Every naturalization ceremony I've attended, where hundreds of new Americans raised their hands to swear an oath of allegiance to this land of liberty, has been a moment of pride for me. So have the awesome displays of American compassion at home and around the world. When millions of Americans rallied to help victims of the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia -- including members of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group that sped from Hong Kong to assist survivors -- my heart filled with pride. It did again when the citizens of Houston opened their arms to Hurricane Katrina victims and folks across the country rushed to their churches, and Salvation Army and Red Cross offices to volunteer.
How about American resilience? Does that not make you proud? Only a heart of stone could be unmoved by the strength, valor and determination displayed in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., on September 11, 2001.
I believe it was Michael Kinsley who quipped that a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. In this case, it's what happens when an elite Democratic politician's wife says what a significant portion of the party's base really believes to be the truth: America is more a source of shame than pride.
Michelle Obama has achieved enormous professional success, political influence and personal acclaim in America. Ivy League-educated, she's been lauded by Essence magazine as one of the 25 World's Most Inspiring Women; by Vanity Fair as one of the 10 World's Best-Dressed Women; and named one of "The Harvard 100" most influential alumni. She has had an amazingly blessed life. But you wouldn't know it from her campaign rhetoric and her griping about her and her husband's student loans.
For years, we've heard liberals get offended at any challenge to their patriotism. And so they are again aggrieved and rising to explain away Mrs. Obama's remarks.
Lady Michelle and her defenders protest too much.
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