Wingnut of the Week: Gene Healy—Obama’s Too Thin
Please tell me this is some meta-level snark— but it isn’t. Gene Healy is an OpEd columnist for the Washington Examiner and a vice president of the wingnut Cato Institute. And yeah, this week’s column says Obama isn’t fat enough to be POTUS:
It’s Time America Had a Fat President
Last week, President Obama strolled the beaches for a photo op with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a self-described “fat redneck.” Our beanpole president made quite a contrast to the chubby gov, who, as the New York Times noted Sunday, resembles “an adult version of Spanky from the Little Rascals.”
Newsweek calls Barbour “the anti-Obama,” but the Times downplayed his presidential prospects. Apparently, Haley needs to slim down if he’s serious.
Is corpulence really a disqualification for the presidency in the land of supersized fries? If so, that’s a shame.
America might do better with a fat president. After all, some of our best have been big fellows, and lately the trim and ambitious types haven’t served us so well.
“Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look; he thinks too much. Such men are dangerous,” Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar comments to Marc Antony. “Let me have men about me that are fat … such as sleep o’ nights.”
There’s valuable insight there. Keeping fit is fine, but it’s hard to trust someone who has spent decades counting carbs so he can stay light enough to leap for the brass ring.
Apparently, Healy doesn’t understand that it’s contradictory to say ‘corpulence is a disqualification for the presidency and that’s a shame’ in the same column where he argues that being ‘thin’ or exercising is a disqualification for the presidency.
Wingnut logic. It must be so fun to be freed from the constraints of consistency!
A few years back, Slate examined the relationship between flab and presidential performance. What it found suggests that if you want New Frontiers and crusades for democracy, then vote for the skinny striver. If you’d prefer someone who leaves well enough alone — who’s content to preside over peace and prosperity — pick the porker.
Yeah, crusading for democracy and being a ‘striver’ do sound like terrible attributes for the leader of the free world. How will our republic stand it? /
Reminder: no matter who had been elected POTUS in 2008, he wouldn’t have been ‘presiding over peace and prosperity’. A little something called ‘two wars and an economic meltdown’ happened before November 2008.
Celebrity culture has infected American politics. Since the advent of television, we’ve reliably opted for the taller candidate — those with receding hairlines need not apply. We seem to have forgotten the purpose of the office. We’re not casting a chick flick here — we’re picking a constitutional chief executive.
I like the gratuitous slur about ‘chicks’ and their ‘flicks’. Because everyone knows that chick flicks are stupid and cast based on appearance. Unlike action flicks, where porcine men are always the heroes, the women are cast based on their SAT scores, and very serious and intelligent issues are dealt with in the highly serious and intelligent way of BLOWING SHIT UP.
So far, Healy’s insulted all women, all thin or average weight people, people who have ever watched a ‘chick flick’, and also ‘fat’ people by suggesting they make better presidents because they’re lazy and sleep all the time. And people who are fit are ‘hard to trust’. Anything else to add?
The Framers never saw the president as a glamorous tribune of the people. They wanted someone solid enough to stand firm when Congress and the public demanded things they shouldn’t have.
Let’s give fat guys a chance. We could hardly do worse.
Yeah, we’re insulting the overweight too it seems. They might not actually be better elected officials, he suggests, but it’s ok because ‘we can hardly do worse’.