Michelle Obama

We Should Ignore Michelle Obama

What exactly qualifies her to oversee a "major transformation of our nation's school-lunch program"?

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Last month, Michelle Obama took an "unusual" step, The Washington Post reported, "by delivering White House remarks taking issue with makers of frozen pizza and french fries." I'll say. One scours in vain the speeches of Martha Washington and Eleanor Roosevelt for proclamations about pizza, frozen or otherwise.

Despite speaking to a carefully selected group of people who already agreed with her, Obama felt herself sufficiently qualified to speak on behalf of all parents. She said she spends every waking minute "thinking and worrying" about "our kids." What does she think and worry about? The same thing that all parents think and worry about: the nutritional value of school lunches.

Thanks to her efforts, businesses and schools are forced to divert their time and resources toward "combatting" childhood obesity. Lest they be fined and imprisoned, they must comply with a host of impractical, burdensome regulations so that American children will be statistically less fat and so that the president's wife can have a cause instead of a job.

That some Republicans are trying to thwart her campaign for slimmer, healthier kids is, to her, "unacceptable." "It's unacceptable to me not just as First Lady, but as a mother," she said. Obama talks about being a mother as often as John Kerry talked about being a Vietnam veteran during his 2004 presidential campaign. In both cases, the reason is the same: to focus attention on their innocuous identities and away from their politics.

"In 10 or 20 years," Obama said, "I don't want to look back with regret and think that we gave up on our kids." So, for our children's future as well as the first lady's, we should do whatever she says "as a mother" about an issue involving millions of people and billions of dollars. Question: Besides her motherhood, in what other way is this woman qualified to oversee, as she put it, a "major transformation of our nation's school-lunch program"?

Rather than undertaking this massive task, Obama should simply say, "I like healthy kids, and so should you." Let's be honest: the amount of attention and the degree of respect she receives is purely on account of her nuptial resume. She is not an elected official, nor is she America's maternal figurehead—notwithstanding her claims to the contrary.

At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Obama declared herself America's "mom-in-chief." As such, she believes it is her responsibility to command America's youth much as her husband commands its military.

It was as mom-in-chief that she proclaimed a war on childhood obesity, beginning with her "Let's Move!" initiative. As part of her war on fat children, the White House appointed someone to the position of nutrition policy adviser, Sam Kass, whose salary is publicly financed. "We cannot afford to roll back effective programs," Kass said. "We need to be doubling and tripling our efforts." Translation: "We" cannot afford to fire Kass. "We" need to be doubling and tripling his salary.

The real problem is not the first lady herself but the institution of her "office." It is an unwritten law that a first lady must have a "role" as well as an image. She must above all be wholesome, or at least appear that way. As first lady, Hillary Clinton rescued her reputation from the doldrums when she served cookies on television, proving that she was not only a woman but also a stereotypical and maternal one. It was, no doubt, her finest hour.

Nancy Reagan wanted kids to say no to drugs, Laura Bush wanted kids to read, and Obama wants kids to lose weight—noble causes, all of them. No one wants fat illiterate kids who do drugs. But who needs reminding from the first lady?

At this point, one wishes the American public would just say no to directives from first ladies. It would save us a lot of time and money, and we could all stop pretending that the spouses of politicians matter. That said, I hereby call on Michelle Obama to resign as mom- and chef-in-chief.

NEXT: Hillary Clinton Launches Book Tour, Slams Team Obama for 'Sexism' in 2008 Race

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  1. Two sexist articles in a row, attacking strong, independent women!

    1. A good start.

      1. Will they attack one of the Kardashians next?

        1. By what possible measure are the Kardishans “strong”. By what possible metric, for that matter, does Michelle Obama count as “independent”?

          1. is your sarcasm meter broken?

          2. By what possible measure are the Kardishans “strong”.

            Odoriferously?

            Just guessing, I’ve never been downwind of any of them.

            -jcr

        2. Independent? The Kardashians? Have you looked up the definition of the word “independent” recently? I’m pretty sure it does not mean “living off Dead Daddy’s money and attaching oneself like a deer tick to moneyed men.”

  2. It would be nice if “ignore” was an option for everything that comes out of DC.

  3. Revenge of the SQUIRRELS!

  4. It’s hard to ignore Michelle. That’s ’cause politicians don’t pull people’s arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that.

    1. Speciesist

      1. I didn’t know you were an Ewok, Scruffy. YUB YUB

        1. That’s rich coming from a Gungan, okeeday?

          1. Wesa got a grand army. That’s why you no liking us meesa thinks.

        2. Ho ho ho, tahkoh tee womp rat e’nachu, Epi!

  5. Question: Besides her motherhood, in what other way is this woman qualified to oversee, as she put it, a “major transformation of our nation’s school-lunch program”?

    But she worked at a hospital dude! She obviously has the requisite experience and moral character for this undertaking.

    1. This sentence confused me:

      …when other “news” media have bothered to connect the Urban Health Initiative to its glamorous creator…

      because Michele is the creator.

      Glamorous ? Grace Kelly was glamorous. Michele is…I just don’t even.

      1. “Do you reject the glamour of evil…?”

      2. Michelle is the Softer Side of Hoochie.

      3. You can say whatever you want about the first lady but you can’t say she isn’t classy.

        Michelle epitomizes style and class in a first lady we can all be proud of on the world stage.

        http://goo.gl/qbLKn6

        You go girl. Make America proud.

        1. Yep… ‘classy’…
          Lower-Middle.

  6. If her goal is to combat obesity by making food so unappealing that kids would rather go without eating, then she’s doing a great job.

    1. BONUS: If they can go to bed hungry, it’ll give her party more talking points during the next election cycle.

  7. Remind me who elected Michelle Obama and to what office. Laura Bush, IIRC, just wanted kids to learn how to read; Michelle wants them to eat dogshit and be grateful because it is healthy while shaming parents who have the audacity to suggest they don’t need her guidance to raise their children.

    1. Well, Nancy Reagan talked me into trying weed for the first time, so FLOTUS can be a force for good.

      1. Not to take this comment seriously but it just occurred to me that Nancy and Laura gave advice. Hillary and Michelle worked on actual laws. When did this shift first start happening?

        1. Hillary and Michelle are actual lawyers.

          1. Tony|6.10.14 @ 5:18PM|#

            Hillary and Michelle are actual lawyers.

            Uuuh no Tony. Michelle is not a lawyer.

            Michelle was once a lawyer Tony. She surrendered her law license to avoid being disbarred.

            Kind of like someone else who lives in the White House these days who surrendered his law license once it became obvious he lied on his application.

            1. She surrendered her law license to avoid being disbarred.

              Snopes says that Michelle has a law license which has an ‘inactive’ status. Meaning she did not surrender her law license.

        2. When Dan Quayle started teaching spelling.

    2. Not just parents; Olympian gymnasts, too!

  8. Can never be linked to enough:

    Michelle’s Masters Thesis

    1. It amuses me beyond comprehension that partisan dipshits worship someone whose writing is that pathetic and jejune. That thesis shouldn’t have passed muster in a high school English class, let alone a Princeton Master’s Thesis. I love it. Every day, partisan dipshits prove how incredibly stupid and simple they are. It would be great fun if there weren’t enough of them to fuck things up.

    2. Have you actually read the whole thing?

      1. Cruel and unusual punishment.

        That is some seriously poor writing, putting aside the very shallow thought.

        1. It’s shockingly bad. Even putting aside my personal dislike for her, I would have at least assumed she was a competent writer.

          I particularly liked the part where she declared her study to be interesting because… well, because she finds it interesting. And it made her think about herself — an activity about which it is probably difficult to challenge her credentials or experience.

          Apparently, before she thought about everyone’s kids 24/7, she was busy thinking about herself. And being black.

      2. “Ideologies, however, was found to have the same relationship to the dependent variables.”

        …and this:

        “However, with the increasing integration of Blacks into the mainstream society, many “integrated Blacks” have lost touch with the Black culture in their attempts to become adjusted and comfortable in their new culture?the White culture. Some of these Blacks are no longer able to enjoy the qualities which make Black culture so unique or are unable to openly share their culture with other Blacks because they have become so far removed from these experiences and, in some instances, ashamed of them as a result of their integration.”

        So, grammars and integrations is bad?

        1. I have Chinese ESL students* whose grammar is better than that.

          * In China, to be specific.

      3. Yes, I did read the whole thing…
        The ONE thing that impressed me was her alleged honesty in admitting, in the end, that her research and interviews did NOT prove her original thesis to be correct.

        On the other hand, ever since she and O hit the WH, I’ve never seen a pair of people whose overblown egos inspire them to think that they DO know what’s best for EVERYONE they can control.

        And that’s the end of a republic, a democracy and freedom.

    3. beyond parody

      too bad she’ll be someone’s senator in the not so distant future.

      1. I doubt it.

        She can’t speak coherently and from what I understand was banned from drafting motions at her law firm.

        My guess is that she would be toast going up against a professional politician.

        1. Hmm, sounds too good to be true.

          I mean, I want it to be true so badly I can only foresee disappointment.

        2. Have you seen or heard some of the current Senators speak over the past few years? Moochelle should fit right in.

      2. North Carolina, apparently. They bought a house in Asheville.

        1. aka The People’s Republic of Berkeley, East.

          They’ll fit right in. And, hopefully, never leave the Asheville area. I wish.

    4. It’s not her master’s thesis. I think it’s her bachelor’s thesis. /pedant

      1. I read the first few pages, and it reads like classic, 1990s PC self-referential academic gobbledygook pretending to ‘study’ some racially/class-warfare loaded subject while coming to canned conclusions about the ramifications/implications =

        *guess what*! Black people – like every other kind of people (which is the thing you’re not supposed to mention) – when they graduate from Princeton, go out and get the highest paying fucking job they can find! And they spend most of their lives pursuing their own self interests? And they dont necessarily identify with poor lower-class blacks any more than successful white people spend their time worrying about crackerjack po’folk living in trailer parks *either*. And this is seen as a ‘complex!’ issue that has just been un-earthed. And ne’er will the ridiculous preconceptions about ‘community expectations’ and race/class social roles ever be questioned. The entire thing, at a meta level, is really just a kind of ritual dance engaged in by ‘educated’ folk to stroke their own egos about how they’re not themselves ‘forgetting about the poors’ (because everyone knows what the poor really needs are *more graduate sociology theses*)

      2. Yes, says for her Sociology BA on the title page.

        Frankly it doesn’t surprise me as an undergrad capstone paper in something like Sociology. It just oozes of a 22 year old trying to figure out something to squeeze through the grad requirements. Part of the bad writing is she’s trying to stretch what she had into a minimum length paper. Lots of unnecessary filler and convoluted (but higher word count) wording.

      3. Bachelor’s students do a thesis?

    5. That’s a masters thesis?

      If she got a degree with that pile of mediocrity, then that about does it for whatever prestige Princeton was able to salvage from the disgrace of having once employed Woodrow Wilson to run the joint.

      -jcr

  9. I’ve ignored every First Lady in my lifetime and will continue to ignore every First Spouse riding a coattail into his/her unofficial office going forward.

    1. Rand Paul’s wife is pretty hot, so we got that to look forward to if he’s elected.

      1. Except he won’t get elected, because 1) He’s always going to be portrayed by the media as a whacko; and 2) they’ll need to give the nomination to Romney’s kid, or some shit.

        And I’d be really happy to eat my words on this, but I’m not sure if Mama Obama would let me.

  10. In America, *anyone* can grow up to be First Lady!

    1. Inspirational, ain’t it?

  11. An anagram generator produced seven results for “forward”:

    Fad Row
    Ward Of
    Draw Of
    Wad For
    Wad Fro
    Fa Word
    Aw Ford

    1. Wad Fro

      Racist and homophobic!

  12. So Michelle Obama is going to make my daughter lunch every night? Woohoo!

  13. Obama said she spends every waking minute “thinking and worrying” about “our kids.”

    Which is fucking creepy. And yet seen as a virtue from his followers.

  14. I’d like to hear a reasonable argument about why the school lunch program exists at the federal level. Seriously. If malnutrition is such a problem in Oklahoma schools, then let the good citizens of Oklahoma take up a tax and feed them.

  15. It’s borderline treason to question the Queen.

    Nothing qualifies her — much like 99% of the people in Washington who interfere in nearly every aspect of people’s lives — except the support of millions of sheep ready to handover any last vestiges of personal sovereignty to any demagogue parroting what sounds good them.

    Remember — not only is she the Nutritionist-in-Chief, Mom-in-Chief, and wife of the Commander-in-Chief — she’s also a fashion icon, too. This woman can do, and does it, all.

    1. Good *to* them. Dammit.

  16. Well, Windsor, obesity wasn’t a problem for Washington’s America. It is now. Its a global epidemic, and we are at the top of the list generating obese children.

    http://www.noo.org.uk/NOO_abou…..ernational

    Not really a proud fact of life in the United States, is it? So maybe its time to stop feeling so offended when someone suggests we do something about it (and food that children eat in tax payer funded schools deserves at least a discussion), and at a minimum suggest something you would do about what is a clear problem in this country. Rather than just whine about someone else’s efforts at solving a problem.

    1. It’s neither “a proud fact of life” nor a shameful “fact of life.” Fat people–including fat kids–exist. They always have, and their numbers are increasing because of changing, easing lifestyles that allow for less manual labor.

      Although claims of how much fat people actually cost their neighbors are dubious, and often histrionically inflated, as debunked 10 years ago now, the veracity of those claims wouldn’t matter if individuals were wholly responsible for their own healthcare coverage and choices.

      We shouldn’t be paying to feed kids in school at all, so pearl-clutching over what sort of food the taxpayers should be buying to feed children that private citizens choose to have is like arguing about what color toys to buy them.

      Fat people really aren’t doing anything to you but existing. They’re not a problem or “epidemic” for you to solve. They’ll probably live shorter lives–and maybe those lives will be more sedentary and less fun and exciting, depending on who you ask–but you don’t own your neighbors or their bodies or lives. Sovereign human beings get to choose how they’ll live, what they’ll eat, and sometimes, how and when they’ll die. Nobody has an obligation to be thin, healthy, or long-lived for you.

      1. Spoken like a true Libertarian, willing to cede anything that benefits our country on the altar of “freedom.” Lets indeed be the unhealthiest nation in the world, because to make any attempt otherwise would offend your notion of freedom.

        Its just that attitude that made us the greatest nation in the world.

        Right.

        1. What proof do you have that the war on obesity has benefited our country?

          Way to toe the statist line there Jack A. We can’t trust people to control what they can stuff into their fat fuck faces or get their lazy ass up from in front of the idiot box but we can trust them to elect competent leadership? Which is it?

          1. There isn’t a war on obesity in this country, as evidenced by the fact that only Mexico is fatter among all nations. She is trying to allow for a needed discussion on reducing the level of obesity that exists in this country.

            Read what I said originally, instead of taking umbrage…what she wants to do AT LEAST deserves a discussion since those school lunches are paid by taxpayers. And in place, I would suggest you and Windsor bring up some alternatives…unless of course being the second fattest country in the world is not a problem for you.

            1. Would your War on Obesity be more similar to the War on Drugs or the War on Women? Would it possibly involve flash bang grenades thrown into the Doritos isle? Would it be as effective as the War on Poverty? Because, after 50 years, that’s been a resounding success, eh?

              So far, Michelle’s crusade has been mostly a War on Garbage Men, because it’s done little to curb obesity but has done a lot to make the schools’ trash bins weightier.

              1. I deeply apologize to anyone who was either offended by the term “garbage men,” and to those who have been subjected to cildhood trauma involving trash-bearing Americans. Next time I write about such subjects, I will definitely include a trigger warning.*

                *I also apologize to anyone who was subjected to trauma involving firearms, as the mere mention of a “trigger” could no doubt cause hurt and offense. Next time I write on this subject, I will include a “T-word Warning” prior to employing a Trigger Warning.

                1. Your apologies are accepted.

              2. Did I say I want a “war” on obesity? It was brought up by PBOM, not me. What I suggested is fairly simple and straightforward:

                1. If taxpayers are paying for those lunches, they have a right to decide what goes in them. And for ME, and clearly the First Lady, those lunches should be healthy, not filled with sugar.

                2. She has put this discussion on the table, and its valid, since 1 in 6 of our children are considered obese, and only Mexico has more overweight citizens than we do. My criticism of Windsor is that its easy to complain, try coming up with a counter suggestion. He had none.

                1. 1. Accepting this premise for the sake of argument — if kids are throwing away their healthy food and not eating it, then isn’t that a bigger waste of money?

                  Second, your premise illustrates some problems inherent to an interventionist government. E.g., “If taxpayers are paying for health care, then they have a right to decide what health care is received. And who qualifies to receive it.” Or “If taxpayers are paying for education, then they have a right to decide what is in the curriculum.” Or “If taxpayers are paying for Michelle Obama’s travel, then they have a right to decide how and where and how often she travels.”

            2. Being the second fattest country–or even the first fattest country–are not a problem for me. At all. Because the distinction is meaningless. It’s like when people say “all those fat people are making the Earth heavier.” So? So the fuck what? We’re going to fall out of the solar system? No.

              This crusade isn’t about health, it’s about hatred and control of the personal behaviors of others. It’s about being a hateful nanny who doesn’t like sharing the world with people who choose to live differently, and simply aren’t interested in adopting your lifestyle.

              People like to eat potato chips, soda, ice cream, and bacon cheeseburgers. They’re tasty. It’s none of your fucking business if they do. If they are in fact spiking healthcare costs, which is a dubious claim anyway, they are also living shorter lives on average, which is their perfect right to do.

              They’ve repeatedly tried that “public school healthy food” experiment. It’s failed. Why? Because shocker, kids prefer pizza and burgers to vegan lentil stew with kale. Kids don’t drink as much milk when there’s no chocolate or strawberry-flavored milk available, so schools that ditched the flavored milk are putting it back in the cafeteria line, to get kids to drink more milk.

              The experiment has repeatedly failed. How many more times should it fail, at taxpayer expense, before you’re ready to admit that forcing people to eat food they don’t like just because you don’t like their sizes is a waste of our money?

              1. Glad to see you got “waste of money.” So let me explain to you what a waste of money is. Feeding children garbage, when there are clear healthy alternatives that are tasty as well. Because feeding them garbage makes me pay twice…food that they eat, and emergency visits to the hospital when they are 30, which I pay for again.

                I’m tired of you Libertarians wasting my money.

            3. JackAce supports substituting carbs (sugars) and non-satiating kale and broccoli for meat protein and fats…because the science is settled.

              http://online.wsj.com/news/art…..0760481486

        2. Draft them all into the military when they’re 18 and march/run them into some state of skinny! Yeah! The opening of 1984 comes to mind, exercising to the disapproval of a remote monitor. Health is up to families (among minors) and individuals (among adults.) Mind your own business as you’ll find the majority of people meddling in the business of their neighbors don’t have their own houses/selves in order.

          It is amazing to me how many people go onto non-partisan, libertarian, and free market sites just to make jabs when websites like the NY Times have almost exclusively far Left comments. It reminds me of a sight in metro DC years ago when I noticed the Washington Times had “NAZIS!” written on their machine while the Washington Post machine was not in any way vandalized. These people are a mm away from supporting a totalitarian dictatorship, the heirs to the defunct USSR agitation machine. In other words, if it were more trendy, some of these folks would be Communists today.

          1. That’s rich. This is a Libertarian website…and tis partisan in that direction. Ever go to the Daily Beast? That left wing website? You know who writes weekly columns there? Nick Gillespie. Along with GOPers Stuart Stevens, David Frum occasionally, Kristen Anderson, Ron Christie, and others.

            So let me know how many progressives get to write articles here at the “non-partisan” Reason. Here’s your answer…none.

            So here’s my suggestion for you, which I have made to others. If you don’t like my comments, don’t read them. Now that’s being a Libertarian.

      2. By the way, the fact that there are more “fat kids” as you say due to changes in lifestyle is a shallow argument for doing nothing.

        Yes, there is less manual labor. So in order to counteract that FACT other things need to be done in order to remain healthy (you do realize I hope that being obese is unhealthy). Diet and exercise.

        From the Mayo Clinic:
        “Type 2 diabetes is a disease more commonly associated with adults. In fact, it used to be called adult-onset diabetes. But type 2 diabetes in children is on the rise, fueled largely by the obesity EPIDEMIC.”

        And this:

        “Type 2 diabetes used to be practically unheard of in people under 30. That explains the other common name for the disease: adult-onset diabetes…. The number of children and adolescents with the condition (most of whom are diagnosed in their early teens) has skyrocketed within the last 20 years, prompting the journal Diabetes Care to call it an “emerging EPIDIMIC.”…experts estimate that type 2 diabetes has grown from less than 5 percent in 1994 to about 20 percent of all newly diagnosed cases of the disease among youth in more recent years.”

        1. Reading about your dip$hit concern for my health makes me want to go out and drink a gallon of Aunt Jemima syrup just to frigging spite you. Declaring that healthy = a superior life choice is a value judgement, one you don’t get to make for others no matter how bad you want to. Many people may feel that smoking, boozing, and eating doughnuts is a better life even if it means dying young. It is this arrogance, that your value judgements are superior, that makes progressives such pieces of fascist crap.

        2. He didn’t say that since there were more fat kids we should do nothing. Reading comprehension like that is definitely an argument for state run education, am I right?

          Are you arguing that school lunches were making kids fat?

          Can you conceive of any way to combat the scourge of childhood obesity that doesn’t involve some statist tomfoolery? Come on, try. Put that state run education to use!

          1. Again, try reading what I wrote if you want to respond. I said that since taxpayers are paying for those lunches, we have a right to decide what goes in them. And I am clearly saying that my choice as a taxpayer would be that those lunches are healthy, because I would like to pay for less emergency room visits by the uninsured because they have had heart attacks when they are 30.

            But of course, your elitist education didn’t cover reading comprehension in the classroom, did it?

  17. The fact that anyone treats the first lady, any first lady, as anything other than a footnote is a sad commentary on the fact that any brief inkling of evolved political thinking reverted back to the primeval ooze of royalism relatively quickly. Properly, the President is nothing more than, well, a hired hand employed to fulfill a limited and useful function, acting as the chief executive of the organization tasked with protecting the rights of the populace. It was for a very brief historical instance that this basic reality was realized before the earlier notion of the political leader as the head of society became the popular understanding.

  18. As first lady, Hillary Clinton rescued her reputation from the doldrums when she served cookies on television, proving that she was not only a woman but also a stereotypical and maternal one. It was, no doubt, her finest hour.

    Okay, that’s funny.

  19. First Lady is a strange and unique role. It’s technically private, actually public. Unpaid but requires labor. You can’t be too homemakery these days (at least if you’re a Democrat), but you can’t exactly get another gig. So it’s evolved to be an unofficial political arm of the spouse’s administration. Who gives a shit? Diabetic primary schoolers should be a nonpartisan concern. But nothing is nonpartisan when the worst human beings ever to walk the face of the earth, the Obamas, are near it.

    1. Re: Tony,

      Diabetic primary schoolers should be a nonpartisan concern.

      “Whatever can keep that hag occupied and off my back, I’m for it!”

      /Barack

      1. “Whatever can keep that hag occupied and off my back, I’m for it!”

        Like healthcare and Hillary?

  20. If Michelle wants to concern herself with what other people put into their bodies — aside from abortion instruments — she should’ve warned Maureen Dowd about those chocolate bars.

    We can still say “chocolate,” right? Or is that offensive?

  21. Yeah. No, you don’t. I’m gonna call bull shit here. No one is asking you to be Mother Teresa to American kids just like no one asked your husband to run for the job of President despite his penchant for blaming and deflecting.

    “No one wants fat illiterate kids who do drugs.”

    I’m gonna consider that as the modern version of what Wormer would tell Flounder.

    For the record, I tried to past this a couple of hours ago but because Reason can’t get its shit together regarding squirrels, I’m trying now.

  22. she spends every waking minute “thinking and worrying” about “our kids.”

    She’s lucky. Sometimes I have to spend time thinking about how asparagus makes my pee smell wonderfully aromatic.

  23. No one wants fat illiterate kids who do drugs.

    If they do speed, they don’t get fat.

  24. It all comes down to Liberals being Nosey. They just can’t help but stick their noses in other people’s business.

  25. How about stopping the bullshit where kids have “allergies”?

    Peanuts aren’t going to kill you. Real people aren’t Howard Wolowitz. Not even me.

  26. Most of us have been ignoring this AA neanderthal bitch from day one.

  27. I already have a mother, thanks. She was never such a neurotic scold, though.

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