Solipsism on Display

Last week, I had to look up the word “solipsistic,” used by a British columnist in describing Michelle Obama’s generosity when UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife were in Washington, D.C. I’ve never seen a single word so perfectly sum up a woman, or a family, so darned well.

Go ahead. Look it up yourself. Solipsism. Then, we’ll move on.

Yesterday, there was a great piece in The Wall Street Journal about Mrs. Obama’s emerging and evolving role as First Lady, and how the press coverage of that role–a “new-found” of welcome focus on military families–neglected the grace and selflessness displayed daily by former First Lady Laura Bush. An excerpt:

By choosing Fort Bragg for her first official trip outside the capital last Thursday, Michelle Obama signaled that she will use her position as First Lady to promote one of America’s most deserving causes: our military families. Plainly the families loved it. Just look at the smiles on those children as she read them “The Cat in the Hat.”

So it was just a little disconcerting the next morning to hear the First Lady explain how she came to this issue during last year’s campaign. “I think I was like most Americans,” she told ABC News. “Pretty oblivious to the life of military families. Sort of taking it for granted.”

Perhaps Mrs. Obama did take these families for granted. Surely, however, it’s extraordinary to suggest that “most Americans” did the same. Certainly not the McCains, the Bidens and the Palins, each of whom had at least one son in uniform. More to the point, the presidential campaign in which she says the issue started “taking shape” for her came nearly seven years into a war that has inspired millions across America to step forward to help our troops.

The informal help includes everyday things such as providing meals or rides for a neighbor or church member whose spouse has been deployed overseas. The Web site lists many of the more formal initiatives, which range from sending CARE packages overseas to helping homefront spouses find jobs. Under the category “military family support,” the Web site provides links to more than 200 programs or organizations.

If the ABC interview was a one-off thing, it would be easy to overlook. But these days the reporting seems to reflect an assumption that if the Obamas haven’t done something, nobody else has, either. Certainly the Washington Post did not challenge the First Lady’s social secretary when she said, “one idea Michelle had was to have an event for military families — here they are sacrificing so much for the country and many of them probably have never been invited to the White House.”

This uncritical reportage does Laura Bush an injustice. In hundreds of ways — picnics on the South Lawn, fund-raising for scholarships for the children of sailors on the USS Texas, unheralded visits with the wounded and families of the fallen, the work she did for military kids under her Helping America’s Youth initiative — Mrs. Bush showed our troops and their loved ones how close they were to her heart.

Once again, we see Michelle Obama’s solipsism, on display for all to see like the First Lady’s buff arms on a cold January morning in the nation’s capital. Unlike what happened with regard to the flap surrounding the lackluster and thoughtless gifts given to the Brown family, however, the press seems more than happy to embrace it.

Everything this family does has been, and will continue to be, historic. Even if the act itself is not, because it involves the Obama family, it will be ground-breaking and, in covering it, the press will neglect everything done before. We see it with regard to coverage of the president’s approach to the economic crisis — even though he is employing many of the same practices used by former President Bush and Congress during the lead-up to the crisis (see TARP and government intervention in banks), the press looks at Obama’s movements as revolutionary and Bush’s actions as the cause of the problem.

Solipsism. Said quickly, it kind of sounds like “solar system.” In this case, however, it is the Obama family, and not the sun, which stands at the center of everything we know.



  1. Gail B says:

    That woman has yet to say or do ONE THING that I can appreciate! When I first read the word days ago, I thought, “A better term for her would be SLOPISM.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    First of all I would like to thank you for you excellent news reporting as well as your unwavering ethical standards.

    Respectfully might I ask, are you aware that local meetings are happening all over the country to inform and MOBILIZE the American citizens into nominating delegates for the 2009 Continental Congress that is happening this year? I have personally attended a meeting. It gives “We The People” REDRESS. This is not conspiratorial. Bob Shulz is the real deal. He is non-partisan.

    “This Right, and the corollary Right to enforce the Right to Secure Redress by withholding taxes holds the promise to correct much of what ails our nation. The GML 2007 conference will focus on the broader application of the Right to Petition to address numerous areas of constitutional abuse by our government.”

    Anybody that doesn’t know who Bob Shulz is and the “We The People Foundation” should make it a priority and then take ACTION to educate others to do the same. Would you please consider looking into the event known as the 2009 Continental Congress and then report on it?

  3. cdh says:

    watch barack fill out an NCAA tourney bracket!!!

    it’s historic!!!

    rome, fiddle, yadda yadda…..

  4. Anonymous says:

    That picture is eerie, kinda like it was taken thru a scope.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for all you do.
    Great work and insight in this piece. As a southern belle and finishing school graduate (not bragging here since I know calligraphy better than math)I have been so shocked by MO’s sleeveless attire–and “bareing of arms”: on magazine covers is one thing–but in government buildings-and at government ceremeonies is an outrage.
    It is considered an extreme breach of etiquette–leave it to me to be shocked by this–along with her thinking most americans do not realize the plight of military families. Most of us have fathers. grandfathers, sons, or nephews that have proudly served this great country. I am one who will greatly cherish my grandfather’s role is WWII–and my nephew’s role, currently serving in Iraq.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great commentary, Jeff, as usual.

    The classlessness of the Obamas, compared to the Bushes, was further made evident yesterday with “W”s comment, when asked to critique Obama’s administration, that “he derserves my silence”.

    Obama takes shots (even during his inauguration speech, with the Bushes sitting there) at Bush constantly, trying to pin every problem on the prior administration, and being the infantile “solipsist” that he is, he’ll whine all the way through his administration. His arrogance is mind-boggling.

    The only thing missing when he saunters on camera is the bubble gum. Can’t you just see him standing before the mike with his adoring fans waiting breathlessly for his pearls of wisdom to fall on them, and him blowing a big bubble before he speaks?

  7. Let us move forward says:

    The press is out to cover up for them still. A very dangerous Emperor’s clothes situation.

    The News Hour had a piece on the First Lady soon after the British “incident”, with people singing her praises and stating how perfectly she had done every thing since becoming First Lady. No specific examples were offered though.

    Those that do not wish to see. Or is it “love” is blind? When will the honeymoon be over?

  8. Laurie says:

    Jeff….I like you and A LOT of Americans reject MO’s assertion that we were… “Pretty oblivious to the life of military families. Sort of taking it for granted.” How dare she!! And for someone who just woke up, she may want to tell her husband so that he doesn’t go any further with the “thought” of charging our military for health insurance!!

    What a disgrace and embarrassment the occupants of the White House are….

  9. JUST SHOOT ME NOW says:

    Definition: philosophical zombie. That sums up her, hubby and all the a-hole liberals, progressives, communists, socialists and fascists surrounding them. Dear God above, what have we done (or not done) to deserve this scourge?

  10. Anonymous says:

    i do not know, if americans realize that when our boy at wh is disarming our country, the potential enemies are rearming

  11. cdh says:

    watch president obama make history on “the tonight show”!


  12. Dee says:

    I get the impression that BO thinks he is a movie star and MO is his arm candy. He loves the cameras and attention. He interviewed with ESPN yesterday, before the parties, and tomorrow will be on Jay Leno. When will he do the presidential work that we elected him to do? A previous comment points out the very obvious difference between these 2 and the Bush family. The Bushes were and continue to be very classy and dignified and this group is the exact opposite. The media continues to promote this star appeal. To me they are like Babs Striesand and I have totally lost respect for her.

  13. tm says:

    This woman is the epitome of talking out of both sides of her mouth. She would get an A for her work on the Marxist effort. For the first time in my adult life I am ashamed of this “First Lady”.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Loved this one, Jeff.
    A good leader will surround himself with competence; the Obama's picks are reflective of their shortcomings. That statement ("…many of them probably have never been invited to the White House.") by MO's social secretary is stunning, and condescending. So now they let military guests in the front door? How generous, no "solipsistic".
    By contrast, how about Ari Fleicher on Mathew's Softball the other night! He countered the lapdog by reminding pointing out that Obama should be happy that he doesn't have Saddam Hussein & Sons to worry about now. Thank you, Military.

  15. Anonymous says:

    OK, I was getting ready to look up “Solipsism” so thanks for posting it here for me…lol. After reading MO’s College thesis I have no respect for her at all. She doesn’t hold a candle to Laura Bush and certainly doesn’t have the moral values. Too bad it took her this long to “appreciate” our military families but to claim MOST Americans take them for granted is hogwash!

    “Don’t let the world squeeze you into it’s mold”


  16. Pole & 18th-21st Street Block Watch says:

    When I look deeply into that woman’s eyes I see very clearly the gateway to hell. She makes the hairs on my neck stand up. I can sense her treachery, I see it in her soulless eyes. To think anyone compared this good for nothing tacky classless dog to Jackie O is one more slap in Kennedy’s face. That woman wouldn’t know class if it bit her in the ass.

  17. LOOK BEHIND YOU says:

    EVERYTHING in this administration is a DIVERSION, including coverage of Michelle’s fine, toned ‘guns’ (to divert from her be-dunky-dunk). Just sayin.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I know this is way off the subject, and it’s my second comment of the day, but I understand that Obama has signed an Executive Order to stop the miliary from selling their expended “brass” to industry for re-loading. I understand that now it must be melted down to keep it out of the commercial market.

    The significance of this is that it is a back-door method of restricting ammunition for assault weapons. The military expends millions of rounds in the process of training, and this “brass” is then recycled and sold to civilians.

    I’m no fan of the sale of assault weapons, but “under the cloak of darkness” that I fear coming from the Obama administration.

    And maybe if Obama allowed the military to sell the expended cartridges on the open market, he wouldn’t have to consider charging vet’s for medical care.

    Just thinking ——-.

  19. PULL OVER says:

    Dee said…
    "I get the impression that BO thinks he is a movie star and MO is his arm candy".

    That movie would be Dumb & Dumber.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Excellent work, Jeff. I just love your site and keep coming back on a daily basis to have a better insight on what’s really going on with the American folk.

    Keep it up!

  21. Anonymous says:


  22. Gail B says:

    cdh said–

    “watch barack fill out an NCAA tourney bracket!!!

    “it’s historic!!!

    “rome, fiddle, yadda yadda…..”

    You guessed it! Check it out:
    From NBC First Read, “Looking Back at Today” I found this:

    “President Obama revealed his NCAA bracket, final four picks and national champion. He penciled in North Carolina, a popular pick, to win the big game.”


    That is one UGLY American Idol semifinal photo. Wadda ya think she’s singing?

  24. Gail B says:

    Ug! I’ll be glad when you move onto something else, so that ugly thing at top right page gets moved down a bit.

    Tell you what–I’ll send you a picture of my dog, Buckshot, to put in her place. He’s a lot better looking!–not to mention being a lot nicer.

  25. Linda says:

    To Anonymous re Ammo: My husband is an FFL holder, so we have been following this closely. See
    They have seen the light (at least on this and at least temporarily).

  26. Linda says:

    I hate to even call this person a woman because it denegrates my sex. Where does one start with this person? She is and always will be . . . . well, never mind . . . I can’t say that here.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Jeff, I suggest a new rule for this site: you can only post a maximum of ONE Michelle Obama photo per month. Some of us have a low threshold of pain.


  28. Linda says:

    Okay – here’s something that might make some of you feel good. I’m in Southern California (no condolences please). Evidently President Bush (yes, I still call him President) was in Southern California yesterday visiting an ill friend. From what I understand people in the area that he was in came out of their homes and out of their businesses and applauded him as he passed by. No one told them to do that, no one held up the teleprompter. They were out there showing their respect. Thanks goodness there are still those of us around.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Well somebody at CNN has fallen in love with MO. He said so a few days ago right there on CNN.

  30. Anonymous says:

    seems she still hasn’t done any thing on her own. for college she was part of her brothers sports scholarship. Her hospital job was because her husband was a senator, when she left the job ceased to exist. Now she is queen of the world because her husband conned his way in to the White House (still surprised they didn’t use an executive order to change that name).

    So just like barry, when off script they usually screw it up pretty good, but at least the media is there to cover it up or tell us what they really meant even if it is the exact opposite of what they said.

    Our “ahem” leaders and the media think we are all idiots. but only 52% fell for the con and voted for him, so almost half of us are smarter than a third grader.

  31. Anonymous says:

    they said:

    “By choosing Fort Bragg for her first official trip outside the capital last Thursday, Michelle Obama”

    oh yeah that’s right, her private Air Force One trip to Chicago for dinner wasn’t official. So lets see the receipt of the obamas paying for that Valentines trip.

    and the party continues at our expense. makes ya proud don’t it.

  32. goddessdivine says:

    She doesn’t hold a candle to Laura Bush. MO has denigrated the position of first lady.

    Linda, thanks for sharing that bit about Bush in so. Cal. At least some people have some intelligence.

    (Ha! word ver: consve)


    To George W. Bush,

    Mr. President thank you for keeping me safe for 8 years. Thank you for your heartfelt love of this country and your ability to speak from that heart over those 8 years. I miss you and your wife so much.


    This administration is worse than locust swarms and rivers running red with blood. Could it be?, THIS is the APOCALYPSE? Barry Soetoro, THE TWELFTH IMAM. Who would have thought he would have such big ears?

  35. REALITY AT IT'S BEST says:

    Unrelated, but…..

    Could we start a fund, a huge fund, possibly commercially sponsored, that would pay 20 million dollars each to any former (and present) President that would post their long form birth certificate and college records online for all to see? We all know politicians can’t pass up a buck and this would finally expose Barry as the fraud that he is.

  36. Still a Patriot says:

    Hello Jeff -
    I find this woman increasingly repulsive. Any ideas on her ulterior motives? She must have them, but I am at a loss to guess.
    Laura Bush was one classy lady & I for one miss her very much.
    May God help us all.


  37. Anonymous says:

    Unrelated, but…..

    Could we start a fund, a huge fund, possibly commercially sponsored, that would pay 20 million dollars each to any former (and present) President that would post their long form birth certificate and college records online for all to see? We all know politicians can’t pass up a buck and this would finally expose Barry as the fraud that he is.

    Better yet, offer a one-time $20 million college scholarship fund for children of military families, if Michelle (or Obama) would provide his long-form birth certificate. Then both could be exposed when they refused. lol

  38. Ian Thorpe says:

    I wonder if solipsists (aka egomaniacs) like the Obama’s would maintain their mind was the only thing they know exists if somebody hit them in the face with a shovel?

    Actually they both look as if they have been hit in the face with a shovel at some time so its a question that needs to be asked.

    (Immanuel Kant said “objects exist in reality. Only a human mind can surround them with time and space”. Its a nice antithesis, our mind provides the surreal envioronment of our perceptions in which reality must reside.)

  39. toto says:

    Is it just me, or does she really look like the Grinch that stole Christmas? Shocking resemblance.

  40. 2 TON WINCH says:

    Maybe the WINCH that stole Christmas. The Grinch is way more appealing and personable.

  41. WoeIsMe says:

    Great posts. But as for me its a little to late to be crying in our soup when these people were elected by the American public. This is be a great lesson for us after this guy is booted out in four years!!

  42. Anonymous says:

    It cracks me up that you didn’t know the meaning of “solipsistic” without looking it up. And you call yourself an educated person!

    I see you are continuing to attract the crazies in the comments: “I hate to even call this person a woman because it denegrates my sex.” Great stuff! Your audience satirizes itself every day. No fictional commentator could be more over the top.

  43. BAAAAAAAAA says:

    Sheeple alert at 2:18

  44. Anonymous says:

    ‘Gail B said…
    That woman has yet to say or do ONE THING that I can appreciate! When I first read the word days ago, I thought, “A better term for her would be SLOPISM.”

    March 18, 2009 11:12 AM ‘


    Great blog, btw.

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