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All the (First) Ladies in the (White) House Say ‘Gay’

Soon-to-be First Lady Michelle Obama turns 45 this weekend, and you have to say her husband’s given her a hell of a birthday present. Michelle’s no-nonsense style, grace, commitment to being a mother and fist-bumping skills have already put her in the running for the title of coolest First Lady since Jackie-O. And the gays? We love her.

First Ladies have always had a special relationship with the gay & lesbian community, and it’s more than just a love of pill box hats and pearls that connect them to us; many have spoken out or reflected on our issues, even while their husband’s sit silently by.

As Michelle prepares to take on the conflicting roles of a non-political figure of state, advocate for do-good causes and mother, she’s probably looking back at previous women who’ve held the position and trying to figure out just what sort of First Lady she’d like to be. We have a hunch that Mrs. O will reshape the office as much as her husband is likely to remake his, but if she’s going to have any chance of becoming a popular drag queen role, she’s going to have to make her mark. Let’s take a look at the nice old white biddies who have come before her and see how they did it.

 


Mary Todd Lincoln
The first First lady to have any gay appeal whatsoever is Mary Todd, who, as Sufjan Stevens put it, “went insane, but for very good reasons.” Sorry, Dolley Madison, better luck next time! Beyond the long-standing speculations that husband Abe enjoyed the company of men (Brief diversion: The whole basis for this rumor is that he wrote affectionate flowery letters to his roommate, whose bed he shared—though both of these thing were fairly common for Victorian men to do. Judging people by current cultural standards may be fun, but it makes for misleading history), Mary Todd was incredibly into the arts and was basically the most popular girl in Springfield when Lincoln first met her.

In the White House, she had the nickname ‘the hellcat’ for her temper and wit, lavishly redecorated the executive mansion with Victorian bric-a-brac (infuriating her husband) and befriended a former slave, Elizabeth Keckly, who after a falling out with the First Lady, wrote one of the nation’s first tell-alls, Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty years a slave, and four years in the White House.

Lesson for Michelle: The Keckly book scandal centered on Mary Todd’s lavish expenses, which were inappropriate in wartime. Michelle faces similar challenges, with the country at war and the economy in ruins. She would be wise to fight off similar criticisms by keeping renovations and personal style modest, though considering the fact that she’s comfortable wearing J.Crew, this is hardly a problem. Also, avoid laudanum.

 


Eleanor Roosevelt
Barack Obama’s presidency keeps drawing allusions to that of FDR, but it’s doubtful Michelle will be confused with Eleanor anytime soon. For one thing, Michelle is not bisexual, so far as we know. Eleanor’s relationship with reporter Lorena Hickok is well documented, (she once wrote Hicock, “I want to put my arms around you & kiss you at the corner of your mouth.”), but if anything, it was FDR’s fault that Eleanor looked for love elsewhere. An affair with his secretary in 1918 irreparably damaged their relationship and while the couple, both political powerhouses, continued to care for each other throughout Franklin’s life, Eleanor forged her own path.

Lesson for Michelle: The demands of politics were both the wedge and the uniting force behind FDR & Eleanor’s relationship. Like Eleanor, Michelle is outspoken and has her own life outside of her husband, but the First Couple will have to work hard to keep their relationship alive with the demands of the nation hanging over them.

 


Jackie Kennedy
In a contest for most iconic First Lady, Jackie-O wins hands down. She transformed the White House into a showplace for style and the arts, rescued it from years of tacky remodels and established that its furnishing belonged to the nation, rather than to its occupants. She managed to be Euro chic and democratic at the same time, by opening the White House to all, through tours, television appearances and publications, deftly deflecting any criticism in the process.

But all of this pales in comparison to the way she reacted to her husband’s assassination. More than any government official could, her grace and calm held a shocked and bereaved nation together.

Lesson for Michelle: If there is one First Lady Michelle reminds us of the most, it’s Jackie-O. They both are young and vital people who will be raising children in a hot box and they both have tremendous personal grace. Michelle could take a cue from Jackie in terms of style. Don’t be afraid to make the White House a chic place to be, girl! More importantly, Jackie’s decision to make the White House the People’s House is a fantastic template for the next First Lady, whose husband’s mantra is transparency and personal involvement in politics. Americans are going to rethink energy usage and environmental sustainability in their own homes these next few years. Michelle, by transforming the White House into a green and sustainable place, can show the way.

 


Betty Ford
Beyond inspiring Betty Ford Bingo Night both at home and abroad, Betty Ford was the closest thing the White House has ever had to a true counterculture presence. She spoke sympathetically about marijuana use, candidly about abortion and fervently about women’s rights– and her husband was a Republican!

Of course, it’s Betty Ford’s battle with alcohol and the creation of the Betty Ford Center that first comes to mind when people think of Betty, who’s still kicking at 90. Sure, the Betty Ford Center’s the final chapter of every Hollywood starlet’s self-made drama, but its creation helped the country understand that alcoholism is a real disease, as well as inspire gay bingo nights.

Lesson for Michelle: Be open and honest. Even though Betty spoke her mind, her approval ratings never dipped below 75%, higher than her husband’s. People respect honesty and openness.

 


Nancy Reagan
While people are still arguing over Reagan’s response to the AIDS crisis, Nancy famously took time to meet gay men who were suffering from AIDS-related Karposi’s sarcoma. Like Jackie, Nancy made such an indelible mark on the nation’s psyche that she need only be mentioned by first name to be recognized. She suffered from Out-of-Touch Shopaholic Syndrome and critics lambasted her for her expensive dresses and on-call astrologer Joan Quigley. Your editor remembers being in 5th grade and a nice man coming in to talk to the class. The presenter pulled out a plexiglass sealed case filled with every kind of drug imaginable and explained what each one looked like and its effects and when Mom asked what we learned at school that day, I told her all about the differences between crack and angel dust, all thanks to Nancy’s “Just Say No” campaign.

Lesson for Michelle: Don’t be too Hollywood. We expect First Ladies to be charming and gracious, but when they start to believe their own fairy-tale princess act, they just wind up seeming hopelessly out of touch with reality.

 


Barbara Bush
The Frau Blucher (neigh!) of First Ladies, Barbara Bush was the closest thing the White House has had to a resident diesel dyke. While we respect that she publicly said that she thought Geraldine Ferraro was something that “rhymes with rich,” we still can’t over the fact that she said that watching news of the Iraq war and “seeing body bags” would be something she wouldn’t want to “waste my beautiful mind” on and that, for displaced residents of Katrina, living in Houston was “working very well for them.” Fuck you, lady. She also reared our soon-to-be-gone-forever President, so basically, she’s unforgivable.

Lesson for Michelle: If Malia and Sasha get out of line, threaten them that you’ll have Barbara Bush come over to babysit.

 


Hillary Clinton
Billed as a “two-for-one” special, Hillary & Bill came into the White House with the promise of restoring Camelot, but ultimately brought all of the scandal without any of the style. Wags liked to say that Hillary was a lesbian because she was politically-minded and wanted a seat at the policy table, but after her disastrous attempt at health care reform blew-up in her face, she began focusing on less controversial children’s health issues. Hillary in many ways was her own worst enemy– other first ladies had tackled important issues before, but Hillary’s abrasive style could turn-off even her most ardent supporters.

Ironically, it was her husband’s affair with intern Monica Lewinsky that put Hillary’s image on the road to recovery. While she once joked that she was not the heroine of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man,” she did just that and the nation began to realize what a dick we had collectively been to Mrs. Clinton. Hillary worked to soften her image and garner mainstream appeal throughout her Presidential campaign, but discovered her populist voice too late in a process she presumed to have in the bag. Still a political animal, Hillary is unique among first ladies in perusing a political career distinct from her husband’s, and she’s been as strong an advocate of gay & lesbian rights as you can expect of a mainstream Dem these days.

Lesson for Michelle: You’re Barack’s partner, but stay far far away from policy discussions. And if you do have political ambitions, we’ll probably elect you.

 


Laura Bush
As much as we hate her husband, Laura Welch Bush has managed to get in good with the gay community, having publicly opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment which would outlaw gay marriage and saying “”I don’t think it should be used as a campaign tool, obviously…It requires a lot of sensitivity to just talk about the issue — a lot of sensitivity.” Everyone knows she’s smarter than her husband and her silence as he’s flushed the country down the toilet has made her an enigmatic cipher. In 2003, Tony Kushner penned the beginnings of a play, Only We Who Guard The Mystery Shall Be Unhappy, that featured the First Lady, a former school teacher, reading books to a classroom of dead Iraqi children. Unless her rumored book deal changes the game, her legacy is likely to be a nation collectively asking, “Why nice lady, why oh why did you marry that man?”

Lesson for Michelle: If you’re really, really boring and smile a lot, people will leave you alone.

By:           Japhy Grant
On:           Jan 15, 2009
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 35 Comments
    • Two Ladies in Waiting
      Two Ladies in Waiting

      The “lessons” are excellent. Very funny.

      I would only also note that Michelle does not want a creepy whispery baby voice like Jackie Kennedy. So beautiful in photographs, so disconcerting in audio.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 9:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • REBELComx
      REBELComx

      At least Jackie didn’t sound like her Venture Bros. counterpart, Dr. Girlfriend. THAT would have been disconcerting.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 10:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark
      mark

      The Barbara Bush piece had me laughing so hard my eyes teared up…THANKS!

      Jan 15, 2009 at 10:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChristopherM
      ChristopherM

      It has also always been said that Babs pushed W. over her far more capable son Jeb, so she is even more to blame than for simply raising the imbecile.

      The Warren incident has taken some of the shine off her husband, but I do adore Mrs. O.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Flex
      Flex

      I haven’t seen an outfit that pops on Michelle Obama until I saw the picture above. She looks stunning in white, from head to toe. In my opinion, architecture has a dramatic influence on how we dress. She cannot live in the white house without being affected by its physical charm. She could be the coolest, and most gracious, first lady, ever. She must forget the JCrew. She deserves designer down, from head to toe, and so do we.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 10:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CitizenGeek
      CitizenGeek

      I really do like Laura Bush, actually. Though, of course, Hillary Clinton is my favourite First Lady of all time, because – you know – she’s a bona fide gay icon. I can see Michelle Obama becoming a gay icon very, very soon too!

      Jan 15, 2009 at 11:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JH
      JH

      Japhy
      You are wrong about the complete basis of Lincoln’s alleged homosexuality and ought to know about the published scholarship. The most thorough treatment is by Kinsey’s research assistant C.A. Tripp called ” The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln”.
      It is very well researched, presents opposing points of view, and leaves conclusions to the reader. His entire life is marked by repeated series of infatuations and intimate arrangements with men. Certainly uncustomary male love was part of it, not only typical victorian behavior. Great reading. Your dismissive line above is beneath your standards.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 12:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JH
      JH

      ps: it most certainly was not customary for adult men to share the same bed for 7 years – which is what Lincoln and his ‘roommate’ did. It was highly unusual. FYI

      Jan 15, 2009 at 12:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Japhy Grant
      Japhy Grant

      @JH: I have read ‘The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln’ and I think it’s mostly bunk, as do most respected Lincoln historians. The fact that Tripp’s own former co-author called him ‘a fraud’, is probably worth noting.

      The whole Is Lincoln a Homosexual debate is one my personal bugbears, actually. I’d recommend “Lincoln’s Melancholy’ for a more nuanced perspective of Lincoln’s relationships with men.

      That said, I love that I get to come to work and have conversations like these with readers.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      Kinda funny. Barbara Bush is the ultimate Disney Villain!

      What you glossed over with former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is that she was a twice elected New York Junior Senator and incoming Madame Secretary of State and finished almost evenly with President-Elect Barack Obama in the Democratic Primaries inspiring future young girls to “Crack the highest ceiling in the Nation.” She was a Great New York Senator, especially after 9/11 when Mayor Giuliani was running out of collapsing buildings while first responders were running in and a President who did not bother to read Daily Terror Threat Memos.

      We survived 9/11 thanks to her Star Power and sheer hard work in working across the partisan divide in Congress and tirelessly advocating for the victims and families of September 11th, 2001. You also wrote of Eleanor Roosevelt that she “forged her own path” when in fact she was a trailblazing former First Lady who became US Ambassador to the United Nations.

      I guess all that brainiac stuff isn’t so sexy to the Next Top Model types. Whether you like subservient Laura “Crazy Eyes” Bush, Nancy “Astrologer says bomb Iran” Reagan or every queen’s favorite, Jackie O Kennedy who’s most famous dress was blood-splattered, it is the pioneering First Ladies who will provide a role-model to Barack’s Law firm Mentor and soul-mate, Michelle Obama; hopefully a future Madame President on her own accomplishments and not to be shackled by everyone’s Monday-style quarter-backing. I actually liked her “Black Widow” dress at the Democratic Convention.

      Let’s just hope the words we don’t hear in the White House are:

      “Not the Nancy Reagan Chandelier!”

      Hillary Clinton/ Michelle Obama 2016!

      Jan 15, 2009 at 12:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Japhy Grant
      Japhy Grant

      @seitan-on-a-stick: Hey Seitan– You’re absolutely right. I focused mainly on their career’s as First Ladies and not the often notable things they did after like in the White House– since you know, the piece is already pretty long.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 12:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JH
      JH

      I think you as a history arbiter is bunk. Saying the entire case i based on flowery letters to hi roommate is imply false. Tripp did a better job researching this than anyone, and if you think two grown men sleeping in the same bed for years was normal, you obviously don’t know history. You’d do better to mention the book you think is good, than put out your own opinion as if it was fact. It is not. You don’ speak for ” Most Lincoln Historians” who have commercial and academic interests to protect. I think Tripp makes a good case, explains the historical environment and like works on Whitman, are excellent, serious scholarship to read. ( there is one called ‘Love Letters’ that is very good ) I do think the Lincoln case can be interpreted either way, but it is not at all cut and dry, and his behavior was unusual with men. No one has done more research on this than Tripp and he separates it from his conclusions. You are not a serious scholar and might want to show respect for those who are.
      I think your opinion is bunk. This is your level of discourse? Bunk? It speaks for itself. I recommend the book to anyone interested to get the historical facts, and not content themselves with your bunk. An editor foisting his bugbears is not why I read Queerty.
      Pre-gay research of historical forms of male love, its expression and form, is hard to come by, and Tripp’s work is a contribution. Keep your bugbears to yourself and be more professional about others’ work. You do a dis-service to gay scholarship.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 12:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Japhy Grant
      Japhy Grant

      @JH: Oh, I didn’t mean to start a fight with you. You asked me why I brought up Lincoln’s homosexuality (which is tangential to this piece) and I shared with you my opinion (hello, blogger) and pointed you in the direction of whence my opinion came. I think readers can pick up both books and come to their own conclusions and if they side with one or the other, as I have, I won’t consider it ‘disrespectful’ to the scholar presenting the opposing viewpoint.

      I really do think Tripp’s book is bunk and poor scholarship, but I also pointed out that his own former co-author– a serious scholar– said so as well.

      Here’s part of what he wrote:

      “The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln reaches far beyond the merely dubious. The book is a hoax and a fraud: a historical hoax, because the inaccurate parts are all shaded toward a predetermined conclusion, and a literary fraud, because significant portions of the accurate parts are plagiarized–from me, as it happens.

      Tripp and I intended to be coauthors of the book, laboring together on the project from 1995 to 2000–when our partnership, already fissured by dueling manuscripts, came to a bitter end. We quarreled constantly over evidence: I said the Gay Lincoln Theory was intriguing but impossible to prove; he said it was stone-cold fact.

      More advocate than historian, Tripp massaged favorable indicators (Lincoln’s early puberty), buried negative ones (Lincoln’s flirtations with women), and papered over holes in his story with inventions (Lincoln’s law partner and biographer William Herndon never noticed the homosexuality because he was an extreme heterosexual and thus afflicted with “heterosexual bias”).”

      You can read the rest here: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/107koqzy.asp

      I’m not a serious scholar, but I know a specious argument when I see one. Just because I don’t respect Tripp’s work doesn’t mean I’m anti gay-historical scholarship. My bookshelf is full of great reads and like any lover of history, I have an opinion– and like every blogger, I share it. You’re welcome to dissent, but don’t argue that I have no right to my opinion or that I’m unqualified to comment.

      Everyone can comment. That’s why we have this site.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 1:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • petted
      petted

      I live in Texas, Laura ranks up there with Barbara – which is to say nauseating.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 1:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JH
      JH

      sounds like you and the canned co-author both have an axe to grind… glad I am here to balance your lack of balance. Beware the bugbears! Glad I called you on your bunk. I will suspect more of your comments in the future knowing you place yourself above serious researchers and don’t mention them unless called on it.
      Forewarned is forearmed. As I said, no one has done the amount of research Tripp did. No one. Better to judge for oneself, rather than rely on Queerty. I am a serious scholar, and applaud Tripp’s work mostly for the excellence of the research. As I pointed out, the book contains a forward presenting the opposing view – something you do not -and you confuse interpretations from the historical research. So you fancy that your interpretation of Lincoln’s early puberty is more authoritative than sex researcher Tripp? Hmmm. Surely if you insist on your own bogus less-researched conclusions, you should be less quick to trash his very well researched conclusions, whether you agree with them or not. I didn’t find the book conclusive, but found the research excellent. Much real information from which to base an opinion. Added up, all the incidents in Lincoln’ life indicating his love for men become too large a pile to sweep away with historical norms. His behavior was not common, and requires some explaining. It is not an incident and a letter or two. It is a lifetime of incidents and relationships. Shame on you for suggesting it is not worth exploring. It is.

      ahem? Weekly Standard? Let’s see if we can always guess what they will say or not?

      Jan 15, 2009 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael Bedwell
      Michael Bedwell

      First, a couple of addenda/corrections re Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary.

      ER’s legend is not just because of what she did after being First Lady, but actually more for what she did when First Lady, all the more remarkable for the time period. Among many issues, she was far more advanced in terms of the rights of blacks than her husband. While many of us will watch gay Bishop Robinson with great pride at the Lincoln Memorial Sunday, I will also be thinking of the unprecedented tempest that Eleanor created in 1939 when, in addition to shocking White Privilege by resigning from the then hallowed Daughters of the American Revolution after they refused to let black contralto Marian Anderson perform in their-controlled Constitution Hall, she arranged for Anderson to perform on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before an enchanted and ennobled multiracial crowd of 75,000. I still get chills whenever I see film of Anderson and her mesmerizing, “Sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.”

      You grossly failed to mention that Hillary was the first First Lady to march in a gay pride parade. Place your bets on who will be the second.

      Finally, as one who did not experience the Reagan years as a 5th grader, but was, like countless others, busy burying my friends, abandoned and mocked by Reagan and his thugs, I cannot let stand your “it’s debatable” reductionism of his NON response to AIDS which amounted to passive genocide nor the gilding of his “pink-always-trying-to-be-purple” moll.

      First, judged by the company one hires, Reagan’s spokesman, Larry Speakes, laughed at and made fun of the first reporter ever to ask a question about AIDS during a White House press conference.

      During the nationally televised rededication of the cleaned-up Statue of Liberty in 1986—within months of “Reagan friend” Rock Hudson’s death from AIDS—Bob Hope said, “I just heard that the Statue of Liberty has AIDS but she doesn’t know if she got it from the mouth of the Hudson or from the Staten Island Ferry.” “As the television camera panned the audience, [French President & Mdm. Mitterand] looked appalled. The Reagans were laughing. By the end of 1989 and the Reagan years, 115,786 women and men had been diagnosed with AIDS in the United States, and more than 70,000 of them had died.” – Michael Bronski

      “The Reagan administration has done its best to avoid making even a single helpful AIDS decision in the eight years of the Reagan presidency.” – Congressman Henry Waxman

      Reagan daughter, Patti Davis, told “The Advocate”: “[My parents] think [being gay is] abnormal. I certainly don’t think they feel that whatever someone’s sexual preference is, is OK. They think that God made men and women to make love and any variation on that theme is in some way blasphemous.” [Yes, later, she would paint a totally opposite picture. Judge for yourselves.]

      After Reagan wrote with crocodile tears about the death from AIDS of teenage hemophiliac Ryan White, NGLTF’s Robert Bray responded;

      “We urge our leaders to take action while they hold positions of power, not after they reach the safety of retirement and are outside the spotlight of public scrutiny. Some will salute Mr. Reagan for his post-presidential words on AIDS. But for all the children alienated from their schools because they had HIV, and all the families bombed out of their homes by hysterical neighbors, and all the IV drug users, Black, Hispanic and Asian people with AIDS, and all the gay men who died alone in some anonymous hospital room, for all these people there was no editorial. There was no PSA. There was no Great Communicator offering compassion or action. There was only presidential negligence and a legacy of shame.”

      One of the friends I buried was Leonard Matlovich, a year after he was arrested in front of the White House protesting Reagan’s criminal negligence. The powerful Mrs. Reagan was only slightly less culpable.

      Thank you.

      Michael Bedwell
      http://www.leonardmatlovich.com

      Jan 15, 2009 at 3:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JH
      JH

      For a balanced review of Tripp’ work, please see this from the Pubisher’s Weekly and Washington Post, which includes acknowledging your doubts, but also includes the merits of the work, which you dismiss. Do you think I have only read one source? should i lit three if you list two? Here’s two more then.

      http://www.amazon.com/Intimate-World-Abraham-Lincoln/dp/0743266390

      You have completely violated my privacy by revealing anything about me ( and that info is dated ). Only you know my identity and you have really erred in revealing information about me.

      I said “present the work, respect it, and let others decide; and that I did not find it conclusive, but compelling – a most serious scholars do”. You dismissed it a bunk, and revealed information you should not have, and BTW, you idiot, my degree and present work is all about history and the history of philosophy and I have 4 degrees, including a PhD. But you are unprofessional to betray the privacy of one of your readers. I never said I was a Lincoln scholar. you said you were not a serious scholar – which is obvious, you are not even a professional behaving editor – and I replied that I am a serious scholar, and I am.

      You have handled this whole matter terribly from your infantile dismissal of someone’s work in your blog, to reducing things to bunk and revealing things that betray my privacy. My view of you has plummeted. I think your readers should know you will betray their privacy when you have run out of intelligent things to say. It is not safe in Queerty.

      And you have revealed my name too. You are a real ass.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason Byron
      Jason Byron

      Japhy, that was a real low blow. How dare you uncover someone’s identity to score a cheap point. I happen to agree that Tripp’s book has methodological and other problems, not the least of which is viewing sexuality as transhistorical rather than historically embedded. Nevertheless, this pissing contest you are engaged in with JH is shamefully juvenile–as is outing one of your readers. Queerty has dramatically improved in many ways with your taking the helm, but what you have just done is truly unacceptable.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 4:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Japhy Grant
      Japhy Grant

      @Jason Byron: You’re right, it was out of line, even though our comment policy clearly states that we reserve the right to publish your info. It is sometimes very irritating to have people denigrate you anonymously on here, as the commenter was doing and I do think it’s hypocritical to come on here and call yourself and expert and claim that I don’t have a right to an opinion, while hiding behind an anonymous screename, but I allowed my passion for the subject to get the best of me.

      My apologies to both of you. I’ve removed the comment.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 4:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Japhy Grant
      Japhy Grant

      @Jason Byron: You’re right, it was out of line, even though our comment policy clearly states that we reserve the right to publish your info. It is sometimes very irritating to have people denigrate you anonymously on here, as the commenter was doing and I do think it’s hypocritical to come on here and call yourself an expert and claim that I don’t have a right to an opinion, while hiding behind an anonymous screename, but I allowed my passion for the subject to get the best of me.

      My apologies to both of you. I’ve removed the comment.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason Byron
      Jason Byron

      I appreciate that, Japhy. Now, on to better things :-)

      Jan 15, 2009 at 4:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dgz
      dgz

      okay, all. STOP. forreal. could the “name” above be any *more* common? seriously? over it. and don’t bait a blogger by questioning their integrity with such vitriol on their own site if you don’t want to be hauled out and put in the stocks.

      and did you honestly register with your *actual* name? on a non-secure site? you truly deserve to have your identity stolen. and your “arguments” were pathetic — and i say that as a person who really couldn’t care less if Lincoln or Shakespeare or Jesus were gay or not. please.

      oh, and if you’re looking at this at work, clear your history. wouldn’t want you to be “outed.” duh.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 4:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dgz
      dgz

      okay, since i posted, argument resolved. oops. ;) nevermind…

      but seriously, back to first ladies. did anyone watch Laura Bush’s press conference on Burma a while back? i was absolutely taken aback by how intelligent and thoughtful she was (you know, given the company she keeps). would’ve likely made a better prez than hubby.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 4:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Japhy Grant:

      Oh Japhy.

      Don’t let them get to you. This is what its like. In fact they’ve been nicer to you then the were to the other editor.

      I know it sucks when people constantly disrespect because of their own agenda but take the higher road…

      Jan 15, 2009 at 5:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pete
      Pete

      What Hillary Clinton said that she wasn’t someone who stood by her man like that Tammy Wynette song (i.e. she wasn’t blindly subservient), but because she loved him. That’s the full quote.

      I honestly didn’t consider her to be “abrasive,” it’s just that the right-wing was absolutely batshit when it came to the Clintons. The only way Michelle Obama has any chance of avoiding that is if she follows the Stepford Wife model that Laura Bush has perfected with the blankest stare I’ve ever seen. What drugs is she on?

      Jan 15, 2009 at 8:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • burton21
      burton21

      Team Japhy. Whenever anyone disagrees with him, he presents his counterpoint in a clear, well-worded and researched response. JH was being a condescending prick.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 9:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • petted
      petted

      @Pete: I don’t know but she looked like that when he was governor too – so very creepy and unfortunately living in Texas there’s a lot more coverage of her.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 10:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blake
      blake

      @Michael Bedwell:

      Senor Bedwell, thank you for putting Ronald Reagan in perspective! I never heard of Bob Hope about AIDS like that. Frankly, I’m shocked that a TV station would allow that kind of joke to air. That is really twisted.

      I also appreciate your taking time to discuss Eleanor Roosevelt, arguably the greatest first lady in the 20th Century.

      Jan 15, 2009 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nikko
      nikko

      Speaking of Dr. Tripp, I loved his book, “The Homosexual Matrix”. Anyone?

      Jan 16, 2009 at 1:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Pete:

      Exactly.

      I think she is on that heroin like stuff that you can get over the counter.

      Prescription drugs.

      Jan 16, 2009 at 9:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bearcub
      bearcub

      First, where are LadyBird and Roselynn Carter, two very feisty and strong women and first ladies.

      Secondly, your remarks about Michelle Obama are just dumb. Just another gay man whistling past the political graveyard. Obama is not as cool as you think and there is NO reason to believe Michelle is going to be anything special because up to now she hasn’t been anything special.

      Thirdly, you seem to confuse substance with style. Poor Mary Todd Lincoln suffered so much standing by a husband who was constantly embroiled in controversy and from the early deaths of her children, that it is mean spirited to make fun of her.

      But the worst paragraphs were on Eleanor Roosevelt-a politician, great fighter for civil rights for African Americans and women-a giant. And Hillary Clinton who has devoted her entire life to public policies that would help everyone. She was not just a political wife but a brave fighter who lost in an unfair fight with “THE ONE” and his gigantic money machine, $750 million, almost all from lobbyists.

      http://pumapac.org

      Jan 16, 2009 at 8:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Renee
      Renee

      This post is full of shit for so many reasons. When Michelle was being attacked and called baby mama, angry etc., where the hell was the gay community? I don’t recall a single blog post coming to her defense. The community was just as neglectful of her as the feminist community. It is blacks that have supported Michelle Obama from day one so don’t you dare try and claim her now.

      Jan 16, 2009 at 11:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephen
      Stephen

      A lady President with a beloved gay family member? It’s a beautiful dream. But who knows?

      Jan 17, 2009 at 1:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephen
      Stephen

      There is more to the Roosevelts’ story than can be told in a paragraph.

      Jan 17, 2009 at 2:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe R.
      Joe R.

      @ Renee

      I’m sorry…. what?

      First off: anyone who claims that Mrs. Obama, a very well-educated, eloquent, strong woman, is “a baby mamma” or “angry” (which, it deserves mentioning, I’ve not heard of at ALL) is obviously, as you put it, “full of shit.”

      Secondly: Neglectful? I can’t speak for anyone else, but some things just need no rebuttal. Calling Michelle Obama a “baby mama” falls very deep into that territory.

      And lastly on to your rather race-centric ruminations that: A) Blacks have been the only ones behind Michelle and B) That this article attempts to ‘claim’ her (whatever that’s supposed to mean) – COME ON!

      To apply my own standard, your post was so erroneous that it should probably fall in to the realm of stupidity that needs no rejoinder, but I felt obliged.

      -J

      Jan 18, 2009 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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