Mike Huckabee recently publicly expressed his disagreement with Sarah Palin's attacks on Michelle Obama's heavy-handed approach to childhood obesity:
“With all due respect to my colleague and friend Sarah Palin, I think she's misunderstood what Michelle Obama is trying to do,” the former Arkansas governor said Tuesday on the “Curtis Sliwa Show.” …
“Michelle Obama's not trying to tell people what to eat or not trying to force the government's desires on people,” Huckabee said. “She’s stating the obvious, that we do have an obesity problem in this country.”
He added: “The first lady's campaign is on target.”
Just as a reminder, Mike Huckabee is no conservative when it comes to using the federal government to regulate what we eat. Here's what he wrote on page 64 of his book, From Hope to Higher Ground:
There are those who believe that America cannot break or shake its addiction to fried, sugary or over-salted foods. These people believe that we are incapable of shifting our unhealthy culture, which is making us fatter, unhealthier, and more likely to die prematurely. History shows that we can, in fact, help Americans to change, not by force-feeding them government restrictions or requirements but by first changing the attitudes and atmosphere in which we live. Eventually, having shifted public opinion, we can solidify the attitude and atmospheric changes with government actions that define the will of the majority.
Emphasis added. I don't know how one can say that we shouldn't “force-feed” restrictions and then claim we need “government actions that define the will of the majority” in the same breath. Either way, I think Huck's thinking here about the role of goverment is awfully muddled and certainly won't instill confidence among conservatives.
While on the face of it, there's nothing wrong Michelle Obama's crusade against childhood obesity — the legislation her campaign has produced is a whole seperate matter than simply attempting to raise public awareness of the issue. The recently passed Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 is basically a bunch of subsidies combined with some liberal pseudo-educational claptrap about nutrition. (Among other things, Michelle Obama's bill funds school gardens — see this terrific Caitlin Flanagan piece, “Cultivating Failure” from The Atlantic about why that's a complete boondoggle.)
Perhaps Palin's critique of Michelle Obama's efforts here aren't the most sophisticated, but Huck's unqualified endorsement of what the First Lady is doing seems far more disconcerting.