GOP Attacks Ms. Obama

Anyone who thinks the Tennessee Republican Party is off running their own game when they attack Michelle Obama as unpatriotic is simply fucking nuts.  The filthy GOP bastards are mean and ugly enough to employ this tack far more broadly if they discover it has traction and legs, but not stupid enough to shoot the whole wad on a risky gambit that may well (and ought to) blow up in their faces.  And so they leave it to a bunch of borderline deficient rednecks to run it up the ol’ patriotic flagpole to find out if it hits a nerve.  If it works, you’ll see this sort of crap following ads for Maxwell House coffee on GMA.  If it fails, they retain plausible deniability – it was just those Tennessee arseholes, not us!  One can almost hear McCain saying something like, “I did not approve, nor do I support any ad campaign that questions why Michelle Obama is not proud of America.”

The Tennessee branch of the party that brought us Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and the worst president in history has rolled out a television spot that features, repeatedly, one line uttered by Ms. Obama while campaigning in Wisconsin last February: “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country.”

Michelle later clarified the remark, explaining that she meant that she was proud of how Americans were engaging in the political process and that she had always been proud of her country.
The ad in question is inter cut with clips of Tennesseans telling us why they are proud of their country.

Now let’s be perfectly fucking clear about a few things.
First, there are plenty of reasons for Americans to be proud of their country.
Second, there are also plenty of reasons for Americans to be ashamed of their country.
America’s behaviour in Haiti, Cuba, Colombia, Nicaragua and El Salvador is nothing to brag about.  Indonesia, Iran, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq and Somalia aren’t necessarily shining examples of America’s best intentions or best outcomes.
Enron, Teapot Dome, Clinton-Lewinsky, Watergate, Iran-Contra…are the people of Tennessee really unreservedly proud of these elements of American history and foreign policy?
How about Jim Crow laws, segregation, race riots and Rodney King?  Waco?  Abu Ghraib?  Abscam?  The Keating Five?  The Plame Affair?

The point, here, is that loving one’s country is much the same as loving your significant other.  Were you to run about telling folks that your spouse if so fucking perfect that they have no flaws – none – those people would be perfectly correct and displaying a certain amount of wisdom if they never took you seriously again.  Everyone, and every country, has flaws – some more egregious than others.  One supposes that America is not as bad as, say, Uganda or Myanmar, but perhaps worse than Norway or Canada.

But neither is that The Point.  There is something utterly wrong, dirty and repulsive about running an ad campaign that questions the patriotism of a candidate’s wife.  I submit calling anyone’s patriotism into question is a dirty tactic, designed to appeal to a fine emotion (love of country) but to turn it on its head and bugger it up the ass for profit.  What’s next?  Will they steal some elementary school artwork and shout that Obama’s kid only drew 36 stars on the flag he made in art class?  Shall we be subjected to photos of Obama’s dog taking a piss during the National Anthem?
By way of contrast, when John McCain was being held in the Hanoi Hilton, under torture he gave up information on naval deployments and signed statements testifying to the illegal actions of the American forces in their conduct of the war in Vietnam.  While I am no supporter of McCain, I would react with a great deal of anger and revulsion were those facts ever turned against him in the campaign.

At some point, this shit simply has to stop.  In their desperation, the GOP has abandoned anything resembling principles in favour of…well, I guess this is what we’ve come to expect from the Grand Old Party.  The past eight years have taught that lesson if nothing else.  Nevertheless, this utter degradation of the political process is destroying the very idea of America and all of the higher virtues to which it once claimed to aspire.

I suppose, given the track record on which the GOP would be forced to run absent such smear tactics, they are desperate to twist the eyes of the nation to something…anything other than the issues that so burden the country; that threaten to crush the economy and every last shred of political currency the USA ever had around the world.  In that regard alone, one can understand the resort to such shameful means as attacking Michelle Obama over a remark that, in any reasonable context, makes perfect sense.  Show me someone unreservedly proud of everything America has done in the past twenty years and I’ll show you a fucking moron.

Yes, it is time for a change.  And clearly – all too obviously, sadly and pathetically clearly – that change is not going to come at the hands of the people who got America into this mess and now resort to attacking the patriotism of a candidate’s wife when there are real, serious, pressing issues that need to be addressed.

I’m sure Tennessee is a wonderful state.  I have no doubt that Tennesseans are warm, wonderful people who want only the best for their country, their state, their neighbours and the larger world.  Tennesseans ought to be outraged at the actions of their state Republican party.  One hopes they deliver that message at the polls.

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4 Responses

  1. I would love to seem them deliver that message at the poles. With a pole. Or possibly a pike.

  2. […] adequately explained and which made perfect sense to begin with. I’ve posted about the coming right-wing attacks on Ms. Obama. What’s most disappointing is that this is what JB is proudly passing on to his children as […]

  3. […] on August 27, 2008 by cousinavi They’ve cast Michelle Obama as an angry black woman, unpatriotic, ultra-left wing and ashamed of her country.  Now, in the wake of a speech that by all accounts […]

  4. […] Posted on October 9, 2008 by cousinavi I’ve posted about Michelle Obama before (here and here).  Educated, smart, steady, solid – my opinion of her continues to grow every time I have […]

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