The Hollywood Left and its acolytes having played the old-white-man card and laid an egg, they’re trying the Marie Antoinette card. They will only deepen their misery.
They are attacking our Republic’s lovely and gracious First Lady for improving the White House tennis courts. This is supposed to make them look more better than her and, presumably, win votes for a party reduced to a choice between a sleazy pol and an unreconstructed old Stalinoid as their presidential nominee.
Their strategy is the equivalent of “you could run a monkey against this guy and beat him,” but they must suspect this is the brain-dead gesture of a party of grifters and whiners. So they fall back on bullying the president’s wife, another consequence of trying to obliterate gender in the name of diversity — unless it is rude manners.
The pretext is that the First Lady has taken the lead in improving the storied White House tennis courts. She recently advertised the fact that the project — supported by private donations, not your tax dollars — is advancing. You can bet your last tennis ball that if she did not advertise the fact, a congressperson from a bicoastal district would demand hearings and an investigation into why the secrecy and what the graft.
Absent that, they call her “tone deaf” and “insensitive” and some kind of “Marie Antoinette” for talking about making the White House grounds more better in the midst of a national (and global) health emergency and a natural disaster in Tennessee.
The White House tennis courts are pretty small potatoes compared to the luxuries the federals at all levels enjoy — at your expense, taxpayer! — such as the basketball and workout gyms for the pampered pols. Have there been any calls for suspending their use (and cost thereof) during these sad days? And anyway, why should the taxpayers be subsidizing these sloths with sauna rooms and steam baths and weight-lifting equipment? Why don’t they get their own? Why don’t they pass a bill saying all this stuff should go to the kids of Washington, D.C., who don’t have them?
The Washington, D.C., metropolitan area is wealthy, but its poverty rate is higher than the national average, and the extent of inequality between the rich and the poor is one of the widest in the country.
Rather than complain about the First Lady making White House improvements with private funds — every First Lady since Abigail Adams has made improvements in the White House — they might consider what they can do for the kids of Washington, many of whom do not enjoy the advantages taken for granted by the progeny of the power elite that sees in Melania Trump an outlet for their rage.
In the early 1950s, when elites were expected to be virtuous, a group of tennis-playing friends who lived near Rock Creek Park got the idea of inviting dead-end kids to the courts some of them had built in their backyards, to learn the sport and build character.
Keep ’em on the court and out of court, they quipped.
They were accomplished and well off and well connected, but they realized soon enough their idea would cost more than they could give, so they created the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation (WTEF). This has become an important Washington institution, inspiring other civic endeavors.
Venus and Serena Williams sponsor a Tennis and Learning Center in Anacostia. In Georgetown, a fine organization for many years has used private initiative and dollars to improve and maintain a charming park. Known as Friends of Rose Park, it cares not only for the local tennis courts but also for the adjacent little league baseball field and the outdoor basketball court, as well as the adjacent nature walks and kiddie playground.
In this vein, a new organization, Tennis at Fort Lincoln Park, has addressed some of the demand for tennis instruction on the east side of the city that the Tennis and Education Foundation, for all its accomplishments, cannot fill (it has a waiting list).
Tennis is just one way that community-minded citizens make a difference. It was quite fitting for Michelle Obama, when she was First Lady, to salute the WTEF and encourage kids to play tennis, and by extension any sport. It was fitting for Laura Bush to promote reading and for Lady Bird Johnson to lead a keep-America-beautiful campaign.
The idea of expanding and improving the White House tennis courts, which have not changed much since Theodore Roosevelt played on them, is, if nothing else, a nod to such civic initiatives. Who in his right mind can object?
What in the world is wrong with a First Lady using her inevitable fame, call it celebrity if you want, to inspire by example? Saying we should stop doing good things, as certain Hollywood types do, with an indignation that drips of malice and hypocrisy that because there was a deadly storm in Tennessee and the world is cringing from a communist-caused viral epidemic, means what, exactly? Mrs. Trump had an apt and characteristically low-key response to the rudeness. Instead, she implied, of venting your spleen on me, take time and contribute something in your own community.
Far from being tone-deaf, Mrs. Trump is saying life goes on, and it goes on as well as it does in our country because private citizens care for their communities and match their money to their caring.
Due to a bizarre derangement syndrome, nothing the president does, and by extension nothing anyone in his family does, can gain approval in certain quarters; on the contrary, his and their motives must be impugned, reviled, and despised.
One cannot help but be reminded of another famously beautiful woman who happened to be also an immigrant who married a powerful man. The Hapsburg princess Marie Antoinette was given in marriage — at 15 — to the Dauphin of France, soon to be Louis XVI. Though popular at first, the young queen within a few years found herself sucked into the inferno of the French Revolution and was targeted by the monsters who led France — and the modern world — down the path to ruin.
Obviously our century is not the 18th, and our Republic is not the Old Regime, but it is striking how hate-mongering elites resemble one another across centuries and societies. In their zeal to destroy the monarchy and to concentrate power into their hands, the Revolution’s radicals turned on Marie Antoinette as a representative of the alleged wickedness they were going to replace with a Republic of Virtue. It got ugly, and then it turned to murder.
We are not there, obviously, though the White House tennis improvement project has evoked comparisons between Melania and Marie Antoinette by haters who most likely could not tell you the evil their mental and ideological predecessors did to the immigrant martyred queen.
But apart from their manifest hatred of beautiful immigrants, there is something very sick abroad when their response to a First Lady’s support for a healthy all-American sport is to hound and insult her. That she should answer the envious and the malcontents with her customary grace will, of course, only fuel their rage. In their own way, though not as drastically, they will end up, as did the killers of Marie Antoinette, consuming their own.