Hamburger Politics? UPDATE

So, Michelle Obama took the girls out for a hamburger, fries and shakes yesterday.

I’ve had probably ten people email me saying, one way or another, “how nice that Michelle’s girls get to eat hamburgers while the country gets lectured about how it needs to eat better,” or “if they get blocked arteries, will Obamacare cover them or blame them for eating red meat?”

I understand their points. Having the White House carry on about obesity in children and poor eating habits, and then take the kids out for a burger can seem a little hypocritical, but it’s the sort of hypocrisy we all engage in, sometimes, and it is a political point only if you’re looking to (like Saul Alinsky and his acolytes) use your opponents own rules against them.

That Alinskian tactic is a particularly nefarious and passive-aggressive bit of business btw, because it operates with the sure knowledge that it is nearly impossible for any human person to wholly and perfectly live up to their own standards, all the time. We’re human. We embrace the rhetoric of healthy-living, but we like an occasional burger and shake. As that lady said to Ellen Degeneres, “I love Jesus, but I drink a little bit.” We want to live peaceably with everyone, but occasionally our patience runs short. We want to live according to the precepts of our creed, but sometimes we just can’t manage it.

That’s what mercy is for, and thank God for it! :-) In Alinskyland, however (and in too much of politics) there is no mercy, and so it becomes another moment to shout, “thou hypocrite.” It is particularly intolerant and silly, since eventually it will always come back to bite your own ass.

So, I say lay off Michelle Obama’s trip to the burger palace. There are much bigger rings to fry.

UPDATE:
Hmmm…I must admit, some people think of things a lot faster than I do. Ann Althouse wonders:

I hope this means Michelle and Barack will lay off lecturing us about what foods we ought to eat. Or will the next photo op be in the setting of the White House vegetable garden? . . . Those little girls are slim, certainly not obese, but what are other little girls supposed to think? They want cheeseburgers and malts too.

Althouse (who is beautifully newly wed, btw) has a valid point (she usually does) and ends by suggesting (via a photo you’ll doubtless recall) that perhaps – just perhaps – the Obama’s sent the females of the family out for burgers to generate a little “aw shucks” positive publicity in a week of rough waters.

I’d hate to think that. But maybe that’s what politicians of all stripes do – haul the kids out when times get tough. Ugh. I’d never go into politics.

Speaking of photos:
Michelle Malkin notes that the same White House that wants you to report “casual conversation” that questions their policies will hold your cellphones in order keep you from snapping any pictures of Michelle, the girls and three starving Secret Service guys.

Well, but, she was with the kids, and the kids are entitled to eat their lunch without cameras at them, right? Parenting is no snap in the best of circumstances; it can’t be easy in a fishbowl.

I’m thinking this is a whole lotta nothing to be upset about, or try to score political points on, when there is so much more to think about, monitor, decry, explain, strenuously mock and register serious concerns about.

And…something to feel good about!

"Brilliant. Despite lots of coffee, I just don't come up with such clarity of thought ..."

Pope Francis Has Set a Confrontation ..."
"While I haven't followed any of the brouhaha, I would like to say that what ..."

Pope Francis Sets a Confrontation in ..."
"I love Fr. Barron's take- miseria et miscordia, misery in mercy. Because mercy *requires* both ..."

Pope Francis Sets a Confrontation in ..."
"There is something positively medieval about the theologians letter. Sadly, not in the good sense ..."

Pope Francis Sets a Confrontation in ..."

Browse Our Archives