Is it ever a good idea to go after the President’s wife?

Going after someone’s wife, always a tricky prospect.  That’s why I’m more than somewhat divided over gay protesters’ admittedly-bold move in heckling First Lady Michelle Obama at a private event in DC last night.

The protesters, from the gay advocacy group Get Equal, were hoping to increase pressure on the Obama administration to enact an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gay and trans people.  While it’s a worthy goal, I’m not sure it was a wise move.

First, a quick review of what happened last night from Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:

According to Sturtz, the exchange began when Michelle Obama began talking about children without delving too much into LGBT issues beforehand. Sturtz said she shouted out to the first lady something about the importance of LGBT children, and Michelle Obama wasn’t happy.
“She cut me off immediately and leaned over podium, sort of her put her big hand towards me and said something to the effect of ‘You don’t do that to me’ or ‘I don’t do that,'” Sturtz said. “Then I made a comment that I’m interested in making sure that we have employment protections, and I’m not going to be quiet any longer.”
According to Sturtz, things became even more testy as Michelle Obama left the podium to talk to the activist face to face.
“She came down from the podium and got into my face — probably within three inches of my face,” Sturtz said. “She basically took the microphone down, and she said to me, ‘I don’t do this, and if you want the microphone, it’s either I have the microphone or you have the microphone. I said, ‘I’ll take the microphone.’ And she said, ‘If you take the microphone, then I’m leaving.'”

Targeting family is always risky

Targeting family is tough.  You don’t go after underage kids, period.  That’s why Rush Limbaugh’s abominable attacks on Amy Carter, Chelsea Clinton and Malia Obama, and the NRA dragging the Obama kids into the gun debate, met with such derision over the years.  It takes a small man to attack a child.Michelle-Obama-holiday-party

But what about wives?  While wives are at least adults, and they’ve arguably signed up for more than the children, taking on a man’s wife because of your gripe with him is likely to not go over well with most people.  (I doubt going after a politician’s husband would go over too well either, but the spectacle of attacking a man’s wife resonates particularly hard in our society.)

And in fact, the protest has not been met with rave reviews online.  Here’s a sampling of the comments from last night’s post about the protest:

It was the wrong time and the wrong place. Mrs. Obama was on a mission to part fools from their money.

*** Obama’s main thrust in her speech was to urge donors to stay engaged and back the president’s agenda, even though there’s no presidential election coming up. ***

They can heckle BHO all they please. Going after the wife, even when she’s being obviously political like here, is self-defeating.

And this:

Bad form, this does not help our cause.

And this:

you dont heckle at a fund raiser… period. This was totally out of place. This heckler was an invited guest and she decided to make the event about herself. Clinton gave us DOMA and he gets an award. Obama is breaking down some very stubborn traditional walls and his wife gets heckled.

Some, however, defended the move:

If you are a member of an oppressed class, you demand your rights from those who hold power any time and any place they appear.

There is NO time and place for government discrimination against minorities, and there is no time or place where speaking out against that oppression TO those who continue it is inappropriate.

And this:

ANY place Barack Obama or Michelle Obama or anyone else who enforces a system of discrimination appear is the RIGHT time and place for someone who is subject to that discrimination to make their voice heard.

This woman who shouted is a lesbian and therefore does not have full and equal citizenship rights – and she is supposed to hold back her complaint against those who perpetuate her own oppression because her oppressors are holding a photo op?

You have a strange view of what polite behavior.

And this:

I’ll be polite here and just ask honestly, what other ways do we have left other than to protest directly to the people capable of delivering the justice we demand? People who previously said they would stand up for us, but have failed.

Sometimes you just have to risk the disapproval of the “don’t make waves” crowd. We learned it with Vietnam. We learned it again with AIDS/HIV. We learned it yet again with DADT.

Michelle Obama was at a political event trying to raise money and support for her husband’s policies and agenda. Speaking out and saying that President Obama’s agenda needs to include the very thing he promised repeatedly on the 2008 campaign trail is fair game. Just because Michelle is well-liked or just because she’s a woman or just because she’s FLOTUS only by accident of marriage doesn’t let her off the hook, not when she herself is engaging in political activism.

One person even suggested that it was sexist to suggest that the First Lady was somehow off-limits:

You literally just said that the President’s spouse should be able to make political appearances at fundraisers and be immune from criticism?

Screw your patriarchal and sexist “First Lady” crap. She’s an accomplished individual, she has a name, and it’s insulting to suggest that she needs coddling because of (apparently) either her gender or her personal relationship with the President. The only other possibility is that you’re suggesting that in our government there should be not employees, but persons exalted and given special deference and perhaps reverence?

We leftists don’t need to emulate the right’s need to be starry-eyed dreamers admiring and defending our fantasy heroes.

President-and-mrs-ObamaA number of those siding with the protester noted that this was not a private dinner that some mom was having with her kids.  This was a political fundraiser in which Mrs. Obama was representing her husband, and the Democratic party, and seeking funds for the party’s election prospects.  She was not acting in her capacity as a private citizen.

Still, good luck explaining that when all people are focusing on is the image of you yelling at a guy’s wife.

And that’s the problem with targeting the President’s wife.  Here’s one reader’s take, that I agree with completely:

There still is the issue of optics. Michelle Obama is a popular political figure, and by shouting her down, it will potentially make a lot of people less sympathetic to the cause the protesters are trying to convey. Actions like these are more self-defeating than anything.

I’m not sure Mrs. Obama handled the protest terribly well either

That’s not to say that Mrs. Obama handled the episode well.  I don’t think she did.  The NYT’s Nicholas Kristoff commented on this last night on Twitter, and was excoriated for it – but that doesn’t change the fact that he was right:

nick-kristoff-michelle-obama-protester michel-obama-gay-protesters

It’s possible to think that the protest was a bad idea, but to also think that Mrs. Obama’s reaction wasn’t helpful either.  (When confronted by the protester Mrs. Obama threatened to leave.)

When you’re the First Lady you are a public figure, and, as Mrs. Obama learned all too early in the race for the presidency, her actions are going to be scrutinized and they are going to reflect on her husband whether she (or we) likes it or not.

And it doesn’t matter how much sympathy anyone has for her – I adore the woman, and find her much more personally appealing than her husband – that doesn’t change the rules of politics and the rules of PR.  When confronted by protesters you have to be careful how much ire you show in response.  And I think she showed too much.

Still, the protest was a bad idea

Michelle-Obama-holidayBut that doesn’t change the fact that I think the protest came off badly.  Not only did Mrs. Obama respond a bit too angrily, but so did the protester.  I think that if you’re ever going to target a spouse, you need so gingerly.  Not because they’re frail wallflowers, but because the public sees them that way, and the public doesn’t like you getting in their face, and the public’s opinion matters in a PR stunt.

I might have recommended a protest that in some way urged Mrs. Obama to help us get the executive order issued.  E.g., No more in-your-face than perhaps holding up friendly signs across the street from the house where the event was held.  But I think heckling her, which is how this was perceived, is counterproductive with much of the public.  And it probably won’t go over too well with the President either.

And that last point is important.  The goal of this kind of protest is to get the attention of the President.  And while I supported the earlier protests against the President over the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, protests that included shouting him down at multiple west coast fundraisers, I think this is different.

I think when you target a man’s wife, rather than the man himself, you risk him digging in his heels and not giving you what you want, just out of spite.  And yes, he gets mad when you go after him personally, like our community did on DADT, but that was different.  People take on an entirely other, and irrational, form of obstinance when you go after their family.  And the goal of the protest, after all, is to get what we want.  I don’t think that’s more likely to happen as a result of last night.


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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335 Responses to “Is it ever a good idea to go after the President’s wife?”

  1. nevilleross says:

    Many on the left have latent racism borne of white privilege, and Kurtz expressed it by interrupting the First Lady in the way that she did (if I or any other black person did that to a white politician/POTUS, we’d be tasered and handcuffed within an inch of our lives!) It sadly seems, as James Baldwin once said, that white gay and lesbian people have the same problems vis-a-vis Afro-Americans that straight people do.

  2. lynchie says:

    Have you taken leave of your senses. Few on the left are racist and you don’t know me. As far as approving of behavior I can approve or disapprove of anyone and anything. How was the behavior worse than that of a 3 year olds? Go back to kissing O’Highness’ ass where you belong.

  3. nevilleross says:

    Two different things, Sweetie, and she’s not making policy, her husband is.

    This only shows how racist white people are, and can be when they are near important people of color.

  4. nevilleross says:

    Actually, we’re two black people trying to show a bunch of clueless white people that what happened was racist and wrong, but as usual, the white people don’t give a care. What else is new?

  5. nevilleross says:

    I’m not interested in making comments for clueless (white) people who can’t see the obvious.

  6. nevilleross says:

    Have a nice rest of yours, and remember what I’ve posted before you open your mouth next time and blather on about what you did to fight for whatever causes you were motivated to fight for.

  7. JamesR says:

    You are both idiots.

  8. nevilleross says:

    More like showing yours, and dodging the issue raised by benbosmar, but thanks for playing.

  9. JamesR says:

    I have taken the time to review some of your other comments before posting this, I am reasonably certain you did not do the same before posting the above. I see anger and reaction, but in this thread I do not see any actual addressing of the points made by the people you disagree with and attack.

    Ellipting your puerile and lazy race baiting, of me, the topic is a woman who is a member of a class of citizens explicitly granted full and equal rights addressing a woman who is a member of a class of citizens explicitly denied their full and equal civil rights. the ‘woman of color’ is in REALITY a member of a class of citizens who has, dressing down a woman who has not. And at the home of women who have not. Regardless that she may have been treated rudely, she, as the person pf superior power and position either a: acts according to her dignity and position or b: descends to the level of heckler and barters and threatens to leave. “A” is ALWAYS the correct and expected response. That Michelle Obama must know, must have been told, must have been used to for five freaking years of First Lady duty, so she obviously has chosen to ignore such protocol because – no other reason – she feels differently.

    It’s otherwise known as “showing her ass.”

    Her duty as a political operative, as Fist Lady and as wife of the man who promised to sign ENDA and work for it’s passage before his FIRST campaign for President, is to show understanding, lie if need be, and not to snap. She did not do that. It’s simple politeness and protocol math. IT DOES NOT MATTER THE PROVOCATION – this is not the Jerry Springer show or Geraldo or whatever, it’s power politics at the highest level.

    And Michelle Obama has just shown that the RULES do not apply to her and it’s a tell that surpasses the minor issues or race and the specific issue(s) involving LGBT rights.

    If you ever choose to see reality outside your pathetic and quite dated and sad racial paradigm you might just observe this yourself.

  10. JamesR says:

    Servile?

    Please do not project your own emotions upon the posts of others. Specifically mine.You are not worthy to lick the butt of FLL or of me. You may stop now.

    Also noted your lack of comment on the giant relevant points FLL and I made.

    General rules are: you can be offensive if and only if you comment on topic and are accurate in your critique and have reason to be offensive, and it’s an aside. It’s a bit of an art you seem not to posses. You are just being offensive for offensive’s sake. If you are having a bad day please keep it off this thread and of this blog thanks.

  11. Zorba says:

    Neville, you have no fucking idea what it was like for me and my family growing up, either. We will never agree, and I am done responding to you. Have a nice rest of your judgmental life.

  12. nevilleross says:

    And obviously, you and Ms. Sturtz doesn’t know what or where the First Lady’s gone though, or even experienced, or even had any patience or manners to listen, for this is what she said before she was so rudely interrupted:

    MRS. OBAMA: Now, Harper is located in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the city, Englewood. You all know Englewood, right? A community that has been torn apart by poverty and hopelessness; by gangs, drugs, and guns.

    And that afternoon, I sat down with these 25 students — and these kids were the best and the brightest at that school. The valedictorian, the football star, kids in ROTC. But let me tell you something about the kids at Harper. Every day, they face impossible odds — jobless parents addicted to drugs; friends and loved ones shot before their very eyes.

    In fact, when the school counselor asked these young men and women whether they had ever known any who had been shot, every single one of those students raised their hand. So she then asked them, “What do you think when the weather forecast says ’85 and sunny?’” Now, you would assume that nice weather like that, a beautiful day like today, would be a good thing. Not for these kids. They replied that a weather report like that puts fear in their hearts, because in their neighborhood, when the weather is nice, that’s when gangs come out and the shootings start.

    So, see, for these wonderful kids, instead of reveling in the joys of their youth — college applications and getting ready for prom and getting that driver’s license — these young people are consumed with staying alive. And there are so many kids in this country just like them -– kids with so much promise, but so few opportunities; good kids who are doing everything they can to break the cycle and beat the odds. And they are the reason we are here tonight. We cannot forget that. I don’t care what we — they, those kids, they are the reason we’re here.

    And today, we need to be better for them. Not for us — for them. We need to be better for all of our children, our kids in this country. Because they are counting on us to give them the chances they need for the futures they deserve. (Applause.)

    So here’s the thing — we cannot wait for the next presidential election to get fired up and ready to go. We cannot wait. Right now, today, we have an obligation to stand up for those kids. And I don’t care what you believe in, we don’t –

    Why Did Ellen Sturtz Think It Was Okay to Heckle the FLOTUS While She Spoke About Black Youth in Crisis?

    Something to think about while you luxuriate in your white privilege.

  13. nevilleross says:

    ‘Big Like’? Mote like big asslick/asskiss. Can you be any servile?

  14. nevilleross says:

    Whites like you have been doing that for most of the last century, you poor baby; stop being so wounded and do what the lady says, rather than act like spoiled little children with no proper training. Better yet, work harder than you’ve been working in the past or working now to get the progressive politicians you want into power at the municipal, state, and federal levels, by using the same democratic system that everybody else uses.

  15. nevilleross says:

    NO.

  16. nevilleross says:

    And what the frack are you but a closeted racist extreme leftist-bot approving of behavior worse than that of a 3-year-old child’s?

  17. nevilleross says:

    And what exactly is her ‘real self’? Somebody of color married to a person of color in a position of power that you don’t like and can treat like a dog? Like you want to treat her husband? What it is, is that you don’t really like black people (probably) and also don’t have any manners around.

  18. nevilleross says:

    More of the same, because it needs to be repeated to people that don’t get it (especially many whites):

    Don’t you wish Barack Obama could be as free as Michelle Obama when talking to people in public? Yesterday, she took down a lesbian protester from the group GetEqual while speaking at a private democratic fundraiser that cost $500-$10,000 to attend. You can read it here. The self identified lesbian protestor started yelling about the need for the President to sign an executive order so she can have her ”federal equality” before she dies.

    Well, whoopee fuckin’ deal. Bitch I been wanting all my life to be equal in my country of birth, get in line. Yelling at the President or his wife would have gotten my black lesbian ass locked up in jail. You just got escorted out which was nothing more than another example of white privilege in America.

    ~ TheSkeptikOne

    As well as this:

    All these white people writing about poorly how Michelle Obama handled the heckler need to shut the fuck up and sit down somewhere.

    For one, I’m not a fan of hecklers. They’re the ones who cut into comic routines and crash the stage during concerts and ultimately waste people’s time. If you’re paying to see someone and hear them speak, then shut the fuck up and let them speak.

    I’ve noticed that everyone writing about this is bringing up the fact that Ellen Sturtz is gay and are unsuccessfully using it as a shield. Sturtz’s behavior was wrong, and her sexual orientation does not magically absolve her of that. Her being gay doesn’t make it okay for her tell the First Lady to tell her husband what she, Sturtz, wants them to do…as though they were a couple of old house slaves.
    Mr. Obama promised to sign such an order as a candidate in 2008, but has yet to do so, pointed out GetEQUAL in a press release following the incident. (Source)
    And by all means, he needs to get on that, because lip service to gay rights fools nobody. This whole “first sitting President to endorse gay marriage” looks nice in the history books and pretty on resumes, but he needs to put that shit in writing and start passing some actual laws. Which brings us to the conveniently neglected fact that he signs executive orders, not the First Lady, and if he decides to go back on his word, Michelle can’t stop him.

    In an interview, Sturtz told the Washington Post, that she was stunned by the first lady’s response to her heckling.

    “She came right down in my face,” Sturtz told the Post. “I was taken aback.” (Source)

    Sturtz was escorted out of the room. She said in an interview later she was stunned by Obama’s response.

    “She came right down in my face,” Sturtz said. “I was taken aback.”

    Sturtz said she told Obama she was happy to take the microphone to plead her case, which, Sturtz said, appeared to fluster the first lady. (Source)

    This is a weak attempt to make Sturtz look innocent and helpless (you know…like a white damsel in distress?). Let’s be logical about this: you heckled a guest speaker. Contrary to how you’re trying to portray yourself, you interrupted her multiple times (big surprise). You expected her to, what…like it? Enjoy it? Get on her knees and beg for more?

    I’m glad Michelle basically told Sturtz to go fuck herself because this had me flashing back to every white girl who ever got up in my face, issuing orders, rolling her eyes, throwing tantrums, and demanding to be catered to…just ’cause. That is a very real, very constant part of POC life in America. You can be the First Lady of the United States of America, and it obviously won’t change a damn thing.

    As a woman of color living in this country, dealing with what we deal with every damn day, it feels awesome to see Michelle Obama put her fucking foot down like this. Enough is enough, already. You want respect? You want cooperation? That shit goes both ways. And it stays both ways; you don’t rescind it when it suits you.

    What can we tell from this? For one thing, for all her ease on “Ellen” and other shows, Mrs. Obama still has stuff to learn about public speaking.

    Anger is much less effective than humor or a sort of rope-a-dope flexibility. Mr. Obama showed this in his May 23 speech on counterterrorism at the National Defense University. He was interrupted by Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin, whom he engaged in a bit of back-and-forth before saying, “This is part of free speech, is you being able to speak but also you listening and me being able to speak.”

    He got applause for that. Of course, it was easy for him be relaxed: He was on a secure Defense Department installation.

    Mrs. Obama might just have been channeling her inner parent. She sounded a bit like someone speaking to a teenager who’s neglected homework to watch “Arrested Development.” Perhaps this is why Sasha and Malia seem so well behaved.

    And she has given some ammunition to critics who consider her a food scold and too nannylike. Some conservatives complain about Mrs. Obama’s push for kids to eat more vegetables and so on as an intrusion into parental prerogatives. (Source)

    Ah, yes…the Angry Black Mammy. Here we go again.

    Stop telling us how you think we should handle you when you act the fool. The irony here is that white people really think they’re helping, giving good advice on how to “win them over” when they’re being assholes.

    We’re not interested in winning you over. If you have no respect for us to begin with*, you are no friend. You are no “ally”. You are not a part of the solution. You are merely yet another knife pointed at our backs waiting for your turn.

    Mrs. Obama’s experience was mild compared to what Lady Bird Johnson went through in the fall of 1964 when she campaigned in the South for her husband. LBJ had just signed the Civil Rights Act, and many white Southerners were incensed. In Richmond, Va., Mrs. Johnson was greeted by a banner that read, “Fly Away Lady Bird.”

    But she pressed on, giving 47 speeches to a total of half a million people.

    “I am aware that there are those who would exploit [the South’s] past troubles to their own advantage,” she said on Oct. 9, 1964, in New Orleans. “But I do not believe the majority of the South wants any part of the old bitterness.” (Source)

    This is just to downplay what happened (not to mention conveniently invoking the Civil Rights Act) and try to find ways to make it seem like everything is the FLOTUS’s fault while taking cheap shots at her.

    Then again, it’s Wednesday, so I don’t know why I’m even bothering.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    *This is the part where white folks start chanting about how much they love [insert whichever POC they were blasting here]. Respect is not merely said; it is shown, and Ellen Sturtz did not show respect. Many whites will take issue with that type of statement because even in 2013, “post-racial” America, they don’t like showing POC respect, and many of them genuinely don’t even know how – it’s that antithetical to their way of thinking.

    Lastly, all these white writers are coming to Sturtz’s defense because she tried to put a black woman in check. These – and others – are news sites and blogs I check daily and I’ve never seen them so pro-gay and ready to take up pens for the cause. When our President is a gay man or woman – and that day will come – will these same sites still be this gung-ho? Doubt it. This is just a classic case of white solidarity, namely protecting the fragile white dame from the bitter black bitch.

    http://www.ankhesen-mie.net/2013/06/its-not-same-damn-thing.html?spref=fb

    Please spare me your screed about what you’ve done for civil rights and how ‘you have Black friends’ unless you can stop feeling sorry for Sturtz.

  19. nevilleross says:

    I love you so much right now.

    And the Executive Order she supposedly wants? Can be rescinded by the next President. Write your congressman and tell him to stop thwarting the agenda and maybe we can get some legislation passed.

    Even better, as I’ve said above, work harder to get progressive politicians (and parties) elected at the municipal, state, and federal levels, so that a counterbalance can be placed in power to check retrogressives.

  20. Zorba says:

    I have been working my entire adult life on trying to get real “progressives” (and not the type of people we have now who call themselves “progressives” but are really not) elected at all levels, from local school boards on up the electoral ladder, and I haven’t stopped.
    You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. We are going to have to disagree about whether protesting the spouses of elected politicians is appropriate or not. If they are speaking at purely political functions, then I believe that it is totally appropriate. If they cannot handle this, they should stay the hell out of the political arena (including fund-raising for their party) and stick to things like promoting good nutrition and exercise, beautification of our public spaces, literacy, and such so on, which past (and the present) First Ladies of the USA have championed.
    And protest, as well, is totally appropriate, as well as working for candidates and causes I believe in. I have been doing both for well over 40 years.
    I guess maybe Canadians really are more polite than Americans. ;-)
    In any case, we disagree, and we will have to leave it at that. We’re not going to change each others minds. Be well, and namaste.

  21. nevilleross says:

    While I have issues with Harper (and also want his ass out of office tout suite), I don’t really have anything against his wife or family, and I would never heckle her or them at any of these functions; obviously, the protesters here also are of like mind as I am. Doing it to a neocon politician’s wife would result in a backfire mode of neocons doing the same to a progressive politician and their families if they were ever elected to high office at the municipal/state [provincial]/federal levels.

    The best thing for this lady to do would be to get her ass and the asses of her friends and fellow protesters in gear and work as hard as possible to get progressive politicians from both the Green and Socialist parties into power and the municipal and state levels, the better to be able to get some seat in the House and the Senate come 2016. Unfortunately, we all know how hard it is for most of the left in the USA to be able to do this, inasmuch as all they want to do is just protest. So it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut always said in Slaughterhouse Five.

  22. nevilleross says:

    The real rub is if this was done to somebody that YOU like. Then we know that you wouldn’t like it at all.

  23. nevilleross says:

    I know what my prime minister’s like, Zorba The Dumbass, and I know what wrongs he’s done; I don’t like him any more than you. All the same, as a rule and as a matter of manners and decorum (remember those words?) protesters don’t attack the man’s wife or other family members here, we just go after him and his government and that’s it. I guess that you don’t give a shit, that’s your right and privilege to do so, but somebody has to have that sens of right and wrong, and what happened here was wrong no matter how you slice it.

  24. Zorba says:

    So you’re Canadian. Isn’t that special? Maybe you should be thinking about what your Conservative Stephen Harper’s government is up to.

    http://o.canada.com/2013/06/12/conservatives-defeat-ndp-bill-to-make-pbo-independent-accountable/

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/12/cana-j12.html

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/alberta-politician-leaves-canadas-conservative-party/2125626

    http://boingboing.net/2013/05/21/chronology-of-the-canadian-con.html

    I do know that your First Nations people have been protesting against your government, and so have Montrealers and others who protested against Harper’s employment insurance reforms. As well as your tar sands protesters. Good for them all. And maybe none of your protesters would have confronted Harper’s wife.

    But I am not aware that Laureen does any fund-raising or politicking on behalf of Harper and his party. If she does, I would not at all expect protesters to leave her alone. If you insert yourself into politics, you should expect that those who disagree with you to speak up, and even get in your face about it. If you’re not prepared for this, then stay the f*ck out of the political arena and shut up.

  25. nevilleross says:

    I’m not being paid by her or by her husband (I’m from Canada, BTW)-all that I’m doing is disagreeing with how she was approached, as is the writer of this article and a few other readers. We just don’t think that it’s right to be doing this to her (and for the record, I wouldn’t be attacking Laura Bush either, or her mother-in-law when she was First Lady). Face the facts, Zorba-this group (and this lady) shot themselves in the foot by doing this.

  26. Zorba says:

    Are you? Who died and made you arbiter of whether it’s proper or not to confront a First Lady who is making a blatantly political speech? Are you being paid by her office?
    Because if Michelle Obama can’t stand to be confronted about her husband’s policies, then she needs to stop making fund-raising and political appearances and stick to State dinners and encouraging kids to eat healthier. She’s no wilting flower and should be able to handle disagreements.

  27. nevilleross says:

    I’m sorry, was I supposed to notice than this wan’t fairly recent? Seems to me that this topic is.

    And since when are you a mod?

  28. Zorba says:

    Do you normally respond to older threads? Because hardly anyone ever reads them, except those to whom you are responding because we get alerts from Disqus.
    Get a life, for pity’s sake.

  29. nevilleross says:

    King never went into face of the First Lady to do what this lady did, either.

  30. nevilleross says:

    Why does have have to be DNC?

  31. nevilleross says:

    On the converse, why should I do exactly what this lady did, when all its doing is just getting her disregarded and scorned?

    A better question would be (on the converse again): what has she and the rest of the Left been doing for the past ten years (and I’m including the past two elections) to see that what she and the protesters got what they wanted?

  32. nevilleross says:

    Or, you could have worked hard to put Kucinich or Nader into the White House. But, I guess doing what the people who voted Obama into office was and is too hard to do.

  33. nevilleross says:

    Add to which, the GOP/Tea Party know enough about the system to work hard at getting people to vote-Left-wing radicals to Yellow-Dog Democrats don’t know, are unwilling to know, or don’t want to know how to do that other than to stick to doing the same thing the left always does-protest, protest, protest! Except that it isn’t working anymore, and the po-po are getting rough with protesters-these people are lucky the po-po and the Secret Service didn’t mace and tazer them for even breathing on Mrs. Obama, or treat them as nastily as the po-po did here in Toronto during the G20 summit.

    As for the idiots screaming “nothing had been done yet’, these people are just trying to expect more from a black man than they would from a white, to be brutally frank-a black man who’s a fiscal conservative. Also, these people are mostly left-wing extremists who are pissed off that their extreme left-wing agenda wasn’t (and isn’t) going to be implemented, so rather than be reasonable (or work withing the system to set up a political party, or work to get the already establish third parties into power), they do what they do, like lemmings.

    ‘If your tactic won’t change…’

  34. slappymagoo says:

    Wow, JamesR, you’ve given me a lot to think about…I must go off…to ponder the lessons that OK I”m back.

    So what you & karmanot seem to be saying to me, specifically is:

    I had a point to make. It was not all that dissimilar to points other people have made (including the originator of this post and this website). I did it in an inelegant and confrontational manner. You don’t agree with my point. So I should STFU.

    Stultz had a point to make. It was not all that dissimilar to points other people have made. She did it in an inelegant and confrontational manner. You agree with her point. For the record, so do I but because YOOOOOU and karmanot agree with her, she’s a HEEEROOOOO. Speaking Truth To Power. You Go Girls and Slow Motion Hand Claps for EV-RUH-BUDDAH!

    That about it, you hypocritical d-bags?

    I rarely think hecking is a good idea. First of all because it’s hard for most people (even if they’ve done it a billion times, in a friendly environment) to go up and speak in public. So until/unless they bust out the ethnic jokes or advocate ethnic cleansing, I don’t want to shut ’em up. I may boo, or make a quick snide comment if they’re truly awful, but I’m not going to shout them down. I’ll leave before insisting someone be silenced. Unlike you and karmanot the closedminded “open-minded” progressives who like to tell people they disagree with to zip it.

    I don’t think Stultz helped her cause. I don’t think she changed any minds. I think equal rights issues are better now than they were 5 years ago. Shouting down the first lady to bring light to equal rights causes might make sense when 5 percent of the public agrees with your cause, but now a majority does. It’s time to enact change like you have momentum and power, and shouting down the First Lady (who can’t enact change herself, not being an elected official) during a political fundraiser/speech is poor form. Especially when she wasn’t exactly advocating sending gay people to concentration camps (there, I enacted Godwin’s Law so you don’t have to).

    So stop being so shrill, you big coward.

  35. slappymagoo says:

    Gosh, JamesR…you’ve given me a lot to think about. I must go off somewhere, to ponder the lessons you’ve OK I’m back…

    So here’s what hypocritical d-bags like you and karmanot are saying:

    I have a point to make. I’ve made it, admittedly, in an inelegant and confrontational way. It’s not unlike comments other people have made (including the originator of this post and website), BUT YOU DON’T LIKE IT. So I should STFU and go away.

    Meanwhile, Sturtz had a point to make. She chose to make it in an inelegant and confrontational way, BUT YOU AGREE WITH HER POINT. For the record, so do I, but because YOOOOU AGREE WITH HER, SHE’S a hero! Speaking Truth To Power! You Go Girls and Slow Motion Hand Claps For EV-RUH-BUDDAH!

    Generally speaking, hecklers are jackasses, no matter what the venue, no matter what the point. Also generally speaking, it’s hard to make a speech, no matter how many times you’ve done it, so I respect the resolve it takes to do it, even if I don’t like what the speaker has to say. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enough of a hypocritical d-bag myself to admit I’ve done my share of heckling. Usually to comics of the “how many faggots/niggers/bitches/insert awful word heres does it take to screw in a lightbulb” ilk. But even though I’ll boo their comment, even though I may leave, even then, I don’t try to stop them from talking. Because ‘Murka. Freedom of speech. I have the right to register my displeasure to what you have to say, I can argue the venue or the advertisers should not provide the opportunity for you to say it to a mic. But I can’t stop you from saying it.

    And before you get all Godwin on my point, yeah, if a comic or other public speaker started advocating the gassing of Jews or gays, I’ll probaby speak up, but that’s not what a comic or speaker is usually doing, nor was it what Michelle Obama was doing, so put that particular shaky arrow back in your dopey quiver.

    It’s taking me no effort at digging at the messenger, the effort is convincing closed-minded “open-minded” people like you it’s within my right. Says more about your general level of douchiness than mine.

  36. JamesR says:

    Is an egg the shell or the contents? Is a chicken feathers and beak or meat, or the ability to produce more eggs and chickens? One can concentrate on the appearance and the exterior, as in this case is the messenger, or the message. I think it’s taking more work to dig at the messenger – every human interaction involves specific humans, and every one of them can be attacked as self-serving or whatever. It’s a facetious and sophomoric and lazy attack. It needs evidence, beyond the fact that the instigator is personally affected. Don’t see that here. And I don’t think you do either, really, you hare just harping on the appearance, which is weak as fuck and frankly rather co-dependent and a personal assumption of yours.

    I believe the best response is one you have already received but apparently not understood: “Zip it Slappy, because truly, it’s really all about you.”

    And not gonna get in between you and Karmanot LOL. (Besides quoting.) Some Karma is best left alone, it can take care of itself!

  37. karmanot says:

    Well, I don’t live for you hairball.

  38. karmanot says:

    :-) Can’t be repeated often enough huh samizdat?

  39. karmanot says:

    I was feeling uppity today, the Daily City Sisters won their derby.

  40. karmanot says:

    ballonknot—-good one. very funny!

  41. karmanot says:

    It’s not nice to play with your root in public trollymagoo.

  42. karmanot says:

    That’s an example of eloquent expression? rotfl. If you say so bubba.

  43. JamesR says:

    Abdulrahman al-Awlaki is a proxy target. Michelle Obama, shilling for her Presideni, her party and herself is a legitimate target. Who lives despite such a close call with reality. She was, and is, a political operative operating publicly – to proclaim her an innocent “wife” to avoid the heat of politicks is a dictionary definition of sexism, not the straw man, or in this case straw woman, definition and scenario you put forth.

  44. JamesR says:

    Yes. “Like.”

    What Michelle Obama did, “well,” was show her real self.

  45. JamesR says:

    Big Like.

    Ironic Obots immediately flick the race card like they’re Gambit yet Obama seems to avoid the very REAL disenfranchisement of black voters nationwide in a naked campaign by his opponents, (and the opponents of ALL AMERICANS,) for what? Some opaque corporatist reason, it can’t be ignorance, or perhaps fear of looking like he’s using the race card rather than dealing with a real racial issue. It would be funny if it weren’t so evil.

  46. slappymagoo says:

    Sorry, you’re just too downity for my shindigs. And my parties have a “no racists with whips” policy so I know you’d never come.

  47. slappymagoo says:

    Sure, whatever keeps the gun out of your mouth. If only you were better at the expressing yourself eloquently thing and not the look at me I’m on the internet thing, you may make a difference, someday.

  48. karmanot says:

    If I wanted to swim in shallow waters I would be delighted to be invited to your party and I would bring a generous gift of pity to show my appreciation.

  49. slappymagoo says:

    You first, balloonknot.

  50. slappymagoo says:

    You sure are uppity today. Lose a roller derby bet, massa?

  51. karmanot says:

    “People who care passionately about things can be attention hogs, too. Look at karmanot, for instance..” .Thank you Slappy, a passion for justice and civil rights is well recognized.

  52. slappymagoo says:

    No, it’s a racist term. Used by racists. Which doesn’t mean you’re a racist, But if the racist term fits…

  53. slappymagoo says:

    And you wonder why you’re not invited to more parties. Besides the pity parties you throw for yourself of course.

  54. karmanot says:

    Naaa, it’s a roller derby term. Catch up, but thanks for biting.

  55. slappymagoo says:

    This goes to arguing about chicken and eggs, but it seems to me she didn’t use the attention to make a point, she used the point to get attention. For herself.

    People who care passionately about things can be attention hogs, too.

    Look at karmanot, for instance…

  56. slappymagoo says:

    “Uppity?” Interesting choice of word. Last I heard it…I think it was just before Kunta Kinte got the whip in Roots.

  57. karmanot says:

    I was referring to your bathwater Trollymagoo.

  58. karmanot says:

    Go away trollymagoo

  59. karmanot says:

    Michele took an excellent opportunity to channel her inner petulant ‘uppity’ and provided fuel to the fire.

  60. karmanot says:

    Zip it Slappy, because truly, it’s really all about you.

  61. karmanot says:

    Civil rights subjects will never be ‘happy’ conversation with me. And, I don’t relish doing troll chit chat with the likes of You.