James Oliphant’s piece in the LA Times today tells you everything you need to know about what’s wrong with movement conservatism in America today:
Former First Ladies Barbara and Laura Bush worked to end illiteracy. Nancy Reagan famously took on teenage drug use. Lady Bird Johnson planted flowers. But none of them have been seared for something as seemingly benign as calling for kids to eat more vegetables, as Michelle Obama has.
Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh….remarked on her waistline….Critics have carped about Obama’s spread at her Super Bowl party….the end of school bake sales….government takeover of business….increase in pedestrian deaths….Mitt Romney….”Let them eat cake”….”I’m sorry,” he crowed. “Organic cake.”….encouraging mothers to breast-feed their newborn babies….”very consistent with where the hard left is coming from,” [Rep. Michele] Bachmann said….Conservative blogger Jenny Erikson….Obama’s efforts were “incredibly insulting to parents.”
So that’s where we are. A first lady campaigning against obesity and in favor of breast feeding is now the target of all-out war from the right. I imagine that if she were taking on illiteracy, teenage drug use, or planting flowers, the Republican Party would suddenly find itself opposed to reading, defending Mexican drug cartels, and in favor of vacant lots. And yet we’re supposed to take these people seriously.