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    The two biggest problems I have with the reactions to Michelle Obama’s heartfelt comment about her finally having something to be really proud of this country about is this. We eviscerate candidates and campaigns for their scripted syncopated messages saying we want honesty and real emotions. Then we crucify those who would give it to us. America once again proves that "You can’t handle the truth." I would expect the Republicans, pundits, talking heads, and the America; love it or leave it crowd to resort to knee-jerk reactions, but I find it very telling that Democrats and so-called Progressives are joining their ranks in condemning her remarks. The second problem is that it shows how we have allowed the Republican "fear factor" to color our perspective about who we are and what we have become. The same fraudulent media that can swift-boat a decorated war hero into a lying coward while at the same time turning a lying draft-dodging Reservist into a hero strikes fear in the hearts of many.

    Any American over the age of 40 whether they be black or white should if they are honest be able to attest to the truthfulness of Michelle Obama’s statement. Forty years ago there were images being played out on television screens across America of peaceful black demonstrators being attacked by police dogs, high pressure water hoses and brutal police just for wanting to exercise their basic rights. Who in their right mind back then would have envisioned that today one of the major Parties is on the verge of nominating a black man for President? How many among us today thought that a black man could draw the cross-section of support that Barack Obama has been able to put together prior to this election? I mean come on people, the guy won Idaho. Forty years ago America’s urban centers and rural counties were ablaze with rage following the slaying of one of America’s greatest heroes, who by the way was long on rhetoric but yet was able to move a nation to confront it’s racist past.

    Forty years ago college campuses were exploding with the calls for change to end a divisive war that was killing and maiming a generation; once again for the cause of spreading democracy at the end of a gun. Forty years ago a young man promising change and a new vision of America was gunned down and a fractious Democratic Party was left to sort out the pieces in Chicago amid chaos and smoke filled rooms. To those too young to remember these things or may not have lived through them they may seem ancient, but to those who were there for us to deny the validity of Michelle Obama’s statement is to deny ourselves. We look back over the last 40 years and I would ask anyone to tell me a prouder moment in America than the one we stand at today, with all of its historic significance. Not only have we been presented with the choice for the first time ever of a viable black candidate, but also of a woman.

    We as a nation can not allow the right-wing nuts to minimize this moment or to marginalize it. The time has come to put an end to the false patriotism of either you are with us or against us, as if this were some western movie and the choices were as simple as the guys in white hats or black ones. I can love someone or love a nation and still be able to point out their flaws. The real act of love is not to ignore their flaws or to pretend they don’t have any, but to love them all the more in spite of them. It is precisely this myth of infallibility that keeps us repeating the same mistakes over and over again as well as keeps us tied to the ones we have already made. This fear of acknowledging our failings must be overcome if we are to become a greater nation. For one to acknowledge their mistakes is not a sign of weakness, but in fact is a sign of strength and a first step of growth and change.

    I suspect we haven’t seen the last of this episode if Barack Obama goes on to win the nomination. The wife of Senator McCain has already weighed in saying, "that she has and always will be proud of her country." Well given the fact that she was raised an only child to affluent parents and enjoyed the best that this country had to offer I can understand why she is so proud of America, but for those of us not quite as fortunate as Cindy McCain we have seen our share of moments when America was not looking or acting so worthy of pride. To those of us who grew up poor, black, or brown we can understand Michelle Obama’s feelings of pride and elation. Because while Cindy McCain was getting diversion for her addiction and drug stealing, many of us have had fathers, brothers, and sisters who were and are serving felony prison sentences for a lot less. I guess pride is like everything else in this world, it just depends on your perspective.

    As a middle-aged black man, I can say that I have never been more proud of this country than I am now. The fact is that the number of whites who are willing to vote for Barack Obama is far more than I would have guessed in my wildest dreams fills me with pride and if this is wrong to say then who really is being dishonest? Michelle Obama and me or those living in a drug induced state of, "I can’t say I have made any mistakes."

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic - John F. Kennedy

The Disputed Truth

Originally posted to Forgiven on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:01 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You know it's not the quote (21+ / 0-)

    It's the way that the pundits are interpreting the quote to make it sound like something that she didn't say.
    I"m black, female and raised on the southside of Chicago too. I marched in Cicero with King and I have never been prouder of America in my whole life than I am right now.
    Great diary.  Please add Black Kos tag.

    The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

    by Robinswing on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:05:24 AM PST

    •  I really, really don't understand this. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Annie Maim, minerva1157

      I already said this a couple times, but maybe you didn't see my comments. This is a terrible, shameful time for America. I have never been less proud of my country. I think one would have to go back more than 100 years to find as low a point as we are at now.

      •  The change isn't finished (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but the change has started. An African American is the leading candidate for POTUS. Not just the leading Democratic candidate.

        (A similar change would be evident if Hillary Clinton were winning the Democratic primary and polling so strongly against GOP opponents.)

        This is a watershed year in America. As a country, we may not have hit bottom, but the momentum for the upswing is shooting up.

        God bless America. God bless our troops.
        God damn George Bush to the fires of eternal damnation.

        by Bill Rehm on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:45:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'll help (0+ / 0-)

        If you want to discourage, demoralize, and disempower people, tell them how much their country sucks, how awful the times are in which they live, how we're at the lowest point in history. Paint such a bleak picture that they'll feel like nothing they do will matter.

        If, in the course of a campaign, you want to motivate people, get them off their asses and working to change things, and then they start doing just that, then you praise them, encourage them, and tell you how proud you are of a country that is waking up.

        An optimistic message will resonate far more effectively than a pessimistic one.

        The latter is just, well, boring.

        "......" -- Harpo Marx

        by BobzCat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:37:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  These past few years (3+ / 0-)

      have been so awful and its been so hard to find anything about this country to be proud of--

      In fact, the last unqualifiedly proud national moment for me was probably the moon landing.

      But there was a whole lot of other s**t going on at the time of which I was not particularly proud !

      Let's get some Democracy for America

      by murphy on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:08:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the moon landing was the big one for me too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ThirstyGator, esquimaux

        maybe those cool pictures from the Mars rover about 10 years ago?  They seem to be few and far-between.  Maybe if we aren't enamored with military force (against countries that didn't even do anything to us) we have trouble thinking of proud moments.

        •  since the moon landing ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          How about a former president and a former vice-president winning Nobel Prizes for peace?  How about our Kosovo intervention?  How about brokering peace between Egypt and Israel?  Or peace in Ireland? Just for starters ...

          I am an Edwards Democrat.

          by ThirstyGator on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:52:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  good points (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I was scratching my head last night to think of some instances of pride and could only come up with the moon landing.

            Someone replied when I posted that rumination, what about the people's response to Katrina?  Yeah, the people, but not the government, that's for sure.

            And Kosovo?  Clinton's unwillingness to put our troops in harms way in that venture cost needless loss of life from our intense bombing campaign which, by its nature, is anything but surgical.  I was for that intervention on humanitarian grounds, but Bill's fear of the polls going south if even one soldier was lost was tantamount to cowardice, imo.   If a military action is necessary, they American casualties should be expected, not avoided at all costs.

            But the peace initiatives you mention are definitely on the list, which, all in all, is pretty fucking sparse.

            "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

            by nailbender on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:07:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  your sig (0+ / 0-)

              How about electing the first female Speaker?  I don't agree with you about Kosovo.  By nearly any calculations it was a successful operation and remains so today.

              I am an Edwards Democrat.

              by ThirstyGator on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:18:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  did you reay my sig, or just her name at the end? (0+ / 0-)

                It isn't a source of pride, but of intense shame that the Party I used to belong to and worked my ass off for, for many years, couldn't find the fortitude to bring the most criminal administration in the history of the Republic to heel.

                If Nancy Pelosi had done even a smidgen of her Contstitutionally appointed task, then yes, I would be proud as hell right now for both her elevation as the first woman speaker and for her courage in fulfilling her historical imperative.  As it is, shame is my only feeling for having helped elevate her.

                "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

                by nailbender on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:29:08 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Michelle Obama was five years old (0+ / 0-)

        when the U.S. landed on the moon.  What was probably more notable her was the absence of family members and neighbors who were slogging through the paddies of Viet Name, to return (if at all) as vastly different people than as they left.

        What has made any rational person unbashedly proud of the U.S. Government and its policies since then?

        "Never raise your hands to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected." - Red Buttons

        by Man in the Middle on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:00:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ret, ignorant bystander

      I don't know what a black kos tag is?

      •  neither do I (0+ / 0-)

        and I've been here for years.

        Btw, your choice of sources for the quote is highly questionable.  The BH is a right wing tabloid that features one of the most reactionary op ed pages in US journalism, and having us all give them traffic is counter productive.  I would suggest swapping that link with the Globe or almost any other outlet other than a Murdoch or Moonie pub.

        Fine diary, imo, otherwise.  Thanks.

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

        by nailbender on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:12:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Look, it was a bad comment. Defending it just (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    prolongs the pain. There's no reason to make a big deal out of it, either way.

  •  It doesn't sound (0+ / 0-)

    that bad in context.  It's just when some pundit reads off the most potentially damaging words that it could do some harm.

  •  I don't agree (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BoringDem, bustacap, reid fan, slksfca

    Her comment made me extremely uncomfortable.  I'm proud of a variety of things this country has accomplished in my lifetime.

    Has the US done some truly wrong and shameful things? Yes, without doubt.  But this nation has done a hell of a lot right as well.  

    I am an Edwards Democrat.

    by ThirstyGator on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:06:56 AM PST

    •  it also (6+ / 0-)

      made her look incredibly self centered.

      She's only proud because her husband's ambitions are being realized. Gee...people really look up on that!

      I know what she was trying to say, and she was just better off not saying it and simply try to move on from this as soon as possible.

      "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible." --J.R.

      by michael1104 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:11:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But of course that's not what she said she was (0+ / 0-)

        proud of. In fact, she said it wasn't just because of him it was because it's clear to her that the country really does want to change its ways. If she's right then that will be the first time I will ever be proud of my country. Not just really proud. Plain old proud. Never have been before. As a mass we tend to do more harm than good.

        •  well, perhaps you are her target audience (0+ / 0-)

          Maybe what she said was "dog-whistle politics" aimed at a particular group of seemingly progressive voters.  

          As a mass we tend to do more harm than good.

          I simply don't agree.  As a nation we've made some really asinine, harmful decisions.  But we've done quite a few things nicely as well.

          I am an Edwards Democrat.

          by ThirstyGator on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:32:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  you are on to something there (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the "elitist" Harvard thing is already being "framed".  Obama is "ambitious" at 46, still in his first Senate term, I would say that he is "ambitious" but ambition requires a big ego.

        The "elitist" thing fits into the Republican frame. The Obamas better learn to avoid it.

        •  playing right into their hands (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "elitist" "America-haters" "will do anything to be elected"

          I checked in on Hannity's radio program yesterday just to know what the R talking points are.  Dick Morris was holding forth on what a great president Obama would be.  Hannity was right there with him.  Now, either they'll be supporting Obama in November, which is, I suppose possible, or they KNOW what the plan of attack and path to victory is against Obama.  And this just gives them ammo.

          I am an Edwards Democrat.

          by ThirstyGator on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:46:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  of course the Monkey President (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            has a Harvard MBA, and Hillary has a Yale law degree....

            but only Democrats are "elitist". I think the Obamas are vulnerable on this notion.

            I was horrified to learn that only 30% of Americans IN THIS DAY AND AGE have a Bachelors degree. That makes me an "elitist" I know.  First of all, my God, what are these 70% thinking?  Second, what will they be thinking after the 24/7 corporate media cycle, and the Republican party, and the 527s get done smearing the Democrats?  

            This is why I prefer Hillary over Obama. Nothing is known about him but it "will be".

    •  1st. She said really proud. 2nd. Name something (0+ / 0-)

      we did right that wasn't tainted by something we did wrong?

      •  brokered peace between Egypt and Israel (0+ / 0-)

        Created and maintained a higher education system that continues to be the envy of the world.

        Brokered peace in Ireland.

        Reserved enormous tracts of land for public use.

        There's a long list.  Of course we've done bad things.  There are 300,000,000 of us.  We're going to screw up - that's common to human institutions.  But to pretend NOTHING this nation has ever done is of value is disingenuous.  It also plays into the same Republican meme that has haunted the Democratic Party since the 60's.  Thing is, it isn't true of most Democrats - just a few self-flagellators like yourself.

        I am an Edwards Democrat.

        by ThirstyGator on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:37:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ha. (0+ / 0-)

          A discriminatory higher education system is nothing to be proud of as a nation.

          Brokered peace in Ireland? Don't think that we as a nation had anything to do with that.

          Public land use? Again nothing we did as a nation.

          Nope.  Not good enough.

        •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

          Created and maintained a higher education system that continues to be the envy of the world.

          Look at some of these stats. Do we have a good system of higher ed? Yes. "The envy of the world?" Not hardly.

          Brokered peace in Ireland.

          Did the US accomplish it? Are you talking about the Good Friday Accord? Another view. From the article:

          The United States provided hope for peace in 1998, when it brokered the Good Friday accord between Protestant and Catholic leaders. One goal was a shared Northern Ireland government that would put local officials in charge of taxes, schools, welfare programs and other basic functions.

          Since then, however, attempts at home rule have collapsed.

          Each side accuses the other of sabotage and bad faith. The last assembly was elected in 2003 but has never met a full day. That has left Britain running day-to-day affairs in the province, in consultation with Ireland.

          Reserved enormous tracts of land for public use.

          I'll give you that one, at least as long as Bush doesn't get his way.

          Finally, there's a big difference between not being proud of the US and claiming it has never done anything good, right or decent.

          A last suggested reading: A People's History of the United States

          God bless America. God bless our troops.
          God damn George Bush to the fires of eternal damnation.

          by Bill Rehm on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:04:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've read Zinn. (0+ / 0-)

            And I've read Chomsky.  Frankly, neither of them have been particularly productive in making positive change happen.

            I am an Edwards Democrat.

            by ThirstyGator on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:13:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You do get that Zinn is a historian, right? (0+ / 0-)

              His work isn't the same as a politician's or an activists, although I'd bet that many of the people who have been "particularly productive" have read his works and looked more carefully at the mythology of American history vs. its reality.

              God bless America. God bless our troops.
              God damn George Bush to the fires of eternal damnation.

              by Bill Rehm on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 07:27:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  really proud (0+ / 0-)

        That came in the second speech.

  •  What Barack might consider doing. (11+ / 0-)

    To repeat my comment from the Cindy McCain diary this morning:

    think Barack and Michelle should leave this alone for a few days.

    10 to 1 on Thursday whoever the CNN moderator is is going to bring this up, and here's the answer Barack should give, with just the right amount of "how dare they attack my wife" in his voice.

    "You know Wolfe I'm glad you asked this because it demonstrates something important. Unlike Hillary's husband, my wife Michelle, she's not a polished politician, and it's very hard to be out there on the campaign trail day after day, exhausted, and still manage to find exactly the words to express what you feel. Michelle was overwhelmed by the support we've been getting, and she was trying to express to the crowd how hopeful it makes her, how hopeful it makes both of us, for the American people.

    Unfortunately, it's a sad barometer of the state of our political discourse, that the Clinton and McCain campaigns, Sen. McCain's own lovely wife, and every right wing talking head in the country, immediately pounced upon Michelle's words to brand her as unpatriotic - as an American hater. Does anybody really believe that Michelle Obama is somehow unpatriotic. Does anyone really feel that my wife, my rock as I often call her, turned her whole life upside down, disrupted the lives of our two elementary school aged daughters, to take on this fight with me, because she hates our country?

    This is a prime example, Wolfe, of what is wrong with the politics-as-usual, the gotcha politics of the past, and why I'm fighting to leave that kind of discourse in the past, and move on to the future."

    "From the many, we are one." - Barack Obama

    by Travis Stark on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:07:18 AM PST

  •  Great diary... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gavodotcom, blindyone, Robinswing

    You make an excellent a white man, I've never been prouder of my country party's nomination is coming down between a woman and a black guy and there result: RECORD TURNOUT...not people staying home in droves, no, RECORD TURNOUT...

    Cindy McCain's fantasyland bubble world, where in if you steal drugs you don't go to prison, is in for a rude awakening...

  •  Yeah... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you're going to go out there and speak for your candidate husband you should make damn sure you're using the right words and correct any "gaffe" immediately.  I could see that she realized it immediately but went on with her commentary anyway.  There are going to be a lot of people who are turned off by Obama and his wife just based on some of his and her attitudes toward Clinton, the words they've chosen and some other things.  Can't keep everyone happy all the time.

    A bit more moderate than, say, Ghandi. -4.5, -2.1

    by TheKost on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:07:53 AM PST

  •  The idea that (6+ / 0-)

    Cindy Lou Hensley McCain, a white woman who has never known anything but marked wealth and privilege would try to one up Michelle Obama on being proud is infuriating.  Michelle Robinson worked herself from the South Side of Chicago to a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law, facing economic hardship and racism. Cindy Lou is contemptible.

  •  I just want a dem in th ewhitehouse at this point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, libertyisliberal

    Everything else (unless it's about congressional seats) is a distraction.

    "It's a race to decide who the British goverment will follow blindly for the next 4 years" Kennedy/Kerry '08

    by Salo on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:13:05 AM PST

  •  I have been ashamed to be (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, tobendaro, JFinNe, Puffin, rf7777

    an American for the last 7 years.  I don't think I need to hide that fact.  The level of support I see for Barack Obama makes me proud of Americans, not America.

    If Jesus saves well, He'd better save Himself from the gory glory seekers who use His name in death

    by minerva1157 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:14:33 AM PST

  •  lowering the level of discourse (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JFinNe, Greasy Grant

    is what Republicans do. Many Americans are simple people. They see the world as "with us or against us", with major "help" from the corporate media.  The 527s will amplify the message, meant to imply that. "the Democratic candidate isn't a REAL American."  Throw in a foreign-sounding name while we're at it.

    I know exactly what Michelle Obama meant.  I have not been overly proud of America lately either. But she and her husband are going to have to be very careful not to fall into right-wing "frames". These are rhetorical traps that the right-wing media and 527s excel at. Democrats in general seem very adept at walking into them.

    She needs to be very careful what she says. McCain is a formidable candidate and could very well win. (The starry-eyed Obama supporters don't want to hear this, but just wait until November). It will be closer than you think. (Why couldn't they nominate Romney?)

    •  I agree that (0+ / 0-)

      lowering the level of our political discourse has been a real problem in this country. But rather than being frightened of falling into what we perceive as a right-wing frame, why don't we instead entrap them in their own frame?  If we're actually willing to give voice to problems involving race, socio-economic status, and privilege, what better way to point out the contrast than with the McCains as Exhibit A?

      "Forget the myths the media's created about the White House. The truth is these aren't very bright guys."

      by Ret on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 09:02:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "trap them in their own frame" (0+ / 0-)

        great idea. The Republicans have been working on "framing" for a long time.  Considering that they seem so stupid (to us) how do they manage to outsmart us politically?

        Maybe if we start now, building frames of our own, we can catch up with them by 2020.  

  •  America should be proud of Michelle Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:24:50 AM PST

  •  The comment was dumb and she should admit it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aj4runner, JFinNe

    Michelle Obama is smart, intelligent and gifted, I'm sure she was NOT putting down the Country.  I'm sure she was referring to today's political climate but it didn't sound that way.  She needs to humbling apologize for the comment and leave it at that.  Remember it's not the mistake but how you handle the mistake.  She can be a little brash at times and I think she needs to stay on message at all times.

    As soon as I stop worrying, worrying how the story ends, I let go and I let God, let God have His way. "It's the soldier, not.."

    by Lady Bird Johnson on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:25:46 AM PST

    •  Michelle is in Rhode Island today, maybe (0+ / 0-)

      she'll mention something there.

      Michelle Obama in Warwick, RI

      Join Michelle Obama for a special rally in Warwick, Rhode Island on Wednesday, February 20th. The event will be free and open to the public.
      Stand for Change Rally with Michelle Obama

      Community College of Rhode Island
      Knight Campus
      Student Dining Commons
      400 East Avenue
      Warwick, RI 02886

      Wednesday, February 20, 2008
      Doors open: 5:45 p.m.

      Barack Obama in 2008! Change We Can Believe In!

      by aj4runner on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:34:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I certainly hope so, she REALLY needs to say (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        something.  I was pleasantly surprised that alot of people came to her defense on the networks last night.  I think Larry King loves her.  :).  Dick Morris was really dismissive of the bashing.  He said she is NOT running for President her husband is, so he didn't see anything to be upset about.  

        She MUST simply apologize to the Country and I hope she doesn't say, "if" I offended anybody.  I hate it when folks say that words.  She MUST say, the words didn't come out right.  She loves her Country and has ALWAYS been proud to be an America because of all the opportunities she has received.  Our Country may not be perfect but it's the BEST Country in the World.  She HAS to be HUMBLE and must remain so throughout this election cycle and into the White House.  

        As soon as I stop worrying, worrying how the story ends, I let go and I let God, let God have His way. "It's the soldier, not.."

        by Lady Bird Johnson on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:41:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I think will happen at her rally tonight (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lady Bird Johnson

          She will now include the reasons why she loves this country in her speech and this will become part of her stump speech from now on.

          I agree that she should say something. I'd actually like to see her hold a short press conference with all reporters. Facing the "fire" with the media present is the best  and quickest way to stamp out the burning embers.

          Forget the wacko right. They are running with this and it will become the main part of their campaign foundation all the way until the general election this fall.

          Barack Obama in 2008! Change We Can Believe In!

          by aj4runner on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:53:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I completely agree with you, completely! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            This is her time to become our First Lady.  What she says about this situation today will make a big difference in what happens in this campaign from now on.  She must step up to the plate and hit a homerun.  I praying that she is HUMBLE!  

            As soon as I stop worrying, worrying how the story ends, I let go and I let God, let God have His way. "It's the soldier, not.."

            by Lady Bird Johnson on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:58:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Let's Stop Being Battered Children (4+ / 0-)
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    Ret, esquimaux, blindyone, Kim from Pgh PA

    Let's stop cowering in fear every time Republicans attack.

    Let's play a little offense and knock them back on their heels for once.

    Michelle Obama's remark is meaningless. Does anyone seriously think she doesn't love America? Of course not.

    Don't let Republicans define her. Go on offense.

    •  As a country, let's smarten up... (1+ / 0-)
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      When this country elected Bush in 2000 and 2004, the dumbing down of America was evident. Many of the people who saw through all the Republican scare tactics, fear mongering, and unfounded, stupid personal attacks either voted Democrat, or stayed home and didn't vote in disgust, frustration and hopelessness. Those who fell for it or just didn't get it that they were in fact voting against their own economic interest because of one or two social issues (again, fear...) voted for Bush -- not in one election, but twice. I was so depressed and bewildered by what had happened to my country that I seriously considered moving myself and my family to a different country -- one in which I could be proud of, one in which my family (where both husband and wife worked and in whose household income should not leave us struggling)would at least have a better chance at a decent quality of life and level of security and protection that we could feel happy again....because since the start of Reaganomics and the Bush administrations (Clinton years were better, no doubt), our leaders have forgotten who they work for and whose interests they represent -- we've been ignored and left floundering in an unjust system that treats its poor and working citizens horribly. They've symbolically raped this country of its founding freedoms and rights, ignored the Constitution, and created a system of inequality that is beyond reproach. To say we are pissed, near the point of revolution, and longing for leadership that will finally bring REAL change and justice back to America is an understatement.
      Every time someone falls for these unfounded, stupid, ridiculous attacks to what is reasonable and true, it sets us back as a country. It dumbs us down a little more, and unbelievably gives support to the kind of BS this country's leadership has bestowed on most Americans. We need to stop being sidetracked by this CRAP and be the smarter, less gullible, REASONABLE people that I know most Americans are. Let's let the Republicans and media pundits (and apparently some Democrats)know that it won't work this time -- not this election, and hopefully never again. We've finally wised up....

      •  My point is, I haven't been all that proud either (0+ / 0-)

        of my country the last 25 years or so, and I can absolutely see why Michelle was feeling really proud of her country at this time -- because people are finally getting involved and speaking out with their votes and participation, expressing their need for REAL change they can believe in, and getting excited about the possibility to make things better in their country --- which they have become disillusioned with of late. Sounds reasonable.
        Do we want a country of "me", or do we want a country of "we"? This is every citizens' country, not those of a powerful and rich few who aim, at all costs, to assert and "buy" their own agenda which benefits themselves and leaves most of us royally screwed. That kind of leadership and government is one I can no longer stomach, and I'll continue to fight, alongside all the millions of other fed up citizens, to get our country back....So let's stay focused and keep our eyes on the prize, shall we?

  •  I hate to admit it, (1+ / 0-)
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    but I can't recall being proud of my country in my adult life, either. I suppose I was hopeful after the 2006 elections, but really, that was just a band-aid for 2004.

    Also, it should be noted that I'm only in my mid-20's so my "adult life" is quite short. I've been looking at eight years of Bush and a Republican congress tearing up the constitution. We'll just have to see what the next president does.

    It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

    by Stradavus on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:36:44 AM PST

    •  you weren't proud when ... (1+ / 0-)
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      A former president won a Nobel Peace Prize?  Or when a former vice-president won a Nobel Peace Prize?  Or when a woman was elected Speaker of the House?  

      I am an Edwards Democrat.

      by ThirstyGator on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 07:56:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those were all great things, certainly. (0+ / 0-)

        But I don't think of those as accomplishments of the country, per se.

        Al Gore deserved his Nobel Prize because of what he's done as an individual. Same goes for Carter. I'm immensely proud of both of them for what they've done.

        I guess you do have a point about Pelosi, but I give most of the credit to her for her leadership skills. That's how she get her post. On the other hand I find it discouraging that the U.S. is yet to have a president who isn't an old white guy. Perhaps that will change soon.

        I guess when I think about the "country" accomplishing something I think more in terms of the government entity doing something good, not the individuals who comprise it. To them goes the credit for their individual accomplishments. I would be proud of my country if we elected a good new president, or if we accomplished some great humanitarian act **chough*darfur*chough*.

        Speaking of humanitarian acts, I was proud of the response that the country gave to the Tsunami disaster back in 2004. So I guess it's not all bad. I just tend to be a pessimist. :p

        Sorry for the lengthy response.

        It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

        by Stradavus on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:20:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Every accomplishement is individual at some (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          level, but it is the country and the government that enable them.  To not credit America for the great opportunities which many people take advantage of is, sad?  

          It's even more sad that many immigrants show more pride than people born here, perhaps because they have seen the alternatives firsthand.

        •  See, I think we ARE the government ... (0+ / 0-)

          And the government is us.  It's one and the same, for good or bad.  And if individual accomplishment is not indicative of success as a nation, then individual shamefulness isn't the fault of the nation.

          I am an Edwards Democrat.

          by ThirstyGator on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:31:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Right-wing talk radio (0+ / 0-)

    As I was scanning AM radio for election results news last night, I skipped past one after another talk radio host harping on these comments. It seems like a small thing to us, but it fits into the far-right narrative that Obama is unknown, unfamiliar, and therefore scary (he's a crypto-Muslim, he hates America, etc.) The Obama campaign should do something to counter this, though I have no idea what the right strategy would be.

    Now, I don't really care what right-wing talk radio people say and I don't think Obama should react in fear to anything they level at him. But it would be strategically wise to counter their attempts to define him OR Michelle in any way.

    •  Of course, no Black person is a "real" (0+ / 0-)

      American to the types that listen to right-wing talk radio. There is only so much groveling that you can do to satisfy people like that. I agree that Michelle needs to walk it back a bit. I think she and the campaign are fully capable of figuring out a way to do this. I'm not losing any sleep over it. People on this site who get hysterical in every diary about this relatively unimportant comment by a candidate's wife need to check themselves a bit, especially people who tell her that she needs to be "humble". What is that all about?

      "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

      by blindyone on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:04:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Forgiven, I agree wholeheartedly with you and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    completely understand where Michelle Obama was coming from with her statement.

    I was going to highlight what I thought were a couple really pertinent points you make but I kept having to highlight everything.  Thank you for the well written diary.

  •  Proud? (0+ / 0-)

    Forty years ago, as a teenager I went to Wisconsin to canvas on behalf of Eugene McCarthy. In that primary he defeated LBJ. It was a proud moment. But shortly after that Martin Luther King was assassinated. The rest of the year was a nightmare, a set of events that shamed our country.

    Last night I sat with my 92-year old mother as we watched the returns from Wisconsin. This was truly a proud moment to see Obama win.

    Tell me what I should be proud of during the last eight years of the Bush administration? Should I be proud of Bush v. Gore? Why has our country become identified in the world with ruthless and selfish policies?

    The coverage of the recent election in Pakistan said it was a setback for the United States. Oh really? Why do we hate their freedoms so much? Why has our country become identified with oppressive governments and opportunistic policies?

    This diary was an eloquent statement which I support wholeheartedly.

  •  This is a wonderful, (0+ / 0-)

    thoughtful diary.  It speaks directly to the issue and reminds us that we can't function as thoughtful, reflective people if we are always editing ourselves out of fear of being re-defined by the republicans. When that takes place, and it will as many here have mentioned, it presents us (and the candidates and their spouses) with the opportunity to dialogue outside of the black and white box that politics has a habit of placing us in. The world and our nation's history is full of gray, moments to be proud, moments to be horrified, and moments to be embarrassed (the last seven years).  These sorts of "gaffes" provide us with the opportunity to not only talk about our nation's history, but the perspective of those who have lived and continue to live it.  Dialogue and perspective are multidirectional streets, and in order to reach out and build the kind of coalition that Barack knows is needed for change we can't be afraid to talk, and we can't be frightened to jump into all of the grays that were implied by Michelle's comment.  How else can people learn to understand one another so that a give and take becomes possible?

    This is a time to be "really proud" and I share Michelle's and Forgiven's sentiments.

    "Forget the myths the media's created about the White House. The truth is these aren't very bright guys."

    by Ret on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:19:52 AM PST

  •  I'm confused. Across multiple diaries there (0+ / 0-)

    are many people who say that the Republican meme that the left isn't proud of America is false.  However, there are many other people across multiple diaries who agree with her exact words and are quite explicit that they have also never been proud.

    Which is it?  Spinning both ways just lends to an air of dishonesty.  If you are proud of her statement as stated, stick up for it!  Note though, that supports the previously mentioned meme.

  •  Here again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Here again I must protest. The gist of many of the comments to this diary is: it is ok for a black man and his black wife to win so long as they do it in a way that won't make us feel uncomfortable. You can not make comments that in any way casts aspersions on "our America". Even in victory blacks must keep their place and remain subservient to those Americans who are voting for Obama because he represents that type of black man.

    There are going to be people both black and white who will not vote for Obama or Hillary for that matter, so any excuse will do for them. The last thing Obama's campaign needs to do is to run trying to get votes they were never going to get anyway. The folks with the Confederate flags and gun racks were never going to vote for him anyway and neither were the wing-nuts. Many in this thread are looking for ways to bring Obama down a peg maybe because you are Hillary supporters or maybe it is to protect your white privilege I don't know. What I do know is that this woman has every right to acknowledge what makes her proud to be an American just like some of you have done here. If her periods don't correspond to yours, what does that make her anti-American?

  •  I wish some could understand that for many (0+ / 0-)

    Independents like myself, "black" or "white" has never been an issue.  To continually cast this as a racial or racist issue is offensive and nauseating to us.  One reason many people love Barack is that he is supposed to be above this divisiveness.  Well is he?  His supporters are clearly not.

    My Texas vote is not yet cast.  I don't have confederate flags or gun racks in my truck.  I have many friends and family that are Republicans and good people.  Some have gun racks - an offensive stereotype.  Perhaps my independent vote and my "white privelege" (whatever that is) belong elsewhere.

    •  That is your choice (0+ / 0-)

      That is your choice to make, but please do it honestly. Oh and by the way white privilege is the ability to go through your whole day without any meaningful contact with any black person if you so desired.

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