In a blatant pitch to woo female voters – presumably the base of the Democratic machine – the Obama re-election campaign came up with the “Life of Julia” concept. Poor Julia is seen suffering through a life of government dependence from age 3 when she’s enrolled in Head Start (I suppose by Julia’s unseen parents) to age 67, when she “retires comfortably” on Social Security.
Of course, this little slideshow has been unmercifully (and rightfully) parodied by Lee Stranahan into the Life of Rover, given a conservative rebuttal by the Heritage Foundation, put under a libertarian remix, and become fodder for endless Twitter shots using the #Julia hashtag, some of which are featured at the tail end of this article by Meredith Jessup in The Blaze. It seems like every time Obama tries to go viral with a hashtag, conservatives have a ton of fun with it.
My question, though, is why Obama’s so worried about the female vote. One thing the President has going for him is a fair amount of personal likability, as the First Family has been carefully scripted to appeal to women as a happy nuclear family. Granted, the Obama children are far younger than President George W. Bush’s twin daughters, but it seemed like every time one of the Bush twins misbehaved it was made into news – on the other hand, a recent Mexican trip for Obama’s older daughter Malia had its accounts scrubbed and sanitized after word got out about the 13 year old’s journey south of the border.
But women have been hard hit by the poor economy, and oftentimes the female handles the bills in the family. Whether they’re a single mom or part of the rapidly disappearing nuclear family of Mom, Dad, and two kids, women have found that over the last three years it’s been getting harder to make ends meet.
And there’s also intention behind making ‘Julia’ a single mom – you may notice that there’s no husband in the picture when she has ‘Zachary.’ (Does that sound like a focus-grouped name or what?) Of all the women who voted in 2008, it was single women who came in most heavily for Obama – a 70-29 margin. If he loses even 10 percentage points on that total, Barack Obama has to know that his re-election bid is toast. But single women haven’t been exempt from the stagnant economy, either.
In reviewing the ‘Julia’ slides, there’s also no question that the Obama campaign is playing the class envy card to the hilt, even in this example. At 17 Julia could lose her public education funding to “pay for tax cuts to millionaires,” for example. And Julia’s life is doomed if we even cut one penny from these bloated federal programs or dispense of Obamacare, as several slides warn.
But would it? What if Julia’s parents didn’t send her to Head Start but took the time to read to the child – or better yet, made the investment of time and effort to homeschool her – even as they sacrifice the tax burden of helping to support the public education they aren’t using? Chances are Julia would still be able to enroll in that college. (I’m also curious: if Julia’s going into web design, is a four-year degree even required? It seems like she could acquire those skills in a two-year associate program at a community college.)
And perhaps her parents, if they raised her right, would instill in Julia the work ethic to get her to avoid taking out thousands of dollars of student loans because she would have learned to be responsible for the results of her own education while working her way through college, along with the moral compass to wait until the right stage of life to marry Zachary’s father before they have the little rugrat. Until that point she would pay for her own contraception, thank you. (Needless to say, abstinence is free.)
That work ethic would come in handy when Julia opens her own business because she will have to work twice as hard to overcome the roadblocks in her way – not because she is a woman, but because of all the red tape an overbearing bunch of pencil pushers throw in her path. She would also have the pride to not accept work simply from the set-asides given to a female-owned business, but because she does a damn good job of it. It’s the only way she would know.
And Julia would retire comfortably because she lived a reasonable but frugal lifestyle, investing wisely in her future despite government’s best efforts to confiscate every dollar she made. Julia and her husband of over 40 years would enjoy the sunset of their lives despite never receiving a Social Security check from a bankrupt system.
But perhaps my favorite parody of Julia came from the Facebook site AttackWatch:
The Gaps of Julia
At 1 year old: Under President Obama, Julia’s posts “I hate Obama!” on her Facebook page. She is investigated by the Secret Service for threats against the President. (That’s one precocious child!)
At 16 years old: Under President Obama, Julia goes goth and changes her religious affiliation to “Wicca.”
At 18: Under President Obama, Julia realizes she’s learned more on her own than she ever has at public school and registers as a Republican voter.
At 19: Under President Obama, she realizes her Pell grants don’t cover anything but a small tuition, so she takes out student loans to supplement her income.
At 23: Under President Obama, Julia begins her career as a web designer. Despite what Obama said all those years ago, she’s still paying hundreds a month on her student loans. She makes her payments on time, but rising taxes have made it difficult to eat much more than rice, beans, and ramen. She’s happy to know she can sue for wage discrimination, except that she’s making more than her male coworker who regularly attends Occupy Wall Street meetings. Since he’s known to go into work stoned, she’s inclined to believe the pay difference is because of her performance.
At 25: Under President Obama, Julia has worked as a web designer for the past four years. She’s chosen to be responsible with her health and family planning, and doesn’t want to drain the system by using other peoples’ money for her sex life.
At 31: Under President Obama, Julia and her husband decide they’re financally secure enough to have a child. Julia wishes she could be a stay-at-home mom, but she can’t because men’s wages have been stagnant for 50 years now and they can’t live solely on her husband’s income. She slips and lets the tax payers pick up the tab for her maternity leave. Both her and her husband’s taxes go up the following year. They consider selling their house to move into a condo half the size.
At 37: Under President Obama, Julia’s son Zachary starts kindergarten. She’s there to see him off at the bus stop because she quit her job, deciding the slight bit of extra pay wasn’t worth it since taxes and highly-regulated child care costs were so high. She and her husband fight more than they’d like, but remain close. Zachary eats better than they do, they make sure of that.
At 42: Under President Obama, Julia decides to start her own at-home business to try and bring in at least a meager extra income. She finds that Obama’s tax cuts for small businesses help, but his extra excise taxes on manufacturers and healthcare and income do not. It’s not a zero-sum game; she’s losing money. She wants to help people, so she hires another worker, but has to lay him off after a year because she can’t afford the healthcare costs.
At 65: Under President Obama, Julia submits an application for Medicare. She’s eagerly granted acceptance.
At 66: Under President Obama, Julia develops a brain tumor. She submits an application to Medicare, which is denied. “Due to age,” and “See Quality of Life (QoL) Regulations” stick out through her watered eyes. She chokes and sobs. She hugs her 70 year old husband when he returns from work. They cry together, in bed, just holding each other. “We tried,” Julia whispers to her husband.
At 67: Under President Obama, Julia passes in her husband’s arms. Full of anger that his ailing wife was denied care from the Obamacare Government because of costs, he takes his wrath to Facebook. He writes, “President Obama, I can’t stand everything you’ve done!”
At 71: Under President Obama, Julia’s husband is investigated by the Secret Service for threats against the President.
President Obama has now been president for at least 67 years.
You might laugh, but the sad fact is that millions of gullible voters will lap up the Obama Kool-Aid and believe he’s only trying to help the middle class. He’s helping them, all right – helping them become poor and dependent on government handouts of some sort.