"Michelle's back, and she's madder than ever," writes Joe Curl, columnist for the Washington Times, offering the latest in an ongoing series of right-wing broadsides against first lady Michelle Obama. The idea that the first lady is publicly and uncontrollably "angry" -- frequently alleged, never demonstrated -- has been kicked around in the conservative blogosphere since the early days of campaign '08 and is reasserting itself as the 2012 season revs up.
Curl, who frequently and hackishly psychoanalyzes the first lady from afar, asserts that Mrs. Obama "was already pretty angry, seemingly unhappy with just about everything," and offers this anecdote as evidence: "A few months into her job as first lady, her French counterpart asked how she liked the gig: 'Don't ask!' she reportedly spat. 'It's hell. I can't stand it!' " (That report, from a British tabloid's review of a book on Carla Bruni, was denied both by Bruni and Mrs. Obama.)
The citing of ill-sourced, flatly denied tabloid rumor, however, can be considered the high point of Curl's screed.
Curl writes that Mrs. Obama "is ready to spew her bilious disgust with America on the campaign trail," and "play the role of attack dog, heaping derision on her husband's political opponents." Here's his evidence of said "derision":
And it's already begun. Mad Michelle this week popped down to Davis Island, Fla., to hobnob with the very people her husband despises - the 1 percent. At a massive mansion on the bay, filled with the wealthiest of the wealthy, America's first lady launched into a tirade about "them" - the Republicans.
"Let's not forget about what it meant when my husband appointed two brilliant Supreme Court justices, and for the first time in history, our daughters - and our sons - watched three women take their seats on our nation's highest court. But more importantly, let's not forget the impact their decisions will have on our lives for decades to come - on our privacy and our security, on whether we can speak freely, worship openly and love whomever we choose. That is what's at stake here," she said to applause.
The first thing you'll notice is that not one syllable of Michelle Obama's so-called "tirade about ... Republicans" has anything to do with Republicans. You'll also notice that none of it is particularly bilious, disgusted, disgusting, or derisive.
Then there's this from-left-field injection of race, which is as baffling as it is unnecessary:
Oh, and they're rich and racist to boot. "Will we be a country where opportunity is limited to just the few at the top? Who are we? Or will we give every child a chance to succeed no matter where they're from, or what they look like or how much money their parents have. Who are we?"
That's right, rich people (white, of course) certainly don't want black people to succeed. They want to squelch success based on what people look like, how much money they have. "Are we going to let them succeed?" the first lady yelled. "Nooo!" the rich white people screamed.
The rest of the column continues in this vein -- unsupported invective and willful misinterpretation's of the First Lady's remarks as Curl struggles to give form to a grotesque caricature of Mrs. Obama. But transparent silliness and lack of factual basis have never been significant hurdles in the world of conservative commentary: already Curl's column is being promoted by Matt Drudge and Fox News.