How could anyone oppose big government activism when both Michelle Obama and Elmo the Muppet favor it? It was unfathomable to Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt in his December 26 article 'How did obesity become a partisan fight?'
To a doctrinaire liberal like Hiatt, it's illegitimate to question whether government should be concerned with personal nutrition. Instead, he belittles opposing views with his snarky quips. "Could anyone really object to White House assistant chef Sam Kass trying to interest Elmo in a vegetable-laden burrito? Well, yes, if Michelle Obama is for it, someone will be against it. Someone like Glenn Beck, for example, who was moved to rail against carrot sticks, or Sarah Palin, who warned that Obama wants to deprive us all of dessert."
What Hiatt failed to realize is the real debate over excessive federal intervention where it doesn't belong. After listing some of the first lady's 'Let's Move' initiative, he said 'All of this makes total sense, and historians will marvel (much as they will at climate-change deniers) that anyone could doubt it.' And since global warming is the real cause of the winter blizzard according to the December 25 New York Times so it must be true, right?
To answer Hiatt's title question, it became a partisan issue when liberals decided it was the government's job to put 6,000 salad bars in schools and proceed to regulate how much of each vegetable a child must intake for it to count as a reimbursable meal. It was an achievement the first lady was crowing about just a couple of months ago. According to an Oct. 8 United States Department of Agriculture memo, a menu planner must make sure there is at least 1/8 cup of each fruit or vegetable but this varies depending on the item and age of the child. If the food is not painstakingly pre-portioned into perfect serving sizes, '…then the cashier must be trained to judge accurately the quantities of self-serve items on student trays.'
And what left-wing screed would be complete without dark allusions to big business? Hiatt identified those nefarious interests that 'feel threatened' by the program, including 'the fast-food industry, agribusiness, soft-drink manufacturers,' among others.
Hiatt offered the same old obesity statistics and scare words like 'epidemic' to argue for government food police. 'Obesity and its attendant ills already may add as much as $147 billion to health-care costs each year, one-tenth of the nation's medical bill,' he wrote. And, of course, since Mrs. Obama's husband took over the health care industry, it's now a federal problem. His government runs student loan operations, auto companies and banks. Why shouldn't it determine the number of carrot sticks on little Billy's plate?