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Monday, November 21, 2011

Disgusting, ugly Americans

By now I'm sure most of you, even if you're not Nascar fans, have heard that an audible portion of the crowd at Miami/Homestead Speedway booed Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden yesterday.

They were there as Grand Marshals, which in Nascar speak means you get to say "Gentlemen, start your engines."  The First and Second ladies were there to honor the troops and get out the word about their troop related causes, which is what First Ladies do.
Now, I know all about free speech and don't even try to sidetrack the discussion.  If you can picket a soldier's funeral, you can certainly boo the First Lady.  That doesn't mean that these "expressions" are not classless.  Since when do we as a country boo the First Lady?  Well, since Hilary Clinton was First Lady, that's when.  When the right boos the First Lady, it's a free speech issue; but if the left were to boo a First Lady, which I have never heard happen, then it would be unAmerican, unpatriotic, disrespectful.  Well, I submit to you that booing the First Lady is all of those things.

Now, let's be clear that I have nothing against Laura Bush.  I'm just using her as an example.  If it isn't alright to boo someone who negligently killed a young man in an auto accident as a teenager but wasn't punished due to her family's political influence, then it isn't alright to boo this First Lady just because she's a Democrat at best and, at worse, black.  Can't we in this country at least show enough class to not boo the First Lady?  President George W. Bush's policies, actions, lack of actions and words made the left in this country every bit as angry at him as the right is at President Obama but I never once heard his wife booed.  Why?  I can only mostly speak for myself but it's because we recognize who's The Decider and who isn't.  And honestly,  on the right there is no limit, no guideline, no civil restraint, no modulation.  Name five of the nastiest, most hateful political pundits you can think of, and they're all on the right and have enormous followings.

Lastly, I want to challenge Nascar to come out publicly and denounce this as unAmerican.  They won't because they'll claim to be apolitical but they're anything but apolitical.  If the same sanctioning body that shoves the American flag, the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance down your throat at every race doesn't come out and call this unpatriotic, they'll be showing you just exactly where they stand.  Again, these ladies were there to support the troops (supporting the troops, something the right claims to own exclusively) and yet they boo her.  As someone said to me, "They might as well have pissed on the flag" because booing her in this instance is booing her cause, the troops.

And an added note to the right, now that I've searched the net in an effort to see whether Nascar had condemned this and seen the internet exploding with a disgusting display of the right, in typical fashion, lying about how if it's fair to boo George Bush or Sarah Palin, it's fair to boo Michelle Obama.  Listen fucknucks, look at yourselves in the mirror and see what you've become -- how nasty, ugly, disgusting, trivial you are.  You'll say anything to defend your ugliness.  Booing someone who is running for public office is NOT the same thing.  And I won't even begin to address and certainly not give examples of some of the name calling directed at the First Lady that I saw on some very high profile right wing blogs.  Thank you for continuing to scratch a big ugly scar into what once was the most envied country on the planet.  You should be ashamed of yourselves but I know it's not in your DNA.  Good people have the capacity to look in the mirror and fairly judge their actions and feel remorse accordingly.  All I see from the right these days is a never-ending capacity for ugliness and hate in response to being called out.

UPDATE:  And now one of the ugliest Americans of them all has weighed in, saying the reason they booed the First Lady is because she's uppity and they don't like uppity.  That's not very well disguised, Rush.  I'm surprised you just didn't say the N word because that's exactly what you meant and exactly what your dittohead listeners heard.


Anonymous said...

This is one of the reasons why I prefer to watch F1, IndyCar or sports car racing. The fans ruined it for me.

DC Homer said...

Ugly Americans? Perhaps. But while it may be ugly, such expressions of free speech are absolutly "American." I agree that it's totally disrespectful to "boo" the First Lady, or the President of the United States. I used to call myself a "die hard" Democrat--I don't know if I consider myself a "Democrat" nowadays. That's not to say I'm leaning towards the right--absolutely not; I'm saying the polarization of our two-party system is wearing me down and I'm leaning strongly to being an independent. Now, what does that have to do with the subject of booing the First Lady? I think the booing is more of an indictment on our system of politics that forces us into either the Republican (right) or Democrat (left) camps. Our displeasure with "this" or "that" seems to be bracketed by whether we're "leftist" or "rightist."

I do not want to believe a NASCAR crowd is inherently racist, or that their boos were dipped in racism, and although I'm sure some in the stands wretch at the idea of a Black President, I'm not going to broadbrush the whole NASCAR community that way. I believe many of those who booed her were actually booing President Obama--vicariously through his wife and Mrs. Biden. I do not believe they were booing their "support the troops" effort. They were probably booing his health care plan....his jobs proposal....his lack of enthusiasm for our "cause" in Iraq/Afghanistan....his handling of the economy....corporate bailouts....or any of his efforts to date...pick one.

I live in the Washington, DC, area, and I'm a born native of DC, and I've witnessed many occassions where both Democratic and Republican Presidents, their wives, their cabinets, aides, assistants, and even their cooks, were booed by the collective DC crowd. I didn't hear the boos of Michelle Obama in Miami, but I'll bet they were not nearly as loud as the boos George W. Bush received from Washington Nationals fans as he threw out the first pitch on opening day in 2008 ( was there and the boos were deafening. As a democratic-leaning American at the time, and a former Marine, I was very (very) uncomfortable being the only one who clapped for the "President."

But Nationals fans won't let themselves be themselves! They booed President Obama with equal gusto as he threw out the first pitch on opening day in 2010 ( Some argue that most of the boos were because Obama wore a Chicago White Sox cap as he threw that pitch, but if you watch the video, he got a good dose of boos as he walked out on the field, and didn't put on the cap until a few moments later.

My point, it is disrespectful to boo our President, and it's just plain mean to take out our politial frustrations on his family (as Democratic Washington used to love to do against Bush's daughters). But it's not necessarily "unAmerican" to do so. In fact, the history of our country is founded on the fact that we pretty much take pride in booing every head of state in the world, including ours.

Now, if we get to the point of throwing shoes at Michelle Obama, that will be taking things too far!!

P.S. As for Rush Limbaugh's penchant for race baiting.....well, fuck him! (....where's my shoe?)

Zebster said...

Great comment, G, and point well taken (and you should have a blog to put stuff like that puts mine to shame). The key comment to my point was that the only two First Ladies I'd heard booed were Hillary and Michelle. If I'm wrong about that, then my bad. I do feel the First Lady should be off limits. I've always been an Independent. Yes, left leaning and, you're right, in this environment it mostly forces me to side with the Dems, even though there's plenty about them that piss me off as well. I too have never booed a President, even W who I felt was a criminal. I respect the office and booing serves no end. So based on your comment, I'll take back the unAmerican comment, though it's unfortunate in my eyes that booing is American.

Frances said...

What political connections did Laura Bush's parents have? She wasn't born 'Laura Bush', She was Laura Welsch, Her mom was a housewife who did minor book keeping for her husband's business and her father was a loan officer turned small business owner. Neither carried any political clout. Laura Bush was a librarian before she married George W.

From what I've read she was most likely distracted by a friend in the car and ran a stop sign. I suppose this counts as negligent, but they declined to prosecute her because A.) she was sober and they couldn't prove her negligence in any other way and B.) she was young and had her whole life a head of her. Most for the former in my opinion.

This is coming from a long time liberal. I hate to see people spout off hearsay as fact with no citations.

Zebster said...

Frances, thanks for reading. My post was about booing First Ladies, and that would include Laura Bush. I just made an offhand comment that if they didn't boo Laura, etc.
Everything I've read indicates that Laura's father was a "successful" local businessman. There are no records left of what, if any, investigation was done related to her running a stop sign at 50mph. I agree there's no official investigation but there's lots of innuendo that she may have been drinking and that there was a settlement.
again, I wasn't condemning Laura Bush but raving about the fact that people have no class booing any First Lady, unless she's giving a political speech.