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Michelle Obama is afraid of…South Carolina?

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 13, 2009 10:15 PM

First, the White House goes to war with Fox News.

Now, if Democrat Rep. James Clyburn is to be believed, it looks like the First Lady is spoiling for a tiff with the state of South Carolina.

Is there anyone Team Obama isn’t willing to alienate these days?

Via the SC Post and Courier:

U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said Friday that a conversation with White House staff left him with the sense that a hostile environment in South Carolina is keeping the first lady from visiting.

The high-ranking South Carolina Democrat said he has received more than 100 invitations for Michelle Obama. But this summer when he brought one of those requests to her staff on behalf of his alma mater, South Carolina State University, Clyburn said her security was an issue.

The conversation came after former Richland County GOP activist Rusty DePass suggested on Facebook in June that an escaped zoo gorilla was not harmful because it was probably one of Mrs. Obama’s ancestors. DePass’ comment was coupled with a remark in July from U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican. DeMint said that beating the president’s health care plan would be a ‘Waterloo’ moment for Obama.

Congressman Joe Wilson’s ‘You lie!’ outburst during Obama’s joint address on health care reform last month didn’t help either, Clyburn said.

‘A lot of it has to do with the fact that the climate in South Carolina just is not good, and that’s a shame,’ Clyburn said at a roundtable discussion at his Columbia office.

‘I do believe it is keeping her away from this state,’ he said.

Hat tip: Jenn Q. Public, who calls out the Democrats for smearing with a broad brush:

Yes, a moronic South Carolina GOP grunt wrote something shameful about the first lady and a couple of politicians made bold statements about the president and his policies. How do those comments indicate a statewide climate hostile enough to jeopardize Mrs. Obama’s security?

Simple answer: they don’t.

The White House isn’t keeping Michelle Obama out of South Carolina to protect her from assassins in white hoods. South Carolina is being kept off her itinerary to send a message: embarrassing the president will not be tolerated. (Are you listening Joe Wilson?) Dissent will be contorted into proof that racist backwater bumpkins in the south are undermining Obama’s presidency and endangering the very life of the first lady with their dangerous coded rhetoric.

Who cares about smearing the people of South Carolina? After all, it’s just a red state.

If this tactic of criminalizing dissent seems familiar, it should be.

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