Muffin consumption pivotal issue in 2012. Really?

A writer who teaches at Columbia managed to file another subjective, liberal polemic with the New York Times the other day.  In the piece, the author invokes the memory of her deceased, Korean immigrant father to denounce . . . you guessed it, Mitt Romney.

And the decisive issue for Asian immigrants in 2012?  How one eats a muffin.

This time, the opinion writer drags us along an arc strewn with references to airline peanut packets and Burberry scarves, whatever those are.  She arbitrarily parks the words “Anglo-Saxon” in the vicinity of Ann Romney’s name, in a bald attempt to evoke from her readers whatever animus may have been deposited by past ethnic studies professors.

As for breakfast habits, the writer would have us believe that, for miserly immigrants like her father, they’re a game changer:

I can only imagine what he would have had to say about a presidential candidate so heedless he eats only the top off a muffin. No matter how loyal a Republican, my father would likely have declared Mr. Romney a very silly, profligate man — not the kind of man to be trusted with his precious tax money. Perhaps his vote would have gone to a Democrat for the first time ever. Politico has declared the Asian-American vote “key for both parties.”  Will muffin-top-gate cause other immigrant parents to join their Democratic-leaning children?

This passage, besides being an unrealistic fantasy, betrays the totalizing tendency of liberals.  That is chiefly, the conflation of private behavior with public obligations.  If a police officer tucks in his daughter at night with a tender kiss, does he become too gentle to chase and pin down a violent suspect the next day?  In the same way, how a businessman spends his own earnings has no connection with his performance at his day job.

Indeed, it was President Clinton who called Romney’s business record “sterling.”  Car elevators and the alleged discarding of muffin bottoms don’t erase the over 100,000 jobs and healthy profit Romney generated at Bain; neither do they negate his tremendous service to the Salt Lake Olympics.

And since we’re counting, let’s not forget all the penny-pinching, middle class markers of Mr. Romney: his “cheap” kitchen light bulb fix, the family vacations in a wood-paneled station wagon, and his regular trips flying economy class, even at the risk of air rage fisticuffs.

The appropriate scrutiny for this election is not on what a businessman does with privately-purchased muffins, but what a public steward like President Barack Obama has done with the people’s money.  An added $6,000,000,000,000 to the debt, the failed $800 billion stimulus (check the graph here), support of green flops like high speed rail and Solyndra, and an otherwise total lack of leadership on the federal budget make a better case for profligacy than any half-eaten baked breakfast good ever could.

If we’re going to talk muffin waste, Barack Obama has wantonly discarded untold dumpster loads of them, in the belief that he could always tax the muffin-rich or inflate his way out of the muffin debt.

So there we have it.  A mainstream publication continues to avail itself as a platform for utterly unconvincing liberal carping.  It would have been genuinely interesting to have an honest exposition of what ideas animated the writer’s allegiance to the Democratic party.  For now, the consuming public must be content with a couched, self-referential diatribe of cross-generational rebellion.  That, and whatever else the enlightened editors toss our way.

Thoughts on San Francisco

Yesterday I visited the California Academy of Sciences in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.  As beautiful and therapeutic as the city’s green expanse is, folks from flyover country can’t easily forget just what an epicenter of liberalism it is either.  Less than a week after Mayor Ed Lee renamed prosaic-sounding Middle East Drive, I had the honor of seeing with my own eyes the newly-christened Nancy Pelosi Drive.

I can imagine the mayor telling the city council they would have to pass the renaming measure before they could find out what the street would be called.

Now there’s been a great ballyhoo about the U.S. Census release claiming that white babies are now a minority.  If you’re somehow concerned about this, don’t worry; all the unaccounted-for white kids can be found being pushed in strollers through the California Academy of Sciences museum.  There, they learn valuable truths, like the fact that toilet bowls do not harbor a safe supply of emergency drinking water.  Seriously though, I did enjoy exhibits like the rain forest and the planetarium show.

Like many other Americans, I drove a car to reach my Memorial Day weekend destination. Coming from the Sacramento Valley–which is worthy of the flyover country honorific in it’s own right–I decided to skip the parking lot that is called Berkeley, taking instead the scenic U.S. Highway 1/101 south.  As I passed Muir Woods, I was reminded of last year’s blockbuster remake Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  In the film’s climax, sentient apes escape a grossly distorted, Hollywood version of San Francisco, fighting authorities in a pitched battle on the Golden Gate Bridge before swinging to the freedom of Muir Woods.

What do I mean by a distorted, Hollywood version of San Francisco?  The protagonist’s neighborhood looks less like a crunched row of Victorian three-story homes than it does a line of oak-shaded tracts transplanted from the middle of Anytown, USA.  There are no hemp-adorned hippies, hat-and-beard hipsters, or any hint of Chinatown.  The film depicts no Asian-Americans save the heroine, India’s Frida Pinto.  That there would be a corporate science facility doing testing on primates in the environmentalist Mecca-by-the-bay strains viewers’ credulity.  And rather than flee before the apes, some San Franciscans would surely take to their side to hurl rocks against mounted police.

In one sense, I suppose I shouldn’t find these logical lapses strange or noteworthy.  After all, Hollywood, like much of the rest of the Golden State, is a land where make believe rules.

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