Sunday, March 22, 2009

My President Is 'Down to Earth'

Michelle Obama will soon plant a vegetable garden on the south lawn at the White House.

As a commentator to the article notes, what a fine idea. Even finer is what it represents: this White House is making a gentle but firm gesture against industrialization of our food supply, and a simple but unmistakable bow to its own frailty; after all, it's pretty tough to be cocky when you grow you own vegetables. Frailty may be a scary, humbling, and terribly old fashioned observation, but it's the kind of scary, humbling, and terribly old fashioned world in which I want to live.

So, "thank you" to the Obamas -- I'll take a first family that weeds over one that clears brush, any day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is clearing brush really that different, though?

I don't think a gardening hobby is meaningful. I think Obama's a better president than Bush, don't get me wrong- but I don't think the Obamas should be praised for every little thing.

3/23/2009 12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree - don't over analyze it. They're just planting a garden, something that millions of people do every spring.

3/23/2009 8:47 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

" . . . something that millions of people do every spring."

My point, exactly.

3/23/2009 9:11 AM  
Blogger Trial Attorney said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/23/2009 10:33 AM  
Anonymous '93 Alum said...

Veg garden could be (a) useful lesson for their kids and general population or (b) meaningless symbolism. Dems will say (a). Repubs will say (b). I say it's (a) if the Pres and First Lady are seen out there in the hot sun doing some work with their girls, and (b) otherwise.

3/23/2009 10:38 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

This is a hyper-picky side point, but is there such thing as meaningless symbolism?

It seems like if it's a symbol, it has meaning. And if it's meaningless, it can't be a symbol.

3/23/2009 12:10 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sorry to everyone except Patrick, but Presidents and their spouses rarely do anything "just because." On the rare occasions when they do something without a purpose, they don't invite the press.

Michelle Obama invited a bunch of kids to help her plant the garden, and the press was there as well. They are OBVIOUSLY trying to make a point. That point is that we all benefit from more sustainable practices like gardening for food, composting, etc. A side benefit is that they look less elitist (although they are growing Arugula, which I'm told is an elitist vegetable).

Maybe you like the message, maybe you don't, but don't be naive about it.

3/23/2009 3:44 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

They are being elitist, Dan. If they weren't, they'd grow some darn beets.

3/23/2009 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beets. Bears. Battlestar Gallactica.

3/23/2009 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope they're growing okra. Mmmm...fried okra...

3/25/2009 10:51 PM  

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