Liberals' kiddie props
President Barack Obama last week released a barrage of new gun-control measures. But instead of standing alone, bearing full responsibility for the imperial actions he is about to take, he brought in four children who wrote to him after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre.
It was Beltway theatrical staging — a feckless attempt to invoke “for-the-children” immunity by hiding behind them.
What has happened to the deliberative process in this country? We are already inundated with logical fallacies: argumentum ad populum (it's popular, therefore it's true); argumentum ad nauseam (if you repeat it often enough, it'll become truth); and argumentum ad hominem (sabotage the person, sabotage the truth).
To that list we can now add “argumentum ad filium”: If politicians appeal to the children, it's unassailably good and true.
The Obama White House has shamelessly employed this kiddie-human-shield strategy at every turn to blunt substantive criticism and dissent. During the legislative battle that rammed the federal health-care takeover through Capitol Hill and down our throats, Obama and the Democrats piled up youth props around them like bunker sandbags.
ObamaCare stage managers paraded 11-year-old Marcelas Owens of Washington state in front of the cameras to make the case for the half-trillion-dollar tax-hike plan. The boy's “qualifications”? Owens' mother, Tiffany, had died of pulmonary hypertension at the age of 27. A single mother of three, she lost her job as a fast-food manager and lost her insurance. She received emergency care and treatment throughout her illness but died in 2007.
As I noted at the time, Washington state already offered a plethora of existing government assistance programs to laid-off and unemployed workers like Marcelas' mom. For some reason, unexplained by the family or its zealous exploiters, she didn't bother to enroll.
The intellectual infantilization of politics and public policy is nothing new, of course. The Clintons engaged in one of the most notorious examples of poster-child abuse involving an ailing 7-year-old girl named Jennifer Bush. Her mother, Kathleen, wrote to the White House about the agonizing decision to “choose between purchasing groceries for the week to feed your family or buying needed medications for your chronically ill child.”
Coached by her overbearing mother, Jennifer dutifully told the press: “I pray every night that I can get better — and that everyone can have insurance.” Hillary Clinton trotted the family all over Capitol Hill for photo ops and press conferences on behalf of her health insurance mandate proposals.
Two years after Hillary propped her up, doctors discovered that the only thing wrong with little Jennifer was that her mother had been starving and exploiting her while splurging on trips, motorcycles and home remodeling. Mrs. Bush was sentenced to five years in prison on two counts of aggravated child abuse and welfare fraud.
From health care to gun control, the left has perfected this fallacious art of prop-a-palooza — the well-being of the children and national discourse be damned. Political vultures in Washington refuse to do the one thing that might actually benefit the children they recklessly use and abuse as fodder: Grow up.
Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” (Regnery 2009).