Guilty


  Tipper Gore and Laura Bush were about as similar as any two potential first ladies could be: They were both attractive, of about the same age and body type; both had warm personalities and wore basic, classic clothing. And yet when their husbands were running against each other for president in 2000, a single column comparing their styles produced diametrically opposed adjectives for the two possible first ladies:

  Tipper: “bubbly”

  Laura: “bookish”

  Tipper: “colorful”

  Laura: “dowdy”

  Tipper: a “soccer mom”

  Laura: a “librarian”

  Tipper: “a party animal”

  Laura: “a hostess in the traditional mold”

  Tipper's likely legacy: “a book of first lady photographs”

  Laura's likely legacy: “a cookie named after her”

  Just in case it still wasn't clear enough that Tipper was an effervescent dynamo likely to produce “a book of first lady photographs,” while Laura was a dreary bore, the column stated outright, “ ‘Tipper’ Gore has the edge in pizzazz over Laura Bush.”24

  What is the point of the media going into laborious detail about the physical appearance of famous people, anyway? They're famous— we know what they look like. The media try to change that, too. In a stunning presentation, updated yearly, Ron Robinson of Young America's Foundation puts on a slide show of the photos of conservatives and liberals from the covers of Time and Newsweek. Not only are there more covers with liberals, by about 20 to 1—and that's just covers of Obama—but liberals are always bathed in a beatific light, while conservatives are photographed in lighting that casts a menacing glow and always seem to show five o'clock shadows. (It's even worse for the conservative men!) When Robinson gave his presentation at Time magazine itself, one editor admitted they chose a background color for Newt Gingrich that would make him look sinister. The cover shots of Pat Buchanan and Rush Limbaugh were also grim. This is as opposed to their cover shots of Obama, which typically show him riding a flying white stallion while showering the countryside with gold dust.

  Laura Bush may have been somewhat more “bookish” than Tipper, probably about the same as Michelle Obama compared with Cindy McCain. But while Laura Bush was repeatedly called “bookish,” Michelle Obama was only “intellectual” and “brainy,” both of which might come as news to anyone who had read her senior thesis at Princeton. Michelle wrote her thesis on being black at Princeton because blacks attending Ivy League schools are required by law to major in Being Black. She penned such gems as: “In defining the concept of identification or the ability to identify with the black community, I based my definition on the premise that there is a distinctive black culture very different from white culture.”25 As the blog Sweetness & Light says, “No wonder they wanted [her thesis] locked up until after the elections were safely over.”26

  Brainy!

  Democratic women will be praised for their fashion sense, while Republicans dressed nearly identically will draw contempt for their outfits. Reviewing the clothing on ABC's The View, well-known fashion plate Troy Patterson of Slate magazine raved about Michelle Obama's sleeveless black-and-white dress. Patterson approvingly quoted cohost Sherri Shepherd exclaiming to Michelle, “You are setting this trend where everyone wants to go sleeveless!” The View's conservative cohost Elisabeth Hasselbeck was wearing an outfit that would have been appropriate at the exact same cocktail party as Michelle, and yet her one-sleeve blouse came in for sputtering vitriol from Patterson, who said her outfit “treaded a fine line between merely inappropriate and plainly sluttish.”27

  Laura Bush was savaged for her “prim,” “schoolmarm” looks with the deepest cut of all: “She's no Jackie O…. And that is putting it politely.”28 But guess who was Jackie O? That's right! Michelle Obama. Democrats simply tell the media how they would like to be described, and the media obey. Jackie Kennedy called her husband's presidency “Camelot,” so the press called it Camelot. Clinton wanted to be Elvis, so he was Elvis, albeit the fat one. Barack Obama told a meeting of journalists in August 2007 that his wife was “the Jackie O from the hood,”29 and hundreds of columns poured forth describing Mrs. Obama as the spitting image of Jackie O. At least that was one way the Obamas were very much like the Kennedys: It was all about cultivating an image.

  To be fair, Obama probably didn't need to tell anyone what image Michelle Obama was going for. Her obvious imitation of Jackie O's style—the flipped-under hair, the sleeveless A-line dresses, the short strands of fake pearls—would have been laughable if done by anyone other than a media-designated saint.

  Republican: creepy!

  Democrat: classy.

  A column in the Seattle Times purred that Michelle Obama proved “Jackie Kennedy didn't close the book on class, grace and style.”30 A McClatchy Newspapers columnist described her as “Clair Huxtable– meets–Jackie Kennedy.”31 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Karen Heller asked, “You know who looks like Jackie Kennedy? Michelle Obama.”32 She added helpfully, “Jackie Kennedy was the most popular first lady in history.”33 Another columnist said, “When Barack and Michelle Obama take the stage at the Democratic National Convention, comparisons will be invoked with John and Jackie Kennedy.”34 Shelly Branch, author of the book What Would Jackie Do?, excitedly reported on the “growing buzz about the striking similarities between [Michelle Obama] and former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.”35 So, apparently, what Jackie would do is slavishly imitate another person's style, which I believe is the definition of having no innate sense of style. Adopting the Jack-Ryan-divorce-papers standard of what newspaper readers want to know, I think it would be “interesting” to see what the authors of these glowing articles about Ms. Obama look like.

  Vogue editor at large André Leon Talley said Michelle Obama had adopted the Jackie O look—“but in her own way.”36 Yes, a way that wouldn't be laughed at by the media, which is as a Democrat. The Philadelphia Daily News interviewed various fashion consultants and they agreed: “Jackie Kennedy … Of course.” Another style expert said, “It's the first thing I thought.” But the article quickly added, “There's nothing contrived or tactical about it.”37 Nothing contrived? She looked like she was going treat-or-treating in a Jackie O costume.

  While a stylish Democrat sends the media into swooning fits, a stylish Republican sends them into sans-culottes denunciations of the rich. Nancy Reagan came under relentless attack for her expensive designer dresses—despite the fact that they were generally donated by designers who were friends and wanted publicity for their frocks. The Associated Press even interviewed tax attorneys, asking them whether the Reagans would have to pay extra income tax on the designer dresses given to Mrs. Reagan. No-name folksingers were rewarded with write-ups in the New York Times for their songs ridiculing Mrs. Reagan's dresses “on the day that people are cutting food stamps.”38 Because if only the first lady went around in a stained housedress from Kmart, no one would ever go hungry in America.

  When Mrs. Reagan acquired a new set of china for the White House, which had not been replaced since the Truman administration, it was noted approximately one million times that she was buying fine Lenox china as her husband was cutting programs for the poor! A designer offered to donate “Rosalynn” (Carter) stoneware, made in Japan, to the White House,39 which I'm sure was as charming as it sounds— and heaven knows, the White House needed more pig's-foot serving platters—but it turned out Nancy's new china was also donated, by the Knapp Foundation, and it was American-made.40 That was irrelevant— there was a Republican to attack! Hundreds of articles upbraided Nancy for the new White House china. It got to the point that President Reagan had to defend his wife from the incessant Marie Antoinette comparisons.

  Cindy McCain, who not only was proud of her country before her husband won the Republican primaries but dressed well without freakishly imitating famous first ladies in history, was huffily accused of wearing a $300,000 outfit at the Republican National Convention. Vanity Fair put its
fashion department on the job, and, estimating her diamond earrings at $280,000, came up with the $300,000 figure. The magazine then helpfully listed what $300,000 would mean “to Americans who don't have the luxury of inheriting a gargantuan beer fortune”:

  To Cindy McCain, $300,000 is the price of an outfit.

  To most Americans, $300,000 buys …

  … one and a half houses, given the national median home

  price of $206,500.

  … a year's worth of health care for 750 people.

  … the full array of back-to-school supplies and clothes for 500 kids.

  … enough gas to drive cross-country 543 times.41

  Say, does anyone remember Vanity Fair's estimate of Teresa Heinz Kerry's outfits? No, neither do I.

  The claim that Cindy McCain's “outfit” cost $300,000 ignited a volcanic eruption of sanctimony throughout the fourth estate. On the Los Angeles Times blog, Monica Corcoran fumed “does she really need four strands of pearls?” Right on schedule, she also compared Mrs. McCain to Marie Antoinette.42 In short order, outraged letters to the editor were proclaiming that Cindy McCain's dress alone had cost $300,000: “If I, like Cindy McCain, could afford an outfit that cost over $300,000 to wear only one night, maybe I would also be out of touch.”43 I'm pretty sure Cindy McCain did not throw $280,000 diamonds in the garbage after a night's wear. Travis Shiverdecker carped to the Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin) “that one of Cindy McCain's convention outfits was worth over $300,000,” before wailing, “I am 23 years old, in graduate school, and already have over $150,000 in student loans.”44 At least the diamonds were actually worth what Cindy McCain paid for them.

  In fact, Cindy McCain's dress was estimated to cost about $3,000, while Michelle Obama's convention dress cost about $1,25045—not including a team of fashion consultants to advise her on how to look exactly like Jackie O.

  But more urgently, can liberals stop telling us Franklin Delano Roosevelt was our greatest president if they're going to keep up the interminable wealth-baiting? How did John Kerry ever become the presidential nominee of these class warriors? What is the point of liberals railing about Enron's Ken Lay—who was a big Clinton backer, by the way46—when the Democratic Party is the wholly owned subsidiary of slimy foreign-born billionaire George Soros?

  WHILE LIBERALS LOVE BEING PRAISED FOR THEIR LOOKS, THEIR style, their brilliance, and their courage, there's one quality they don't want talked about: their money. Indeed, Democrats constantly boast about how poor they are—as if that's a virtue in a capitalist society with no class barriers. But no matter how much money they have, liberals will be damned if they're giving up the poor's mantle of angry self-righteousness.

  Their claims of poverty merely serve to show how out of touch they are with actual incomes in America. At the Democratic National Convention, there were heartfelt tributes to the peerless self-sacrifice of both Barack and Michelle Obama for passing up lucrative private sector jobs to work in “public service”—which apparently is now defined to include “working as a ‘diversity coordinator’ at a big-city hospital for $300,000 a year.” The soft-focus biographical film of the Messiah shown at the convention proclaimed that Barack Obama's classmates at Harvard Law School “would field offers from big law firms and Wall Street, but he felt compelled to serve.”47 Saint Michelle boasted in her convention speech, “In my own life, in my own small way, I have tried to give back to this country that has given me so much. See, that's why I left a job at a big law firm for a career in public service, working to empower young people to volunteer in their communities.”

  Michelle Obama's move was no exception. In 2006, Mother Teresa Obama's total income from “public service” was approximately $375,000.48 The average salary for a lawyer with twenty years’ or more experience in the United States is a little more than $100,000.49 If Michelle Obama doesn't lay off all this “giving back” stuff pretty soon, she's going to find herself in Warren Buffett's tax bracket.

  In fact, Michelle Obama's “public service” career advanced in lockstep with the political advancement of her husband. Michelle was only hired by the University of Chicago hospital once her husband had become a state senator. Most intriguingly, after Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate, her salary was nearly tripled from $121,910 to $316,962—whereupon Senator Obama would use the “new politics” earmark process to try to send taxpayer dollars to Michelle's newly generous employer.50

  Joe Biden was similarly praised by Democrats for being the poorest U.S. senator. Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, touted Biden as “a good example of a working-class kid,” adding that, to this day, Biden was “one of the least wealthy members of the U.S. Senate.”51 Only a Democrat would list “never really made anything of myself” on his résumé. On the Huffington Post, operated by a woman who acquired her wealth by marrying a rich gay guy connected to Big Oil, liberal blogger Steven Clemons gloated that, unlike John McCain, Biden wouldn't “forget the number of houses he owns,” because in 2006, he was ranked the poorest U.S. senator.52 According to the tax returns for Biden and his public school teacher wife, in 2006, the Bidens’ total income was $248,459; in 2007, it was $319,85353—putting the couple in the top 1 percent of all earners in the United States.54 The national median household income was $48,201 in 2006, and $50,233 in 2007.55 Working for the government pays well.

  If liberals are going to demand a Marxist revolution against the rich every time they see a well-dressed Republican, how about taking a peek at the charitable giving of these champions of the little guy? According to their tax returns, in 2006 and 2007, the Obamas gave 5.8 percent and 6.1 percent of their income to charity.56 (Michelle Obama has to draw the line somewhere with all this “giving back” stuff.) The Bidens gave 0.15 percent and 0.31 percent of their income to charity.57 For the same years, John McCain gave 27.3 percent and 28.6 percent of his income to charity.58

  True, McCain has a rich wife—who runs an enormous charitable foundation—but John Kerry also had a rich wife, and as Peter Schweizer points out in his book Makers and Takers, in 1995 he gave not one cent to charity. “That same year,” Schweizer writes, “he spent $500,000 to buy a half stake in a seventeenth-century Dutch seascape painting by Adam Willaerts.” To be fair, 1995 was an off year for Kerry's charitable giving. The year before, he gave $2,039 to charity, and the year before that, a whopping $175.

  In 1998, Al Gore gave $353 to charity—one-tenth as much as the national average for charitable giving by people in Gore's income bracket of $100,000 to $200,000. Gore was at the top end of that category, making $197,729 that year. Perhaps Gore's money was tied up in some sort of “lock box.” When Senator Ted Kennedy released his tax returns to run for president in the 1970s, it showed that Kennedy gave barely 1 percent of his income to charity—or, as Schweizer says, “about as much as Kennedy claimed as write-off on his fifty-foot sloop Curragh.” Propelled by the Daily Kos kids and other left-wingers, Ned Lamont beat Senator Joe Lieberman in the 2007 Democratic primary. In 2005, Lamont made almost $2.8 million in income off his inherited $200 million fortune. He gave $5,385 to charity that year, which Schweizer notes was .027 percent of his income.59

  In 1991, 1992, and 1993, George W. Bush had incomes of $179,591, $212,313, and $610,772. His charitable contributions those years were $28,236, $31,914, and $31,292. During his presidency, Bush gave away more than 10 percent of his income each year. For purposes of comparison, in 2005, Barack Obama made $1.7 million— more than twice President Bush's 2005 income of $735,180—but they both gave about the same amount to charity. That same year, Vice President Cheney gave 77 percent of his income to charity. The following year, in 2006, Bush gave more to charity than Obama on an income one-third smaller than Obama's.60 Maybe when Obama talks about “change” he's referring to his charitable contributions.

  Liberals have no intention of actually parting with any of their own wealth or lifting a finger to help the poor. As liberal intellectual Bertrand Russell explained while scoff
ing at the idea that he would give his money to charity, “I'm afraid you've got it wrong. [We] are socialists. We don't pretend to be Christians.”61

  Democrats prefer to demonstrate their goodness by giving away your money. They bash Republicans for favoring “the rich” because of Republicans’ general antipathy to socialist wealth-distribution plans. At the same time, they are delighted to let George Soros play the Daddy Warbucks of the Democratic Party, spending millions of dollars to fund phony “grassroots” left-wing organizations such as MoveOn.org, Media Matters, Americans Coming Together, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), and America's leading hate group, the ACLU.62 These are the organizations that call the shots in the Democratic Party. As Eli Pariser of MoveOn.org said of the Democratic Party after the 2004 election, “Now it's our party. We bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back.”63

  The precise design of the profoundly undemocratic McCain-Feingold bill was to vastly increase the power of plutocrats and the media so that only the fabulously wealthy can run for major offices in the United States—or at least serve as kingmakers to those who run for office. Naturally, Soros was a big backer of McCain-Feingold. Now the Democrats are utterly beholden to him.

  Besides the fact that Soros “owns” the Democratic Party, as his minion put it, here is a précis of everything you need to know about George Soros. On September 11, right after the second plane hit the World Trade Center, the markets were closed and remained closed for the rest of the week. A terrified nation anxiously waited to see if the terrorist attack would cause a stock market crash when the exchanges opened the following Monday. If speculators sold short, betting that American stocks would decline, that bet could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Selling short is the practice of selling stock without owning it, while planning to buy it back later at a cheaper price and pocketing the difference. If short sellers descended on the market after 9/11, that could spark a collapse, destroying the American economy, but making the short sellers very rich.

 
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