No Need to Re-write History Mr. President by: Carl Cannon


No Need to Re-write History Mr. President by: Carl Cannon

In a sign of our (not very civil) times, Michelle Obama was heckled at a recent Democratic Party fundraiser by a perturbed lesbian activist, Ellen Sturtz. The first lady seemed ruffled. “One of the things I don’t do well is this,” she said, as she left the podium, moving toward the protester.

Looking at Sturtz, but addressing the crowd, Mrs. Obama said, “You can listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”

The Democratic donors understandably picked the woman they’d paid $500 to see, and Sturtz was escorted out. “It was pretty aggressive,” Sturtz told reporters. “She came right down in my face. I was taken aback.”

The episode, as well as Sturtz’s misplaced effrontery, prompted hand-wringing about “white privilege” and racially coded language centered on presumed stereotypes of “angry black women.”

Those old enough to remember the 1993 Michael Douglas movie “Falling Down” recall the “angry white male” stereotype, a trope that Democrats have milked for many elections, so perhaps it’s time to give it a rest. As for Michelle Obama, she apparently doesn’t like being interrupted. Who does?

There was something subtly bothersome about the White House reaction to this incident, however. “It’s my personal opinion that she handled it brilliantly,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. That was my view, too, but it seemed Carney glanced at a crib sheet before divulging that nugget.

Also, the official White House transcript did not include the first lady’s comments to her heckler. Perhaps that’s because Mrs. Obama left the stage and was away from the microphone. That’s the most likely explanation, but other odd occurrences have taken place in transcripts emanating from this White House.

Officials in Obama’s press office have been known to try and seek changes in “pool” reports written by reporters for other reporters at events with limited capacity – before they are sent out. And, as the reelection campaign was heating up last year, White House image-makers inserted bullet points bragging about Obama into the official biographies of previous U.S. presidents on the White House website.

In their telling, Barack Obama’s greatness was foreshadowed by actions of almost every U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge. (Inexplicably, Gerald Ford was left out of the revisionism. One assumes it was an oversight.)
The word for this kind of thing is Orwellian, and it’s overused in American politics today. Or, maybe not. The phrase comes from “1984,” George Orwell’s postwar classic. The novel is set in a frightening future controlled by a leader (Big Brother) whose power is enhanced by a pervasive cult of personality.

The book’s protagonist, Winston Smith, works in the Ministry of Truth, where his job is to rewrite newspaper articles from the past to conform to the current policies and predictions of Big Brother and his political party.

Today, a theme runs through this administration that connects controversies ranging from the IRS scandal and the Benghazi tragedy to policy battles such as the stimulus package and the cost of Obamacare: not only is this White House is always on-message, but President Obama is never wrong, Republicans are invariably partisan, the president’s critics are always clueless.

It says so right here in today’s “talking points.”

In another early 1990s film, “A Few Good Men,” Jack Nicholson also plays an angry white man. He’s a Marine colonel named Nathan Jessup. As the movie speeds to his dramatic conclusion, Col. Jessup asks an interrogating JAG lawyer played by Tom Cruise, “You want answers?”

“I want the truth,” he is told.

“You can’t handle the truth!” Col. Jessup thunders.

But judges in the court martial could handle the truth, as could the Marine Corps – and the country. And we can now, too. Sometimes, it’s all we really want.

Source: RCP