The first lady’s clapping for Bloomberg’s proposed big soda ban comes as no surprise, except perhaps in her going public at this point.
First lady Michelle Obama “applauds” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for confronting the growing risk of obesity, most recently through a controversial proposed ban of sugary drinks sold in quantities over 16 ounces in restaurants and public venues within the city.
Michelle Obama “applauds anyone who’s stepping up to think about what changes work in their communities,” the Associated Press reported Tuesday, following an interview with the first lady.
Bloomberg isn’t merely “stepping up to think about” this ban, he has proposed it be imposed by New York city on its residents. It is likely to come into force of law.
FLOTUS is quick to note, however, that her applause should not be understood as support for this specific ban.
Kristina Schake, the first lady’s communications director, clarified that the first lady was not advocating Bloomberg’s solution.
“The first lady wasn’t weighing in on this specific policy debate one way or the other,” Schake said in a statement provided to The Hill. “She was trying to make the point that every community is different and every solution is different and that she applauds local leaders including mayors, business leaders, parents etc. who are taking this issue seriously and working towards solving this problem. But this is not something the administration is pursuing at a federal level and not something the first lady is specifically endorsing or condemning.”
Then why did she applaud this ban at this time? Because she was signalling her support but got too far out on her Aspen skis for her husband’s liking or his political prospects. A Rasmussen poll was done shortly after Bloomberg announced the proposal, and found that 65% of Americans oppose the ban. A weak president should think twice about having anyone connected to him supporting it. But more important than the ban’s unpopularity is its inherent evil. A government of the people does not micromanage people’s lives to this extent without their express consent. It doesn’t even think up such a thing. No consent has been given here. Bloomberg was not elected to tell people how large their sodas can be in his fiefdom. Bloomberg himself is a hypocrite, fond of the salt he has already banned and the sugar he is trying to ban. He isn’t so much a nanny as a thug, and the First Lady of the United States is publicly applauding him, in a trial balloon sort of way that she doesn’t want you to read as support — unless you like the ban. Swell.
People like the Obamas and Bloomberg have no sense of restraint or modesty. They know what’s best for you and don’t mind telling you about it. They don’t mind legislating it. If they were more honest they would admit that they savor the power they have over the rest of us, and get up every morning thinking up new ways to wield that power just to get their kicks.