The very next day, the president bumped the first woman editor of the New York Times from her commencement gig at all-female Barnard College, and invited himself to speak instead. "As the father of two daughters," the White House announcement proclaimed, "President Obama wanted to speak to some of America’s next generation of women leaders.” Father Knows Best, apparently more so than one of the world's most powerful women leaders. Adoration, not emulation, little girls! Who is that in the front lines of the war against women again?
Every time I hear Barack Obama preface a remark with that cringe-worthy "as the father of two daughters" I know the news will be (a) A really bad public policy decision, such as overriding science and his own female FDA commissioner to ban the sale of Plan B contraceptives to teenage girls; (b) a blatant pitch for female votes and an appeal to all who crave authoritarianism; (c) an indication of his ingrained male chauvinism, or (d) a lame joke betraying an unhealthy fixation on the future sex lives of Sasha and Malia.... not to mention a creepy obsession with the drones and guns he will use to protect them.
Long before the newly declared War Against Women reached a fever pitch with the Rush Limbaugh rants of hate, and congressional Republicans frothing at the mouth about the gateway-to-promiscuity drug of birth control pills, the Democratic president was fretting about the chastity of his own two kids -- who are only 10 and 13 years old. The most recent (known) occasion was a campaign photo-op at the Master Lock factory in Milwaukee last month. "As I was looking at some of the really industrial-size locks, I was thinking about the fact that I am the father of two girls who are soon to be in high school and it might come in handy to have these super-locks," he joked. "For now I'm just counting on the fact that when they go to school there are men with guns with them." Heh, heh, heh. Video here.
At the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2010, Obama warned the singing Jonas Brothers to keep their hands off his offspring, as if they even had any interest in the pre-teen girls. "Boys! Don't get any ideas," he sternly intoned. "I have two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming.”
And the following year, speaking at a high school commencement, he noted that the principal’s daughter had chosen to go to a different school because she “was worried that the boys would be afraid to talk to her if her mom was lurking in the hallways.” Because of this, he said, he’d decided to announce that his “next job will be principal at Sasha and Malia’s high school — and then I’ll be president of their college.”
There's more. The Chicago Tribune's Lynn Sweet wrote last August:
CNN's Wolf Blitzer, interviewing President Obama on Tuesday asked him what he would get daughters Malia and Sasha if he wins a second term. The girls got Bo, the dog after the Obama family moved to the White House.
From another interview last year on ABC's Good Morning America:"But I understand teenage-hood is complicated. I should also point out that I have men with guns that surround them often.’
BLITZER: What are you going to get them the next time, if you're reelected?
OBAMA: When I'm reelected, what I'll be getting them is a continuation of Secret Service so that when boys want to start dating them they are going to be surrounded by men with guns. That's their gift.
From a 2009 Newsweek interview: "Now, I worry about them when they're teenagers where, you know, you're already embarrassed about your parents and even more embarrassed on TV all the time. And dating I think will be an issue because I have men with guns surrounding them at all times [laughter], which I'm perfectly happy with, but they may feel differently about it.
At his National Prayer Breakfast speech last month, Obama carefully refrained from mentioning weaponry before his religious audience, but admitted that he will pray for strength when eldest daughter Malia "goes to her first school dance and begins dating" and hopes that she "keeps her skirt long as she grows up." Video here.
Of course, the worst episode of paternalism came in December, when Obama nixed the purchase of the "morning after" pill by girls under the age of 18. Being "the father of two daughters" apparently makes you forget everything you learned in your Ivy League schools. It puts you right down there with the most rabidly ignorant anti-feminist GOPers. And when his own base lashed out at him, he blamed yet another woman -- HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius -- as well as all those stupid teeny-boppers who can't tell a contraceptive from a pack of gum:
I will say this, as the father of two daughters. I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine. And as I understand it, the reason Kathleen made this decision was she could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old go into a drugstore, should be able—alongside bubble gum or batteries—be able to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could end up having an adverse effect. And I think most parents would probably feel the same way.Tell me again where this man gets off addressing a group of women at a commencement ceremony, or how he and his fellow Democrats think they have any standing when it comes to women's rights and health issues. This is a perfectly convenient wedge issue for him as well as for the Republicans.
ObamaCare, besides not kicking in for another two years even as 50 million people remain uninsured, is a poster child for the Law of Unintended Consequences. The president blew it when he allowed private insurance leeches, employers and the clergy to have a say in his quasi-public health plan. Now is the perfect time to point out yet again that Single Payer (Medicare for All) is the only way to go.