Yesterday Republicans were up in arms over Michelle Obama’s alleged proclamation that she was only proud of her country because her husband was running for president. This was the quote they used:

“For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country,” she told a Milwaukee crowd today, “because it feels like hope is making a comeback.”

Naturally, the reaction on the Right was horror, horror, horror, that Michelle could make such a narcissistic statement. How could she only be proud of her country now that her husband is running for president?

Hot Air:

Only her husband’s run for president has made her proud of America? That’s…extremely narcissistic and self-centered.

Kathryn Lopez at NRO:

One wonders what Michelle Obama thought of America before he husband’s presidential campaign. Maybe the Obamas do take after the Clintons. It’s all about them too.

Victor Davis Hanson was also incensed that such an accomplished person wouldn’t be grateful that she was allowed to get so far:

I wrote not long ago that Michelle Obama is a loose cannon, and I fear that her latest is not her last. I would have thought that two Ivy-League degrees, a joint income of about a million dollars, exclusive private schools for the kids, and a nice home in the suburbs were not so bad and might suggest that hope had made a comeback well before Barack’s presidential run.

The tone of Hanson’s post is that he is almost personally offended that the Obamas aren’t on their knees thanking America for those Ivy League degrees and upper class incomes. Yeah, because the Obama’s didn’t earn those Ivy League degrees and incomes, they just got them because white folks were nice enough to share.

Shorter conservatism: If you’re rich it’s because you’ve earned it, unless you’re black, in which case you got it because of affirmative action and maybe because white people felt sorry for you. Unless you’re Clarence Thomas, who is the world’s greatest silent jurist.

Derbyshire chimes in later, attacking Michelle’s interests at Princeton:

Now here’s Michelle Obama in the current Newsweek cover story. She graduated from Princeton in 1985 with a major in sociology and a minor in African-American Studies. Sociology, huh? At first sight that’s encouraging — I mean, at least she didn’t spend her entire college career obsessing about her blackness. Then Newsweek tells us the title of her senior sociology thesis: “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community.” (I have this mental image of her thesis adviser saying: “Michelle, isn’t there some way we can squeeze another ‘black’ into that title?”)

God forbid a black person be interested in their own community, as opposed to say, swooning over the imperialist rationalizations of Rudyard Kipling.

It should come as no surprise that Derbyshire, who likes his black and Latino women competing for the honor of cleaning his toilet bowl rather than helping their husband run for president, is offended by an outspoken black woman. But still, there’s more:

Maybe I’m jaded, but I really need persuading that when I look at Barack Obama, I’m not just seeing Al Sharpton minus the pompadour and the attitude.

Translation: Don’t be fooled, all black people think the same even if they don’t talk alike or have perms, and even if they’ve attended Ivy League Schools.

In any case, all of the above had one thing in common: They had all misquoted Michelle Obama to make their point. The place where the quote originated, the Boston Globe’s “Political Intelligence” blog, had posted half the quote with a snarky title in typical Drudge-baiting fashion. Ben Smith quoted what was posted there at Politico, and everything snowballed from there.

Hours later, the full quote was up. Still later, there was an update acknowledging that the full quote had not been posted.

“For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country,” she told a Milwaukee crowd today, “and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”

I’m not sure what Michelle Obama meant, but being a black person with privilege and access often makes you more aware of American inequality, not less, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s what Michelle was referring to. Try living in say, New Orleans or Newark for a few years and see how proud of your country it makes you.

The full quote (the reporter seems to have quoted Michelle Obama mid sentence, since what was once a comma is now a period) literally says she is not proud “just because her husband is running for president.” After emailing briefly with Ben Smith, he corrected his original item, while the folks at Hot Air and NRO didn’t.

If you have to cut a quote mid-sentence to make a point, you don’t have a point.

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