The media and bloggy masses have focused on Michelle Obama's declaration that throughout her entire adult life she had not, until now, been proud of her country. That is an extraordinarily disturbing statement, one that reveals a deep adversarial relationship between this woman and the culture that has nourished her, but it is by no means the most problematic portion of that speech.
About eight minutes into it she has this to say:
“Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation and that you move out of your comfort zone. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual – uninvolved, uninformed – you have to stay at the seat at the table of democracy with a man like Barack Obama not just on Tuesday but in a year from now, in four years from now, in eights years from now, you will have to be engaged.”
This is scary, authoritarian stuff. There are disturbing depths to be plumbed in the Obama campaign. Let us hope that the New York Times will exert as much diligence in exploring them as they seem to have done with regard to Sen. McCain's career.