February 22nd, 2006

My Mommy is a Democrat; your Momma wears combat boots


Gerard Van der Leun has called our attention to a children’s book that has to be seen to be believed. Actually, scratch that; this book cannot be believed, even after being seen.

Take a look. Take a long look. Then come back and agree with me that Why Mommy Is a Democrat simply must be parody; it is so perfectly simpleminded that it could be nothing else. Spawn of the Onion, perhaps, or Mad magazine–something, anything but an actual serious effort at writing a children’s book.

After giving the post at American Digest some serious in-depth study, and Googling around (including a visit to the book’s website), I can only conclude that Why Mommy Is a Democrat is on the up and up after all, as serious as serious can be.

In the book, the words “Democrat” and “good person” seem to be used synonymously and interchangeably, and the illustrations–oh! the illustrations!–featuring what I can only conclude are meant to be squirrels (although they look more like antennaed aliens to me)–are quite stupendously hideous in a sentimental and strangely retro Dick-and-Jane-y way.

I can’t quite fathom having the concept of writing such a book in the first place, the need to explain the ordinary everyday political affiliation of a parent to a very young child. I just don’t think it’s an issue that’s uppermost in a child’s mind, or even something about which a child would care at all. But I suppose that, even though this is a children’s book, it’s really wasn’t written with the child in mind.

And it turns out the book is not alone. Research is my thing, and careful research has turned up a host of similar items, children’s books about Mommy and politics. So I now present them for your edification (by the way, all these books are quite real, although my interpretations of them might be just a tad suspect):

Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry: this one’s easy; Mommy must be an evil Republican.

Mommy Hugs: here Mommy’s clearly a loving Democrat–although that elephant illustration on the cover must be in error; the characters should be donkeys.

Mommy CEO: 5 Golden Rules: obviously a Republican again, and a dirty capitalist to boot.

Mommy Diagnostics: The Naturally Healthy Family’s Guide to Herbs and Whole Foods for Health: a Democrat, what else? Lives in northern California, perhaps Marin county.

Mommy Knows Worst: Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice: not only Republican all the way, but note the nefarious author: blogger James Lileks! Need I say more?

Mommy and Daddy Are Fighting: we obviously have a mixed marriage here: a Democrat has married a Republican (was this book by any chance written by the offspring of James Carville and Mary Matalin?)

Mommy is Missing: apolitical and unaffiliated, Mommy probably doesn’t even bother to vote; she’s a shirker

I Saw Mommy Kicking Santa Claus : The Ultimate Holiday Survival Guide: Mommy is a liberal/leftist secular Democrat who is gamely fighting all the trappings of Christmas

Mommy You’re My Hero: a military Mommy, more likely than not a Republican, although she certainly could be a Democrat instead

Mommy Poisoned Our House Guest: can there be any doubt? Mommy’s a Republican all the way.

The DIY Guide to Mommy Sanity: clearly, this is about our very own Republican Dr. Sanity

Mommy Under Cover: CIA Mommy.

Dear Mommy and Daddy When I Grow Up I Don’t Want To Be BROKE: written by the budding Republican child of Democrat parents, an ungrateful turncoat

Mommy And The Policeman Next Door: don’t ask, don’t tell; you don’t want to know

And, by the way, my mommy really was a Democrat. Still is, actually.

All kidding aside, children are nearly always indoctrinated by their parents in their initial political affiliation, and most of the time this affiliation lasts for life. In fact, one of the very first posts in my “A mind is a difficult thing to change” series talks about that at great length, here. But Why Mommy Is a Democrat is an unusually overt–not to say heavy-handed and preposterous–example of politicizing directed towards children.

Somehow, it reminds me ever so slightly of this:

“Elementary Class Consciousness, did you say? Let’s have it repeated a little louder by the trumpet.”

At the end of the room a loud speaker projected from the wall. The Director walked up to it and pressed a switch.

“… all wear green,” said a soft but very distinct voice, beginning in the middle of a sentence, “and Delta Children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.”

There was a pause; then the voice began again.

“Alpha children wear grey They work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever. I’m really awfuly glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able …”

The Director pushed back the switch. The voice was silent. Only its thin ghost continued to mutter from beneath the eighty pillows.

41 Responses to “My Mommy is a Democrat; your Momma wears combat boots”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Jesus fuck, this is what gets conservatives upset? just when i thought it wasn’t possible for human beings to have their heads farther up their asses, I run across a post like this…

    Excuse my French (I’m a liberal, you know), but my sincere suggestion would be for y’all to get a fucking life. Just STOP dressing up like Ann Coulter and Karl Rove and butt-fucking each other with loaded shotguns, ok? Why? Because it annoys the piss out of me, that’s why.

    Love,

    your mom

  2. King Bastard Says:

    Our version is more entertaining (and truthful): http://www.thosebastards.com/archives/2204/

  3. seguin Says:

    Wierd piece of propaganda…but they screwed up a bit; squirrels are just about the dumbest creatures on the planet, only barely edging out lemmings and your average college know-it-all hippie.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    All this is perfect illustration to generally poorly understood truth: modern Liberalism is not a political or philosophic teaching; it is (psychologically) a religion of some kind. Of a very strange and perverse kind, I will say, because it openly and obsessively denies its true nature. In contrast to any other known religion, it does not insist to be based on words of a prophet, or long-standing tradition, or some other irrational source of knowledge – it pretends to be objective, rational and scientifically verifiable. This self-deception leads to many ugly consequences. First, those who do not believe the same are viewed as mentally retarded, crazy or morally corrupt: why else they refuse to understand and accept such obvious things? They must be liars and hypocrites, striving for some selfish goals. So the second consequence is intolerance; and the third – aggression coming from bad conscience: the very existence of an opponent that can’t be completely rationalized out is unbearable challenge. So vandalism of anti-capitalism activists is a quite natural outcome.
    Reuben, Moscow

  5. Ymarsakar Says:

    What is it modern day progressives have against dads, intact families, manhood, etc.?

    That’s because women don’t need men to fight for them anymore. Men are not expendable, and neither is a woman’s fertility days expendable as baby producers.

    In the New Society that the utopians are creating, men will be tasked with metrosexuality and women will be the workers and the purveyors of social virtue. Women, being far less aggressive and war prone than men, will be placed as the unquestioned leader in this new social heirarchy. Instead of a patriarchy, the new utopia will be a matriarchy.

    In some ways, humanity will become an insect hive, in which all workers are female and men are only needed to produce sperm. Which, if you read Maureen Dowd, is something she is hoping for.

    It is natural for some women to want to upstage the men in the power struggle, but I don’t think they understand just what it means.

    Those that do, usually go into the military.

    Those that don’t, usually come to value themselves so highly that they are unwilling to share anything with anyone else (i.e. Hollywood).

  6. MikeZ Says:

    “Curious George” came up a couple of times, and the movie is just coming out.

    Let’s see if there’s any pipe-smoking in it.

  7. TalkinKamel Says:

    Van, as I recall, my own staunchly Democratic dad was quite blunt in his criticisms of all politicians, whether they were Republican or Democrat! He didn’t spare his own party, if he thought they’d done something dumb. I learned a lot about politics from him. (And if someone had given me a book like, “Why Mommy is a Democrat” he’d've chucked it in the trash.)

    and MikeZ, yes, I noticed the absence of a father in the story too, and was bothered by it. What is it modern day progressives have against dads, intact families, manhood, etc.?

    The old books are the best, douglas! My son loves “Curious George” and Dr. Seuss, and fairy tales, and all that good stuff.

    (One thing that bothers me about modern kid’s books is the fact that so many of them, even for older kids, depend so heavily on pictures to tell the story. Look at an old St. Nicholas magazine, or a 19th—early 20th century kid’s book; there are just more words there!)

  8. douglas Says:

    What ever happened to the old Curious George books, where capturing wildlife from Africa was still o.k., and you could show a man smoking a pipe, or for that matter, George could smoke a pipe with the Man with the Yellow Hat…
    or better still, the old Grimms Fairy tales- before modern PC editors…
    Good stuff!

  9. Harry Mallory Says:

    benning76:
    “How sad that someone thought this was something that needed to be done. What a sad commentary on this nation.”

    Nope. Sad commentary on liberals. The rest of us dont need constant cradle to grave ideological reinforcement.

    It could be worse. I understand Daniel Ortega had school children learning arithmetic by counting pictures of rifles and grenades in the text books produced by his Sandinista people’s utopia.

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    Van–that’s quite a response.

    On the other hand, at least you got a response. The author’s probably a bit surprised that he’s getting so much attention around the blogosphere.

  11. Ymarsakar Says:

    Neither of these books should have published.

    Because censoreship is a good thing?

  12. MikeZ Says:

    Did anyone notice the absence of father from the story? 2-parent families are just so-o-o-o old-fashioned.

    Along the way, I came across this book by James Clavell (which I hadn’t heard of ’til today):

    Children’s Story

  13. benning Says:

    Here I was, rereading some Dr. Seuss books. Real books for kids! Loved ‘em then, got a kick out of ‘em just now. :D

    How sad that someone thought this was something that needed to be done. What a sad commentary on this nation.

    Yeesh!

  14. Van Says:

    Just in case anyone is interested, I received a reply to my complaint letter:

    “Thomas

    Well, I’m appalled that Democratic parents are willing to let their children grow up to believe there’s nothing good about the Democratic party. If Democratic parents aren’t willing to say something nice about the party to their children, what message do you suppose that sends to young, impressionable children? (And most young kids DO know the party exists. Just ask them.) Do you really want children learning about the Democratic party by watching the ridiculous partisan name-calling on Fox TV, MSNBC, etc.? Perhaps that’s why so many Americans these days grow up believing that parties are evil and don’t have any agenda other than insulting the other party and winning elections. I don’t think that’s healthy for our democracy.”

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Train up a child in the Way of The Party….

  16. Van Says:

    Loyal A wrote:
    “Well, if “Help Mommy, There Are Liberals Under my Bed!” can be sold seriously, then I don’t see why this should be so strange.

    –This is the same type of trash, but on the opposite end!
    Neither of these books should have published. Both are deplorable.

  17. Van Says:

    Thanks for this post.
    As a Democrat I am appalled by the theme of this book. The author seems to have no guilt about using propaganda to indoctrinate impressionable children. This is a deplorable scheme and should be exposed for what it is, an attempt to politicize our children!

    I can’t even imagine the type of person that would subscribe to this type of filth.
    I would never allow something like this in my home, let alone read it to my child.

    If the goal is to teach children the benefits of living in an egalitarian society, then wait until they are at least old enough to think for themselves a little – geez!

    I urge any parents here to write the publisher, I certainly intend to.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    “Aren’t sqirrels the ones that hide their nuts and can’t find them again?”

    I think that just about wraps up the Dem’s problem.

    In a nutsack^H^H^H^Hshell.

  19. camojack Says:

    So, Democrats=squirrels? Simple, yet elegant…and I’ve got a shotgun!

    When’s Democrat, er, squirrel season?!
    (Guess I need a license, too)

  20. westbankmama Says:

    Aren’t sqirrels the ones that hide their nuts and can’t find them again? It sounds like the democrats – except this time they’ve hidden their common sense.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    This is not a unique item but rather part of a genre. Seasoned observers — not necessarily paleocons — will remember when Grandfather Twilight campaigned for Dennis Kucinich. Just like the squirrels in Why Mommy is a Democrat, the Creatures of the Forest wanted Dennis for President.

  22. Cappy Says:

    I knew those liberals were suffing their nuts in my gutters!

  23. Van der Leun Says:

    You know, if the blogsphere keeps working this book this hard he’s going to sell 50,000 copies to Republicans.

  24. vanderleun Says:

    Errr…. I *think* it was the Anchoress who got the award for best Political Catholic blog.

    But this book should get its own award. Why not? It breaks new ground in blather — and that’s hard to do.

  25. Stingray Says:

    Congratulations on a very funny post. And, via word from The Anchoress, congratulations on your award.

  26. N. O'Brain Says:

    Right Wing News had a “Make “Up the Best Line From the Book” contest.

    The best one was

    “Mommy, how come you take half my paper route money away and give it to the lazy kid next door who just watches cartoons all day?” — by poster CavalierX

  27. Fausta Says:

    Obviously yhe mommy in the book is a Democrat because she’s a squirrel. If she was a human being, she’d be a Republican
    ;)

  28. Bill Says:

    And while we’re on that page … Why is that elephant charging the strange man in the park wearing the overcoat. I bet there’s a newspaper hanging out of his pocket (on the otherside) and you know what I mean.

    God, this is like hunting doves in a baited field.

  29. Sigmund, Carl and Alfred Says:

    I want to write my own tome “Why Mommy Invited Hitler To Dinner,” the story of how one sweet mommy turned Adoph Hitler into a kind, caring and sharing multiculturalist.

    Songs, poetry and a pot luck dinner of international vegetarian-only favorites does the trick, every time.

    Right? Hey, it could happen.

  30. Bill Says:

    I agree with Frank. I’d a Democrat living my fireplace. It packed it full of pinecones and flamable Democrat fur. After we trapped it and set it free in the forest, we then had to sweep the chimney to clean after everthing the little democrat did (which is what Republicans do, I s’pose), otherwise the whole house would have gone up in smoke.

    According to the book “Mommy makes sure we are all save… Just like Democrats.”

    Riiiiiight.

    And you don’t even want to want I know of those d@mn wild turkey Whigs, Know-Nothing geese that pooped all over my deck after I stained it.

  31. Rose Nunez Says:

    *snort*

    Can’t help but think that if more Mommies really did “make sure everyone shares their toys” and “make sure children go to school” maybe there’d be less interest in pushing government to do it.

  32. Susie Dear Says:

    I’ve always lamented the fact that my son’s first real awareness of politics and the Presidency was at age 6 when I had to explain to him what he heard on the radio about Bill and Monica.

    I suppose this really isn’t that bad, but I still think it stinks.

    As a frivolous aside… if your parents buy you this book, will you later be called a blue-diaper baby?

  33. gcotharn Says:

    I see echoes of “liberalism as religion”. Religion is taught to children so they may enjoy the benefits of faithful worship. Do liberal parents also wish their children to enjoy the benefits of faithful worship(of utopian ideology)?

  34. neo-neocon Says:

    Loyal A: truthfully, don’t you find them both a bit strange?

    Although the one you mentioned (which I wasn’t previously familiar with) sounds as though it might at least be a bit tongue-in-cheek. I hope so. This one certainly wasn’t.

  35. karrde Says:

    Achates:

    Perhaps that was the original title of Something Under the Bed is Drooling, written by Bill Watterson. :)

  36. Loyal Achates Says:

    Well, if “Help Mommy, There Are Liberals Under my Bed!” can be sold seriously, then I don’t see why this should be so strange.

  37. Ymarsakar Says:

    Maybe we need to go back in time and tell the Founding Fathers they need an Ammendment telling people that it is a fundamental human right not to be brainwashed.

  38. TalkinKamel Says:

    Well, it’s essentially the message the Democrats are offering to the world these days:

    “Government is your Mommy. Mommy always knows best. Talk back to Mommy, and she will send you to your room. You’ll always be Mommy’s little squirrely, and you’ll always, ALWAYS need Mommy to protect you from EVIL people!”

  39. Goesh Says:

    - my God, to think that I slay and eat squirrels on occasion. The range of your thought/diversity is astounding, Neo.

  40. Anonymous Says:

    Don’t forget:
    “Emma and Mommy Talk To God”

    It is to thwow up. On all of them.

  41. frank martin Says:

    and from the illustration of the book, democrats are also small little buck toothed rodents who eat powerlines, telephone wires and store nuts in my rain gutters.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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