Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Blogging, Politics — Rick Moran @ 1:48 pm

Rob Port is at CPAC and took a White House tour which included the White House Library:

Now, according out the person who guided our tour, the library is stock with books picked out by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. Being a bit of a bibliophile, I started to peruse some of the books on the shelves…and lookie, lookie what I found (click for a larger view):


By itself, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But in the context of Anita Dunn saying Chairman Mao is her favorite political philosopher? In the context of the Mao ornament on the White House Christmas tree?

In the context of Obama’s economic policies?

Well, I’ll let you make your own call.

OK. My call is that you’re a loon.

Anyone looking at my father’s library would have had him arrested for sedition if they thought like Mr. Port. My dad had Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, Michael Harrington, Howard Zinn, and a host of socialists, communists, and other far left authors on his book shelf. The fact that he was a dyed in the wool capitalist, a New Deal Democrat, a veteran of World War II, and a practicing Catholic would not make any difference to someone of Mr. Port’s ilk. Those books are in his library so obviously, he must agree with their content.

Of course, this is anti-intellectualism run rampant. Whoever our next president is going to be, I hope to god they have a supple and open enough mind to have read Marx and Engels, as well as Ambrose and Friedman. I hope they inculcate this attitude of open scholarship and free inquiry into their children. I hope there are no ideas or ideology they fear. And I hope they can recognize this liberty of mind as essential to the liberty of the soul.

Parenthetically, I see where Michelle Obama also placed John Hicks seminal work on prairie populism, The Populist Revolt: A History of the Farmers’ Alliance and the People’s Party on the shelf. What are we to think of someone who displays a book about a grass roots rebellion against east coast elites? That they support the tea party movement?

Just asking.


  1. Thank you, sir. Just when common sense appears to be extinct, this is written. I see 10 books in the photo. And for the most part are grouped by a topic. I’m SHOCKED I tell you, shocked!!! And while I have not toured the WH library, it would not be a great shock if there were more than 10 books in it.

    My nearest book shelve include Paul Krugman, Pope Benedict XVI, Shel Silverstein, Richard Dawkins, Milton Friedman, Mark Twain, Peggy Noonan, Thich Nhan Hahn and a DVD of Chicago’s own Steve Goodman. I wonder what impression that would make on Mr. Port? I know, as a registered Independent, and a reader of things I may disagree with, I am a squishy middle of the roader without strong convictions.

    And here I thought it was important to just be informed, not just consuming more of what I already think.

    Comment by still liberal — 2/18/2010 @ 2:11 pm

  2. still liberal said:

    And here I thought it was important to just be informed, not just consuming more of what I already think.

    I don’t actually have anything to add to this. Just wanted to repeat it. Carry on.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 2/18/2010 @ 2:46 pm

  3. What’s most notable is that the books are ancient. I doubt any of them were originally published in Michelle Obama’s lifetime.

    Comment by Brainster — 2/18/2010 @ 3:10 pm

  4. Still Liberal:

    Shel Silverstein? Not The Giving Tree, I hope. I hate that book.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 2/18/2010 @ 3:32 pm

  5. That’s pathetic. He’s on a Whitehouse tour and that’s what he noticed. Forget the rampant stupidity about making hay from a few books in a library that probably consists of thousands. Forget the irony of missing the old adage of not judging a book by it’s cover.

    But, he literally found nothing else of interest in the Whitehouse?

    Comment by Allen — 2/18/2010 @ 3:46 pm

  6. oy f’ing vey

    Comment by BellWeather Bill — 2/18/2010 @ 4:37 pm

  7. Washington Post update…perhaps Michelle Obama had nothing to do with any of these books being placed where they are?


    Everyone is so quick to play “AHA!”…it’s sad and disappointing. I await the Photoshopped pictures of George W. Bush’s library choices and accompanying jokes. Maybe there will be a great new controversy erupting here where real pictures of the Obama’s reading lists are revealed. The left will call these people Bookers or something else suitably clever.

    Comment by sota — 2/18/2010 @ 5:49 pm

  8. Beautifully said, Rick. Right on.

    Comment by Tc — 2/18/2010 @ 6:33 pm

  9. I’m sorry the conservative movement has left you behind. I’m an atheist but I have a copy of the Bible on my bookshelf and have read more of it than most people who claim to be Christians. I also have a copy of Atlas Shrugged and I’ve read it although I find Rand’s philosophy repulsive.

    Comment by Ron Beasley — 2/18/2010 @ 9:25 pm

  10. The antenna in my tinfoil hat allows me to contact Rush Limbaugh to get the CPAC approved reading list. Right now I am reading “Red meat and Kool aid, the John Birch Society cookbook”.

    On a more serious note, I picked up Mao’s little red book to see what the fuss was all about in the Red Guard era. What a load of nonsense psychobabble. But it is still on my bookshelf, guess I’m still in the Red Guard.

    Comment by grognard — 2/19/2010 @ 9:07 am

  11. How about her dissertation, her remarks how she was only proud of America, because Obama might get elected, or his syllabi in his courses at the U. Chicago,I agree it’s a cheap shot to focus on her book case,

    Comment by narciso — 2/19/2010 @ 12:39 pm

  12. Rick,

    Good points all. In my opinion one of the regrettable things about the internet and 24 hour news cycle is that it has made us a nation of shallow people making decisions on terribly thin information.
    I am only 50 but grew up in a time when we would spend many of our summer vacation days going to the library, checking out a bunch of books and then hanging out reading them all.
    In the past year I’ve made a conscious change in that I force myself to read a book a week as well as subscribe to Foreign Affairs just to get serious background on weighty topics.
    As for which books the President has I agree that there is no need for hysterics. I can remember my brother and I in college when we discovered Ayn Rand. I spent a full week day and night tearing through that book. At the time we were sold on the ideas she had. 30 years later his experiences have led him to be fairly liberal as far as social ideas but he still is as conservative as it gets in his day to day lifestyle. Me, I went to a pretty conservative bent on all issues until after the 2000 election. At that point I began to reassess what my sources of information were and why I couldn’t question some aspects of conservatives. It caused me to get back into reading diverse works and I think I am better for it. Guess I’d call myself a full fledged moderate.

    Comment by Brad — 2/19/2010 @ 5:25 pm

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