Most of the world is captivated by the poise and charm with which Michelle Obama has approached her role as America’s First Lady. Britain and Europe are agog at her stylish look, and there is even a web site devoted to her every move:
But her popularity has its downside. Snipers have crawled out of the woodwork and are taking pot shots at her.
Mean spirited critics gasp in disapproval at her “sleeveless look,” and bloggers have even made distasteful remarks about parts of her anatomy. British tabloids report in dismay that she affectionately put her arm around the Queen’s waist. Quel horreur!
The fact is that the American First Lady hugged the Queen only after the Queen had hugged her (picture at right shows the Obamas with the Queen and Prince Philip). But that’s not really important. Why shouldn’t she hug the Queen? In my book, Michelle Obama is every bit as majestic as Her Majesty. In fact, more so. Not that the Queen is lacking in dignity and poise. Throughout her long reign I have found her conduct and demeanor generally admirable (except for the way she treated Princess Diana). But she was to the manor born. She did not rise like the dust (as Maya Angelou might put it) from the mean streets of South Chicago. Michelle Obama is self-made. And what a great job she’s done!
With her style, charm and character, Michelle Obama is a First Lady of whom Americans can justly be proud and – more important – a First Lady we can trust to do the right thing. But that doesn’t seem to mean anything to the snipers.
For example, Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California is trying to introduce legislation to monitor her meetings. Issa’s amendment would require her meetings to be announced in advance and, in most instances, be public. Issa’s amendment would overturn a 1993 federal appeals court decision that said exempted then-First Lady Hillary Clinton from telling the world about every meeting she held or attended as a member of the presidential Health Care Task Force.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee debated this issue earlier this week for just under an hour before Issa withdrew the amendment. But he apparently plans to reintroduce the provision later.
I find this kind of harassment quite despicable. But what else would you expect from today’s crop of Republican leaders? The party of Lincoln has been brought to its knees by unprincipled reprobates. To quote the late, great Emily Dickenson:
It dropped so low in my regard
I heard it hit the ground,
And go to pieces on the stones
At the bottom of my mind.