Last week's state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was
from the beginning fraught with controversy -- or what passes for
was miffed that "such cultural oddities as potato and eggplant salad,
arugula, roasted potato dumplings, and red lentil soup" were to be
served. "No American beef was presented to our international guests."
"Uh - how long does fancy lettuce keep? And they grew enough to create
300-400 salads? Exactly how big is that White House garden? Are they
creating jobs by paying people $50 an hour to pick lettuce there?" etc.
RSE also thought it was weird that there would be a tent.
Others were enraged that the Obamas were having a state dinner
at all, given the state of the economy. "Don't expect to find any
criticism in the liberal media of the Obamas throwing this lavish
affair with so many people around the country out of work," said Freedom Eden. "Taxpayers Fund Lavish State Dinner For Leftists," said Freedom's Wings. (Also: "Arugula was on the menu. This was an elitist crowd after all.") Michelle Malkin helpfully provided a list of "the cronies, czars & corruptocrats at Obama's first state dinner."
American Power told readers, "First State Dinner to Exclude Congressional Republicans." "Obama Stiffs Republicans," said David Horowitz's NewsReal Blog. Actually House Minority Leader John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were invited and declined,
and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal attended, but that cut no ice with
rightbloggers. "And don't bore me with, 'Well, some Republicans were
invited!'" said Life With Monkeys.
" It is true however, it seems disingenuous since Obama has REFUSED to
meet with anyone from the GOP since APRIL, regarding health care," etc.
All this faded from view when it was revealed that a pair of gate-crashers,
Tareq and Michaele Salahi, attended the event without authorization,
which turned out to prove that Obama was in league with the
Palestinians in a plot to wipe out Israel.
In early innings,
although Obama wasn't standing at the gate holding the clipboard,
rightbloggers blamed him for the security breach. "Between the White
"The Obamas are Washington's version of the Beverly Hillbillies." "I
wonder if Barack Obama will blame George W. Bush for this as well?"
asked Scared Monkeys.
"The story went on to say it appeared that the couple belonged at the
event. ... So if they were say GOP'ers or looked like Tea party goers
then the Secret Service would have jumped in? What would some one look
like who did not belong at this event, a God fearing, First &
Second Amendment loving Republican?"
"I believe this embarrassing incident finds its greatest importance in its symbolism," declared NewsRealBlog.
"It represents an Administration that has consistently proven itself
faulty on who has the ear of the President and clueless on the policies
presented to the American people." Also mentioned: Reverend Wright,
ACORN, Van Jones, et alia.
While the legacy media chronicled the Salahis' attempts to wring money out of their now-famous stunt and get on a reality show, and Mrs. Salahi's cheerleader fantasies, the more adventuresome rightbloggers pursued a new angle: Obama's "five year relationship" with the Salahis.
By this, they meant that Obama had been photographed with the
Salahis at an MTV Rock The Vote event in 2005, which proves they have
the sort of close relationship with the President enjoyed by everyone
who has ever been photographed with him. (Also in attendance at the
event: John McCain and the Black-Eyed Peas. The conspiracy is more vast
than you can imagine!)
But that has never been the sort of thing that stops rightbloggers. "They actually knew Obama five years ago," said Right Truth. "BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA AND TAREQ SALAHI GO WAY BACK," said Reliapundit. "So-called 'party crashers' of Obama's dinner have known Obama for years," said Jacksonian Lawyer's Blog, etc.
Even worse, Tariq Salahi "serves as a board member for the American Task Force on Palestine," says American Pundit, "a lobbying group with established ties to the government of Mahmoud Abbas" -- also, per American Power,
"the 'moderate' rights groups pushing a thinly-veiled program of
Palestinian nationalism and the 'right of return' (the backdoor
destruction of Israel)."
American Power describes Salahi as a "former" rather than a current
member of the board, and the Task Force has removed Salahi's name from
its Web site, which liberal site Talking Points Memo describes as "scrubbing." (The New York Times seems to have removed a reference to Salahi's connection to the Task Force from its online article on the event, without explanation.)
has more conclusive proof than the Rock the Voter grip-and-grin of The
President's close ties with the Salahis: Obama's own words, concerning
his evenings spent with ... Rashid Khalidi, another Palestinian
supporter. The Task Force is an "inadvertent successor group of the
American Committee on Jerusalem (1995-2003), to which Khalidi once
served as President." Connect the dots, people! This makes the Salahis
"cronies" of Obama: "Based on President Obama's comfort level dining
with PLO activists, its feasible that either he or a close associate
extended the invitation to kindred Palestinian sympathizer Tareq Salahi
and his wife."
"Ashan speculated that intimacy with the Salahis might have been the reason that the state dinner was held in a tent," says Rick's Cafe American. "That way, the Salahis could have a conversation with Obama in the reception line and it would be less likely to be recorded."
The conspiratorial nature of the coverage brought back into the fray African Press International, which during the 2008 campaign claimed to have a damning Michelle Obama interview
that remains, at this writing, unproduced. "Somebody is not telling the
truth!" they announced -- which seemed promising, but alas, they
apparently meant Obama.
Eventually, as is customary with these guys, speculation grew darker.
"As far as I'm concerned, this 'incident' fits right in with the plans of the Muslim Brotherhood.," said JewPI.
"Yes, I think it's a conspiracy, and not only that. It's a conspiracy
decades in the making of which Americans are dangerously unaware."
"That Settles It... Obama Is In Fact A Jihadist," said Snooper's Take Our Country Back. "Remember. Obama is in fact a Jihadi scum bag."
"With Barack Obama, it's always about the radicalism," bold-faced Gateway Pundit. "Always."
Elsewhere, people talked about a different relationship pertaining to the event: that of the United States with India.
But by this point we doubt anyone's paying attention. We trust
rightbloggers will stay on the case, and investigate the role played by
the Salahis' other celebrity pals, Donny Osmond, Prince Charles, and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in this anti-Israel plot.
Roy Edroso's Rightbloggers: Exploring the right Wing Blogosphere appears courtesy of our sister paper in New York City, Village Voice.