“For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country, because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback."
That's what Michelle Obama said. She might've said "really proud"--it depends on who you ask. For the purposes of this post, I could give a shit. Let's just work under the assumption that she went whole hog and said "proud" without additional modification.
You probably already know what happened. She said it and everyone who might gain from an Obama drop in the polls went hyperactive. Not shocking, considering that 92% of those who were oh-so offended have Lee Greenwood playing in the background while they have straight missionary position sexual relations with their opposite-sex spouse in the dark.
The usual suspects sprung political wood over the Michelle Obama miscue. Malkin did her usual bloviation. Limbaugh flipped out. I'm sure that Fox News circulated a memo advising all on-air personalities to practice their expression of righteous indignation before taking the screen. Bloggers got huffy and stupid/shallow. "Quick, someone said something that wasn't homogenized, pasteurized, parsed and vetted! Time to go CRAZY!"
Even Cindy McCain got in on the act. I think it was the first time I ever saw that once-upon-a-milf open her mouth. Mrs. McCain v. 2.0 (for those with family values obsessions who like to count marriages), reminded us all that she's been damn proud to be an American, where at least she knows she's free, and she even felt that way before the plastic surgery. (Note: You can sing that last part to the tune of the Lee Greenwood conservasong. Try it!)
She's always proud of America! She didn't want to just tell people about that, though, she made sure to make a super-sly indication that her comment was in direct response to that ant-American gal's earlier comments.
Ralph Reed managed to squirrel his way in front of a camera somewhere (he's good at that) to remind us that he, like all other right-minded right-wingin' Jesus lovers, is also proud to be an American every single day. He was in utter shock that Michelle wasn't proud when the Berlin wall fell, for instance.
Maybe Obama's pride in country on that fateful day in 1989 was tempered by other events. 1989, if you'll remember, featured Operation Bullshit (I forgot its real name), designed to oust CIA buddy and Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega. Remember the loud rock music strategy used on that one? Good times.
There was also this whole thing going on in Washington about five members of Congress who were acting inappropriately with respect to campaign funds. Apparently, some of our elected officials were applying some pressure in hopes that the authorities would go easy on Chuck Keating, all-around asshole and architect of S&L failures, because Keating was cutting big campaign donation checks. Remember that one?
Who were those guys... I can't remember all of the Keating Five off the top of my head, but one of them was a war hero from Arizona whose name started with "M". Who was that guy again... Oh, yeah, he's running for President.
Maybe there was just enough bad shit going on with scandals and foolishness that a young adult named Michelle Robinson took it all in and said to herself, "America is a great place. I really like it. I love it, in fact. However, on balance, I don't really think I can say that I'm proud of what we're doing right now." Maybe.
I know, she should have been self-pleasuring to photos of the Gipper while watching footage of the wall tumbling and listening to Madonna sing "Express Yourself" chanting "I'm proud, oh so proud". She lacked pride, I guess, because I've yet to hear anyone say that happened.
I love America every single day. Wouldn't move if you paid me.
I like having the right to mock Cindy McCain and to write crap about Michelle Obama janing off to a picture of Bonzo's best buddy.
I like having 167,012 fast food options within 5 minutes of my home.
I like all of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights--even that pesky #2. I enjoy liberty, I appreciate our history, I love the way liberal democratic values are at the foundation of our government. I love America.
I love the people. I love our past. Hell, I'll probably love our future. I live in godforsaken Kansas VOLUNTARILY. If that doesnt' show love of country, nothing does.
I love our potential. America, even at its worst, always has that very special potential. I'm in love.
I can't, however, say that I'm always PROUD of America.
Oh, I'm often proud of things we, as a nation, do. I'm proud of individual stands and isolated policies. I'm proud of 1,256,331,909 different things we do, have done and are planning to do. I have a lot of pride, people. I'm a proud son of bloody Kansas. I might not be Lee Greenwood, but I'm plenty proud of things.
That being said, I'm not going to lie and claim that, on-balance, I'm proud about America every day. I don't just mean that in some kind of "I just finished reading Howard Zinn and I'm pissed off" kind of way. You see, my #1 love in America is its potential and when I see us squandering that potential stupidly, I have a hard time describing myself as proud overall. I wouldn't say I'm really proud day in and day out.
Sometimes, I'm ashamed. Oh, yeah. Ashamed. We do some really fucking stupid things. We squander our potential or leave it completely unused. We screw up in ways we shouldn't. On those days, I'm more pissed than proud.
So, if Michelle Obama hasn't been proud of America until now, so be it. It doesn't mean she doesn't love the country. It doesn't mean she doesn't recognize its great good. It might mean that she, like me, has just been a tad bit disappointed about how we've been treating the awesome gift that is the USA.
That, however, is putting words in Michelle's mouth. She can speak for herself. She has. She says that she didn't mean she lacked pride in America. She says she meant that this was the first time, in the context of American political participation, she's been proud. I can buy that. Whatever. If you listen to the full presentation, her explanation makes sense. Barack has come out and explained the comment in the same way. Those opposed to his candidate won't believe the explanation, naturally.
And, from the Obama campaign:
"Of course Michelle is proud of her country, which is why she and Barack talk constantly about how their story wouldn’t be possible in any other nation on Earth. What she meant is that she’s really proud at this moment because for the first time in a long time, thousands of Americans who’ve never participated in politics before are coming out in record numbers to build a grassroots movement for change."
The indignation and questioning of her patritotism is a waste of time. That's because it doesn't matter one rat's ass whether Michelle Obama is PROUD of America. It just doesn't matter, kids. Not at all.
She can be PROFOUNDLY DISAPPOINTED in the USA or GIDDY WITH A HEART SPILLIN' OVER WITH PRIDE and it wouldn't matter. Whether her allegedly horrible historical lack of pride stems from a cynicism many of us have or from the fact that she'd like to set the bar of acceptability higher than others, I have no doubt about her love and appreciation of America.
I doubt the lame-asses who got all hot and bothered over her remark do, either. They were just looking for a quick hit. They got it.
Does that make you proud of America?
Does watching Cindy McCain wearing 18 strings of pearls and smarmily expressing her pride in country because the other guy's wife skipped a modifier make you feel proud about the way we do things 'round here?
It doesn't work for me. I'm proud of Barack and Michelle, though. If I were in their shoes, I don't think I'd retain a comparable level of civility. They should take pride in their restraint in the face of this shit.
Yeah, I'm proud of Michelle. Some of you others? Not so much.
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