Being overweight isn't just a health problem. It's a moral failing.
- Seriously. The fitness of Dr. Regina Benjamin, the Obama administration's nominee for Surgeon General, has been called into question. Not just her fitness for office. But her fitness in general. Or rather, because Dr. Benjamin, a 53 year old African American lady who probably works 20 hour days, isn't physically fit, the argument goes that she's not fit to serve in high office. Because the Surgeon General's job isn't to advance sound medical policy. It's to be a role model.
- As penance for her sins, Dr. Benjamin could seek to intervene in the "public interest" lawsuit recently filed against Denny's, accused of killing its customers with salt.
- Meanwhile, David Frum, formerly famous as the man who brought us the Axis of Evil, now wants to bring us the Axis of Obesity. Starting with anti-fast food zoning laws as restrictive as those applied to strip clubs and gun stores, and moving on to a tax on corn syrup.
- Speaking of fatass political pundits, as part of a comprehensive health care package Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic wants to "empower" Medicare and Medicaid to change the "obesogenic environment." For the good of poor people, of course. That Ambinder verses his proposals in even denser polysyllabic prose than usual indicates to me that what he really means is: fat tax and reduced insurance coverage. But if Ambinder used those terms, poor people might understand what he meant.
This may become a continuing series. Media demonization of the overweight and government / public-interest intrusion into people's eating habits are heavy topics, to be chewed over at length.