Even by the gutter standards of the National Review, this item by Bill Bennett is deeply ugly. He, like most of his conservative brethren, took note of "Michelle Obama's problems with America." Yawn. But what follows is pernicious:
She spoke of it as a mean country. She said it wasn't until 2008 that she was proud of it. And now we have audio from 2008 that just surfaced where she states, “When we took our trip to Africa and visited [Barack's] home country in Kenya, we took a public HIV test.”
There could be a lot of meanings to that, but you know when Bill Clinton was found having an affair in the White House, one of the myriad questions was, with all the questions already surrounding his ethical behavior, why would he do that too? With all the questions surrounding the Obamas, why would she say this, too? And notice how easily it trips off her tongue.
I'd like to ignore this kind of thing, but due to The Corner's popularity and influence, Bennett's remarks require pushback:
1) Bennett's paraphrase of Obama's "proud of my country" comment is nonsense.
2) "And now we have audio from 2008 that just surfaced..." Well, no. It didn't "just surface." This footage, for instance, has been in plain sight since August 2008, when the soon-to-be First Lady delivered the remarks during a speech to LGBT delegates.
3) "There could be a lot of meanings to that," said Bennett. "With all the questions surrounding the Obamas, why would she say this[?]" Actually, the meaning is quite clear, or would be had Bennett not (purposely?) truncated the quote:
Barack has spoken out against the stigma surrounding HIV testing which is still plaguing so many of our communities, which you all know a lot of that is due to homophobia. Barack has led by example. When we took our trip to Africa and visited his home country in Kenya, we took a public HIV test for the very point of showing folks in Kenya that there is nothing to be embarrassed about in getting tested.(If I were a betting man, I'd guess Bennett is aware of the context. Wanna give me odds, Bill?)
4) Bennett equates an illicit blowjob with getting tested for HIV as an example for Kenyans, who still contract the disease at a frightening rate. I don't see the connection.
5) "And notice how easily it trips off her tongue." Yes, she was giving a speech. With prepared text. I hear her husband does this occasionally? With a Teleprompter?