Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

02/20/2008 (9:03 am)

Michelle's Mouth, a Window to Barak's Soul

The Democratic primary seems to be winding up with a clear winner, but not the one anybody expected, so now we have to gear up to understand candidate Obama. Lo! and Behold! this week, we’re getting much helpful assistance from his wife. Thank you, Michelle.

Michelle Obama is a major part of Obama’s campaign, and has garnered him plenty of positive press. She’s professional, educated, articulate, impressive, not a bit shy, and America likes young, good-looking, professional couples. (Want to hear some press fawning over her? CNN, WaPo, Vanity Fair…) This week, though, she’s made a couple of gaffes on the campaign trail, so now she’s the target of some political analysis.

The furor was over two particular speeches: one at UCLA, in which she exclaims that “America’s soul is broken, and only my husband can fix it,” and another in Milwaukee, where she exclaims how for the first time in her life, the hope inspired by her husband’s campaign makes her proud of her country. Hot Air has the video of the latter, and the standard reaction, along with Michelle Malkin. Captain’s Quarters treated the former thoroughly, and Malkin weighed in there, too.

It’s not all that unusual for the wife of a powerful man to boast about how powerful he is. However, this gives us a window into what the real Obama is made of, and what he intends.

“Soul-fixing” first. The nation is facing real crises: migration threatens the nation, and Islam threatens the West. Obama’s rhetoric does not address those, however. He’s addressing a different problem: the nation is divided. It’s not an imaginary problem, but he’s not addressing it in a realistic manner; the problem is competing philosophical systems with vastly different moral hierarchies. High-flown rhetoric offers no promise to unite those, and Sen. Obama’s voting record places him firmly on one side of the divide, not in the center between them; he’s not the right man to solve the problem.

The “proud of my country” gaffe illustrates why. The Obamas clearly belong to that small set of leftists who believe the Sweet Land of Liberty we all grew up in is an international disgrace. We’ve heard plenty of this sort of talk over the years, only seldom packaged as “hope.” It becomes clear, listening to Michelle, that the hope they’re expressing is the hope that the nation will finally abandon its defense of true liberty and human dignity, and join the quasi-Utopian international community of multiculturalists, who find America disgusting but allow the Sudan to sit on the UN’s Commission on Human Rights. It’s the hope of the radical few, not of traditional America.

The man who’s actually producing a realistic solution to the problem of the divided nation is Newt Gingrich. His American Solutions initiative is gathering local activism to focus on issues where most Americans agree, regardless of party. It’s pretty remarkable, actually — polls reveal super-majorities on a surprising number of issues, enough so that Gingrich says America is about 85% center-right, and only 15% hard-left. The Obamas fall into the 15% category. Obama is not going to unite a thing.

I recommend a trip over to Gingrich’s site, at the link in the previous paragraph. Download his “Platform of the America People,” and gear up for local activism. This is where the real uniting is taking place. What Michelle Obama is illustrating is that Obama’s “fresh hope” is nothing but the same, tired leftist propaganda.

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February 20, 2008 @ 10:04 am #

“…polls reveal super-majorities on a surprising number of issues, enough so that Gingrich says America is about 85% center-right, and only 15% hard-left.”

Oh, I REALLY hope Gingrich put it this simplistically – this would make for some great fun on the national blogs at his expense.

Let’s see…there’s NOBODY hard right, and NOBODY center-left. All we have is the reasonable 85% sitting together at center-right, and those alien lunatic 15% living on another planet at hard left.

Holy cow, it’s hard to know where to begin with this.

February 20, 2008 @ 11:14 am #

A good place to begin would be to read what he wrote. Or, do you always find it “balanced,” “charitable,” and “multidimentional thinking” to criticize what you have not even read?

I think you’ve got a lot of damned nerve criticizing me for being uncharitable and one-dimensional, after a bigoted comment like that.

February 20, 2008 @ 11:20 am #

Bad morning, Phil?

Didn’t have time to read him yet…had to put it off until just a bit later for a doctor’s appointment.

But bigoted? Come on, I have nothing against Newt – but if he stated the 85-15 in the way you summarized, that should be addressed head-on and the simplistic thinking he is fostering dealt with directly.

February 20, 2008 @ 11:41 am #

He says it based on a great deal of very interesting research. Again, you have no business criticizing it before you’ve read it.

The general thrust is that there exist core issues about which you’ll find a majority on both sides of the political aisle agree. For example, more than 90% of Americans agree that we as a nation need to invest a great deal more in science and math education than we have. Without having solve any other issues, we can all agree to do that, and it would have the support of the majority from both parties.

Likewise, 79% agree that we’re more likely to solve environmental problems faster and cheaper with innovation and new technology than with litigation and government regulation. Legislative initiatives that draw on the market rather than creating caps and limits will thus gather a majority from both parties. Those are the initiatives we should try first.

Some of his comments get an immediate “Oh, please” reaction, until you think about them. He says, for example, that 96% agree that Congress and the President should address Social Security’s problems within the next few years. “Big Duh,” one responds, but then you think of the reply: “Well, HAVE THEY addressed it?” And then you see the point — they haven’t, and they’re not going to.

His point is that government is not responsive to most of us, and that we can join hands across the aisle to fix that. This, unlike Obama’s meaningless rhetoric, is a practical and sensible way that political opponents can join to produce visible, practical change.

Read it. THEN respond.

February 20, 2008 @ 12:09 pm #

No problem, but do you see the disconnect between this:

“The general thrust is that there exist core issues about which you’ll find a majority on both sides of the political aisle agree.”

and this:

“America is about 85% center-right”?

Are we dealing with both sides of the political aisle, or just your side?

February 20, 2008 @ 12:29 pm #

[…] tend to agree more with Plumb Bob Blog’s posited explanation that they’re just Leftists regurgitating the same tired […]

February 20, 2008 @ 1:12 pm #


Gingrich is dealing with both sides of the political aisle, where there exist a number of items of general agreement which Gingrich, accurately in my view, claims denote a generally center-right philosophy.

Note especially here that in the first example I mentioned, I’m in the 9% that disagree. I don’t think spending a dime of additional money on science and technology will help anything; I think the problem lies in the prevailing educational theory, and that the key to solving our growing education deficit when measured against other nations is to free education from government regulation, which would allow alternative theories of learning to compete and eventually eradicate the current, shit-headed notions that have crippled American education.

February 20, 2008 @ 2:24 pm #

You people on the right has taken this quote out of context. I know you looking for any negative commentary on this wonderful women who has achieved much;’ but let’s look at her full statement.

This is her quote:

” For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am “really” proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction…”

She didn’t say ” For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am proud of my country”.

I know you all are intelligent. So please bare with me. Let’s say you witnessed your son or daughter’s graduation from college. You are beaming with pride and caught up in the excitement and then all of sudden you utter ” I am really proud of my son “. Are you saying that you have never been proud of you son before? Of course not !

I do agree because the media twisted her comments that she should respond to clarify herself for those who support her and husband.

Make no doubt about it America has positively responded to one of their own; not because he is African-American but; he is touching the same heart and soul that President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King touched in their time.

Were you proud of America when Jim Crow denied millions to vote? No! There were Americans that said we can do better and we eventually did.

Were you proud of America when we witnessed the agony endured my hundreds of thousands Louisiana resident as a result of Katrina?

Think about it America !

Duane Madyun
A Proud American

February 20, 2008 @ 3:11 pm #


You’re trying very hard, but I’m afraid you simply can’t help her. She didn’t emphasize “really,” she said “For the first time in my life.” That has meaning.

Take your own example: if at graduation, I said “For the first time in my life, I’m really proud of my son,” even if I put special emphasis on “really,” the boy would be crushed — and properly so.

It’s quite clear what she meant, and it’s quite clear that what she thinks is not what most of us think.

he is touching the same heart and soul that President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King touched in their time.

John F. Kennedy was a philandering playboy who put his country at risk for his own libido, blundered in such a way as to cause the capture or death of hundreds of Cuban patriots, cemented Cuba into the Soviet block for two generations, and brought us to the brink of nuclear war. That you recall only the “Camelot” soft soap puts you in a category that depresses me a great deal: people who lack the ability to filter meaningless political rhetoric, but whose vote counts for as much as mine.

Barack Obama will likely win the presidency on the strength of voters like you, who mistake classy rhetoric for meaningful personal character.

Were you proud of America when we witnessed the agony endured my hundreds of thousands Louisiana resident as a result of Katrina?

Yes, actually, I was — a storm the size of Great Britain hit our coast, and the entire nation responded. I was embarrassed by some of residents of New Orleans, however, and by the hate-raddled press that reported falsehoods.

But I’m concerned by the fact that, in your mind, the presence of a few things we should be ashamed of is the same as there being nothing you could be proud of. Those are not the same thing. I’m ashamed that America is going glassy-eyed over a near-Marxist in a nice suit, simply because he says “change” and “hope” in a clear voice. It’s embarrassing and frightening to me. But the fact that my nation contains a large number of sheep incapable of differentiating puff words from sound character, doesn’t mean there aren’t things I’m proud of — like liberating the Iraqi and Afghan people, taking down most of al Qaeda, responding generously to crises around the world, and standing as a beacon of liberty for the entire earth for hundreds of years.

Ms. Obama was speaking from the heart. She’s a sincere, articulate woman. She said precisely what she meant. That’s what’s alarming about it; she sincerely, genuinely meant that she’d never been proud of her nation before. And that, in my mind, absolutely, utterly, completely, and irrevocably disqualifies her and her husband from becoming DOG CATCHER, let alone President.

February 20, 2008 @ 3:32 pm #

The American people tend to separate candidates wive’s comments from those of their spouses, so M. Obamma’s comments will disapear from the public conscious.
Newt is the only politician I can think of with real vision. Sadly, his past personal life means that someone else will have to grab hold of his ideas and bring them to fruition if they are to happen.

February 21, 2008 @ 12:45 am #

A couple of comments:

I believe Mrs. Obama spoke from the heart and that she revealed her true feelings. There is a significant cadre of Americans who sincerely believe that America is a bad place and are anti-American, and I am becoming convinced that the Obamas are of this ilk. Most of us can cite areas in which we wish the country was different or ways that we have handled things that could have been done differently and better. But this cuts deeper. I thought things were “headed in the wrong direction” during the Carter presidency, but I never once stopped loving and appreciating the country. Just didn’t care for the way the Pres and his men were handling things. I feel it goes further with Mrs. Obama. It isn’t just that she disagrees politically with Mr. Bush. He and the Republicans make this a bad, ominous, threatening place.

On a previous post I mentioned an information crisis, and you asked that I explain. Well, here goes, because this is somewhat relevant to this thread. I believe the stats that say that as a country we have more in common than we do differences, and that the country generally tilts to the right in the way people live their lives day to day. It is my opinion only, but I feel if people truly understood what liberalism and conservatism are, what they stand for, and where these principles will likely lead us if followed; that liberalism would wither like an ice cube in a hot sun.

The problem is that there is a huge mass of data and information out there, and it is near impossible to tell fact from spin. We are battered by information that is little more than propaganda on a daily basis even through sources deemed reliable by most of the public. The mainstream media filters not only how the news is reported but what is reported and what is left out.

Random examples: We have been bombarded for years with headlines about every enemy attack on US forces in Iraq and every US casualty. But we almost NEVER hear of the successes of the American troops. The coverage is totally one-sided. Understand, I’m not focusing on the liberal media bias card here, and am trying to take a step beyond that. But with the tone of the reporting, is it any wonder the average American citizen is sick of the war and probably thinks it was a mistake. My take: give the American people an unbiased accounting with the warts and pimples on both sides of the story and let people decide. But this NEVER happens.

The “screech” you spoke of often becomes the accepted conventional wisdom. “Bush lied, people died.” How many people are aware that the chief interrogator of Saddam post capture has noted that Saddam was planning to restart his nuke program shortly, and that he was doing everything in his power to convince the world that he did have WMD before he was invaded. I believe most fair minded people, if they could get away from the screeching for a while, would absorb this and come away saying, “Well, maybe it wasn’t the most well informed move we ever made, but obviously this was not a case of Bush trying to “lie us into war for oil’. There were logical, honest reasons in a post 9-11 world for what was done. Let me judge where we should go from here with that perspective in mind.” But this information is buried and hard to reach unless you are a dedicated blogger/news junkie. And even then, spinmeisters are there to make the essential, common sense truth difficult to find.

What is fair: Print and televise the essential truth and facts about what is happening with some objective commentary on what this means. For example, Mr. Obama proposes to pull out of Iraq in 2008. Here is what may happen if he does that. Yes, the troops will come home, but…He proposes to “invest” by raising taxes on the “rich”. Let the reader or viewer know that yes, there will be som eincome redistribution but also he should be aware that the “rich” as defined by Se. Obama includes millions of ordinary working stiffs, and just maybe, the reader hinself. He might be surprised to find he is classified as rich. Tell people he is heading toward socialized medicine for our country, and then show the situation in Canada as it truly is as an example. Let the peope know what is really going on, and then if they decide this is what they want, by all means, vote for Mr. Obama.

It is virtually impossible to get to the core truth to make an informed decision. Right now, most people get the information and commentary upon which they base their decisions from Katie Couric and the NYT, or perhaps People Magazine and Oprah.

Hope this explains my thinking on the information crisis. Thanks for the inquiry and for reading through the lengthy reply.

February 21, 2008 @ 7:35 am #

Thanks for taking the time, RM. I think you’re correct, and I think most mainstream news sources have become propaganda machines for cultural progressivism. I’ve often said that a “Democrat” is a person who still believes the news is telling him the truth, and counts on it. The only way anybody in modern American can remain a Republican is by either unplugging altogether, or, as you said, making a concerted effort to find the facts; the propaganda machine guarantees that if you listen and accept what you hear, you’re a Democrat. I also agree that if this were not the case, if news purveyors attempted real objectivity, liberalism would recede to something like the modern Libertarian party.

But it’s not just the news. There would also have to be a significant change in public education, in university education, in entertainment, and in the court system. These specific arenas, along with news, all were targeted by the Marxists back in the 30s and 40s (although public education was actually influenced by earlier corrupting forces of a similar nature; read up on John Dewey sometime) and are today agents of radical change by hard leftists, contrary to the general will of the people.

February 21, 2008 @ 11:22 pm #

Phil, if you’re tracking back – you hit the nail on the head. I particularly hear it when you note, “…if you listen and accept what you hear, you’re a Democrat.” No wonder a number of my friends shake their heads and honestly wonder how this seemingly rational guy could possibly be conservative and vote for a Republican.

This is why I use the word crisis (which I heard first from Sean Hannity to give proper credit, although I haven’t heard him use the phrase for years). Our position is akin to running a race in a bed of mud, while the left runs along on a parallel dry track. I’m not sure where or how you move out of the mud lane and get on even footing, but I’m not convinced our side really understands the full scope of the problem.

February 22, 2008 @ 6:50 am #

Believe me, RM, lots of us are aware of the problem.

What we’re talking about here is the same thing Richard Nixon was talking about in 1969 when he gave his “Great Silent Majority” speech. It’s also the same thing Jerry Falwell was talking about when he named his new, political activism organization for Christians, “Moral Majority” back in 1980. And it’s the same thing Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity are talking about when they speak of the “media echo chamber.” They all recognize that what’s being presented as America in news, entertainment, and education, isn’t really America, it’s something distorted.

I’ll be writing and talking about this more as we go forward. Keep coming back.

In the meantime, though, did you visit Newt’s web site that I mentioned in the article? He’s done some good thinking around how the rest of us can be heard. Check him out.

February 22, 2008 @ 9:56 am #

I’ll check out the Gingrich site and am really enjoying the blog. Hope the traffic continues to grow.

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