There I was, having a fine week of venting some righteous indignation about President Obama’s economic policies and diplomatic gaffes, when others who oppose everything to do with both Obama’s administration and his family force me into cursing them rather than lighting a candle in the darkness. Andrew Malcolm posted a story about First Lady Michelle Obama showing up at a DC homeless shelter to serve meals to the needy, and it’s resulted in a particularly ugly response.
First, appearances such as this can be tricky. High profile people such as members of the first family have to be careful when and where they show up to offer assistance. George W. Bush attracted a lot of attention when going to hand out water to hurricane victims in Florida in 2004. What many media outlets didn’t report was that his Secret Service brigade shut down traffic and wound up delaying delivery of relief, causing more harm than good. But in this instance, having Michelle Obama serve up a few meals to the homeless seems to be a harmless activity designed to draw attention to the plight of those in the greatest need of help.
A different Michelle – Malkin by name – decided to take this opportunity to cast stones on the effort and focus on the fact that somebody at the shelter had a cell phone.
Via Andrew Malcolm, here is one of the homeless cell phone owners snapping a pic of First Lady Michelle Obama — ruining what was supposed to be a sob story photo op of the compassionate Mrs. O catering to the downtrodden.
Despicable. There’s simply no other word for it. So there was somebody there with a cell phone. Alex Koppelman at Salon points to an even more evil spirited person, but points out some of the pertinent questions about Malkin’s awful comments and questions.
A couple key points here: First, as far as I can tell, none of these people even know whether the man in the photo is homeless. True, he was at the shelter and he appears to be standing in line, but that was, after all, the best vantage point for taking that photo. He could just as easily have been a volunteer at the shelter or a completely unrelated person who’d heard Obama was there, and no one complaining about the photo can prove otherwise, I don’t think.
I’ll go a bit further than Alex. Frankly, I don’t care if the one individual with the cell phone is homeless. If so, is that the best use for their limited funds? I’m sure it’s not. But that doesn’t mean that plenty of other people in dire straights aren’t getting a badly needed meal there. And the First Lady seems to be doing no harm, but rather bringing a brighter spotlight to a situation in need of resources and people in distress.
Michelle Malkin is simply a nasty, partisan hack if she feels that this is a good use of her time or a valid route for her hyperpartisan bitterness over Obama’s electoral victory. Surely there are better issues for so called conservatives to focus their efforts on. This is yet another example of why crude, partisan hackery adds nothing to the nation’s political discourse.
UPDATE: Yes, to my regular comment and e-mail correspondents. I’m well aware that Malkin owns Hot Air, which I read and link to regularly. A mean, nasty person can send a check to a good charity once in a while, too. That doesn’t make them any less mean or nasty.
UPDATE 2: My apologies to T-Steel and others who have already written on this, but I haven’t been on the site for several hours. Then again, this is an ugly enough story that I’d still have written on the subject anyway.