A reader writes in, responding to the portrait of Michelle Obama described in this post:
Doesn’t she just strike you as an unreasonably angry person? I mean, it’s not like the things she’s complaining about are endemic to people who have had to endure a lifetime of discrimination – she’s complaining about the things you have to deal with when you grow up! … We rent an apartment, have a dog, and we have little issues like the ones that she’s complaining about – the toilet’s gets clogged up, the deadbolt on our apartment broke last night, the car needs to be brought in for inspection, we get home late from work and haven’t gone shopping and don’t have anything just there and ready for dinner, we have to walk the dog, get his shots. And we expect more stuff like that – and more serious stuff too – when we have kids someday.
Interjection from Jim, operating on minimal sleep from a six month old who appears to be beginning teething: Count on it!
But… that’s life! I can hear my mother… saying “That’s the responsibility of being the adult.” My grandfather (who was epileptic for the last 63 years of his life) used to talk about how when life gave you problems – big and small – all you could do was hang on to the rungs of the ladder until you could find your footing again, and then you just keep going forward. Mrs. Obama could profit from such advice.. I suppose I would be much more understanding of Mrs. Obama if she was complaining about opportunities denied to her because of her race, or because her socio-economic background made things incredibly difficult on her. But she’s had an amazing sounding life. Married to a handsome, successful, seemingly really good man, beautiful children, great jobs, and she is in the driver’s seat to be the First Lady of the United States. And she’s complaining that life’s really hard because there’s high fructose corn syrup in everything she tries to buy her kid when she’s getting toilet paper at Target?
So I’m finally getting a chance to read Jonah’s book, so far it is every bit as good as the praise suggests. It’s particularly eye-opening in the context of this campaign. Hearing Mrs. Obama lament every inconvenience and headache in her life is particularly ominous, as her side of the aisle tends to see each one of those minute problems as a justification for government intervention. (Note how Chicago has attempted to ban every annoyance or controversial entitity within its borders.)
It’s a shame that two of the rare times we’ve seen Barack Obama be skeptical of government regulation are regarding partial birth abortion and limitations on porn shops operating near schools and places of worship.