Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Children should be seen and not heard at political meetings

Mornings mean cups of coffee and a reading of Instapundit, following up the links if they are of interest. With the time difference I have several hours in which I can catch up with what the American scene. (If I try really hard, could I become the British Instapundit? Nah. Not enough hours in the day.)

At present, much revolves round the Obamacare fracas and the townhall meetings at some of which elected politicians go to all kinds of ruses to avoid talking to those who had elected them and whom they represent. Whatever makes them think this is a sensible idea? But then, who are we to talk? When did anyone see a really open political meeting in this country? With no open meetings we do not have elected politicians telling us we are lucky they bothered to turn up to answer questions.

Among the many stories from left and right (funnily enough, the left-wing ones appear to be somewhat inaccurate, not to mention outraged at the thought of the great unwashed protesting) there is a link to Michelle Malkin's account of a rather nauseating incident at the townhall meeting in Malden, New Hampshire, attended by The One himself.

As Sister Toldjah reports with links to "real" media outlets, the meeting was not a total success with Obama blundering into a comparison between FedEx and the US Post Office while trying to prove that more state control of healthcare was a good thing.

The story Michelle M quotes concerns a "randomly" picked 11 year old girl who asked a nice easy question that she thought of all by herself. Except that her mother, who helped her to write the question before they came to the meeting is a fully paid up and accredited Obama supporter who has met the First Family before. (More here and on other blogs. This story is not going to die.)

Of course, children are used as political pawns all the time. Baby kissing has been a notorious pastime for politicians running for office since time immemorial. And no different in Britain as any reader of "Pickwick Papers" can tell you.

We can all recall the girl, who just happened to be the daughter of long-standing members of the Labour Party, both of them teachers, who did not get into Edinburgh University for whatever reason touted by Gordon Brown, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, as an example of the social unfairness of university entrances. Whatever happened to that girl?

One can cite any number of examples. But I agree with Michelle's reader, Ricky. I, too, am fed up with children being produced as some oracles of political wisdom. It may have started with Carter who told us all that he consulted his daughter Amy on important matters to do with nuclear deterrence. How embarrassed that poor woman must be whenever the old reels are shown.

Then there was our own Tony Blair losing his temper because critics of the projected Dome could not see its glory while his 13 year old son, Liam could. Unfortunately, by the time the Dome was complete Liam was somewhat older and the critics turned out to be right. Running a country according to what 13 year olds think is not such a great idea.

In other words, children at political meetings should be seen and not heard. No harm in them coming along and listening to what people say and how they argue; no harm in them discussing said matters with their parents and teachers afterwards; that, for 11 year old Julia's and her Obamabot mom's information is how children learn to understand things and be able to discern the truth if there is such a thing in politics. But the idea of the President of the United States, in the middle of a crisis (and there is no other way of describing the events of the last couple of weeks) getting a child to pipe a pwetty little qwestion so he can have a go at his opponents is worse than nauseating.

And talking of nauseating, President Obama is not doing too well with his own supporters. Camille Paglia, though still all of that, is appalled by the sequence of disasters that has visited this Administration as it tries to implement those reforms Democrats have, apparently been longing for. Mind you, she thinks he is utterly wonderful and it is his staff that is problematic. She is right about Nancy Pelosi, whose botoxed head should roll but blaming everything on the staff is a little low. Reminds one of that old chestnut: "if only Stalin knew".

Meanwhile public support for Obamacare is dropping: down by 21 per cent. A good deal of that is not because people might not like to see some reform but, as Ms Paglia rightly notes, because of the cack-handed way this package is being put together and ferocious hysteria with which it is being pushed down people's throats. Anyone would become suspicious if the slightest argument is shouted down with the words Nazi, KKK and anti-American.

Tom Maguire on JustOneMinute links back to a HuffPo writer who is beginning to wonder just exactly what it is that makes President Obama tick. A little late in the day for that sort of wondering, I'd say. Perhaps journalists and other analysts should have done a little searching before the man was elected to be Commander-in-Chief.

It is absolutely true that neither the people of the United States nor the rest of us know anything about him. The media managed not to find out anything in the two years when he campaigned to be President instead of doing his job as Senator for Illinois. There has been a moratorium (give or take some blogs) on all personal stories and he has managed to secrete all documents to do with his life, studies and career so far. When he could not do so, as in voting records, he simply lied until called out on it.

My own suspicion is that there is nothing there. Glenn Reynolds is right when he calls him the clothes with no emperor. One of the oddest things I noticed about that appallingly tacky birthday cake was that there was nothing personal on it, though the party was merely for the family and staff. Everything on it is to do with the presidency, not the man. Even the number is 44 instead of 48, his age. The fact that he is the 44th President is more important for a birthday cake? And just how tacky it is to make the cake icing (frosting for our American readers) into the shape of the Presidential Seal?

Are there no interests at all that can be referred to? No sports, entertainment, books, hobbies that The One cares about? Most unusual.


  1. I thought Jimmy Carter took guidance on all the really important stuff from a giant swimming rabbit.

  2. Ah yes, I forgot the rabbit.

  3. Do we know nice Mr Hitlers interests, megglomaniacs only have one interest and that is the accumulation of power, no one has no history the media are suppressing all bad stories, true or not (try looking MIB style!) I would guess his ruling ideas are from Mein Kampf.