Thursday, March 26, 2009

Regulating the First Lady, NO JOKE


I know the Republicans right now are in disarray, acting like a child with out its bottle, and whining constantly, but to regulate the activities of the First Lady of the United States? A tad bit much, for my taste.

House Republicans are pressing for a change in federal law that could force Michelle Obama and future first ladies to do more of their policy work in public. But Democrats warn President Obama may take the attempt personally “as an attack on his wife.”

The GOP effort is being led by the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), whose initial salvo was rebuffed recently at a contentious committee markup session. Under Issa’s amendment, any government policy group that Mrs. Obama or another first spouse regularly participates in would be subject to a law requiring meetings to be announced in advance and, in most instances, public.

At the March 10 markup, Issa’s proposal triggered more than 35 minutes of impassioned debate. I’ve linked video of the exchange below, but Democrats clearly seemed to be recoiling at what some viewed as an effort to target Mrs. Obama.

Rep. William Clay (D-Mo.) suggested President Obama might see the legislation as a personal provocation that could trigger a fight. “Let me… caution my friend from California that, as you’re probably aware, this president is very guarded about his family,” Clay said. “I think that, no matter what you’re intending with this amendment, that the president may view this as an attack on his wife. And I’m just saying, you know, let’s be careful--if we want to open up that can of worms. Let’s not go in that direction.”

“We are trying actually to protect the historic role of the first lady,” Issa insisted, repeatedly invoking the “transparency” mantra of the Obama administration. “I believe this is open government at its finest.”

“What is protection to one person may be just the opposite to another,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) observed.

Where was this amendment when Laura Bush was the First Lady? Surely, she spoke on behalf of her husband. No, she was not as active as First Lady Michelle Obama, but again, she had her issues and she spoke about them. This is just more distraction crap, from the Republicans. I guess you have to try anything when you don't have anything to say.

The video below was recorded and the verbiage of the First Ladies' Amendment is around 10:57.

h/t jovie131

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