The au­dac­ity of Michelle Obama’s bit­ter­ness

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Michelle Malkin

Are you ready for hope and change? Barack Obama bet­ter hope his bit­ter half has a change of at­ti­tude if she ex­pects to as­sume the ti­tle of first lady in Novem­ber. She’s been likened to John F. Kennedy’s wife, what with her chic suits and pearls and per­fectly coiffed hel­met hair. But when she opens her mouth, Michelle O is less Jackie O and more Wendy W — as in Wendy Whiner, the con­stantly kvetch­ing “Satur­day Night Live” char­ac­ter from the early 1980s.

When last our world­views col­lided, back in Fe­bru­ary, the other Michelle was ex­pound­ing on her lack of pride in Amer­ica. I gave her myr­iad rea­sons to cheer up — from Amer­ica’s role in the fall of com­mu­nism to our un­par­al­leled gen­eros­ity to our na­tion’s su­pe­rior eco­nomic sys­tem, cul­tural re­silience, en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit and in­ge­nu­ity. But since then, Mrs. Obama has dug in her $500 Jimmy Choo heels and so­lid­i­fied her role in the 2008 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign as Queen of the Grievance­Mon­gers.

In one of her few (un­in­ten­tion­ally) funny mo­ments dur­ing a re­cent sit-down with co­me­dian Stephen Col­bert, Mrs. Obama claimed, “Barack and I tend to look at the pos­i­tives.” That’s a side-split­ter. As Na­tional Re- view’s Yu­val Levin put it, Michelle Obama is “Amer­ica’s un­hap­pi­est mil­lion­aire.” And she has the au­dac­ity to ex­trap­o­late her mis­ery and her hus­band’s al­leged vic­tim­iza­tion to the “vast ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans.”

In South Carolina, she called Amer­ica “just down­right mean” and be­moaned “a na­tion of strug­gling folks who are barely mak­ing it ev­ery day.” And in case you hadn’t heard enough of her carp­ing about how hard it is for a seven-fig­ure-earn­ing fam­ily to pay for bal­let lessons and pi­ano lessons and pay off col­lege loans, Mrs. Oh-Woe-Is-Me was at it again on the cam­paign trail in In­di­ana and North Carolina be­fore the May 6 pri­mary.

On the stump, she warmed up (or rather, be­rated) sup­port­ers by com­plain­ing about how her hus­band is an un­der­dog even af­ter he keeps win­ning pri­mary and cau­cus af­ter pri­mary and cau­cus. With a scowl etched on her face, she belly­ached that “the bar is con­stantly chang­ing for this man.” Call the waam­bu­lance, stat.

Barack Obama, the mis­sus ex­plains, is Ev­ery­man who has ever been put down by The Man. And “un­der­stand this” (a con­de­scend­ing ver­bal tic shared by both Oba­mas): Mrs. Obama is here to make sure you feel their pain. Which is re­ally your pain. Be­cause the hard­ships of a priv­i­leged Ivy League cou­ple are “ex­actly” the same as the tra­vails of min­ers or ser­vice work­ers or small-busi­ness own­ers: “So the bar has been shift­ing and mov­ing in this race,” she grumbles, “but the irony is, the sad irony is, that’s ex­actly what is hap­pen­ing to most Amer­i­cans in this coun­try.”

Don’t tell Miss Michelle about the Great De­pres­sion or the Carter Malaise. “Folks are strug­gling like never be­fore,” she seethes.

Well, yes, gas prices are up. Some food prices are ris­ing. And bor­row­ers who bought more hous­ing than they could af­ford are un­der­wa­ter. But “strug­gling like never be­fore”? Didn’t they teach her about Hoovervilles and stagfla­tion?

In Mrs. Obama, the fear-mon­ger­ing pot meets the angst-stir­ring ket­tle: “Fear,” she froths, “cre­ates this veil of im­pos­si­bil­ity and it is hang­ing over all of our heads.”

But what Mrs. Obama lacks in pride for her coun­try and its prom­ise she more than makes up for with bot­tom­less pride for her hus­band. Her stan­dard cam­paign speeches in­clude at least a dozen ref­er­ences to how “proud” she is of him. And of her­self. And of ev­ery­one who has over­come The Man and pierced the “veil of im­pos­si­bil­ity” to get to the polls and vote Obama. An on­line MSNBC re­port on a joint ap­pear­ance by the Oba­mas on the “To­day“ show in the wake of the Jeremiah Wright de­ba­cle in­cluded this tellingly nar­cis­sis­tic pas­sage:

[Mrs. Obama]: “‘I’m so proud of how he has main­tained his dig­nity, his cool, his honor.‘

“Obama gen­tly tried to in­ter­rupt, ad­mit­ting to be­ing em­bar­rassed by the praise.

“‘But I am proud of you,’ she said. “‘I know,’ he replied.” We all know. So get over your­self al­ready, haughty spirit. Pride doesn’t pho­to­graph well. And bit­ter­ness leaves frown lines. Which means Bo­tox bills. Which “strug­gling folks” like you and your hus­band sim­ply can­not af­ford.

Try smil­ing for once. It’s cheaper.

Michelle Malkin is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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