Free Markets, Free People

Eat my peas? Screw you, Obama – I’m not a child for you to raise

Obama says it’s time for us to “eat our peas“. Well, here’s the problem, jacka$$ – I don’t like peas.

I’m an adult. Been one for almost thirty years, in fact, so I have a lot of practice at it. I’m older than you, jerk.

So take your sage advice about how we adult citizens just have to suck it up and bend over for your political friends one more time, and shove it in Joe Biden’s cheek pouches.


If I were a political consultant for a Republican, tea-party-oriented candidate for president (or indeed for any federal office), I would suggest that a central campaign theme be “It’s time to start treating Americans like adults.”

I believe Obama’s condescending smarminess is grating and offensive to a lot of voters. The Republicans are fools if they don’t offer a counterpoint to it.

This “treat us as adults” theme encompasses many things. It means allowing us to make our choices about our lives and our jobs, and be responsible for the outcomes. That includes a whole host of areas that the federal government has completely screwed up in their attempts to treat us like irresponsible children.

    — We need to be responsible for our own retirement. We don’t need to be treated like children who don’t understand the value of money, can’t see the future, and don’t have the self-discipline to save.

    — We need to be responsible for our own healthcare. We don’t need to be treated like children who must be told what to eat, when to exercise, and what treatment they are to get when they are sick, without any thought to how to pay for it.

    — We need to be responsible for our own businesses. The vast majority of business owners are adult enough to know what safety precautions to take, and what accounting standards to use. The small minority that doesn’t understand safety should have their butts sued off and lose their businesses when they are negligent. The tiny minority that commits accounting fraud should be put in prison.

    — We need to be responsible for our property. That starts with allowing us to keep our own money, and spend it as we like. It also implies some stability that is not currently in evidence, so that we don’t lose huge sums in real estate and stock investments because of governmental incompetence and cronyism with the executives of large companies.

    — We need to be more responsible for our own safety. Sure, there’s always a need for law enforcement, but it can’t be the first resort for personal safety. Any law enforcement that could do that would be indistinguishable from a police state. Therefore, we need the right to buy, possess, and use the weapons that provide that safety.

    — We need to be responsible for raising our own children. We need to have more influence over their education, and we particularly need to stop wasting our time reversing the indoctrination they suffer at the hands of the educational bureaucracy.

    — We need to be responsible for treating other people appropriately. If we are stupid or obnoxious in our treatment of others, we need to suffer social consequences, not legal ones.

I know transitioning to treating Americans as adults would be hard. We’ve now had a couple of generations of government dependents, and they have been actively discouraged from learning the skills and responsibilities of adulthood.

The problem is that we’ve reached the end of our rope on supporting this class, which has a natural tendency to grow.

The fundamental problem we face (and that all societies face) is that there are plenty of people who don’t want to be adults. They want to go on being children. It’s easier, at least superficially. Being an adult is hard; you have to make agonizing decisions sometimes. You sacrifice your own pleasures for your children. You deal with random outcomes, such as acts of nature. You have setbacks, and you only have yourself and those who will voluntarily help you to deal with those setbacks.

So these folks have made a pact with the devil. They get to go on essentially being children, with their housing, food, and healthcare guaranteed at a certain level. They can have children without the trouble of getting married and taking on a long term commitment. They can slough off their education. When things go bad, they can do the equivalent of a toddler’s temper tantrum by blaming any convenient third party for their own lack of capability to deal with life.

They never gain the satisfactions of being an adult, but they do get to avoid the responsibilities – at least, until the whole thing comes crashing down around them, leaving them completely unequipped to deal with the wreaked society into which they will eventually be thrust.

Some of them go one step up the ladder. They take jobs in the public sector. OK, at least they are willing to work, and a lot of public sector employees do work pretty hard. But they still exhibit many of the same childlike expectations. They expect that their job will always be secure, with no thought or concern for where the money comes from. They expect constantly rising compensation. They expect to be insulated from any real criticism by those outside the bureaucracy, i.e., the common citizens.

It’s no wonder that we’re having trouble as a society facing reality. We have created a large class of people whose entire daily existence is based on avoiding the real, adult world.

However, I believe that group is still a minority. At least, I hope it is. With its natural tendency to grow, however, it won’t be a minority for much longer.

So, while we still have a majority of people who prefer to be treated as adults, we need to appeal to that desire. We need to leverage it to shame some people into dropping their something-for-nothing expectations. For example, we need those archetypical self-sufficient farmers to give up every single subsidy they get, and run their farms like the self-sufficient adults they pretend to be. We need to shame businessmen to stop sucking at the government teat and provide goods and services that people will voluntarily purchase, without subsidies, special favors, or restrictions on their competition.

No society constituted with a majority of childlike adults is stable. Greece is the most obvious recent example.

Obama is never, ever going to treat American citizens as adults. He is psychologically incapable of it. Where Bill Clinton could give in and sign welfare reform, Obama can’t. It’s simply inconceivable to his leftist soul that society could move further from his leftist principles instead of closer to them.

The short term, then, is for Republicans to stand firm against his desire to turn more Americans into childlike adults. No more taxes. Insist on spending cuts, using whatever leverage comes to hand. Endure stalemate, if necessary, because it’s worse than the alternative. Giving in to Obama just means more ground to retake later.

The medium term is to realize that a complete turnaround is absolutely necessary in the relationship between American citizens and their federal government. Citizens must be allowed and required to be adults.

I believe if the GOP embraces this as a guiding principle, we would see a bigger electoral triumph than 2010, bigger than 1994, bigger than 1980. I believe there is latent demand in our citizens for being treated as equals instead of wards. I think they’re sick of condescending lectures on eating their peas from incompetent, smug Democrats who have failed at everything they have tried. I think many are disheartened that they want to take on the mantle of adult responsibility, but they can’t because they can’t find jobs.

However, if we get another Republican candidate who is from the same vein as authoritarian Democrats – say one that believes government control of healthcare is just fine and showed his true colors by implementing it in his state – then the GOP will forfeit a lot of that latent demand.

The GOP might still win with such an authoritarian-minded, political class approved, “to the manor born” candidate. Bill Quick thinks his Pomeranian could beat Obama, and it’s hard to argue with his reasoning.

But without sweeping majorities, clarity of mandate, and courageous, principled leadership at the top, the Republicans won’t be able to get anything of consequence done. They’ll fritter, attempt to look “bi-partisan” to please the mandarins at the Washington Post and New York Times, get gamed by the Democrats, and lose what is probably our last chance to make a real reversal before the debt resulting from our social welfare failures sends the economy into complete meltdown.

38 Responses to Eat my peas? Screw you, Obama – I’m not a child for you to raise

  • The problem is that this isn’t a GOP belief — it’s a libertarian belief.  As you rightfully point out, Mitt Romney isn’t one to let people be adults.  Nor, IMHO, are Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum, although they prefer to treat Americans as moral children moreso than as economic children.  Yet Romney and Bachmann seem to be the front-runners in this race.
    The only one in this field I can see as taking up this mantle, with a credible executive record to back it up, would be Gary Johnson.  But he’s an afterthought in most polls at this point, and the establishment GOP seems quite happy to keep him there.

    • Nor, IMHO, are Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum, although they prefer to treat Americans as moral children moreso than as economic children.

      As in what…exactly?

      • As in the Family Leader pledge, exactly.

        • Well, RECITE WHAT IT SAYS that you object to.  NOT what some liar says it says, either.

          • Sure.
            Page 1:
            Paragraph 2 suggests that our free society cannot endure without the transmission of “personal virtue”, which the authors suggest is only capable through opposite-sex spouses and nuclear families. — I find it despicable that they are insinuating therein that anyone who doesn’t fit that mold is destroying the virtue of our entire society.
            Point 5 attacks non-married cohabitation, as if it is absolutely immoral to even live in a heterosexual marriage-like relationship or begin a family without government-sanctioned marriage.
            Page 2:
            Point 4 pledges “vigorous opposition” to any potential government recognition of “intimate unions” that are not heterosexual.  I would suggest that this voices opposition to even civil unions that would give committed partners any legal rights.
            Point 6 advocates making it harder for people in bad marriages to get out of them — as if making people stay in bad marriages will help either the women in those marriages or the kids produced by them.
            Points 7 and 8 advocate defense of the DOMA (which IMHO is unconstitutional as definition of marriage has traditionally been a state matter) and pushes for a US Constitution Marriage Amendment, which I think history will judge as wrongheadedly as the 3/5 compromise or the 18th Amendment.
            Point 9 advocates “protection” of women not only of sexual slavery, trafficking, and other coercive things, but from “seduction into promiscuity” and “all forms of pornography and prostitution”, even if those are voluntary.  I’d prefer the government stay out of the consensual activities.
            The final point is particularly ironic, as they want to hide behind the First Amendment from people who are “intolerant” of their beliefs, such as people like myself who call them bigoted assholes.  Frankly my calling them bigoted assholes is somehow undermining their faith, but they seem blind to the realization that to suggest that homosexuals, sexually-liberated women, and anyone else who doesn’t fall into their perfect “virtue” are undermining the pinnacles of our entire society is equally intolerant.  Nor are they cognizant of the fact that I call them bigoted assholes but recognize their right to be bigoted assholes, yet their platform is to criminalize and use government policy to actively discriminate against those who don’t meet their virtue.
            All this, and I’m a heterosexual male in a committed marriage with two wonderful children conceived and born in wedlock.  I’m fulfilling their definition of marriage better than many of their own kind, at least if the constant Republican sexual scandals are any indication.  But I recognize that if two dudes get married, or 3 dudes and 4 chicks get into a poly marriage, it doesn’t impact the way I feel about my wife and my children, and doesn’t in any impede my own rights.  So I see no justification for legally barring others from doing different things than what I choose to do.

          • From just your first paragraph;
            “Paragraph 2 suggests…”

            ” which the authors suggest …”

            “they are insinuating therein…”

            Well, now that we know your interpretation of what The Pledge says, how about at least posting a link so that others can make up their own minds. C’mon, take a chance. Who knows, someone might actually agree with you.

          • tim,
            My most sincere apologies, friend.  I googled it and found the pledge in about 30 seconds, but far be it from me to not provide the link.
            I have no fear of original sources.

          • Oh, I should point out that the version I quoted above has the original paragraph referencing slavery, which was later stricken by Family Leader.  I avoided reference to that paragraph in my response as they had already chosen to strike it, so be aware that this is the early version.

          • I don’t see why it’s better to allow conservatives to dictate what happens in the bedroom than it is to have Liberals dictate what goes on everywhere else in the house.
            Pick your favorite flavor poison, it’s still poison.

        • This is exactly why I can not support the God Only Party until this type of repressive theocratic crap has no part at all in the party platform. Brad, you stated it right on the effing money with the direct quotes.
          <i>The final point is particularly ironic, as they want to hide behind the First Amendment from people who are “intolerant” of their beliefs, such as people like myself who call them bigoted assholes.  Frankly my calling them bigoted assholes is somehow undermining their faith, but they seem blind to the realization that to suggest that homosexuals, sexually-liberated women, and anyone else who doesn’t fall into their perfect “virtue” are undermining the pinnacles of our entire society is equally intolerant.  Nor are they cognizant of the fact that I call them bigoted assholes but recognize their right to be bigoted assholes, yet their platform is to criminalize and use government policy to actively discriminate against those who don’t meet their virtue.</i>
          EXACTLY! This is the modern day GOP in a nutshell, and this is why so many Independents will NOT support the GOP.
          There’s a coalition to be built – Independents who are fiscally conservative but socially tolerant, deficit hawks, foreign policy hawks, and moderate GOP/Dems. The first person to do that wins big. None of the GOP types who sign and believe in the crap in this “Pledge” will ever be able to build that type of coalition.

          • “Brad, you stated it right on the effing money with the direct quotes.”

            These quotes?
            “personal virtue”, “vigorous opposition” , “intimate unions” ,“protection”, etc.

            You find something obfectionable about the words “personal virtue”? I can understand how you might be offended by the suggestive words “intimate unions” being spoken of in public, but what is so offensive about the word “protection”? 

            Here’s another quote for you, “out of context”. Of course, who needs context (or even a complete sentence) when your mind is already made up. Be careful there, it’s easy to hurt yourself when your knees jerk like that.

          • I can’t speak for Phalanx, but I find nothing objectionable about the words “personal virtue”.  I take ethics quite seriously.
            What I *do* find objectionable is using the force of government to restrict the rights of people engaging in consensual behavior because it doesn’t fit the majority’s definition of virtue, if the exercise of those rights does not infringe on the rights of the majority.  And that is what this pledge is pushing for.

    • Ya beat me to it.  In short, the GOP doesn’t have much of a track record in doing the sorts of things asked for.  I’ve written them off for it.  I won’t hold my breath waiting for them to wake up to the fact that they are on the same side of the fence as the big government Democrats.

  • Speaking of which, back in November, Kyle Smith quoted this item:

    One staffer was conspicuously overweight. The president, in an incident that Wolffe believes proves how caring the man is, took it upon himself to present the aide with a salad for lunch — “then listened to him protest that he could take care of his own health. ‘I love you, man,’ Obama said. ‘I want you to look after yourself. Eat the salad.’ ”

    From Ed Driscoll
    That would have been my last day at the WH.

    • That’s reminiscent of one of the previous Democratic authoritarians in the White House – Lyndon Johnson. I read an episode in Reader’s Digest perhaps twenty years ago about Johnson and Pierre Salinger. Johnson noticed that Salinger had not eaten the beans on his plate, and remarked on it. Salinger said he did not care for beans. Johnson then fixed him with a stare and said “Pierre, eat your beans.”

      Salinger ate the beans, and quit right afterwards.

      I guess I’m just not made to work in Washington. I would have looked Johnson right back in the eye and said “No.” That tendency to flat out refuse to do something I don’t want to do has not endeared me to various bosses over the years, and it’s one of the reasons I went on my own ten years ago.

      • Yeah, why eat em and then quit – say no, now, and quit now .

      • Not a fan of peas or beans, huh?
        Shorter Billy Hollis:  F*ck Washington and their legumes.
        I hear you, man.  Legumes give me gas.

      • The brilliant Robt. Caro biographies of LBJ had him conducting business with his staff while he sat in open view on the toilet.
        It is a form of manipulation.  Anybody who would hold still for that treatment is a submissive personality.

        • Alpha males do that stuff to prove they are the leaders.
          That’s how I explain away my farting during meetings. I am proving my leadership.

    • Nah, time to bargain;
      “Sure, I’ll eat the salad if you eat this”

  • We meddle.
    People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.

  • “courageous, principled leadership at the top,”
    From where?  Paul and Johnson are the only ones honest enough to speak the truth…

  • Honestly, I’m just waiting for the Republicans to fold.
    The liar in chief will offer cuts, to occur after he’s out of office, 5-10 years away, and with a straight face claim to have cut spending.  The Repelicans will whine about how they had to do this for the good of the country.
    I don’t know how it works for you, when I promise not to spend money 10 years from now to get my budget on the level this year, my bill collectors don’t think there’s much use in that promise.l

    • I promise to only buy 4 Lamborghini’s next year instead of 5.  Aren’t I the paragon of fiscal restraint?
      Never mind that I can’t afford to buy even 1 Lamborghini. I’ve managed to cut hundred of thousands from my budget.  That 20% cut in spending was deep!

      • And! you can buy a really nice boat with the money you saved from not buying the Lamborghini!

        Perhaps if you’d planned on buying 8 Lamborghini’s you could have saved even more and justified spending on a small summer cottage in the Berkshires.

  • Captain Bullsh*t – Eat your peas.

    Me – Kiss my a**.

    Honestly, the sort of paternal hectoring that comes from Captain Bullsh*t is both offensive and ridiculous.  If I was a GOP leader in Congress (hah!), the gloves would come off.  I refuse to be spoken to like a child by anybody, espectially a moron like Captain Bullsh*t.

  • You know, we can continue to be mad about stuff like this, or we can take the opportunity to use the Bamster’s juvenile taunting to flip the script on the Democrats for once.
    I suggest cutting a series of commercials over the next few months entitled “Obama’s Choice”  It would go something like this:  “For years, the government has spent money in an unsustainable way and the democrats solution is to take ever more of your earnings to cover it.  As republicans, we think Americans should keep more of what they earn and get government out of your life as much as possible.  Now the bill has come due and Democrats are finally going to have to make tough choices live within their  means.” Then, every obnoxious bit of social spending they think to cut off to singe republicans gets highlighted, followed by the words “It was Obama’s Choice”.  At the end of the commercial, finish it off with Obama’s “Eat your Peas” line.
    That one line will become so reviled he will rue the day he uttered them. Additionally, it provides endless amusement with every new bit of obnoxious cutting (followed by a new commercial, lib outrage, and squirming) they try to bludgeon us with.

  • The next restaurant Obama appears at, the owner should quickly serve him up a plate of peas after he orders the usual hamburger, fries, shake, etc.

  • Peas are green, aren’t they?
    Coincidence, comrade? I think not.

  • That he chose this vegetable tells me he’s an even bigger whiner then I suspected.
    Off hand I can’t think of a vege I despise enough not to eat, but peas?  Why not Cauliflower?  Why not turnips?  Why not rutabaga or Brussels sprouts?
    And when can we expect the pea farmers of America to rise up and complain at him the way they did at George Bush Sr for complaining about broccoli?

  • Freedom requires responsibility. The responsibility comes first then the freedom/liberty flows from it. Our political/ruling class has been lessening the amount of responsibility to reduce the amount of freedom. They know what they’re doing, unfortunately we do not.