Weighty matters

The United States has an obesity -- and a fathead -- problem

By Charles P. Pierce
March 13, 2011

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Dear Michelle Obama: I am sorry to see that you are running into some resistance in your campaign to rearrange the country’s gobbling habits so as to make less of us out of more of us. This resistance has manifested itself in a number of different ways, from the comical to the pseudo-intellectual, to the comically pseudo-intellectual to the pseudo-intellectually comic. And back again. Twice. There are people out there who simply are not going to be pushed around by the likes of you, lady, notwithstanding the fact that their bulk precludes their being pushed around by anything that doesn’t say “John Deere” on the side of it. There is no longer any question that making preposterous controversies out of mundane things is one of this country’s only remaining growth industries. But the really baffling one is the entirely reasonable – to me, anyway – proposal to make breast pumps tax deductible so as to encourage breast-feeding, which science tells us is one way to keep our infants from resembling the attractions in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Somehow this has been ginned up by the usual suspects into an attempt to force women to breast-feed their children, which is not a power granted to the government by the Constitution, I expect because the Constitution was written by men probably wet-nursed by their house slaves. (But that’s another story.) You can fight this silliness, but I don’t envy you the battle. You can make this country less fat, but you’ll never make it less full of fatheads. Others have tried and failed, you know.

Charles P. Pierce can be reached at

  • March 13, 2011 cover
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