re not your own self, with all of the controversy and opinions that go with it, you don’t really count. You have to assert yourself in a public way and close out all of the voices that tell you to shut the fuck up and sit down and mind your children or no one will respect you. She didn’t do that and now we hear that Obama’s advisors treated her like they treated the women who worked for him, rudely and dismissively.
      I’d feel sorry for her but she saw the way he behaved on the campaign trail in 2008. She saw how he did not hold anyone accountable for the misogyny. She kept her mouth shut and even gleefully joined in with denigrating Hillary. How is it that someone as supposedly smart as Michelle didn’t think that was going to boomerang back on her?
      One thing is for sure, when Hillary left the White House, she ran for the senate and the presidency because she had earned the respect of millions of men and women around the country going back to when she was first lady because of the things she did. When Michelle leaves the White House, no one will care. She has earned nothing.

      • I’d buy that analysis if not for the overriding influence of Valerie Jarrett. I think Michelle and Valerie are very close. And MO has alot of influence. Unfortunately, neither has any ideas that we would like. All ideas have to do with the Chicago Way and how to get reelected. I think we can say that Jarrett is the most influencial person on staff, man or woman. Obama is mostly absent. He just plays golf and plays at being President. There has not been one interesting or intelligent idea since BO was elected. He needs to go.

        • Ron Suskind’s book does confirm that Valerie Jarrett was the person the senior female staffers went to when they felt they were getting shut out of the Old Boys Club. But while Jarrett was able to get them a meeting with Obama, that’s where her helpful influence ended. In fact, what she suggested after that, essentially a social segregation of the sexes, probably made the situation worse because most of the influence happens during social gatherings.
          Look, we can try as hard as we might to make Michelle Obama into some secret force for good but the results of that force are not present anywhere. So, she’s either not as influential as people make her out to be or as you suggest, her influence is more useful during the campaign season. I’m going to guess that she got exactly what Obama wanted and has always gotten what Obama wanted. He’s just not into women, not even Valerie Jarrett, unless they’re helping him win an election or making a new network connection.

          • Heheh. I misread your comment as She’s just not into women, not even Valerie Jarrett, unless they’re helping him win an election or making a new network connection. … and thought “astute observation!”

            But even as that’s not what you wrote, and apart from the ‘not being into Valerie Jarrett’, I believe what you didn’t write holds some truth. I always felt that Hillary Clinton tried to gently “steer” Michelle Obama in that direction, make her focus on women. But MO never bought into the idea.

  11. MO signed on to be a stepford wife with the frills of a spoiled brat. Its laughable for her to whine about being viewed as an angry black woman. She acts more like a spoiled princess, than an angry black woman with legitimate grievences.


    You nailed it perfectly. MO has set us all back decades by allowing herself to be used to undermine strong independent women of all races. Part of the issue is, is that white women have been stereotyped as passive, shallow, privilaged, weak creatures who only care about shopping and what they look like. You know, the racist/sexist movie “white chicks”. MO feeds into this stereotype and signed on for creating the notion that black women too have a right to be “white chicks”. Now that she is living the stereotype, she is discovering how confining and oppressive they really are to all of us.

  12. Woody Woodpecker just realized that his next President will be either Backtrack Iscariot Obummer or Mittens Da Dog Abuser. 😈

  13. Romney is disliked by many Republicans as are almost all the loser candidate. Look at the field. It’s pathetic.

    Romney will never “energize the base” because he is has lied all the way from pro-choice to against abortion, from pro gun control to against gun control.

    Whether you are for or against any of these things, would you like waffle boy?


    Mormonism has some bizarre beliefs. Since they are an in and hip religion the more extraordinarily weird ones aren’t talked about in “polite” company, but they do exist and keeping a lid on the massive pot of whacko is going to be a hard job in a presidential election.

    And he IS the “rich person who steals everything not nailed down” sociopath that is the LEFTS poster boy for the Right.

    Great loser candidate in a field of losers. Champion Loser. He might even go all the way and win against the current King of Losers, Obama.

  14. Another b.s. accusation of racism toward this blog from the comments section at Talk Left the other day.


    • Lol! How is any of this related to race?? They’re one box top short of a secret decoder ring.

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