Thursday, December 23, 2010

Demagoguing Cake And Pie

Never missing a chance never to be right,

Sarah Palin took a shot at Michelle Obama during Sunday's episode of her reality TV show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," jabbing the first lady's anti-obesity campaign for attempting to deprive Americans of dessert.

While searching for s'mores ingredients on a family camping trip, Palin remarked:"Where are the s'mores ingredients? This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert."

Speaking on December 13 at the signing ceremony for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the First Lady actually said

Everywhere I go, fortunately, I meet parents who are working very hard to make sure that their kids are healthy. They're doing things like cutting down on desserts and trying to increase fruits and vegetables. They're trying to teach their kids the kind of healthy habits that will stay with them for a lifetime.

We can't just leave it up to the parents. I think parents have a right to expect that their efforts at home won't be undone each day in the school cafeteria or in the vending machine in the hallway. I think that our parents have a right to expect that their kids will be served fresh, healthy food that meets high nutritional standards.

You have to admire how the former Governor is able to simplify things for her supporters, even if her remarks are destructive, inaccurate, and dishonest. Noting "the First Lady's campaign is on target," former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (video below) told New York radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa

Michelle Obama's not trying to tell people what to eat or not trying to force the government's desires on people. She's stating the obvious, that we do have an obesity problem in this country.

Huckabee, who lost considerable weight through diet and exercise and is fairly knowledgeable about the latter, himself was merely stating the obvious. But that is dangerous and even bold in today's GOP, especially for a guy who presumably is contemplating another run at his party's presidential nomination.

The competing remarks by these two powerful women demonstrate not only an ignorance on the part of the former Governor of the impact of food on health, but also a disturbing attitude toward parents. The First Lady defends parents, who "are working very hard (and) trying to teach their kids" healthy habits. Sarah Palin, however, appears to view them altogether differently: as people who understand nothing that is not reduced to the level of 'no dessert!' and who are so gullible as to believe the wife of the President of the United States would tell adults what they must feed their children. It is truly evocative of a scheming politician who, far from being a populist, has just found a clever, subtle way to look down on voters.

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