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The Incredible Shrinking Obama

Nov 5, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 08 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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With our embassies around the world besieged, and some 47 million Americans on food stamps, the pettiness of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has been something to behold. The leader of the free world has spent the last few weeks before Election Day talking about Big Bird and “binders full of women.” His latest gambit—accusing his challenger of having “stage three Romnesia”—manages the adolescent twofer of simultaneously mocking his opponent’s name and making light of cancer. 

Lena Dunham

We were convinced the Obama campaign had hit bottom, but if the president has one thing going for him it’s his ability to surprise. And so last week the Obama campaign unveiled a new campaign ad featuring Lena Dunham—the young actor, writer, and director behind HBO’s critically lauded TV series Girls

Dunham’s argument for voting for Obama is, uh, curious: “Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy. It should be with a guy with beautiful—someone who really cares about and understands women.” The comparison of surrendering one’s virginity to voting for Barack Obama is obviously beyond tasteless, and the reaction to the video has mostly been derision and mockery. (For what it’s worth, as The Scrapbook writes, the video has 5,396 likes and 7,242 dislikes on YouTube.) It also does no credit to the Obama campaign that parallels were quickly discovered between the Dunham spot and an election ad for Vladimir Putin, whose attitudes towards gender equality are not usually held up as a model by American feminists. 

Interestingly, The Weekly Standard’s movie critic John Podhoretz recently praised Dunham and her show in these pages for “bitter honesty” in portraying the misadventures of four young women in Manhattan, in contrast to the “profoundly false we-are-women-hear-us-roar gender-solidarity fantasy that was Sex and the City.” However, the Washington Examiner’s Joel Gehrke notes that Dunham’s ad turns all that on its head: 

As Dunham puts it, “It’s super uncool to be out and about and someone says ‘did you vote?’ and [you reply] ‘no, I didn’t feel—I wasn’t ready.’ ”

If a girl’s not ready, she’s not ready. The president, who has two daughters, surely understands that and probably wouldn’t have released this ad if he weren’t having a hard time while asking voters for four more years in the White House. 

Considering that Democrats have spent the last few months making the vile argument that Republicans who don’t support abortion on demand are encouraging rape, the president of the United States running a campaign ad implying that young women who don’t let themselves get pressured into sex are “super uncool” is more than enough to make any normal person’s head explode. 

In any event, we have a shiny new penny for the first reporter that asks the president whether he thinks young women who don’t have sex are “super uncool.” (Or better yet, maybe someone should ask Mrs. Obama what she thinks of all this.)

Dunham’s ad lasts only a minute, but it says volumes about the cynicism of Obama and the Democratic party when it comes to women. It doesn’t matter to them that millions of young women can’t find jobs and may be struggling to feed their children. They do not feel compelled to appeal to women by addressing any issue that doesn’t directly pertain to their sexuality. They’ll say anything to get them to hop into the voting booth with Barack Obama, and it’s a safe bet they won’t care if these women end up regretting it the morning after.

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