Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Michelle Malkin Visits Orange County Conservatives!

Well, it turned out to be more than a "book signing" after all (as I noted this morning).

From the home of the "suburban warriors" of Orange County, the event was billed "An Afternoon with Michelle Malkin." The conservative columnist, author, and Fox News contributor spoke for about 20 minutes from the lectern. She then took questions for well over an hour. Questions and answers were followed immediately by a book signing, out in the main lobby (more on that below).

I arrived a little early, toting along my copy of Culture of Corruption (seen here with the tasty boxed lunch, provided by Plum's Café & Catering):

Before Michelle arrived, here's Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrist, posing for pictures with Diane DeVore, the wife of U.S. Senate candidate Chuck DeVore:

Michelle listened graciously as she received a standing ovation from the audience (the crowd was pushing 1000 people, although I'm kicking myself now for not taking a picture of the group -- just really enjoying the moment of seeing Michelle and not worrying about "reporting"):

Michelle brought a copy of this week's Newsweek, which features Sarah Palin on the cover. Holding it up, she noted that while everyone's frothing over the sexist cover shot, the inside picture featuring Palin as a loose Catholic school girl was over-the-top.

In fact, she's got a post up on it tonight, "
The More Offensive Newsweek Photo of Sarah Palin." The Palin cover is just one more example of the leftist media's double standard, Michelle argued, another case of "Female Conservative Derangement Syndrome."

The talk was pretty wide-ranging after that. Michelle suggested that what bothered her most about the Obama regime was its nexus between the corrupt Chicago machine and the hardline communists playing a central role in the administration. (Anita Dunn wasn't "thrown under the bus. She just switched seats.") What impressed me was Michelle's connection with the audience. Conservatives adore her, of course, and our crowd was no exception. But Michelle returned the affection. She argued that the tea party movement was taking the country back, and providing a real focal point of accountability for the Democrats. And it's the grassroots conservatives and bloggers who're the genuine source of real-time feedback on American politics -- and conservative bloggers are providing the primary source material to combat the leftist media.


Especially compelling was Michelle's discussion of the administration's fundamental threat to political freedom in the United States. Noting her experiences talking with immigrants to the country, Michelle pointed out how intensely Democrats are stiffling dissent, and that we're seeing the most fundamental shift to political authoritarianism and intolerance than any time in recent history. For Michelle, the immigrants' experience is a constant reminder of how fragile our liberties are. (Newcomers to America have lived the repression, and they'll tell you when we're getting a replay on the homefront.) Holding her hand up with fingers pressed together, Michelle said, "we're this close to losing all that's precious in America." It's conservatives -- "folks just like you here today" -- who're going to preserve the freedoms that we enjoy. "We can never take these rights for granted."

It was a great talk, with lots more good comments and responses during the audience question time. Michelle was very patient with all participants, and she was extremely respectful of one man who offered a long-winded theoretical dissent against the conservative discourse on Fort Hood (I stepped out for a moment to use the restroom, so I only caught the tail-end of the man's comments, and then Michelle's response). Michelle said that "moral equivalence" is one of her biggest problems with extreme political correctness in the press: "Mormons are not launching terrorist attacks. Jewish Americans are not launching terrorist attacks. We've had decades of jihadi terrorism, well before George W. Bush was in office. But we can't even speak out about Muslim violence..." I'm quoting from memory, but this is the basic gist of Michelle's comments. When she fiinished the audience applauded, then Michelle thanked everyone for letting the man have his say, even if we disagreed with his views. (Also of note: I'll have to confirm it, but Michelle had a personal bodyguard standing nearby the entire time she spoke. Either that, or the university proivided security up close and personal. The gentleman was wearing a bullet-proof vest, which he adjusted a couple of times. Again, I'll need to confirm, but I thought it was smart of Michelle to be prepared, but also a sad state of our politics when major personalities need constant protection in public.)

In any case, anyone who's a fan of Michelle's would be familiar with the basic themes of the day's events, but it was another experience altogether to attend the talk. And the book signing was a real high point. I introduced myself and Michelle was glad to pose for a photo:

I told Michelle that "I write the blog American Power." And then she wrote a keeper of a message on the inside:

I complimented Michelle for a great lecture, and said I'd be in touch.

10 comments:

Dave said...

LOL-Damn Dr. Douglas, now I can officially say I'm jealous.

:-)

-Dave

Libby said...

donald, i'm also jealouus that you got to meet her! i like all the stuff she says, and i bet it was a neat day, just being able to hear her say it in person!

Sarge Charlie said...

some folks have all the luck, she is a superstar.

PRH....... said...

Great women...and the left hates her almost as much as they do Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin.

Which of course makes her a women to be admired.

Gotta find out if your Senate Canidate DeVore is related...my mom's maiden name is DeVore, from the Philly DeVores....

Reliapundit said...

awesome!

Dennis said...

Does anyone ever wonder why most of the bright, intelligent, and beautiful women are on the conservative side? You look at FOX or a large number of opinion makers on the right and you note strong women who represent women and humanity well and they actually seem to enjoy being with men.
I would posit that, not withstanding the Left's own transference of their real dislike for women other than as sex tools, Conservative men like and love strong women and truly enjoy having them for friends.
I personally love their feistiness and intelligence. Great women.

Grizzly Mama said...

Very cool!!! Love the pics. How lucky that you could go!

Debbie said...

Sounds like a great evening, glad you were able to go and participate. Nice picture. She must have the patience of Job.

As to the body guard, I'm sure she does. You know how unhinged the Left are about her, I would want a body guard too.

Deborah F. Hamilton
Right Truth
http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

FeFe said...

Thank you for sharing. A perfect picture postcard of a blog post making me wish I was there.

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

Donald, I am glad you had a great time. Being on the other side of the hills separating the OC from the Inland Empire, I would have loved to have been there too, but, alas, time restraints were too great. Great pictures. Envious.