Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:01 am on May 4, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

We’ve criticized Barack Obama and his White House staff on many occasions for their poor research skills, but there hasn’t been any incident quite as embarrassing as the gaffe made in Obama’s proclamation on Tuesday to commemorate Jewish American Heritage Month. The proclamation listed several prominent Jewish Americans, including Gertrude Stein, a well-known American artist of the early-to-mid-twentieth century:

Their history of unbroken perseverance and their belief in tomorrow’s promise offers a lesson not only to Jewish Americans, but to all Americans. From Aaron Copland to Albert Einstein, Gertrude Stein to Justice Louis Brandeis.

Algemeiner, the self-proclaimed [see update] “fastest growing Jewish newspaper in America,” pointed out that the inclusion of Stein in that list was appalling — since she was an admirer of Adolf Hitler and an apologist for the puppet Vichy regime in France during the war.  The same day that Obama signed and published the order, Alan Dershowitz had blasted the Metropolitan Museum for covering up Stein’s collaboration with the Nazis in France and cheerleading for Hitler (via Breitbart):

Stein, a “racial” Jew according to Nazi ideology, managed to survive the Holocaust, while the vast majority of her co-religionists were deported and slaughtered.  The exhibit says “remarkably, the two women [Stein and her companion Alice Toklas] survived the war with their possessions intact.”  It adds that “Bernard Fay, a close friend…and influential Vichy collaborator is thought to have protected them.”  That is an incomplete and distorted account of what actually happened.  Stein and Toklas survived the Holocaust for one simple reason:  Gertrude Stein was herself a major collaborator with the Vichy regime and a supporter of its pro-Nazi leadership.

According to a new book entitled Unlikely Collaboration:  Gertrude Stein, Bernard Fay and the Vichy Dilemma, by Barbara Will, Stein publicly proclaimed her admiration for Hitler during the 1930s, proposing him for a Nobel Peace Prize.  In the worst days of the Vichy regime, she volunteered to write an introduction to the speeches of General Phillipe Petain, the Nazi puppet leader who deported thousands of Jews, but who she regarded as a great French hero.  She wanted his speeches translated into English, with her introduction, so that Americans would see the virtues of the Vichy regime.  In that respect she was like other modernist writers, such as Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot who proudly proclaimed their pro-Fascist ideology, but Stein’s support for Fascism was more bizarre because she was Jewish.

Stein’s closest friend, and a man who greatly influenced her turn toward fascism was Bernard Fay, who the Vichy government put in charge of hunting down Masons, Jews and other perceived enemies of the State.  Fay was more than a mere collaborator as suggested by the Met exhibit.  He was a full blown Nazi operative, responsible for the deaths of many people.  After the war, when the horrendous results were known to all, Gertrude wrote in support of Fay when he was placed on trial for his Nazi war crimes.

Perhaps an artist should be judged without regard to his or her political affiliations or actions, but the Met exhibit purports to present the story of the Stein collection and of Gertrude’s life in France.  It ends with a misleading description of her activities during the war years.  It would perhaps be different if this were only an exhibition of the Steins’ art collection rather than a biographical account of her family’s life in France.  By withholding from the viewers an important part of the truth, the Met is engaging in a falsification of history.

So apparently was the Obama administration.  After Algemeiner contacted the White House for comment, the response came that the wrong version of the proclamation had been published, and that the citation of Stein and other specific people had been from just one early draft.  How could Stein be listed at all on any version of such a proclamation?  It took the White House a little while to replace the offending proclamation, but eventually they did.

At some point, the White House has to hire real researchers.  Maybe that’ll be Obama’s second-term agenda. (via E-nough)

Update: Algemeiner points to this Fox News clip to make the argument that their status as the fastest-growing Jewish newspaper in the US isn’t just self-proclaimed:

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

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He can’t hire real researchers until he has more flexibility.

Washington Nearsider on May 4, 2012 at 8:03 AM

dear leader must admire to even have her in a draft….dear leader just being honest it seems

cmsinaz on May 4, 2012 at 8:07 AM

Words. Just words.

itsnotaboutme on May 4, 2012 at 8:10 AM

i googled “prominent Jewish Americans” and went to wikipedias page on “artists” and couldn’t find Gertrude Stein amongst the scores of other artists…..weird.

ted c on May 4, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Dogpile, meet foot. Again. And again.

The ‘O-team’ keeps stepping in it. Perhaps that’s karma…

Obama’s puppies are coming home to poop!

ProfShadow on May 4, 2012 at 8:12 AM

They don’t seem to bother with research at all. I guess they think it doesn’t matter since the media doesn’t call them on anything they say. He should boast about this as a cost saving measure.

Night Owl on May 4, 2012 at 8:12 AM

At some point, the White House has to hire real researchers

Maybe then they can figure out how he got into Columbia and Harvard.

50sGuy on May 4, 2012 at 8:14 AM

are the researchers UNIONIZED? Maybe that is the problem…..

SDarchitect on May 4, 2012 at 8:15 AM

dear leader must admire to even have her in a draft….dear leader just being honest it seems

cmsinaz on May 4, 2012 at 8:07 AM

Ding Ding Ding!

Naturally Curly on May 4, 2012 at 8:15 AM

After Algemeiner contacted the White House for comment, the response came that the wrong version of the proclamation had been published, and that the citation of Stein and other specific people had been from just one early draft.

Now now Barry, did you let Van Jones back into the fold?

Rovin on May 4, 2012 at 8:17 AM

This merely provides more evidence that the left casually seeks the
truth in anything. It understands well (unlike the right) that manipulation of base emotions (free condoms anyone) have far more vote-getting power, particularly when the vote comes down to hedonism, sexual license, free lunches and the “nanny state loves you” -versus a rich, white, unprincipled dude handing out boring economics lessons.

Don L on May 4, 2012 at 8:18 AM

Wow, just… wow. Learn something new every day.

“A woman needs a man like a Rrom needs a gas chamber…”

The_Livewire on May 4, 2012 at 8:18 AM

Words matter… until they don’t.

WordsMatter on May 4, 2012 at 8:19 AM

Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas: heroes of the artistic left. Expatriates in Paris because they hated America – hell, they hated themselves! Another day, another Øblama Administration Revision (OAR) disguised as a screwup. I can’t wait for the billboards in February, 2013 with Ø’s “Look at ME” pose and the hilarious caption “Miss Me Yet?”
.
Øbama elected – hilarity and destruction ensues… even retired schoolteachers vilify this dope.

ExpressoBold on May 4, 2012 at 8:19 AM

At some point, the White House has to hire real researchers.

Only those with high cheek bones need apply.

petefrt on May 4, 2012 at 8:20 AM

Stein is another stain to add to this administration.

docflash on May 4, 2012 at 8:21 AM

With research like this, it makes me wonder how Barry was ever able to graduate from Columbia and Harvard.

I crack myself up.

pain train on May 4, 2012 at 8:22 AM

Didn’t Obama learn about Stein when he was reading T.S. Eliot to his girlfriend?

radjah shelduck on May 4, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Not to worry Obama’s 2nd term will not have as many errors, The MSM will be sure to point out how brilliant Obama was in correcting the history we all had wrong for so many years.

Gwillie on May 4, 2012 at 8:26 AM

aaron copland is listed in wikipedia’s list of “prominent Jewish Americans” under composers, but not Gertrude Stein amongst artists…..? is that odd? She’s so worthy of mention, above all of these fellas, but she didn’t make the Wikipedia list?

Boris Aronson, designer, painter & sculptor
David Ascalon, sculptor & synagogue designer
Maurice Ascalon, sculptor & industrial designer
Leonard Baskin, sculptor & graphic artist
Wallace Berman, assemblage artist
Ross Bleckner, painter
Hyman Bloom, painter
Victor David Brenner, designer of the US penny
Sol Brodsky, comic book artist and Marvel Comics executive
Rhea Carmi, abstract expressionist and mixed-media artist
Judy Chicago, feminist painter
Jo Davidson, sculptor
Elaine de Kooning, abstract expressionist painter
Jim Dine, pop artist
Henry Dreyfuss, industrial designer
David Em, computer artist
Jacob Epstein, US born-UK-based sculptor
Philip Evergood, artist
Jane Frank (Jane Schenthal Frank), American abstract expressionist artist
Helen Frankenthaler, abstract expressionist
Moritz Fuerst, painter
Leo Garel, painter and cartoonist
Milton Glaser, graphic designer
Rube Goldberg, cartoonist and sculptor
Michael Goldberg, painter
Jack Goldstein, multi media
Leon Golub, political painter
Adolph Gottlieb, abstract expressionist
Stephen Greene, abstract expressionist
Roy Gussow, abstract sculptor
Philip Guston, abstract expressionist
Eva Hesse, postminimalist sculptor
Alex Kahn, pageant puppetry and ritual theater artist
Barrie Karp, painter, writer, multi-media
Alex Katz, painter[1]
R. B. Kitaj, UK-based American painter
Lee Krasner, abstract expressionist
Barbara Kruger, conceptual artist and graphic designer
Ronnie Landfield, lyrical abstractionist
Geoffrey Laurence, American realist painter
Josef Levi, abstract computer painter
Jack Levine, expressionist painter
Sol LeWitt, sculptor
Roy Lichtenstein, pop artist
Irene Lieblich, painter
Jacques Lipchitz, cubist sculptor
Morris Louis, abstract expressionist
Herb Lubalin, graphic designer
Peter Max, pop artist
Paul Meltsner, WPA era painter and muralist
Ludwig Mestler, painter and engraver
Caroline Mytinger, painter
Barbara Nessim, artist, illustrator
Louise Nevelson, abstract expressionist sculptor
Barnett Newman, abstract expressionist
Jules Olitski, abstract expressionist
Paul Palnik, cartoonist, printmaker, kaballistic painter
Mark Podwal, graphic artist, political cartoonist, painter
Paul Rand, graphic designer
Larry Rivers, pop artist
Mark Rothko, abstract expressionist
Louis Schanker printmaker, painter, sculptor, abstract modernist
Miriam Schapiro, abstract expressionist painter, femmage (feminist collage)
Julian Schnabel, neo-expressionist
George Segal, pop art sculptor
Eric Shansby, editorial cartoonist
Ben Shahn, social realist painter
Anatoly Shapiro, stage design artist and painter
Izzy Sher, sculptor
Joseph Solman, painter
Isaac Soyer, realist painter
Raphael Soyer, realist painter
Nancy Spero, painter, collage artist
Ary Stillman, representational and abstract Russian-American painter
Elke Reva Sudin, painter, illustrator
Spencer Tunick, photographer
Alfred Tibor, sculptor
Israel Tsvaygenbaum, Russian-American artist.
Max Weber, cubist painter
Hannah Wilke, feminist sculptor, body artist
Eva Zeisel, industrial designer
William Zorach, sculptor
Larry Zox, lyrical abstractionist

ted c on May 4, 2012 at 8:26 AM

Looks like Stein is the kind of Jew that Obama truly admires: the self-hating Jewish Nazi.

jwolf on May 4, 2012 at 8:26 AM

R E W I N D

B A C K T R A C K

Electrongod on May 4, 2012 at 8:27 AM

erp. forgot to link to here…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jewish_American_visual_artists

ted c on May 4, 2012 at 8:27 AM

barack is re-writing history as we speak. barack believes in a greater, more unified vision, where love and peace and harmony reign supreme.

In this place unicorn farts can power our automobiles (40 miles per fart), and all you have to do is shake the electricity tree in your backyard and electricity will fall to the ground to be gathered up in bushel baskets.

BTW, barack sucks.

DuctTapeMyBrain on May 4, 2012 at 8:32 AM

8.1% unemployment with only 115,00 new jobs?Right….

sandee on May 4, 2012 at 8:32 AM

The MSM will be sure to point out how brilliant Obama was in correcting the history we all had wrong for so many years.

Gwillie on May 4, 2012 at 8:26 AM

this

cmsinaz on May 4, 2012 at 8:33 AM

8.1%

let the spin begin…

cmsinaz on May 4, 2012 at 8:34 AM

…Community Organizer!

.
.
.
…it’s the ECONOMY stupid…!!!

KOOLAID2 on May 4, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Researchers are so obsolete…only revisionists need apply.

lynncgb on May 4, 2012 at 8:36 AM

the response came that the wrong version of the proclamation had been published, and that the citation of Stein and other specific people had been from just one early draft.

So, in later drafts was Ms. Stein transmorgified into a composite caricature along with the 3 Hilary Rosen’s that Jay Carney knows???/

ted c on May 4, 2012 at 8:37 AM

8.1% unemployment with only 115,00 new jobs?Right….

sandee on May 4, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Obama is…..
The Denominator.

Electrongod on May 4, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Its easy to understand how this stuff gets overlooked when you realize the employees of Obama don’t see anything wrong with these people in the first place.

catmman on May 4, 2012 at 8:40 AM

8.1% unemployment with only 115,00 new jobs?Right….

sandee on May 4, 2012 at 8:32 AM

New jobs? We don’t need no stinkin’ new jobs.

petefrt on May 4, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Obama is…..
The Denominator.

Electrongod on May 4, 2012 at 8:37 AM

The lowest common denominator.

petefrt on May 4, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Oh, and Happy Cinco de Cuatro!

Pendejo.

pain train on May 4, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Geeze…

Obama’s speech writers musta thought “Stein” that’s gotta be an authentic Jew.

Besides, they all look alike, right?

This one goes beyond a mere slip-up.

This one is pure stupid.

30-seconds on Google would have turned up the entire Vichy/Nazi collaborator thing…easily.

As for that 8.1%…would love to see the actual honest figures for how many Americans simply gave up or have been cut from the rolls…the only way they could have come up with that 8.1% figure.

And a figue which doesn’t even cover natural attrition…again.

The revised numbers will be out when?

Long enough for Team Obama to get some mileage out of this gradual improvement and the end of the recession being just around the corner?

coldwarrior on May 4, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Pendejo.

pain train on May 4, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Hey! Don’ you say that ’bout the maricon president, mijo.

coldwarrior on May 4, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Facts are for mere mortals. Not benevolent god-kings.

crazy_legs on May 4, 2012 at 9:47 AM

SippyCup probably assigned any research to the Muslim branch of his staff.

But honestly, SippyCup could state during a speech on Jewish History Month:
1) that the Nazis weren’t all bad,
2) that the Holocaust could be overstated by historical distortions,
3) and even crack a tasteless joke or two on the ovens

and still he’ll get the Jewish Vote.

SnarkySam on May 4, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Dogpile, meet foot. Again. And again.

The ‘O-team’ keeps stepping in it. Perhaps that’s karma…

Obama’s puppies are coming home to roast!

ProfShadow on May 4, 2012 at 8:12 AM

slickwillie2001 on May 4, 2012 at 9:56 AM

When I read the headline on this story somewhere else yesterday, I assumed it was referring to Soros.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on May 4, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Was George Soros on the list? I know the regime admires him greatly, as he was complicit in the deaths of many of his fellow Jews.

maryo on May 4, 2012 at 10:06 AM

They don’t seem to bother with research at all. I guess they think it doesn’t matter since the media doesn’t call them on anything they say. He should boast about this as a cost saving measure.

Night Owl on May 4, 2012 at 8:12 AM

When one has a deeply held belief that one knows everything and is always right, why bother with research? Is that not what Obama shows us every day? Yet every day he profoundly demonstrates just how little he really does know.

This particular disgusting error demonstrates indifference as well as ignorance.

dogsoldier on May 4, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Were Julius and Ethel Rosenberg included in an early draft too?

maryo on May 4, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Don’t know much about history…

Steve Z on May 4, 2012 at 10:13 AM

At some point, the White House has to hire real researchers. Maybe that’ll be Obama’s second-term agenda.

Why? According to loyal Obamabots, anything The Chosen One says is automatically “Fact” and “Truth”.

GarandFan on May 4, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Here.

GrannyDee on May 4, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Is Zero’s staff so undisciplined it doesn’t use restraint before it posts stuff to its website? If they’re not careful this lack of discipline could create an international incident. Ultimately we’re left with two choices: They lied or they’re dangerously incompetent. Which is a metaphor for his presidency.

Oh well, allow me to provide Team Zero with a talking point courtesy of Ms. Stein: There is no there there. This is a a bit more clever than “There’s nothing to see here, move along”…

Buy Danish on May 4, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Not a mistake.
Just another wink wink to those who hate the Jews and hate Israel.
Just like the time Obama treated Netanyahu so rudely at the WH.

Obama knows most American Jews won’t care about this, it will please all the anti Israel radicals–and he knows the MSM will never mention it.

The Obama Administration/Democrats are a bunch of cowards hiding behind a corrupt media. I pray they continue to let their guard down.

bailey24 on May 4, 2012 at 11:08 AM

i googled “prominent Jewish Americans” and went to wikipedias page on “artists” and couldn’t find Gertrude Stein amongst the scores of other artists…..weird.

ted c on May 4, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Gertrude Stein was a writer, poet, and art collector. Not my cup of tea, however.

cheeflo on May 4, 2012 at 11:08 AM

As to how she made the list, the Obamanoids might have answered with Stein’s own words:

There ain’t no answer.
There ain’t going to be any answer.
There never has been an answer.
That’s the answer.

de rigueur on May 4, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Or as Stein famously said of Oakland, so of Obama:

There is no there there.

de rigueur on May 4, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Stein made the list because they needed to include a lesbian, in order to please their base.

maryo on May 4, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Just for fun, I’ve collected a variety of less well known Stein quotes:

Communists are people who fancied that they had an unhappy childhood.

Yes, but what does that make Nazi’s? People who really did have an unhappy childhood?

Every adolescent has that dream every century has that dream every revolutionary has that dream, to destroy the family.

Speak for yourself, Gertrude.

I don’t envisage collectivism. There is no such animal, it is always individualism, sometimes the rest vote and sometimes they do not, and if they do they do and if they do not they do not.

And sometimes those who believe in the collective work very hard to steal the individual’s vote.

I know what Germans are. They are a funny people. They are always choosing someone to lead them in a direction which they do not want to go.

Heh.

There is too much fathering going on just now and there is no doubt about it fathers are depressing.

CC: Julia.

Buy Danish on May 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

the response came that the wrong version of the proclamation had been published, and that the citation of Stein and other specific people had been from just one early draft.

Yep. Uh huh. Sure. You bet. Of course.

ss396 on May 4, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Haven’t you heard? Obama doesn’t need real researchers. Just like being chief of staff, or policy advisor, Obama could do that job better than anyone else.

RebeccaH on May 4, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Obviously Stein was cited for her groundbreaking work in the Austrian language.

Nutstuyu on May 4, 2012 at 11:56 AM

the inclusion of Stein in that list was appalling — since she was an admirer of Adolf Hitler and an apologist for the puppet Vichy regime in France during the war. The same day that Obama signed and published the order, Alan Dershowitz had blasted the Metropolitan Museum for covering up Stein’s collaboration with the Nazis in France and cheerleading for Hitler

That could have been intentional on this administrations part, and frankly, I think it was.

Those with eyes to see have long seen parallels between Obama & associates (Democratic Socialists) and the Nazis (National Socialists). For example…

* Speeches in stadiums filled with mesmerized, adoring audiences – Check
* An uninspiring background before meteoric rise – Check
* Creates his own new symbols of power – Check
* Associates with racists, hatemongers and violent radicals – Check
* A propaganda machine willing to show him only in the best possible light – Check
* Uses, “glorious leader” style Agitprop posters common in totalitarian nations – Check (see German campaign poster for example)
* Wants Secret Police force – Check
* Somebody powerful people think they can control – Check
* Often dismissed as a light-weight by his opponents – Check
* Seeks to replace God with the State – Check
* People adopting his name as their own – Check
* Inspires adoration art – Check
* Appropriates symbols of past German glory – Check
* Never plans on giving up power – Check (Obama to be president for the next “eight to 10 years”)
* A narcissistic megalomaniac – Check
* Brazenly Takes credit for other people’s accomplishments – Check
* Wants to build “youth” movement through Universal National State service – Check
* Acts as if in power before he is – Check
* Some followers believe him to be divine – Check
* Worshiped and aided greatly by the media – Check
* Has his own salute – Check
* Has thuggish supporters intimdating political opponents – Check
* Using the power of the State to silence critics – Check
* Songs written to glorify him performed by children – Check

TheBigOldDog on September 30, 2008 at 2:58 PM

ITguy on May 4, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Messina is busy inventing Julias.

Schadenfreude on May 4, 2012 at 12:41 PM

As evidenced by (among other things, Obama’s account of his early romances, the actual facts are not as important as “the narrative.” Or, perhaps, someone in the WH actually admires Stein for her WWII activities and just hoped to slip something by.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on May 4, 2012 at 3:55 PM

What??? DWS and David Axelrod didn’t make His list?

Sticky Wicket on May 4, 2012 at 4:52 PM

The administration is so transparant that its stupidity is exposed for everybody to see.

Sticky Wicket on May 4, 2012 at 4:58 PM

This WH staff would have included Eva Braun as well, if they thought she was at least 1/32 Jewish.

Freelancer on May 5, 2012 at 1:08 PM