Consider this a sequel both to the earlier clip of her, where she got sidetracked talking about The One pitching softballs to Iran, and to the Krauthammer post, where I wondered if Obama’s penchant for equivalence was more of an oratorical defect than a moral one. Does he really think the suffering of Jews and Palestinians is comparable or is that just Barry mindlessly tossing rhetorical red meat to both sides to demonstrate his, ahem, “empathy”? If the former, he’s guilty of alarming revisionism; if the latter, he’s guilty of alarming cynicism. I wonder which it is.
The best part comes around halfway through when Mitchell whitewashes the very worst part of the speech — the passage on women’s rights — by stupidly insisting, “In many ways, he did not pull his punches.” That’s LC’s cue to make an incisive point about the politics of the hijab, a subject I’ve written about many times but not recently. Cheney would have preferred that Obama stayed out of it altogether; I, on the other hand, would have preferred that he qualified his support for women’s right to choose to cover themselves by insisting that they, in fact, be free to choose. Shiite neighborhoods in Iraq saw a sharp spike in hijabs over the past few years, but it ain’t because the women there suddenly became more devout. It’s because they didn’t want to catch a beating from fundies in the Mahdi Army who insisted upon the covering. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali once said, “The veil is to show that women are responsible for the sexual self-control of men.” And yet The One endorsed it straightaway today. There’s your feminist president for you.
Stick around for all 12 minutes and you’ll see Mitchell trying to corner her with questions about Saddam and 9/11. And failing, of course.