We’re used to the true wingnuts saying batshit crazy things about Obama, but Ann Althouse is not some Tea Party crank, she’s a law professor at the University of Wisconsin. And she tries to turn this umbrella bullshit into some weird and vague emotional narrative about Obama. She does a search of Dreams From My Father for the word “umbrella” and quotes the one passage she finds:
For a long time I sat between the two graves and wept. When my tears were finally spent, I felt a calmness wash over me. I felt the circle finally close. I realized that who I was, what I cared about, was no longer just a matter of intellect or obligation, no longer a construct of words. I saw that my life in America—the black life, the white life, the sense of abandonment I’d felt as a boy, the frustration and hope I’d witnessed in Chicago…. all of it was connected with this small plot of earth an ocean away, connected by more than the accident of a name or the color of my skin. The pain I felt was my father’s pain. My questions were my brothers’ questions. Their struggle, my birthright.
A light rain began to fall, the drops tapping on the leaves above. I was about to light a cigarette when I felt a hand on my arm. I turned to find Bernard squatting beside me, trying to fit the two of us under a bent-up old umbrella.
“They wanted me to see if you were okay,” he said.
I smiled. “Yeah. I’m okay.”
Flash forward, and he’s President. He is in the Rose Garden. It starts to rain. No man suddenly appears with an umbrella. He is getting wet and he is President — with plenty of airplanes and rifles and all of the world’s greatest military at hand — but he is still getting wet. He has to order the Marine to shelter him. It isn’t Bernard squatting with a bent-up old umbrella. It’s a Marine in full-dress uniform, with a fine unbent umbrella, which is nevertheless not correct under the official — male, rigid — Marine Corps regulations. Where are the words of encouragement, the embraces, the strong, true love? You could never forge yourself into a whole man by leaving those things behind!
Now, here is the whole world gathered around him. Was there ever anything more unlike the time when he was alone between 2 graves? And yet, back then, the moment a light rain began to fall, his brother was there, sent by others who loved to see if he was okay. And here he is, the center of the whole world’s attention, and he had to call for the umbrella. He is not okay.
WTF? Seriously. What? The? Fuck? This is a law professor at a major university, for crying out loud.