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.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | 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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  • nevilleross

    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.

  • lynchie

    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.

  • nevilleross

    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.

  • nevilleross

    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?

  • nevilleross

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

  • nevilleross

    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.

  • JamesR

    You are both idiots.

  • nevilleross

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

  • JamesR

    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.

  • JamesR

    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.

  • Zorba

    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.

  • nevilleross

    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.

  • nevilleross

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

  • nevilleross

    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.

  • nevilleross

    NO.

  • nevilleross

    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?

  • nevilleross

    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.

  • nevilleross

    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.

  • nevilleross

    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.

  • Zorba

    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.

  • nevilleross

    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.

  • nevilleross

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

  • nevilleross

    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.

  • Zorba

    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.

  • nevilleross

    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.

  • Zorba

    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.

  • nevilleross

    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?

  • Zorba

    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.

  • nevilleross

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

  • nevilleross

    Why does have have to be DNC?

  • nevilleross

    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?

  • nevilleross

    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.

  • nevilleross

    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…’

  • slappymagoo

    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.

  • slappymagoo

    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.

  • JamesR
  • JamesR

    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!

  • Well, I don’t live for you hairball.

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

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

  • ballonknot—-good one. very funny!

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

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

  • JamesR

    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.

  • JamesR

    Yes. “Like.”

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

  • JamesR

    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.

  • slappymagoo

    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.

  • slappymagoo

    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.

  • 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.

  • slappymagoo

    You first, balloonknot.

  • slappymagoo

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

  • “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.

  • slappymagoo

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

  • slappymagoo

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

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

  • slappymagoo

    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…

  • slappymagoo

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

  • I was referring to your bathwater Trollymagoo.

  • Go away trollymagoo

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

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

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

  • YES!

  • As a gay white man who actively supported black civil rights for nearly 50 years I whole heartily support anyone who disrespects the President and his front Lady, who thwart GLTBQ civil rights……..especially our first black President, whose contempt for liberals and minorities just causes is quite evident. I find it appalling that Obama’s black following are blind to his policies of cutting Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, food security for children and single parent families, school funding, necessary civil services and austerity which have a devastating impact on the black communities. Worse, Obama stands before us time after time his his eloquent speeches and lies through teeth. Checkmate

  • The Obama’s should harvest raspberries where ever they appear in public.

  • VERY LIKE—couldn’t agree more!

  • pppppfffffftttt

  • Sweetie

    Common sense means doing nothing and getting less.

  • Sweetie

    Um, no. When she goes out and gives campaign speeches, she is doing policy. When she goes out and tries to raise funds to further the policies of her husband, she is doing policy. We do not have royalty in this country and if you get your feet into politics you’re fair game.

  • Kim_Kaufman

    This was a fundraiser, not a private tea. Some people have gone to fundraisers for the express purpose of trying to get access to get their message heard. Unfortunately for her, Michele was, predictably, haughty and thin-skinned. The only time Obama has paid attention to LGBT issues was when the LGBT community stopped handing over their money for fundraisers before an election. Stop giving them money. But Obama corp. doesn’t care because they’re not running again and any money given to Obama corp. just goes to fund support for policies that are not helping anyone but the corporate powers.

  • samizdat

    Oops, I basically just repeated some of your points. Great minds, I suppose…

  • samizdat

    “…conventionally-minded allies will not thank you for it”.

    So true, BeccaM. There will always be a need for someone to push the envelope. Circumstances demand it, and history is full of examples which reflect that truth. I’m often repulsed by some of the PETA acts, but in the end, for the most part, they are correct. So I cut them some slack, knowing as I do that others throughout history–including ACT UP, anti-nuke protestors, protestors outside the former School of the Americas in the 80’s–often used tactics which pissed people off, and which brought criticism and scorn down on their heads.

    Plus, it takes some courage to do what many of these people do, and regardless of the end results and the tactics employed, I do admire that they have taken that step.

  • dula

    Ok she’s just a wife like millions of other Americans.

  • slappymagoo

    Who’s being evasive? My original point was I think your comment is ridiculous. Was I not clear originally? Sorry about that.

  • Clevelandchick

    Oh please, on what? She has ZERO official policy making role. No spouse is an accidental accessory, but unless they are in politics themselves, their role is strictly superficial. You are dreaming if you think she has any real realm of influence. Unlike HRC, she didn’t spend her life as a political activist, she was not involved in the development of health care reform. There has been zero evidence the president involves her in any policy making of the administration unlike Clinton or Roosevelt.

  • dula

    It’s very common for the formerly oppressed to get a sense of power by victimizing others.

  • dula

    Michelle Obama is a tough Harvard lawyer who has her own realm of influence as FLOTUS. I think she’s a more than an accidental accessory to her husband and can manage herself at political events.

  • Iban4yesu

    looks like she got some sense of entitlement by now. no strings entitlement, that is.
    lady, there is no free lunch, even for you.

  • lynchie

    But none of the Obots call out the republicans and have the balls to get in their faces. I have no problem with any protest as long as it is non violent. The problem is that the 1% who get special treatment on just about everything don’t like to be held accountable and are uncomfortable when unmasked. FLOTUS let the mask slip and we see a vindictive, surly person of privilege who has acquired status and is surrounded by sycophants and ass kisser making her believe she is someone and how dare anyone call her out. Race was never an issue here and bensomar is simply a bot clouding the issue because there is no real defense of what MO did.

  • FLL

    “I got mine, fuck you” comes out loud and clear.

    Actually, benbosmar doesn’t have hers, as I explain in my comment below. Republican governors and state officials still enthusiastically suppress the African-American vote, and Republicans do everything they can to restrict reproductive choices for women. So, as a white man, I could easily mimic the “straight black woman” you’re replying to and tell her to “go get some Republican votes.” I don’t sink to that level because I support election reform and reproductive choice.

  • lynchie

    She didn’t scream. As for Michelle threatening to take her ball and go home, how petty. She shows up to raise money as a prop, as an attraction. Nothing she said about any subject then has merit, none of the causes, none of the opinions on youth nutrition. She uses her position only when it pleases her not when pleasing her fellow americans might have merit. Your argument is specious and irrelevant. None of your drama occurred during this one person protest. There was no rolling eyes, issuing orders, throwing tantrums, none of it. One person, Ms. Sturtz raised the issue of equality for the gay community. Using your false equivalency MLK, Rosa Parks were all wrong in protesting and demanding equality. The old “I got mine, fuck you” comes out loud and clear. I call arrogance and superiority on Michelle.

  • Clevelandchick

    I just don’t think it’s productive to go after a politician’s spouse as a proxy target. Michelle Obama is not a politician, she’s only a political figure by marriage. She’s not in office, nor has she ever served in a political office. She’s never been in the policy making seat. Spouses get stuck with representing their spouses at fundraisers when they can’t be there, so it’s probably not their favorite thing to do and why she didn’t handle it all that well.

    I know people like to think our presidents’ spouses have a major role in platform and policy, yes..there was Eleanor Roosevelt, but she was the exception, not the rule.
    It also felt a bit sexist, as in “Hey lady! Give your hubby a message for me!” I’d have said to the protestor, ‘Tell him your damn self, I’m not your receptionist’.

    If this group wanted to send a message to the president, they should have been attended the same press conference as Medea Benjamin.

  • lynchie

    Well said.

  • FLL

    From your comment:

    “Write your congressman and tell him to stop thwarting the agenda and maybe we can get some legislation passed.”

    You are making the very same vicious comment that I was hoping people would stop making. Just like certain Democratic state legislators in Illinois recently, you are telling gay people to “go find some Republican votes.” Let’s set aside, for the moment, how nasty that sentiment is, seeing as the Republican Party is homophobia central. Let me bring the point home to you since you identify yourself as a straight black woman. You realize, I’m sure, that Republican governors and state officials, particularly in Ohio and Florida, try to suppress the African-American vote at election time with all manner of semi-legal and illegal strategies. Is election reform in the U.S. Congress important to you, O straight black woman? Then why don’t you go get some Republican votes? Oh, and you said you were a straight woman, so positive congressional action on reproductive choice and access to birth control might also be important to you. One more time, my dear, why don’t you go get some Republican votes? Get the picture, Sunshine? It feels a lot different when the shoe is on the other foot, doesn’t it?

  • FLL

    How could anyone think that direct action on the part of GetEQUAL and others is going away? Yes, it is true that the nation’s attention will be focused on the Supreme Court during the next several weeks, but what about the remaining three and a half years of Obama’s term? Does anyone seriously imagine that the nation will continue to ignore Obama’s 2008 campaign pledge for an ENDA executive order? An executive order follows the historical precedents set by such presidents as FDR, Kennedy and Johnson in which presidential executive orders paved the way for later legislative action. This is a no-brainer, yet Obama has the nerve to deem an executive order not worthwhile unless a politically impossible ENDA law passes the Republican-controlled House of Representatives first. In whose holy opinion is an ENDA executive order not worthwhile? Certainly not in the opinion of the millions who would benefit. The long, hot summer will no doubt kick into high gear after the Supreme Court rules at the end of the month. It would be in no ones interest, least of all the President and Mrs. Obama, for the long, hot summer to turn into three and a half very messy years.

  • JamesR

    Exactly.

  • JamesR

    Yeah. Someone else noticed that too!

    She well showed her ass.

  • JamesR

    Let them eat $500 a plate cake LOL

  • JamesR

    Well I hope you’ll be happy with the Democracy and Republic you’ll be given all your life, sitting and being proper. I am sure everyone else will be proper too and everything will work out.

  • JamesR

    Exactly.

  • JamesR

    “About her” is precisely the point. “This woman,” Ellen Sturtz, is a person directly affected – it’s not self centered rather than personally relevant. And telling that Michelle Obama could not stand to give her a polite response. A person to person response to someone who is directly and personally hurt and legitimately distraught. As a Lady, and a secure person in a superior position is always able, if not obligated, to do. The “blame” for the inappropriateness reflects always to the one in control of the situation – Michelle Obama. Like it or not she showed her ass, whether her ass was ‘provoked’ or not – that only applies for people in a relationship of equals, or between those of equal power. Michelle Obama lost her cool and snapped like a dry stick. She did it to herself. As opposed to all those other real things she did NOT do for the GLBT community. This is now an issue. Looks like a success to me.

  • JamesR

    Exactly! Like and Like. (Disqus won’t let me ‘like’ or vote up or down on this blog) makes me say THANK YOU in person which isn’t so much of a bad thing.Thank You.

  • JamesR

    You are bringing race into this non-argument? Bring it. There is no argument, no debate: Michelle Obama, and you, HAVE full and equal rights protected by Federal law. That “white girl” does NOT. That’s all. End. Checkmate, for your argument and a terrible terrible loss for the entire nation including black, white, gay, straight, male, female, and the unfathomable who “actively supports GLBT causes,” whatever that is when it posts as you do.

    Please, take your race baiting elsewhere.

  • JamesR

    So the Punditocracy has affirmed that this was a bad idea. After much wind direction measurement.

    So?

    Does that in itself make this a bad idea?

    I’s part of the whole event – or rather the satellite event. And a very irrelevant part.

    This is the inevitable result of BETRAYAL and evidences the classless tone deafness of the First Lady – sorry to say, but she’s had SIX YEARS to get coached on how to act with class and consideration and equanimity to the legitimate grievances of a DISENFRANCHISED CITIZEN especially as she herself is the member of a minority who has most recently been ceded their RIGHTS as citizens (And as a member of a nominal majority, female, who have had similar civil rights gains within her lifetime)

    It’s a big-ass FAIL for Michelle Obama. Which, naturally, is being spun as the exact opposite by the stenographers and sycophants who digest the newz for the sheeple and feed it to us as if we’re baby birds begging for puke.

    I write this only after having relaxed from the previous thread and the Obot infestation therein, and, being up late, accidentally seeing network newz mccoverage of the horrible thing that happened to the First Lady and it made me want to puke as well. Fuckingnauseating. Watch how she reacts – just the footage – it’s telling. It is very very similar to how her husband reacts, makes me think which came first. Makes me go Hmmmmm. Either way it’s NOT GOOD, not to mention the ENDA issue. Which of course, was not mentioned AT ALL by the newz.

    Protests are gonna keep happening, whether it’s a “good thing” or “productive” or not. It’s a natural reaction to the fact WE’RE SCREWED! It’s not pretty, nor should it ever be.

    And as a PS, the provocation is irrelevant, as a public figure she is always in the position of control, power, and arbitration. Again, SIX YEARS doing this, apparently six years insulated form this the most mild of provocation. And yet the skin is so easily bruised? Puh-leeeeeeeeeeez. Michelle just bought a lot more of this. I just hope her kids haven’t learned to enjoy this weakness so at least she can haz some peace at home.

    And bitter, bitter LOL regarding “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” A: He’s ALREADY not giving it to us, so to speak, what’s to lose? and B: Would we could get anything as spine stiffening as vindictive spite from this man!? I have never seen it. I have, however, seen him cower and obey when criticized too much or when he perceived the political center to have moved. Therefore more protests, everywhere possible, are in order. It’s not pretty but neither is sausage making.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    As I’ve said above, that depends on the objective. Here, the objective is to pressure one person, as it is the president with sole power to sign an executive order. He doesn’t need educating. He understands the issue. He needs pushing.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Also lots of troll traffic on this topic.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Trained for civil rights activism at the Highlander Center, secretary of the local NAACP, and, by her own account, did not remain seated because she was tired.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Parks

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Stop evading with mindless retorts.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    The same Executive Order issued by Roosevelt to protect black workers could just as easily have been repealed by a subsequent president during the 25 years it took to pass the ’64 Civil Rights Act. What is with the idiotic talking point that NO protection is better than protection that has some risk of repeal. You do know that an executive order does not in any way prevent a parallel push for legislation, right?

    You are perfectly entitled to slander Sturtz as racist based on absolutely no evidence. We might just as well return the favor and call you an anti-gay bigot for your post.

  • dula

    I agree. Maybe if Blacks in the 1940’s wrote their Congressmen they wouldn’t have had to drink out of separate water fountains for so long. It was rude of them to protest on buses and at White only luncheon counters. That must have made the majority of people really uncomfortable. Also I agree that White people today shouldn’t demand accountability from Black people in power because it reminds them of previous negative experiences based on racial bigotry.

  • Stu Smith

    You’re siding with the person with the power not the person asking for redress of grievances. Go ahead and support the oppressor. You’d have said Eartha Kitt didn’t have a right to rudely interrupt a tea party at the White House when she denounced the Vietnam War. What Ms. Obama demonstrated has nothing to do with being a black woman angry or not. She got within three inches of the Ms. Sturtz face which everyone in the room saw. She had the woman removed which everyone in the room saw, and Ms. Sturtz was detained in an attempt to keep her away from the pool press covering the event which the press has reported. Ms. Obama is not an angry black woman. She’s a woman in power who treats those without power with legitimate grievances contempt. She’s more like Ms. Romney in her contempt for people like you and me.

    I once thought she was pretty and good. I liked her a lot better than her husband who hasn’t “evolved” enough to honor his campaign promises, now I know she’s just another political hack.

  • UrsusMichaelus

    Point of fact: since you’re responding to pretty much every comment on this site, who’s the troll here? Do you not have a life to live?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Aren’t you DNC?

  • benbosmar

    As a straight black woman who actively supports GLBT causes I think the protester disrespected the home where she was an invited guest and she disrespected the first lady. The only one who has indicated the first lady was in any way aggressive is the person who decided that no one else in the room, nor their time, nor their money, was important – only her agenda. But since you, unsurprisingly, chose to perpetuate the angry black woman myth. I will share with you a quote that will sound quite angry but will clarify exactly how many black women felt this morning.

    “”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.” — Ankh

    Sturtz doesn’t get to scream at someone and then purport to be shocked when they point out her rudeness and offer her the floor she so clearly desired. But, like cowards and bullies everywhere, she scurried away to find comforting arms elsewhere. There’s Check, and then there’s Checkmate.

    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.

  • EdA

    No, I’m not underestimating their anger and annoyance or the vicious and completely unwarranted prosecution/persecution of Dan Choi in particular, to make an example of him (which hasn’t had the desired effect) and of so many others. But cumulatively the DADT protests, even though/because they were a visible nuisance, did play a critical role. Ms Sturtz’ shouting will have accomplished nothing, not even as an underlay, and I suspect that except for Americablog and the like, its impact has already dissipated. .

  • slappymagoo

    But if you’re going to heckle the First Lady, better be effective at it. This woman came across as whiny and out to make a scene for the sake of the scene, as opposed to making an important point that would resonate. She made it about her. Which is why she failed.

  • slappymagoo

    I save my drinking for happy occasions. A conversation with you is not that.

  • slappymagoo

    It just seems hot because you’re not smart enough to know how to turn down the A.C., karmanot.

  • slappymagoo

    So…was she blinking in Morse code? Is this how she told you which Glee cast member was her fave (Santana, right)? Clearly, she’s the most cunning political mission dispatchee imaginable.

    Stop being ridiculous.

  • StevyD

    Aren’t you sweet?

  • “I pity anyone who’ll ever try to love you, help you or be your friend,” Oh, please. Have another drink and cry for me.

  • dula

    How do you know what suffering the woman endured throughout her life. Maybe she was beaten for being a Lesbian, raped, fired, disowned, or other horrid but accepted ways. She said she wants equal rights before she dies. Fuck your comparisons and your condescension.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    I don’t read it that way. Sorry. You chose the framework of presidential “family” members and began by comparing this incident to truly vile attacks on a president’s children as if there is any credible argument that these things are similar. I don’t think that’s nuance. I think’s its spinning an argument toward a particular conclusion.

    Notice how your argument progresses. All you immediately do to distinguish this incident from vicious attacks on presidents’ children is to say, well, wives aren’t quite like children because they’re adults. What? That’s really the only difference here? Then, we’re treated to a lengthy digression through various block quotes.

    Only then do you present the true distinction, now buried, which is that she was engaged in political fundraising. Since president’s don’t generally send their minor children out on political fundraising tours, it’s odd to begin an analysis by focusing on out-of-the-blue personal attacks on presidents’ children.

    Lastly, notice how you ultimately resolve the question in that section of your post. You drop the whole family thing entirely. This heckling was bad not because Michelle Obama is a spouse but because she is popular. But that applies to all sorts of people having no family connection to the President, and it doesn’t apply to presidential wives who aren’t particularly popular. (Nancy Reagan? Pre-Lewinsky Hillary Clinton?) That’s a completely different rationale than the family one.

    It almost seems like you see that a spouse involving herself in political fundraising makes her fair game but then reach a different answer by switching to a different rationale.

  • Our so called allies are mostly armchair voyeurs who wouldn’t lift a finger to actually provide substance, miss a kiss ass cocktail party or recognize a genuine hero like Choi until they get their noses rubbed in it ,then they scream rude and get the vapors. About as active as they get is to hit the downer button.

  • When it comes to civil rights protests there is no nicey nicey right time, politeness, wait in line BS. Just ask Code Pink!

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Why can’t you respond without changing the facts? She wasn’t just “giving a speech on behalf of her party,” as if this were some appearance at an annual Roosevelt dinner or something. She was pumping donors for campaign money. That is descending into politics, and you know it, which is why you tried to erase that fact in your response.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    That depends on the goal, doesn’t it? Your analysis is off because this isn’t about ENDA. ENDA is dead for the foreseeable future. This is about an executive order, something the President can unilateral power to issue. So it’s not about lobbying Congress or about lobbying the public. It’s about motivating the President to sign the damn order. In other words, it’s about pressuring the President. That it has kind of been a PR problem for MO means it accomplished what a zap is supposed to do: use a little public discomfort to pressure a politician.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    I think you’re greatly underestimating the fury and outrage of lots of our “allies” at Dan Choi for “embarrassing” the President.

  • The Freak Geek

    Oh, and Michelle Obama is fair game. Her ears are not so golden that she should be exempt from hearing the voices of the oppressed. Was this particular approach effective? I can’t answer that, but the day we stop speaking out to those in power who are inconvenienced by our voices, to make them comfortable, then we have truly lost.

  • Right on Bill!

  • Come to think of it, make that kazoo.

  • The Freak Geek

    Obama has done nothing.

    1. He has expended not a single percent point of his political capital on our behalf. Let’s not forget the hate crimes bill passed congress as a result of Pelosi and Reid just up and doing it. He just signed it.

    2. Let us not forget that Obama said no LGBT issues until the second terms during his first days in office to our glorious “leading LGBT organization,” HRC, and our “leading LGBT organization” fell in line with the president’s orders immediately, therefore selling us out in zero seconds flat.

    3. Without GetEqual chaining themselves to the fence at the White House, and other individuals of prominence, like Pam Spaulding, John Aravosis, Autumn Sandeen, Dan Choi, and any number of other hard working prominent voices, there would be no DADT repeal. Obama was determined to let the republican house be sworn in without a repeal.

    I believed at the time, and I still believe he feels this, he didn’t want to be the first POTUS to fought for and signed into federal law a bill that took the foot of the discrimination off of our necks. To me the POTUS, and most of the Democrats in congress are political homophobes.

    So technically Obama has done nothing to us and he certainly has not worked on our behalf, unless you want to count that .0000001 percent of a calorie he burned signing the bills.

  • Thom Allen

    Sometimes even before they ask for it.

  • Sweetie

    “but we are a free state.”

    Ha!

  • Sweetie

    civility?

    Have civil policy and get civil treatment in return.

    Ask that 16 year old kid who was drone bombed about civility. Ask people who think we have a thing called habeas corpus rather than a practice of shooting unarmed people and dumping their bodies into the ocean. Think about the fact that whistleblowers are being put into prison for blowing the whistle on corruption and the true criminals are free.

  • Sweetie

    “I adore the woman”

  • Eartha was righteous and right on. So was Grace Slick when she read the Nixon girls.

  • Sweetie

    “I adore the woman”

    Interesting…

  • Sweetie

    That’s not the point, though. The point is that he is a politician’s family, so therefore off-limits, according to a certain mindset being presented here.

  • Indeed! It might have won me over.

  • The Obozobots are polishing turds today.

  • :-)

  • I totally agree Z.

  • mpeasee

    …good on ya!!

  • mpeasee

    …that would have been awesome if she did! ; )

  • AnitaMann

    I’m with John. Wrong place for the heckling, AND MO could have handled it better. As for those who say we can’t wait to get the message out… how is the story being covered today? Are the outlets talking about ENDA at all? No, they’re talking about whether MO was fierce or defensive and whether the heckler was wrong. Ineffective if the strategy was to get out the message about ENDA. Yeah, stupid media, but what did you expect? Better to heckle POTUS when he’s giving a speech about LGBT rights, on topic.

  • It’s so hot when you blow bubbles slappy.

  • Yep Democrats are embracing mediocrity with a passion of reconciliation and compromise that borders on collaboration.

  • An a skillful ninja at that!

  • mpeasee

    “Corporatism wearing Democratic face”, that is a good one, and you are so right on. After reading his wiki page, I understand why his perspective is the way it is, it is for sure a east coast inside D.C.; on that note, I do respect his perspective and can now go about digesting his particular views appropriately. With John having a Masters degree in foreign service, B.A. in rhetoric and studying under Secretary of
    State Madeleine Albright (…lucky him), he for sure knows when political and social discourse is narrow or wide, truncated or expanded. As a minority it is too bad that his political and social philosophy do not expand and widen. But I guess that is what happens once your/were in the “inside”.

  • Exactly, the Obama’s have no end of scorn and contempt for members of the liberal democrats.

  • EdA

    First, I think that it is wrong, wimpy, and just plain STUPID for Obama not to sign an ENDA executive order. He should have realized years ago that almost anybody who would seriously object to it (or to almost anything else) has long since shown that they can’t stand the idea of somebody uppity in the White House not being an usher or gardener. And if ExxonMobil doesn’t want to continue ripping off the taxpayer, undoubtedly there are other oil companies willing to do so. And there are a LOT of other misbegotten and really stupid things that Obama has been doing recently that infuriate and disgust me.

    But, realistically, what did Ms Sturtz and the other two expect to get out of the money they shelled out? Heckling Ms Obama at a private fund-raiser with people who are, we hope, basically on our side in the first place is not like chaining oneself to the White House fence. She’s just annoying allies and not doing any consciousness-raising, either … AND with the potential of encouraging Obama to hold off even longer so that he might not appear to be caving to our oh-so-powerful “special interest” that has no protection against employment discrimination in 29 states. And she and the others paid $500 each to accomplish this?

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I don’t know about John, but I am certain that Marcus runs a clinic that tries to convert gays to straights. Thus, he’s a predator.

  • Jonathan Hinkle

    So tell me again, what do you think about Marcus Bachmann?

  • Freday63

    I agree with John 100%. I fail to see how Michelle “perpetuates” ANYTHING that was in place long before she showed up in the WH and will end hopefully sooner rather than later. She may have the “ear” of the President but really that’s all she has. Because she is not an elected official why would anyone expect her to be able to do anything?

  • ezpz

    Ditto. Well, not the second time, anyway.
    I was all hopey-dopey the first time around.

  • ezpz

    My “dissent” and “protest” on that thread I mentioned were not well received – to put it mildly.

    Thanks for being a good bud.
    (o:

  • ezpz

    lol

  • Zorba

    Yes. Exactly so.

  • Zorba

    You know, K, maybe these same people would have told Alice Paul and Lucy Burns to STFU and be more polite. These brave women, and many others, were jailed and tortured in 1917 for picketing Woodrow Wilson’s White House in the cause of women’s suffrage.
    Not to mention what the Civil Rights protesters had to go through, and the anti- Vietnam protesters.
    Protesters were killed, jailed, beaten……..
    They were not “polite.”
    I guess we are too old, K. We not only study history, some of it we lived through. There are many “down-raters” here who do not remember history.
    “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
    George Santayana.
    I despair. :-(

  • future_man

    Agree or not with any political outcomes…I like Michelle’s clarity about her terms of engagement. Refreshing that she is her own person and in this case distinct from her husband.

  • basenjilover

    Would Michelle have confronted a heckling Teabagger or Neo-conservative? My bet is that she wouldn’t. I honestly think Michelle could because the “heckler” is a lesbian. Sorry, John, I’m not with you on this one. Michelle waded into political fundraiser and she is fair game. Methinks Michelle has extremely thin skin to be rankled by a single verbal protester. Furthermore, why didn’t Michelle make good on her threat when she offered protestor to take the mic and she would then leave?

  • slappymagoo

    Well, that certainly speaks volumes.

  • Settle for less, the minimax is always a winner for losers.

  • I’m thinking of Palin’s ‘Right on Targe’t that got Giffords nearly assassinated. I still think that bitch should have been called out for it.

  • slappymagoo

    Meh, I stand by what I wrote before, you can argue he could do more, you can’t argue that he’s done nothing. And if you ARE arguing that he’s done nothing, I pity anyone who’ll ever try to love you, help you or be your friend, for they will never measure up to your ridiculous expectations.

  • OMGoddess, was that you who got Limbaugh out of the draft? Well done!

  • That last line is delicious! Well done.

  • Well then much of America’s credibility is impaired because the conventional wisdom, which I quote, is that you don’t go after family. So then I dissect family to look at different cases. And point out that with underage children it’s simply off-limits. With wives you have to watch it.

    What you call a lack of credibility, the higher mammals call nuance. It’s your friend :)

  • I always thought you were a marketing ninja MW! :-)

  • False argument slappy. Other presidents (including the weak kneed Clinton) aren’t calling the shots now, Obozo is and he’s nada in the GLTBQ department. As for your opening lines, I didn’t realize that RuPaul was doing Michelle impersonations.

  • FLL

    Yes, they were accused of that back then, but today, the impression that the incident seems to have left on mainstream American society is either positive or humorous, but not negative. What I was referring to in my replies to you and karmanot was that English language usage has changed. A cream pie was never a figure of speech; it always meant a literal cream pie. People don’t suggest it today because you’d probably be arrested, which didn’t happen in the late 1970s. On the other hand, figures of speech like “with both barrels” and “between the eyes” are falling out of usage because, unfortunately, they are often understood literally. As society changes (for better or worse), English usage has to change with it.

  • Whitewitch

    Oh Karmanot – don’t give away the secret – my spells is a big boil in the crack of their ass.

  • I am thinking: even more respect to the Kramers and Nadar’s of this country to whom history shows a correctness of content and intent. The price they paid is/was considerable. Most of us don’t have that courage or perseverance.

  • MyrddinWilt

    The heckler was incompetent. The way to heckle is to introduce a piece of information that the speaker is trying to avoid. Or alternatively provoke them to lose their temper. So if McCain is speaking about the need to invade Syria right now a good heckle would be ‘what about your WMD in Iraq’ or ‘you always want another war’ or ‘Sarah Palin’.

    Just drowning out the speaker will almost always be a losing tactic as the audience came to listen to them, not the heckler.

    For a good speaker who is not talking bollocks, a heckler is an absolute gift.

  • Same!

  • John see everything, doesn’t miss a trick. His somewhat conservative views I think reflect the most liberal aspects of the Blue Dog party under Obama. I never question his integrity and have learned to understand that this is the ongoing view that has redefined the essence of the future party. The Rooseveltian Democratic Party is dead and gone. Corporatism wearing Democratic face is the new spectacle.

  • Yep, that orchestra of tiny violin trolls is cacophonous.

  • It is indeed!

  • Ah, a gaggle of anti GLTBQ bots today.

  • For you pathetic Obot trolls: Hows that slashing Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, school funding, slashing funds for school lunches, cutting police fire and civil service going for ya? How about austerity, you sheep.

  • The wife and I had another conversation about the nature of protests. She reminded me that when the purpose is to disrupt and to be noticed and to make sure your message is reported, your more… conventionally-minded allies will not thank you for it.

    So you have to make up your mind whether you’re going to go through with it anyway, and welcome the criticism from all sides.

  • Yep, they are the enablers and collaborators, who put the propaganda into motion….and feed the Society of the Spectacle.

  • The same six downer trolls….must be having a Cheetos day.

  • slappymagoo

    Yeah, sure, I know I get offended when Michelle Obama dons her leather jacket, lights up her cigarette, smokes it by putting her arm over and around her head then dives into 10 minutes of f****t jokes before closing with her naughty nursery rhymes.

    You can argue that Obama hasn’t done enough when it comes to extending equal rights to same-sex couples and same-sex parents. But you also can’t argue that another President has done more. But by all means, keep spreading that vinegar around, let me know how many flies you catch.

  • Yep, a delicious bit of irony.

  • It’s interesting that you should bring that up.

    I remember back then how the pie-throwers were accused of ‘hurting’ the cause.

  • Love to feed you downer trolls—choke on it!

  • Being into good vegies and all, Michelle would probably advise a carrot over the stick her hubby wields, which of course is what a First Lady is paid to do for appearances sake.

  • The Obamas are part of the problem.

  • But we got spells….not to worry. Every downer gets a wart on the top of their pointy heads.

  • :-)

  • You downer trolls sure are on edge today.

  • slappymagoo

    If you’re going to put words in my mouth, could you please wait until I’ve spit out my gum? Theenks.

    Giving a speech on behalf of your party is NOT like picking out a new china pattern for the White House or any of your other stupid analogies. But nor is it like running a health care reform task force. One is far far more involved, and Clinton wasn’t just affecting policy but trying to create policy.

    And I’m not sure giving a speech on behalf of your party is the same as “being dispatched on a political mission,” as that could also describe “trying to broker peace in the Middle East” “assassinating bin Laden” or “allowing Bill O Reilly to interview you and not laugh in his face.” Funny how you want to insist your broad definition of what Michelle Obama does is narrow, but my narrow definition of what you’re doing is broad. Which is my tactful way of saying “You’re laughable.”

  • FLL

    In my reply to Becca, I mentioned 20 years ago. I suppose editorial practice is definitely different than in the late 70s, when Anita Bryant got a cream pie
    ( a fruit pie, as she noted).

  • Skeptical Cicada

    So being dispatched on a political mission is like picking out a new china pattern for the White House, planting a vegetable garden on the White House lawn, or hosting an Easter Egg Roll then? Please. A First Lady can either stay above politics or descend into it. Fundraising is descending into it, and you know it.

  • Whitewitch

    A down vote just for not voting for the President – okay this board is getting hostile now! I guess free speech is getting the down-vote blues.

  • slappymagoo

    Does anyone seriously believe appearing/speaking at a fundraiser is a mini version of “running a health care reform task force?”

    I don’t.

  • slappymagoo

    I’d say the issue is more “tone and manner” than “time and place.” I know it’s odd to talk about speaking civilly when you’re heckling, but the protestor could have indeed done that, interrupted the First Lady to implore help in her cause. Instead it sounded like an attack on someone who, while she has access to the President’s ear, was treated as part of the problem as opposed to a potential ally to the solution.

    In short, no one likes to be treated like an a-hole, especially when they’re not acting like one. The protestor took a “you’re either with us or against us” tone tht made it clear she thought Michelle was in the ‘against” column and needed to be shamed for doing so. And it was stupid.

  • FLL

    Editorial error.

  • You are the one who mentioned regal airs.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Does anyone seriously believe that it was improper to criticize First Lady Hillary Clinton when she was running a health care reform task force for her husband? Doing fundraising events is just a mini version of that. It’s a political assignment.

  • Well at least she didn’t do bobble head and snap diva.

  • Waaaaa that woman was a deranged meanie.

  • Oh Obama gives the GLTBQ and liberal communities plenty of passive aggressive spite.

  • Yep

  • Yep, the stench of downer trolls is strong today.

  • Yep

  • I didn’t vote for Obama and history is showing why.

  • “a pro-gay president (even if he hasn’t done this very important thing we all want)” Welcome to Stockholm Syndrome.

  • The world’s tiniest violin makes the loudest squawk.

  • That’s what I thought too.

  • “She said herself she doesn’t do “this” well” Oh please, the lady is a tough, seasoned, ivy educated lawyer.

  • future_man

    Tiaras or no….inside or out. Personally I don’t begrudge the Obamas their privileges. They have earned them fair and square. In American history we got them before a presidential couple that is LGBT…no cause for resentment…someone will get there…and it won’t be because the Obamas sat on the sidelines either.

  • True ,Mono is not a troll and a very astute (at times) commenter. What I see is a really sharp divide here in generational experience and understanding of political dissent, protest and strategy. I am still very radical when it come to a dedicated disrespect for national politicians and Obama and his front lady have earned it in abundance.

  • Pillsbury. Have you seen their new ‘abused cakes’ ad? :-)

  • I did

  • cole3244

    putting this incident aside there is too little civil protest in america, no one in power gives an inch on anything until they are forced to politically or socially, the powerful will say the right thing to shut protestors up but only an aggressive movement gets attention or anything done.

    the powers that be don’t like to deal with what the rest of america has to encounter everyday of the year and when they are made to face that reality they can be made to act if not understand, if a movement is not visible it does not exist and i say the more non violent protest in this america the better, we can’t eat cake.

  • What an interesting thread. The precious Michelle Obozo has longtime co-advocates completely divided. Explains a lot about why the Democratic party is crumbling.

  • ppppffffftttt Michelle wears her tiara on the inside, silly rabbit.

  • Interesting that the Obamas are so insulated and elitist these days they can’t even begin to hear or understand the voice of the people now. Mrs Obozo was livid that her ‘the children!’ meme and fundraiser propaganda was called out. They have come a long way from the humble origins they wave like a flag every time it comes to a point where their legitimacy is questioned. The bloom is long off the rose.

  • Bingo!

  • “I find the Michele’s reaction, childish” Maybe she’s taking advice from not First Lady, Ann Romney.

  • Yep!

  • Thank you. Having been queen now for six years Mrs. O has lost her taste for the rabble.

  • YES! Our generations paid in blood, sweat and tears for protests and the change that these Obot coddlers now enjoy. Politics is not polite and a very dangerous activity.

  • “what reason could be given to stop other citizens from interrupting, citizens” It’s a democracy ! Remember town halls? You fascist coddling Obots make me ill.

  • Vapid in fourth gear without breaks. Obots has a mad today because Mrs. Obozo got boo’d.

  • Amen….right with ya!

  • Annski1

    I am happy for Minnesota but there is no victory until there is equality in all 50 states and not some new renovation of ‘State’s Rights”. The votes will come because of the movement. Not lobbying (as one who has done lobbying on many issues) that is a dead end. There are many better ways..But to build a movement which is independent of either party is where our power will come. IMHO

  • Let Barack have a cream pie ———etc and so on.

  • “about deciding on the smartest strategy rather than any random strategy.” Good!

  • Michele waves her handful of ‘the children’ at every major money raising event…it’s traditional, but manipulating and disgraceful as artificially sympathetic as any political ploy. She got called out on it and lost her cool.

  • Zorba

    Well, SC, while there are many who agree with us, there seem to be a large number who do not.
    Too bad. Protest is not always polite. People who get their panties in a wad over offending others generally do not tend to achieve fundamental political and societal changes.

  • Whitewitch

    You made me realize that sometimes I protest just because I think it is wrong. I don’t belong to a long list of movements, when I see wrong I try to speak out. I would never have this type of opportunity – however should the gods allow such an opportunity then I shall speak and speak loudly (at least until they serve dessert).

  • Michele Obama is an entitled, obnoxious propagandist in her own right and deserves to be called out at every term. This is still a Democracy.

  • You bet your sweet bippy!

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I can agree that we need diverse tactics. I remember my days with act-up, buy sometimes you can lobby your way to social change. At least, it worked in Minnesota. Diverse tactics were used to defeat the marriage amendment, but I think it was everybody lobbying the legislature that did the trick.

  • Yes

  • Very like and ++++++ I would remind younger generations like John that if it weren’t for ACT UP and unpleasant interrupters like Larry Kramer many of us would be dead today.

  • Whitewitch

    I think many just feel powerless…look what happens when you do protest, or try to change things. The shame you, imprison you or silence you. (Or call you a troll – my fav)

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Thanks, mindless Obamabot.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Wow, how vapid!

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Absolutely.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    I don’t think that’s correct about Rosa Parks. She was a civil rights activist, and I think her action was planned by a local civil rights group.

  • lynchie

    could not agree more. O is a big disappointment in so many ways but his promises not met and his blind following of wall street and the banks with huge bail outs makes me ill. We were duped on so many issues that this has increased the frustration on my different fronts. This protest (hardly–1 person demanding action is hardly protest) is one example of how many feel, the elderly, the poor, the young, the jobless, the foreclosed, the homeless, the dead military, the gay community. He has done a good job of letting the 99% down at the expense of the 1% and yet has the audacity to ask us for more. I am reminded of a John Lennon quote

    “If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

    We have been made consumers and too few of us have the where with all to stand up and be counted. It did take some guts on the part of Ms. Sturtz to take the spotlight.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    That John even haltingly compares this to attacking a president’s children impaired his credibility from the outset.
    When the First Lady is on a political mission–here to get yet more money out of the gay community–she is fair game.

  • Annski1

    This is not about her it is about us. Our movement needs to learn that you cannot lobby your way to social change (MLK). We need to be a diverse movement with diverse tactics. Personally I would never give $500.00 to the Dems, but if I was there I would ask ms healthy foods why she supports the evil Monsanto

  • Whitewitch

    The Heckler…I thought that is what you were talking about. If not, excuse the post.

  • dcinsider

    I concur.

  • UncleBucky

    This ONE woman?

  • ezpz

    Yes. It might be good for those who are asking to ask themselves if they are trying to coddle her because she’s female or because she’s the president’s spouse.

  • You and I have had our differences lately, but I think this is an extremely valid point to raise.

  • Zorba

    I am imagining you telling the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., the other Civil Rights protesters, or for that matter, the Vietnam War protesters, including the students who were killed at Kent State, that they were “too lazy” to arrange proper protests.
    Do I place Sturtz in the exact same category as my examples? No. But protest is protest. And it is usually not very “polite.” Nor should it be. That is the whole point. Proper and formal discussions too often do not lead to substantive and timely changes.

  • What I find interesting is how the different sides in this debate go to the vocabulary that supports the desired outcome and conclusions as to what this protest meant.

    John says that Ms. Sturtz “heckled” the President’s wife, First Lady Michelle Obama. That sounds rather rude and inappropriate, doesn’t it?

    Other commenters wanted to make it sound like what happened was completely beyond the pale, and even though the AP pool report described the protest as “shouting” and how it was Ms. Obama who came over to talk to Ms. Sturtz, and so used pejorative terms like “screaming” and “in the First Lady’s face.” To hear it recast in these terms, you’d think Ms. Sturtz was completely unhinged and foaming at the mouth.

    Then I read the comparisons to Rosa Parks — which is rather ironic because even though Ms. Parks has been lionized by history, the real story from Ms. Parks herself was that she didn’t have a protest in mind at all. She was just dead tired and didn’t want to move. Nevertheless, her refusal stands as a milestone.

    I’ll be fair and say Ms. Sturtz’s protest was not like the protests of Gandhi’s movement, or as risky as facing fire-hoses and attack dogs. But it was still a protest. And while everybody’s arguing whether this was appropriate or not, whether it advances the cause of gay rights or not, nearly everyone is overlooking the actual demonstrable outcome: No matter where we are on the political spectrum, ENDA and President Obama’s failure to sign the Executive Order he promised to sign is being talked about as well.

    This is the core purpose of protests. Inconvenience, rudeness, bothering people who don’t want to be bothered, being seen, getting the cause into the news — this is how protesting works. This is its purpose, to be noticed. If Ms. Sturtz had stood up with a sign in the street outside the fundraiser, we wouldn’t even be talking about this because nobody would have noticed or bothered to report on it. Nobody.

    This is why an effective protest almost always includes some measure of inconvenience, some means of making a splash so attention is paid. And yes, pissing off people to some degree. During the Dubya administration, they tried to prevent this from happening by barring protesters from being anywhere near their political events. As I noted last night, Laura Bush faced protesters at some of her campaign events, including as reported in the Truthout story I linked, one woman who demanded to know why her son had to die in Iraq for nothing. Was it wrong for her to have done this? Was Laura Bush entitled a special immunity from protests because she was the President’s ‘family’?

    Anyway, it seems to me that much of the outrage going on here is coming from folks who don’t think our side should be protesting Dem leaders at all. That part is debatable, and I’ll come right out and say that given the myriad broken promises, I’ll side with the “yes, it’s appropriate” crowd.

  • ezpz

    I have a very simple, hypothetical question:

    If the president was a woman, would this question be asked – whether or not it’s okay to go after the president’s husband?

    Not a rhetorical question – I ask in earnest.

  • Zorba

    Yes. Tell that also to Martin Luther King, Jr., Medger Evers, Malcolm X, or Mahatma Gandhi, for that matter. None of whom were always willing to arrange a “proper protest,” according to StevyD.

  • Whitewitch

    After hearing a tape of the event – I have to say that the speaker heckeled at a very sensitive point in the FLOTUS’ speech and perhaps should have waited until a more appropriate break. Having been a protester myself – I can say that sometimes emotion gets away from us – the FLOTUS was speaking about children and protecting them, giving them a chance and perhaps this “heckler” felt as if this was also one area where children should be protected and give self-worth. Hard to say. I also felt it was a bit weird, but I don’t hang out with the wealthy at fundraisers.

  • ezpz

    Indeed it is.

  • Just some friendly advice: You might want to edit that last sentence.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I was making a joke.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Warmonger is an accurate term.

  • Protests are supposed to be at least somewhat disruptive, otherwise we might as well stand in ‘Free Speech’ cages a mile away from any cameras or notice.

  • Naja pallida

    You don’t have to put on regal airs to insert yourself into the political debate. You can’t step into the fight and then be surprised when you have to duck for cover. Besides… a YouTube video is, almost literally, the least the President could be doing for gay rights. It is not too much to ask that he make use of the powers granted to his office to show a little more backbone on things he professes to believe in.

  • Whitewitch

    Oh my – I didn’t even see that! Ooopss…

  • future_man

    Michelle Obama is not Nancy Reagan. When Rock Hudson died the Reagan’s ignored their friend. Barack is on You Tube with in an “It Gets Better” video.

    I don’t see Michelle putting on regal airs, do you?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Not another joke about my name! : )

  • Whitewitch

    Yes….just could not find the right word.

  • Whitewitch

    Exactly! Agreed!

  • Whitewitch

    I so want to agree with you Bill – sadly warmonger is such a strong term. I agree he has not done enough!!! And that he is “gambling” with the working class to win something – something I am not clear about. I can say I will not vote for Hillary and I often regret my vote for Obama.

  • FLL

    Social and political progress—attaining “a more perfect union”—is going to be messy, and when the wives of politicians wade into political waters like fundraising, they’re going to sometimes be caught up in political protest. I think your post, John, is really about deciding on the smartest strategy rather than any random strategy. Why not wait for the President himself to appear at a fundraiser and then let him have it with both barrels? The President is the one who promised an ENDA executive order; it wasn’t Michelle and it wasn’t the Republicans. The smartest strategy? People need to protest in Barack Obama’s face, and soon. By soon, I mean anytime after the Supreme Court finishes their current session at the end of the month, since all eyes are on the Supreme Court at the moment. After the end of the month, don’t even worry about Michelle. Let Barack have it right between the eyes.

  • Naja pallida

    As soon as I see them doing the same thing to biker gangs in leather, I might see it as a valid form of protest. Until then, it’s just picking on rich old ladies.

  • dula

    Sometimes you just gotta speak from the heart and not worry so much about micromanaging everything. Progress can be messy.

  • Zorba

    You know, I still do not think that this protest was inappropriate. If Michelle Obama had been at an elementary school, speaking to the kids about healthy eating and planting gardens, or at a State function receiving diplomats and Heads of State from other countries, or some such, then, yes, inappropriate.
    But this was a fundraiser, and by its very nature, fundraisers are political events.
    If, way back in the day, Lady Byrd Johnson had been at a fundraiser for the purpose of raising money for Democrats or LBJ’s political agenda, and if I had found myself at that fundraiser, then you can bet your ever-loving butt that I would have been shouting at Lady Byrd about the Vietnam War and demanding that her husband end it immediately.

  • Whitewitch

    Let each man/woman judge for themselves what group is a pack of “trolls” and which is speaking to power. This issue is different than animal activist throwing blood on furs which I equate to abortion clinic protestors. Just MHO of course…

    EDITED TO SAY – Sorry my down vote – missed the reply button – fixed now.

  • ezpz

    For the record, it wasn’t me who down-voted your comment.

  • Whitewitch

    “Or any rights for that matter”, “Or any rights for that matter”, and “Or any rights for that matter”!!! Sorry – I thought if I repeated it enough times it would get through the heads of those that thought her rude for defending the rights of each of us here, now!

  • lynchie

    don’t you mean spineless. I think he is classified as a jellyfish.

  • Whitewitch

    Double Like

  • Whitewitch

    Exactly – this is exactly what Mrs. Obama should have done and it is her behavior that was rude. When did the right to speak become only when it is polite and only when “given permission to speak”. That was in the military the rule – but we are a free state.

  • dula

    Tell that to Rosa Parks.

  • lynchie

    What the hell is a proper protest. This issue has been hanging around the evolving President since first elected. After 4 years frustration is setting in. He could sign an executive order but is never going to, yet got all twisted panty apologetic for the IRS legitimately look into all groups look for tax free status. When you are continuing to raise money and ask for votes the right to question what one is getting for the contribution has to be expected. I find the Michele’s reaction, childish. If you are a public servant and people don’t feel you are delivering on promises they have the right to ask why. The venue be damned.

  • Whitewitch

    I think the real question here is how did this one woman shoot anyone in the foot. She is speaking from her heart about something she feels strongly about. I doubt the FLOTUS went home and said “damn those LBGT people – they are off our christmas list”, anymore than I think any right-wing repub thought WOW those LBGT are really giving it to the President. Personally, I think that the FLOTUS did more harm that this one speaker, hey have her removed, but to confront her in the its either ME or YOU face-off just seems somehow, to me, distasteful. I voted for the President and am a life-long Democrate, but frankly heading toward 60 and seeing him willing to put more and more on the table for the Republican’s has me more afraid than when Bush was King.

  • ezpz

    Eh

  • Max_1

    Thus the rub…
    … The best way to oppress dissent is to encourage not trying it.

  • StevyD

    Rosa Parks was a true hero, placing herself against Jim Crow, segregation, second class citizenship, a racist municipality and a horrid but accepted way of life. Does this really compare to a woman rudely interrupting a speech given by a confirmed compatriot, in a space where Sturtz was not denied access or given segregated seating because of race, gender or sexual identity, and at an occasion supporting a political party that while needing to do more has been very supportive .

  • ezpz

    No, I was thinking of the ‘conversation’ we had on a different thread, and that you called me the t word. Sorry if I wasn’t clear, but that was deliberate. I thought you’d get it.

    I don’t think you’re a paid troll – or even a troll for that matter, regardless of what you think of me.

  • Whitewitch

    Ding ding ding!!!! Winner winner Chicken Dinner!

  • Monoceros Forth

    *laughs* Oh, dear, who’s supposed to be paying me? C’mon, out with it.

  • Whitewitch

    You are 100% correct – we would have cheered and spoken rudely about how Ms. Bush handled it. Just like we would have protested/objected/raised cain about the extension of the Patriot Act under Bush, or a myriad of things that we give a pass to this President on, that we would have screamed bloody murder over under Bush. I get it, I get it, loyalty and all that jazz (big jazz hands here)….albeit we maybe should not raise holy hell, we could still object when something bad, icky or distasteful is done…rather than looking the other way and ‘hoping’ for th best.

  • ezpz

    To compare this lady to PETA stretches the imagination to the point of contortion.

    I’m not surprised that you would think of PETA as “an association of professional trolls”. Ahem.

  • Whitewitch

    Wasn’t it a LGBT sponsored event? Sorry – maybe I am confused?

  • StevyD

    Politics like most pursuits is a game. People who don’t or refuse to play by the rules usually get ejected. Sturtz could have notified the press that she was staging a protest and stood outside with a placard expressing her point. Or she could have waited and asked a question at the end. These fundraisers are meant to raise money for the cause, candidate or party and most of the people who are donating money aren’t there to have their entertainment disrupted. Besides, if Sturtz was allowed to continue, what reason could be given to stop other citizens from interrupting, citizens such as Palin/Bachman/tea party wing-nuts. Sturtz was too lazy to arrange a proper protest, one that might have brought attention to the issue not the process, or created a formal discussion instead of a one sided broadside resulting in her rejection and ejection.

  • craigkg

    She was not acting in her capacity as First Lady at the fundraiser. She was acting in her capacity as the wife of the leader of the Democratic Party who happens to be the President. She was standing in her husband’s stead at a political function, not a state function. That is fair game in my opinion. If this were a ribbon cutting type, non-political event, such a heckling would be inappropriate and worthy of our condemnation. But at a political event where she is taking a non-state role, she is fair game to the criticism of her husband’s failure to issue the executive order, a promise he made during the campaign in 2007 to a Houston LGBT group that he, in 4+ years in office, has failed to fulfill.

  • Stu Smith

    Ms. Obama was at the event as a representative of the people who are currently refusing our rights. She was raising money for people who made promises to my community that they now refuse to honor. She came to raise money presenting herself as a supporter of LGBT rights, and was offended by an honest woman in the room pointing out that the individuals Ms. Obama chose to represent are the very people withholding those rights. You’ve condemned the “heckler” for pointing out that the emperor–or in this case the Empress–has no clothes. It sounds to me as if the “heckler” were the only forthright person in the room.

  • Monoceros Forth

    Does it matter if it’s described as “revolutionary” or “brave” as long as it’s getting attention?
    Well, yeah, it does. Take, for example, any of PETA’s stunts. All they succeed in doing these days is convincing people that PETA is a pack of lunatics. It’s “attention” they’re getting, I suppose, and since I’m pretty sure that PETA is an association of professional trolls I also suppose that they’re happy of the sort of attention they get, but it wins no hearts over to animal rights.

  • Whitewitch

    She was speaking at a fund-raiser, as someone above said – not reading to children or talking about health issues – she was at a fund-raiser that this person paid to attend and she was speaking to LGBT people…..so she is not safe. I do agree the children of a President should have be off-bounds.

  • ezpz

    Does it matter if it’s described as “revolutionary” or “brave” as long as it’s getting attention?
    After all, the issue is now front and center. Again.

    Had Ms. Sturtz not been “rude” to MO, I don’t think this would be the topic of conversation.
    Whether it will ‘change hearts’ remains to be seen, but to just dismiss it out of hand and even malign her, as some are doing, does not help at all, imo.

  • Naja pallida

    Every First Lady has had to weather political attacks; some on their own merits, some as a surrogate for their husbands. Even Martha Washington was often criticized for living too much like a queen, and being too lavish with hosting formal functions. As far as I’m concerned, if they insert themselves into the political debate, they’re just as valid of a target as anyone… but I don’t see such an attack as having any tangible effect, besides getting some press coverage. Which was really the goal. I think we’re falling for media-created diversion though, instead of talking about the real issue… that this President isn’t strong on gay rights. Or any rights for that matter.

  • Whitewitch

    It is not rude to address someone just because they don’t want to hear what you say….it is rude to step off the podium and get in someone’s face though…especially when one has contributed to the “progess movement”. Sadly, too often now all conversations are ONE-Way…the people do not get to participate – we only stand and listen and return to our jobs and hope for the best. WHEN was the last time a President, any President really listened to the people?

  • Whitewitch

    The President has already decided what his agenda is, and who/what he will do. He is not going to act out of spite…he is spiteless.

  • Monoceros Forth

    dcinsider points out that protest by its nature is uncomfortable and I have to agree with that. Arguing that Ms. Sturtz should not have spoken up at all because it wasn’t polite is a little like arguing that striking workers shouldn’t strike because it inconveniences people.

    On the other hand, my instinct rebels against the grandiose interpretation, proffered by so many commenters here, that Ms. Sturtz’s action was some sort of revolutionary act, the brave speaking of truth to power. I don’t think it was. It’s like standing outside a public event waving a sign saying that sinners must repent and believe in Jesus–an action that will win no converts and change no hearts, but it’ll make you feel good about yourself.

  • Max_1

    Sen sa tion al ism…
    … More ALWAYS sounds scarier.

  • ezpz

    “All depends if it was effective…”

    How can anyone know if something will be “effective” unless they try it?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Obama is not pro gay. He wants our money and votes and will play political games accordingly but that’s as far as it goes.

    Beyond that he’s a warmonger who brought death and destruction to the Arab and muslim world and to GIs, he’s killed a number of American citizens on a whim, he’s the worst union buster since Carter, and he’s planning on slashing Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.

    Obama, like the Clintons and Bush’s before him is the enemy of working people, the GLBT communities and world peace.

    Mass actions is much better than direct actions, but both have their place.

  • Bill_Perdue

    He done little and it doesn’t offset the harm he did in California in 2008 and later. In terms of equality Obama is a net negative.

  • All depends if it was effective. Though I have to admit, I do like that Eartha did that ;) But if I really had to sit down and think through whether it was effective, I’m not sure how I’d come out on it. It’s different to go with your gut, and to think through whether a particular form of protest truly advances the cause or not. And Vietnam was arguably a bigger thing – people were dying – than the ENDA executive order, regardless of how important ENDA is. So that might change the dynamics as well, or maybe not.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Not necessarily, he’s often critical of Obama and was downright scathing about B Clinton.

    My only major criticism of him is that, like Pam at Pam’s House Blend, he always criticizes Democrats but seems to go back for another beating at election time. I just don’t see the point of that.

  • Well, I suspect they’d say publicly that they were outraged.

  • Reportedly there were others in attendance as well, but only one heckled.

  • ezpz

    You can mince words all you want, but I’m thinking of these words:

    “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

    It doesn’t matter where it squeaks – as long as it squeaks.

  • matthewrettenmund

    Being a black woman who refuses to obey a law that demands she sit in the back of the bus was a very calculated and smart way to call attention to a social wrong in a way that would bring new people into the civil rights movement, and was civil disobedience at its finest. Heckling the First Lady, the wife of a pro-gay president (even if he hasn’t done this very important thing we all want) is not civil disobedience, it’s an uncivil and unwise tactic.

  • matthewrettenmund

    Very well thought out and reasonable. I think it was the wrong venue and wrong person. I don’t mind her reaction to the heckler, though. She said herself she doesn’t do “this” well, and with the unfair and vicious campaign to drag her husband’s administration through the mud via fake scandals from the right, I’m sure her last nerve is worked. To have someone from a group the president supports and has helped (is he 100% perfect in that regard? no, but still, he’s done and said a lot for us) heckle her probably just was too much for her at this moment in time. I think the reaction on the Internet should show GetEQUAL that they need to be smarter in their efforts.

  • smintheus

    It was a political event. She was standing in for her politician husband. Political events are always a good place to discuss political issues, especially civil rights. How could anybody get upset that a citizen spoke up for civil rights at a political event?

  • mpeasee

    …interesting point there….

  • Jonas Grumby

    Well, I mostly agree but the wife is pretty much always surrogate for the President, though I feel we may be just mincing words.

  • mpeasee

    Thanks for that link, it seem that John Aravosis doesn’t see the connection between this and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I would think this is way more important, It is out right discrimination against civil citizens. Sorry but I don’t understand his disconnect. Politicians are persuasive rhetorical liars; all of them, and they have to be pushed in order for you to get what you want. Money and disruption works to get your point across in this context.

  • Whitewitch

    I think I agree that with your one comment above “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.” This particularly holds true if they are raising money from said oppressed group. This ultra-politeness of the democrats has to be addressed. Sorry – wrong is wrong. And the FLOTUS should take some lessons from her husband about handling hecklers – ESPECIALLY if they have paid to have an “audience” with her. To me this smacked a bit of Ann Romney dealing with the little people.

  • dcinsider

    I have to admit, because it was hosted by a lesbian couple, I made some assumptions.

  • ezpz

    Rosa Parks was also considered rude – among other choice adjectives.

    Just saying…

  • pattyp

    I can understand why you thought that! The first article I read about the incident was the LA Times, which noted the topic was gun violence against kids. I’ve since looked at several other media sources but none of them are specific as to what was being discussed. So who knows if the LA Times is right or not. Maybe they just meant that’s what Mrs. Obama was talking about at the time she got heckled.

  • ezpz

    Ah, you answered my quasi question above. I thought it was an OFA fundraiser. Who can keep up, right?

    Then it WAS a political event, and as such, FLOTUS was definitely fair game.

    Rosa Parks was considered rude, too; yet had she been ‘polite’, civil rights, such as they are, would have taken much longer.

  • mpeasee

    Totally agree!

  • gratuitous

    I’ve been working this side of the street for ages, and here’s my two cents, offered for free and worth every penny:

    Do what you can to further your cause, whatever it is. Don’t do what you can’t.
    And don’t get in someone’s way just because you can’t or won’t do what that
    person does. If what they’re doing strikes you as ineffectual or
    counterproductive, re-double your own efforts. What are you going to do today
    to advance the cause of a more equal society? Okay, you’re all jacked out of
    shape because someone was rude or impolite asking to be treated like a human
    being. Do you agree with her goal, or disagree with it? If you agree with it,
    what are you going to do that is polite, and kind, and effective and
    productive?

    And why aren’t you doing it right now?

  • mpeasee

    …If she is in the arena of raising money with political aims, she is fair game. She was not reading to school children, giving gardening tips, or diet suggestions.

  • ezpz

    What I’d love to know is what the hell are all these fundraisers for? It seems they have at least one a
    day, sometimes more. What is the money being used for? I heard it’s not even for the Democrats, but for OFA. So what the heck is OFA? Yes, I know it stand for Organizing For Action, and its past incarnations were Obama For American, then Organizing For America, but what kind of “Action” are they raising money for? Of course, since they “organized” as a 501(C)4 non profit, social welfare organization, they don’t have to disclose donors.

    And yes, if FLOTUS is at a “social welfare” political fundraiser, she most certainly is fair game.

  • Butch Fries

    Why are you using the plural? It was a protester, not protesters….who heckled and then whined about incivility when she was confronted about it.

  • dula

    “…you risk him digging in his heels and not giving you what you want, just out of spite.”
    If only Obama would not give the GOP/rich what they want, just out of spite.

  • dcinsider

    I must have missed that. My understanding was that it was an LGBT fundraiser. It would have been beyond absurd that she would show up at an LGBT fundraiser and not be prepped on that issue.

  • pattyp

    Why would she have been briefed? The topic of the event was children killed by gun violence.

  • dcinsider

    And by the way, it took a lot of guts to do what she did, rude or not.

  • dcinsider

    It is not debate, you are correct, it is protest. Why isn’t everyone more upset about the content of the protester’s speech? After all, she raised a very valid point, and FLOTUS never addressed it.

  • nothardly

    Heckling is not a debate, it is a debasement. Since when does heckling
    equal discourse… of course we do have the bad behavior of congressmen
    and supreme court justices heckling Obama during speeches, something
    they never did to all the other white dudes who held the office. But, it
    is OK to do so now, cause, you know… Kenya.,

  • future_man

    I’m curious how hosts Karen Dixon and Nan Schaffer felt about what happened.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Democrats lacked all sense when they voted for Obama. Voting for Romney would have been just as bad. Mass action is the key to our success, voting for Democrats or Republicans has been a disaster.

  • Bill_Perdue

    M Obama was fundraising and asking for support for Obama’s program, which includes betrayal of his 2008 promise to sign an EO. http://www.metroweekly.com/poliglot/2012/04/white-house-eo-decision-fallout-time-is-right-for.html

    There’s nothing inappropriate calling her on that. What she was doing was entirely political.

  • Jonas Grumby

    Absolutely not. I felt the exact same about the Bush women/wives. Same with kids. The obvious exception is Hillary but that is, well, for obvious reasons. But the POTUS’s family … just no.

  • nicho

    When she’s acting as the president’s wife, people should leave her alone. When she’s acting as a politician, a member of the administration, and a surrogate for the president, she’s fair game. Any other position is incredibly sexist. If she’s acting as a politician, why should she be immune from criticism just because she’s a woman?

  • dcinsider

    I already left a lengthy post on the other story, but suffice to say that protest by its nature is uncomfortable. The First Lady was at a political event. The issue raised was perfectly legitimate, and should have been an issue she was briefed on before the event. Frankly, she should have said, “you know, please don’t interrupt me, but I’m glad you raised that issue, and let’s discuss that.”

    If this was Laura Bush, no one here would have been upset about it. In fact, it would have been widely applauded because it was a direct attack “on the enemy.” But when the attack is on a perceived friend, everyone gets idgy.

    The woman was rude, but she raised a legitimate point that by all accounts went unanswered by FLOTUS at the event, and remains unanswered by the Administration.

    GET Equal does this stuff, and it needs to be done. And, by the way, it worked because everyone is focused on it today. And if FLOTUS was not briefed about this before the event, you can bet her staff is looking into it today.

  • dula

    So you’re saying it was wrong for Eartha Kitt to lecture Lady Bird Johnson at a White House luncheon about the travesty of our kids dying in Vietnam?

  • Stev84

    GetEqual always lacked common sense in some of the things they did.

  • Drew2u

    Thought experiment, here: Say I just got fired from my job because on my lunch break my boss hears me say, “Love you, too,” as I hang up my cell phone and asks if it was a girlfriend or my mom I was talking to and I say, “No, it was my boyfriend.” With that firing I lose my health insurance, I now have to ration where I’m able to travel, figure out how much food I have to survive on, and figure out how long I can stay in my apartment without being evicted onto the street.
    Then I figure out I have the chance/ability/opportunity to speak to someone of great importance that could help stop firings like mine from happening but when I get there, it looks less like there’s going to be a chance to talk afterward.
    If the choice for me is going to be between becoming homeless – losing everything – or being ‘impolite’ at a fundraiser…

  • UncleBucky

    People may have strong feelings about an issue and they may also feel that it is important to deal directly with those who they think should be helping the issue more, but are perceived to not be doing so.

    This is what I mean about a lot of LGBTIQ protesters. I think that sometimes there has to be 3-D chess to be played, while others have literally shot our side in our collective foot.

    Sorry, but in February 2009 and going forward, I could not believe what I read and heard from our side. There was, in that short time, a lot of activity directed against the President and other Democratic people that was counter-productive. In a few short months, some people were already frustrated that “nothing had been done yet.” Please. Now this case is an extreme example, but it’s coming from the same irresponsible people who could wreck progress even while seeming to promote it. I think we could learn from this.

    Bottom line, the GOP/TPer party is much more organized than we are, in spite of the loonies that pop up in the whack-a-mole media reports. They have definite goals and generally put their ducks in a row. By contrast, our people (Left-wing radicals to Yellow-Dog Democrats) are not organized. That, of course, is the nature of the party. It’s inclusive. It’s bottom-up rather than top-down. All good. But we are sometimes too tolerant of those whose irresponsibility could wreck the whole thing.

    But sometimes, I wonder if those who are frustrated by the slow-motion dance of politics are more of a negative than a positive to our cause. I mean I’m annoyed at the Illinois General Assembly slow rate of progress for Equal Marriage. But why would I try to politically harm the people who are more on my side than the GOPers and fundies?

  • Buford2k11

    I agree with you John. Political function or not, we have seen any and all civility gone by the wayside…I know politics is like pro wrestling, but there still needs to be civility present in our public events…I for one, have been extremely supportive of the LGBT community, and the fight for being considered “human” with the same rights as the rest of our fellow citizens have…I won’t stop supporting LGBT because of this, but I will not feel any kind of sympathy for this lady…She may want to touch off a discussion, but by doing it this way, she has given the opposition much more ammo than before…And anyone “shy” about supporting LGBT will more than likely shy away from supporting their agenda.

  • Savage8862

    Mrs. Obama handled this completely wrong.
    Threatening to leave a DNC fundraiser because she was confronted by an
    angry donor. What she should have done, was say “this isn’t the place
    and let me invite you to speak to my people to arrange some sort of discussion but I thank you for you bringing it up.” Do not take us for granted Mrs. Obama. I am
    dismayed at the number of GLBT people who just lay down and accept the
    slow moving Democrats on certain issues. Apparently they don’t think
    that we should hold any of our so-called Democratic friends accountable.Especially those that think they are our unelected GLBT community leaders who do not want to rock the boat and damage their access. These types are more interested in the access rather the betterment of the community.
    Not me. Everyone is accountable.

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