October 2 2012

Brittany vs. Julia

Charlotte Hays

We’ve had a lot of fun with “Julia,” the fictional Obama woman who lives a life of dependency.

But there is nothing funny in the Obama campaign’s posting a letter from a young lady called Brittany.

 Here is an excerpt from Brittany’s letter:

Hello! My name is Brittany and I live in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. I am 25 years old (but I will be 26 on October 3rd!). I am a registered Democrat and I have been voting since I was 18. I am one of the 47% of Americans who fall under Mitt Romney’s definition of “entitled” and “unable to take responsibility for my life.” I have Down syndrome.

Charles C. W. Cooke came up with the Brittany vs. Julia formulation. He captures why the Obama campaign’s use of Brittany should make you sick at your stomach:

There is so much that is heinous about Brittany being used for political gain in this way, but let’s start with the obvious thing, which is that neither Mitt Romney nor anybody running for office under the Republican banner is suggesting doing anything that would hurt her. …

As Brittany says, she is “unable to take responsibility” for her life. (Or, at least, full responsibility. Her letter shows that she’s rather admirable.) Fair enough. But outside of the most feverishly conceived cartoon conservatives, who exactly resents this fact? America enjoys a bipartisan agreement that children, elderly people, and the disabled should be protected — and that government has a role to play in that care. The implication that Brittany is akin to those who are dependent on government by choice, habit, or design should be rejected with extreme prejudice — not least for Brittany’s sake. Suffice it to say that whatever point Romney was trying to make with his “47 percent” line, it was not that the state should cut off people with disabilities. …

To buy the Obama campaign’s implication, you have to believe that conservatives are sitting at home reading that and saying, “Why, what a scrounger!” One suspects that such a belief is vital to the self-image of liberals, who would have a hard time placing themselves on the moral spectrum were they to be deprived of the conceit that Republicans are scheming to murder the poor and throw the disabled and elderly out onto the cold streets. Still, at the risk of collapsing some worldviews: It’s not true.

Just for the record, Cooke points out that not only is it hogwash to say Republicans belive Brittany deserves no help it is foolish to say that she belongs to the so-called 47 percent: Brittany has a job and paid $542.72 in taxes last year. I’ll bet that is more than can be said for this woman.

IWF has never had a stand on abortion, but I do think that I can make the factual statement that President Obama supports policies that could have prevented many people like this admirable young woman from coming into the world without violating IWF’s neutrality.

 

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