Politico Columnist Wants Pres. Obama to Stop Telling Her to Eat Her Veggies
Politico’s Carol Lee chronicled today the increasing desire among Washington elites to stop being told what to do. Apparently President Obama has struck a negative cord with his constant advice on eating, saving money and protecting the environment. In fact, his badgering has become so irritating, trite, and ubiquitous that Lee calls him a “very powerful Dr. Phil.”
“Obama is full of scolding. He shames members of Congress for partisanship. He maligns lobbyists for their influence. He shuns politics even as he advises Democrats how to keep their jobs,” she explains. Yet all of this is within his scope of commentary. Lee takes greater issue with the micromanaging side of our Commander in Chief:
He’s prodded people to get off the couch, eat healthier and exercise more. He’s even suggested Americans buy stocks, U.S.-made cars and energy-efficient light bulbs, while cautioning them not to max out their credit cards.
Lee stops short of calling the President a bully, ascribing a certain good will to his constant meddling, though she lets the Republicans fill in the blanks for her. Georgia Congressman Tom Price takes the whole “nurturing mother” paradigm from Lakoff‘s liberal metaphor to Orwell‘s: “They want to tell you exactly how to eat, where to live, what light bulbs to purchase, what car to purchase, what house to purchase — down to the minute detail.”
Instead of taking care of the Soviets, he’s telling people to “Just Say No.” And there is a good reason for this that Lee overlooks: unlike most of his predecessors, being a good father is one of the most prominent parts of the Obama identity and was central to the victory of his campaign. The Obama campaign succeeded on the “hope” and “change” talking points because it was specifically centered on the children and the future, rather than the past. One of the most important moments in the 2008 campaign was his Father’s Day speech addressing the problem of one-parent households in the African-American community.
His emphasis on “good living” and positive leadership in the most abstract sense prevented the campaign from veering in a negative direction by focusing away from the Bush administration and towards an administration of good role models, parents, and mentors. Whether they succeeded in this goal is up for interpretation, but to chastise Obama for being consistent in his political personality and emphasizing his role as a moral as well as executive leader is a fruitless path for the Republicans to take.
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