This is not something I wanted to be cynical about, though I was a little. And now I am a lot.
Some of you may know that Michelle Obama, along with Second Lady Jill Biden, runs something out of the White House called Joining Forces, which is billed as “a national initiative that mobilizes all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned.”
I’m not sure how much good it actually does, though it’s certainly a worthy cause and probably doesn’t hurt anyone. It seems to require that Mrs. Obama appear once or twice a month at some feel good event to highlight military families’ needs.
I’d like to think Mrs. Obama is sincere in her commitment to the kin of those who serve, and I’m sure at some level she is.
But there is no way to reconcile a sincere devotion to helping military families with her decision to travel to Oregon with her mother to visit her brother this week instead of being by President Obama’s side yesterday as he comforted the 30 grieving families of those who lost their sons, brothers, and fathers in Afghanistan Saturday.
Not just any son, brother or father. The best kind you could ever have.
This is simply just not acceptable. It’s an ignorance of her duty as first lady – even if she were not one supposedly dedicated to military families. It even suggests a general lack of compassion.
Nobody inflicted these roles on her. She chose to be first lady, seems to be enjoying the perks, and is already campaigning and raising heaps of money so that she can stay there.
What first gave me pause when she launched the Joining Forces thing was that someone who suggested quite clearly – because it was an accident – that she had never really been proud of her country was of all things suddenly dedicated to helping the military.
It sounded like image makeover, both for her and a husband who had never served and who is not held in particularly high esteem by our armed forces.
It sounded like something born more out of political calculation more than anything else.
Turns out, it was.