As often happens, some current events lead me to reminisce over a scene from “The West Wing.” I’m sure this is a common malady for amateur wonks such as myself.
It’s the scene where Donnatella Moss has to explain to Helen Santos what she needs to consider in her new role as FLOTUS. You will need to decide what kind of First Lady you want to be, Donna says, imparting to the often-bewildered woman implicitly that she’s signed on for one heck of a big job, too.
It is a big job. The First Lady is, essentially, the Queen of America. Hers is an unelected post, and her tasks are, traditionally, primarily ceremonial. She is not traditionally expected to tackle policy, but she is expected to lead on some social issue or another, from literacy to renovations to “just say no.” Exceptions to this, Roosevelt, Clinton, Ford, can often be piled upon as a result. Which is, to my mind, somewhat appropriate. It is, after all, an unelected position. (Just to nip this in the bud—I would say the same regarding the First Gentleman, should there ever be one.)
First Lady Michelle Obama is more popular than her husband, not by leaps and bounds as it was with the previous administration, but there you have it. Her approval rating currently holds at about 72 percent to his 69 (huh-huh huh that was cool) percent. My own approval rating of Mrs. Obama hovers somewhere around 98 and 99 percent, so I might be a bit biased. But I am only 26 points up from what how she scores nationwide.
So why would a grass-roots Republigoat utilize the Internet to take such a foul, ugly swipe at this extremely popular national figure? Why would Rusty Depass use Facebook to liken her to another species of primate? Not smart. As Fits News, the outfit what broke the story, points out:
Blacks are largely pro-life, right? Significant numbers of black people support school choice, right? And last time we checked, blacks liked to hold onto their money every bit as much as whites, right?
Check, check and check.
Seriously Republicans, there’s your “big tent.”
The point being, not only is it downright horrible to make such an ignorant, ugly comment regarding the First Lady of the United States—it’s also bad politics. And with Rusty DePass, we’re not just talking about some fringe player here. This guy is major grass-roots, a one-time candidate for the state legislature, a party activist and county chair for Giuliani’s pathetic presidential run in 2008. This guy is bona fide rank-and-file Republigoat leadership. And, as such, he feels entitled to offer a classic non-apology apology:
I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest.
Actually, no it wasn’t. There is no longer any instance in any nook or cranny of these United States where a comment comparing a human being to a gorilla is “in jest.” We know what that is, Rusty. It is an ignorant leftover of an ugly, nasty, brutal time in American history, one I’m sure that you and your friends would relish returning to. Keep reminiscing, Rusty, about the days when the Negroes used the back entrance. President Obama enters the Oval Office through the front door. (Oh, wait. Does the Oval Office have a front door? Nevermind. You know what I mean.) Besides, “I’m sorry if you were offended” is not an apology. “I’m sorry that I’m an ignorant cracker” would be more like it, Rusty. At least it would be a start.
Were that this were only an isolated incident from an isolated ignorant cracker. This, though, is an entire political party primarily representing ignorant crackers, a party whose language during the presidential campaign did everything in its power to make the black man seem scary and different. The Republigoats worked hard to paint Michelle Obama as an angry, uppity, militant black feminist commie. E.D. Hill coined the ridiculous “terrorist fist jab.” Conservagoats wildly twisted comments regarding the woman’s pride in her country. Even charges that she broke protocol during a visit with British royals failed to stick or to even make her look anything but gracious.
Michelle Obama is not a good political target, guys. Move along.