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Thursday, April 07, 2011

"How many you have? Ten kids, you say? [Stand-up comic's smirking head-shake & double-take] Well, you definitely need a hybrid van then!"

I have no fault to find, and indeed find much that's praiseworthy, in Barack Obama as a good husband and family man. In the former respect, he's a blessed contrast to the last Democratic president, and in both respects Obama's completely in sync with his immediate predecessor. I stipulate, again, that the Obama children are absolutely adorable, so much so that they're each worth at least a million votes to his ticket again in 2012.

However, regarding Obama's comments this week in response to a voter with 10 children who was pressing him on skyrocketing gas prices and their effects on the voter's family budget — good coverage here, here, and here

It's not so obvious from the transcript, but it's very obvious from the video (at 2:16) that President Obama thinks a family with 10 children must be part of some deviant subspecies of humanity, and certainly can't be as enlightened and cool as he and Michelle are with their politically and demographically correct 2.0 children.

My first thought on watching his smirking superiority: "I wonder how that's gonna play in the various Kennedy households?"

I have four kids. That's considered a "jumbo" family these days, but if things had worked out a little differently, I can easily imagine having had several more. There are few joys of parenthood — or of life — greater than watching your older children interact with, and help rear, your younger ones.

And my four — although each vibrantly different from one another, and each of them absolutely terrific — are as tight with one another, as supportive and loving of one another, as I can possibly imagine. What they do for each other is helping them grow into adults who are capable of raising strong families of their own. And it gives me not only great pleasure to observe, but great comfort: I know they will be there for each other long after my ex and I are gone. Regardless of one's spiritual views and faith, they are our earthly immortality.

There are trade-offs, of course, and I'm not criticizing anyone who chooses a smaller family, or to have no children at all. By why mock someone who has 10 children? Why not instead lead a round of applause for someone with the love and courage to embrace the challenges and joys of a large family?

I have a hard time relating to this man as a human being. Completely apart from politics, I just like him less and less the more I see of him.

Posted by Beldar at 09:54 PM in Energy, Family, Obama, Politics (2011) | Permalink


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(1) steve made the following comment | Apr 8, 2011 10:05:04 AM | Permalink

The only twist I would add is that someone having children (whether it be 10 kids or just 1 kid) needs to be able to take care of them, and without demanding support from family, friends or the government.

(2) Milhouse made the following comment | Apr 8, 2011 5:54:30 PM | Permalink

Steve, nobody should be dependent on the government, because the government shouldn't be taking so much from us that we have nothing left. But there's no reason someone with a lot of children should not reach out to the community for help; and no reason why the community should not chip in. Children are not just a private good, they're the next generation; they will pay the taxes from which you will benefit in your old age, they will provide the services on which you will depend in your old age, they will serve in the armed forces, police, etc. that will protect you in your old age, and they will carry on the values of your culture and not let them become extinct. Raising them is expensive, and it's appropriate to offer whatever help you can. And it's appropriate for the government to get out of the way of those essaying such a feat as raising 10 children, and to accommodate their special needs in whatever way seems necessary; nobody should be getting handouts, but their need is as legitimate as anybody else's, and a whole lot more than some.

Beldar, in my community four is considered a small family. Six or seven is about average. Ten is on the high side, but not unusual.

(3) Ed Darrell made the following comment | Apr 8, 2011 5:57:27 PM | Permalink

So, you're saying that because you have four kids, you can't bother to get a high-mileage vehicle? You want some license or something to waste energy because of fecundity?

I'm missing something here. Where I grew up, in an area with families of five, six, ten and a dozen children as rather common, most of those families took conservation as a point of pride. No pair of jeans would ever go out in the trash -- or to recycling -- if there were another wearing in them. One guy bragged to me that he got more than 100 passenger miles per gallon out of his vehicle, because he had eight people riding in it. Far better than the 20 passenger miles I got as a single guy.

We laughed. It was funny, and accurate.

You think those families were wrong to conserve?

Do you hate Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts who conserve and recycle, too?

I don't get it.

(4) DRJ made the following comment | Apr 8, 2011 6:37:50 PM | Permalink

President Obama appears so smug and certain that everything he thinks is right and that anyone who disagrees with him is not only wrong but inferior. My instinct is to pity him but given the power he has over our nation and the damage he's done in just 2+ years, it's easy to add dislike to pity.

(5) Beldar made the following comment | Apr 8, 2011 11:45:54 PM | Permalink

Mr. Darrell (#3): Thanks for your comment. But I don't bother to respond in detail to people who begin by dishonestly recharacterizing what I've just written. If you want to talk about what I've actually said, instead of making up crap and then pretending I said that, I'll be glad to chat with you.

Up your game, and be intellectually honest, or go away please.

(6) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Apr 9, 2011 12:29:09 AM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: Note the oil drilling comparison The One made: "The US uses 25% of the world's oil, but only has 2-3% of the reserves. So even if we double our production, we still can't meet our needs by a factor of five."

Leave out the arithmetic errors; this is off the cuff. But note the moronic comparison of reserves to production. They can be related in that a country with big reserves can produce big. But small production says nothing about the size of reserves a country has. Yet The One thinks otherwise, or is a colossal cynic.

His condescension toward Mr. DecaKids is characteristic. It's also a sign of what really drives the press. Did The One oraculate? Put it out. Does the press notice the condescension? Nope. But the moment it is pointed out, wipe it. So what if the wipe isn't perfect. The bulk of those who read the original will never notice. The corruption of the press is proven yet again.

I think Michelle's influence on The One has been wholly pernicious. From her Princeton thesis on, she's radiated a strong growing sense of entitlement. Like Billary, this is a partnership of two people on the make. She's even fonder of high living than he is. That's egged him on. Now look where he is. Downhill all the way is a strong possibility. It will be all raaaacist America's fault.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(7) Paul_In_Houston made the following comment | Apr 9, 2011 10:39:48 AM | Permalink

Trying my level best to stay within the blog policy guidelines and still manage to get my point across, I will simply note that Mr. Obama's condescending snark to that voter redefines "where the sun don't shine".

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