Too American

I sincerely don’t understand why Michelle Obama had to speak at the convention. What has she done of any interest to anybody?

I’m not saying this in a political way. I’d feel exactly the same about Melania speaking at an RNC years after the end of Trump’s terms.

This is a very American thing that I’ll never comprehend. Why do we need to hear from ex-politicians’ relatives?

30 thoughts on “Too American”

  1. If you’re going to tie yourself to Obama as an election strategy, why not trot out the most popular and beloved Obama to speak on your behalf?

    Quite apart from policies, the Obamas and they will be asked to speak at pretty much every convention (not that they will) for the rest of their lives.

    Twelve years out, Shrub is nowhere near any Republican nominating conventions. Depending on what happens in November, he & Laura might start being invited back to these events, because there will be no living Republican presidents available.

    They could do some blue screen magic and get undead Ronnie Reagan to speak, but otherwise?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alternatively, if you are going to tie yourself to idiots as an election strategy, why not trot out the WAP lady? What’s her name? Cardi something?

      I completely understand inviting Obama. He was the president and is an historic figure. But what does his wife have to do with anything? Why is she more entitled to an opinion than the Cardi person? Not only is Cardi also married but she’s famous in her own right.

      Unless they did invite Cardi and I’m making an ass out of myself right now.


  2. “What has she done of any interest to anybody?”

    Nothing. Or, if I could say in my London idiom: f–k all. However, in today’s mediaverse it’s not what you have done that determines your value, but the brand that you have turned into, whether by dint of your own efforts or of someone else’s. She is America’s most popular political brand at the moment and that’s enough.


      1. “I never heard anybody mention her in any context”

        Isn’t that the key to her popularity (at least partly)? She’s a blank slate onto which liberals can project whatever they want to (and mostly that will be something that makes them feel good and that will result in more positive feelings for her).
        I have nothing against her and can’t fault the job she did as first lady (like it or not, a real position in the American system) but I hope she stays away from politics (besides making a living by giving speeches with or without her husband).
        Also conventions have historically been a way of vetting potential stars (like Obama in 2004(?)) and it giving established stars a brief hurrah (which is what I hope this was).
        To those the democrats trotted out anyone new and promising?


              1. As to the symbolic importance, at least these people didn’t make themselves known by successfully having sex with somebody, which is the extent of Michelle Obama’s achievement from what I can see.

                This practice of valuing women by how successfully they got laid is very medieval. I can’t get into that.


      2. You’re in a different bubble than I am. I’ve seen more than one woman with a purse with pictures of Michelle Obama all over it. Middle aged, working class black women in every case.


        1. Wow. I had no idea that the dream of “marrying well” was still so strong. Twenty-first century and women still can’t find a role model who did something more interesting than that.


  3. Presidents’ wives are always considered important because we are one step away from that British monarchy and there are the King and the Queen.


      1. “King and the Queen”
        “exactly what it reminds me of”

        I dunno, that’s the glass-half-empty viewpoint, another might be that unlike countries where politicians might as well not have families (and wives are hidden away just as surely as if they wore burqas) the US system is about making sure public figures are indeed public.
        The president is not just a bureaucrat or a power player but rather someone who has a stake in the system. The presidency is supposed to be a service position (not a springboard for enriching an extended family of some sort or exercising power for its own sake). Instead of hiding his family away they’re brought out into the sunshine.
        Similarly, a first lady who’s hidden away could be a magnet for all sorts of suspect figures, especially if she has a professional career. Keeping her busy in the public spotlight doing charitable work cuts off a potential source of scandal and corruption (at least in theory).
        It also ties into American ideas of marriage as a public partnership (rather than a private fiefdom).


      2. “successfully having sex with somebody, which is the extent of Michelle Obama’s achievement ”

        This seems very close to the old feminist line about marriage being a form of prostitution….


        1. Yesterday on CNN, Michelle was referred to as “one of the forenoon political thinkers of our times.” It’s ludicrous because she never held any office and never expressed any thoughts. All she does is whine about how she’s a victim. This is a mega rich woman who’s had every advantage in life but she whines, whines, whines. Yet she’s a great political thinker of our times.

          Would she be a great political thinker if she had a different sex partner? No, of course not. Nobody would know about her.

          It’s like calling me one of the greatest quantitative analysts of all times because of who my husband is. Or calling him a brilliant literary critic because of me.


          1. “Would she be a great political thinker if she had a different sex partner?”

            Wait…. you think Obama is a great political thinker??????

            As much as I want Michelle Obama to not run for office, her speaking at the convention was a political move that made sense (more sense than most things they’ve done recently… since they’re trying to connect Biden to Obama and she’s probably more liked than he is especially by Black voters).
            But she’s not responsible for the nonsense that CNN spouts about her (unless she’s claiming to be a great political thinker now which I doubt).


            1. He is great in the sense that he’s a world-important political figure and his thoughts – inane as they might be – had the power to start wars and influence the world economy.


  4. While liberals have come up with some obviously nutty postal service conspiracy theories, I don’t like the reality of what’s going on with the USPS either. It’s part of the erosion of the welfare state you’ve spoken of:

    Between this and Trump’s plans for social security (link below), I’m currently feeling more inclined to vote for Biden than him, which is not where I was a few weeks ago. Not that Biden is likely to be much better, especially with Silicon Valley sycophant Kamala Harris as VP. There’s not much real choice in this election; no matter who we get, they’ll pretty much take us down the same path.


    1. I read the Forbes article and it makes no sense. The author concedes that the current way of financing social security is completely messed-up. In only 15 years, and that’s not taking into account COVID, it becomes insolvent. That’s really catastrophic. But then he insists that the current way of financing it must be preserved at all costs.

      Leaving Trump completely out of it, this sounds like a very serious issue. I wish we were talking about that instead of all the other crap.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The other article is very interesting, too.

        “Because the Postal Service is required by law to pre-fund 75 years’ worth of retiree health benefits for new hires, it is generally thought of as more cost-efficient to increase overtime rather than hire new employees.”

        This is exactly how an extremely stratified economy with 70% of workers completely excluded from full-time jobs was manufactured in Spain. Now they consider a 20% unemployment to be extremely low and a cause for celebration.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I didn’t read the whole Forbes article, I just read the bits talking about Trump’s plan. After all, I don’t care what some random Forbes writer thinks is the right path forward.

        Things definitely need to change. But reducing the payroll tax makes the problem worse, not better. Sherrod Brown of course has ideas for solving this problem featured on his campaign site. We can debate whether his solution is sufficient, but it’s certainly better than the “stick our heads in the sand and do nothing” approach that many take.


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