Michelle’s proclamation, &c.

Michelle Obama speaks at a White House reception, March 8, 2012.


Said Michelle Obama, “This president has brought us out of the dark and into the light.” Whoa. I’m all for being enthusiastic about your candidate. I’m even more for being enthusiastic about your spouse.

But if a Republican first lady had said that — do you think we’d be hearing cries of “theocracy” and whatnot? Shouldn’t Michelle’s kind of talk be reserved for . . . like the Messiah?

Anyway . . .

Over the years, I’ve observed President Obama’s little bumbles: the “Austrian” language, 57 states, “corpseman,” etc. I don’t really care. We all make mistakes. The double and triple standards of the press are what bothers me. Reagan, Quayle, W., Palin — they could get away with nothing. Were forgiven nothing.

So, Obama has now referred to the Malvinas as the Maldives. No big deal. But I was perplexed by this statement in the Telegraph: “Barack Obama made an uncharacteristic error, more akin to those of his predecessor George W Bush.” A) I’m not so sure the error was uncharacteristic of Obama. B) I don’t recall Bush’s making errors of that nature. Do you?

C) An American president should not be calling those islands the Malvinas anyway. We should stand with our British allies, who in any case are in the right: “the Falklands.”

I wish to quote something from a Michael Barone column: “His experiences in university neighborhoods and Chicago politics have apparently left Obama ignorant that there are intellectually serious arguments against liberal policies. So when presented with such arguments by [Paul] Ryan and others, he scowls, calls people names, and does the intellectual equivalent of stamping his feet.”

Yes, exactly. Barone continues, “Someone needs to tell him that combining arrogant condescension with intellectual shoddiness is not a winning political tactic.”

Let’s hope not (is all I can say).

Did you read that North Korea’s new dictator gave a speech? He did. And I was surprised to learn the following fact, from an Associated Press report: “His father, late leader Kim Jong Il, addressed the public only once in his lifetime.”

Wow. That kind of taciturnity outdoes even Calvin Coolidge. And yet Kim Jong Il apparently got reelected over and over . . .

News from West Virginia — Martinsburg, in particular. They have put up a pedestal for a new sculpture of Adam Stephen, the Revolutionary War general who founded the town. But a local artist wants modern art, not a traditional monument — so, in protest, he placed something else on the pedestal: a toilet.

Isn’t that the sort of “art” that wins the Turner Prize and all? For an AP report on the matter, go here. And you remember what Andy Warhol said: “Art is what you can get away with.”

In this Age of Obama, we’ve been chewing over some fundamental questions: a classical-liberal society, a more social-democratic society. One of the things we classical liberals have been saying is: All the innovation that America has been responsible for? It will dry up, if we allow the government to grow too big, too domineering, and too confiscatory.

I thought of this when reading about a penny — an American penny from 1792, which fetched $1.15 million at auction. On the front side, the penny depicts Liberty and calls her the “Parent of Science & Industry.”


A friend sent me an e-mail with the Subject line, “Stasi in Vermont?” He was driving in that beautiful state and saw an official vehicle marked “State Security.” He attached a photo.

I’m sure it’s all very innocent, but, for heaven’s sake: unfortunate naming.

I want to tell you about a trip to Minnesota, but first, I want to jot one Broadway note. My cousin and I went to Memphis the other day. There’s a lot to commend. But I can’t commend this: While celebrating the music of Beale Street, the show puts down Perry Como. Beale Street, cool; Perry Como, very un-.

Actually, Perry Como was very good at being Perry Como. And Beale Street was very good at being Beale Street (and perhaps still is). Each is outstanding in those separate genres. You don’t need to put down one in order to praise the other.

Why do people do that, every day, in a thousand different ways? Must be something ingrained . . .