Saturday, October 16, 2010

Michelle Votes

Pictured is the First Lady casting her early ballot in Chicago on Thursday. As usual, she was very understated and went about her private business of casting her citizen's vote quietly and without fanfare. After casting her ballot, Michelle commented to reporters: "That's the second time I've been proud of America. We didn't even need the New Black Panthers to protect the polls."

All right. I made that up. But Princeton and Harvard graduate and legal genius Michelle (Wikipedia says her occupation is "lawyer," so it must be true) decided to hold an impromptu political rally inside the Chicago polling place. She told some of her fellow voters that she had voted to support her husband and to help Democrats who need to be in office for the betterment of America. The average person might be a little annoyed by the partisanship, but an alleged lawyer is supposed to know, well, the law.

And Illinois law is clear. No kind of political speech within the sanctity of the polling place. A lawyer would know that expressing her view of why she voted the way she did, and for whom, is political speech forbidden by the law of her home state. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 as cold oatmeal and 10 being a tsunami hitting New York City, I make this a 2 or 3. The exact wording of the Illinois statute is: "No person shall engage in any political discussion within any polling place or within 100 feet of any polling place." So obviously, this is a rather technical violation that a layman could easily make without thinking.

But two things occur to me. First, the Obamas hold themselves out to be ethical, knowledgeable followers of the law and the Constitution as well as practitioners of law. Lawyers are supposed to be held to a higher standard of care and knowledge, most particularly about the niceties of the most important act a free citizen can accomplish--the vote. Lawyers have been disciplined, suspended and disbarred for far more technical and much less far-reaching unprofessional acts.

Second, there is the mainstream media non-coverage of the event--very much in keeping with yesterday's discussion. If Laura Bush had done something half this bad, the press would have made it the biggest story of the week, complete with calls for her husband to take her out behind the woodshed and administer punishment. The screams of agony and indignation over Laura's attempt to derail the democratic process and unlawfully influence voters would have been heard 'round the world--twice. And Laura was a librarian, not a "lawyer."

Michelle the Lawyer didn't actually electioneer--which is what most people would think of when considering speech at a polling place. But the Illinois statute was written broadly to avoid any hint of politics or influence where people are voting. Section 17-29 of the Illinois Elections Code goes beyond electioneering, forbidding any political discussion in or near a polling place. Michelle clearly suffers from attacks of logorrhea, but this one time she should have been able to control it.

It is also important to note that though she did not make those remarks at the site directly to reporters, she knew full good and well they were there, listening and recording. So she wasn't really just having a little kaffee klatsch with a couple of local private citizens. Her "sincere" reasons for voting for Democrats and her husband's policies were meant to be heard far beyond the polling place. Which would be perfectly fair politics if the remarks had not been made within the polling place.

So Michelle's message didn't get out to the vast audience she intended it to reach because to do so would require the MSM to highlight the fact that Michelle, plainly and simply, broke the law. Some publications printed the message anyway, and ignored where the comments were made. Others, if mentioning the location at all, denigrated the idea that this was anything more than a simple slip-up. The networks either ignored the whole thing entirely, or mentioned a controversy stirred up by anti-Obama Republicans who were creating a tempest in a teapot (at a Tea Party?).

So even though I'd give her a slap on the wrist and a pass for this breach of ethics and decorum, and violation of election law, it's still an important story, if only because once again, the MSM is still participating in the perpetual political campaigns of the Obamas.

18 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

Now I understand why Barack wants sharia law here in the US. He wants to muzzle his wife. That explains it.

Throw a burka on her, along with a muzzle and voila! Instant peace!! :-)

Tennessee Jed said...

Another of those pesky main stream media stories which are nothing, if not embarrassing, to Democrats. If they get reported at all, they tend to be buried and limited, if possible, to a single news cycle. Fortunately, in the age of Drudge, Breitbart, Fox, and Commenterama, it is harder and harder for these things to completely fly under the radar.

Try googling an AP story about a Tennessee HR race between Lincoln Davis (D) and challenger Scott Desjarlais. Davis won't even refer to himself as a Democrat or run on his record and talks about his conservative values. When that didn't work, he resorted to mudslinging using ALLEGATIONS from DesJarlais divorce proceedings ten years ago. The AP story talks about Republicans spending 500K in ads to combat Davis' gutterball campaign. They don't even interview any Republicans and it is clear the story is intended to make it look like some kind of outside "piling on." I have never seen such dirty politics as Democrats this year. Our local paper merely runs the AP story when it would be so easy to lay out Davis' record.

BevfromNYC said...

TJ: They have to play dirty because they've got nothing to work with. That's why the "October Surprise" with the Chamber of Commerce. They have just pulled another "Dan Rather" with no proof and this time they didn't even have any forged documents.

And why does Michelle even have to make a statement at a polling place? Does she really think WE think she will NOT vote for "the Democrat"?

AndrewPrice said...

I am honestly getting sick of Democrats breaking the law with impunity. You know that if a Republican or the head of the NRA or the Chamber of Commerce did this, Holder would be standing at the podium seconds later announcing indictments and Illinois would be locking them up as a flight risk.

Yet the Democrats can engage in illegal campaigning, they can use illegal money, they can "find" fake ballots, they can vote multiple times, they can submit falsified ballots for old people, they can register Mickey Mouse, they keep the military from voting, they lie/slander, they use the court to shut up their opponents. . . and nothing ever happens to them.

Tam said...

Something's going to happen to them on Nov 2. (insert evil laugh and menacing hand wringing here)

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: I knew there had to be an upside to fundamentalist Islam. And I think you just found it.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: The Democrats are doing a beautiful job of running this year. That is, if you count them running away from their own banner and their own "accomplishments." Since I moved, I have actually found out that in some places they actually give Republicans a nearly-even break. The MSM honchos here in the California Central Valley are liberals, but their readers, watchers and employees are largely conservative.

Almost Heaven, West Caliente. Tehachapi Mountains, Republican Kern River (apologies to John Denver).

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: She wants everyone to think she's smart. Smart people aren't going to vote for the Democrats. So she had to make her little speech to convince smart people to vote dumb. It's the Democrat/therapy mantra: "Don't tell us what you think, tell us what you feel."

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I'm with you. Holder would already have a full task force in place, complete with specially-funded private counsel from the ACLU.

You also touched on my worst fear about the Democrat machine in California. If Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina win by a narrow margin, we will have a Democrat in the State House and the Senate after the Democrats are done rigging the recount.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tam: The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. This time he's takething away from the Democrats. Tee-hee.

StanH said...

Once again a glaring example of the double standard, there are people who follow the rules (conservatives) and those who don’t (liberals).

Nothing will come of this, we must remember, rules are for the other people.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: Ain't it the truth? If that had been Laura or Barbara Bush speechifying at the polls, Holder would have sent in the FBI and the National Guard and the New York Times would have had a banner headline: "First Lady attempts to overthrow democracy." But since it was Michelle, the silence is deafening.

LL said...

Michelle defended her political speech and her right as, "All pigs are equal but some are more equal than others!"

Yes, I made that up, but she could have said it and liberals would have applauded and nodded their heads enthusiastically in approbation.

LawHawkRFD said...

LL: It fits, although I doubt she'd get the reference since I also doubt she would have read (let alone liked) Animal Farm.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

This is deliberate because she is the daughter of a precinct captain. A precinct captain wouldn't fail to instruct his daughter in the niceties of poll etiquette, if only to avoid embarassment.

Just another Marie Antoinette moment.

BevfromNYC said...

So, does this mean that when I go to my polling place (in a church, btw) and start speechifying after I vote, that I can just say that the First Lady Michelle Obama did it, so I thought it was legal?

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: A Chicago precinct captain would forbid only Republican messages. Otherwise, short of wearing a 10 inch Obama button, pretty much anything else goes. Putting Chicago precinct captains in charge of the polls is like putting the inmates in charge of the asylum.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Since your polling place is in a church, I suggest you do it in the form of a prayer. "Lord, this is your obedient servant, Bev, praying that you will give us victory over the godless commies in the administration of Michelle Obama's husband. Amen." It's non-denominational, so you don't have to convert to whatever faith the church subscribes to. LOL

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