She is visiting Miami on Tuesday, and will be recruiting campaign volunteers at Miami Lakes' Barbara Goleman Senior High. However, though the school is empty for the summer, some Republican members of the Miami-Dade school board don't want her there.
The Miami Herald reported that board member Renier Diaz de la Portilla, a Republican candidate for the Florida State House, has called for cancellation of the event. Similarly, another board member, Carlos Curbelo, has sent a letter to the board attorney, asking that he reconsider allowing the first lady to use the school "to benefit the president's re-election campaign."
Curbelo, who the paper said worked as a Republican strategist, wrote in the letter that allowing Obama to use the school is "inappropriate and sends the wrong message to our students, employees, and to taxpayers -- even if the president's campaign is willing to pay for all costs resulting from the event."
It's hard to view this through any other lens than racial, quite frankly, particularly Diaz de la Portilla's remarks:
"Don't these liberals have boundaries?" Diaz de la Portilla said. "Our schools are places for learning, not places for politicking."
Really? Boundaries? Keep in mind, school is closed for the summer, and the campaign pays to use it.
Beyond the obvious partisan nonsense, there's an ugly thread of disrespect, as Erin Kotecki Vest notes:
Disrespect. A party that tolerates outbursts of ‘YOU LIE’ during our country’s most honored traditions. A party that tolerates actual questioning of just how ‘American’ this sitting President really is…and if he truly loves his country. A party that encourages the First Lady not be allowed to speak on behalf of her husband…as EVERY FIRST LADY HAS DONE, simply because the other side…well, why is it then…because the other side didn’t want her to speak? Because they were afraid of what a strong, black woman would have to say to hundreds of supporters?
Or because they couldn’t stand the thought of this happening in ‘their’ school? In ‘their’ district? Heaven forbid the Obamas campaign, legally, on ‘their’ turf?
This is the woman who intimidates them simply by eating right and wearing a sleeveless shirt, obviously they can’t handle her on stage in their territory.
So we have this general disrespect aspect, and the race card aspect, and then how much of this is about the fact that Michelle Obama is a highly regarded woman? After all, women aren't really favorites of the Republican party, unless they're submissive, pregnant, and/or severely conservative.
My only consolation in this is that these petty little idiots made themselves look awful to anyone who thinks. Those who don't think will vote for the authoritarian conservatives anyway.