One of the junior fellows passed on the link to a Republican congressional candidate’s comments on her primary opponent’s six children :
With little to distinguish her on issues or experince with her opponent, lawyer Keith Rothfus, she has settled on making the case that he has too many children to serve effectively in Congress. From Sunday’s [Pittsburgh] Post-Gazette:
The married mother of a grown daughter had another message for the married father of six, whose youngest child is 3: “I’m running full time for this position and I will be able to devote my full time to it, as I do not have other responsibilities as my primary opponent should be concerned about,” she said.
Full disclosure: As it happens, Keith Rothfus is a friend and lives about a mile away. One daughter babysat their children, another took care of their pets. Our second went to school for years with their eldest. We went to the same parish. Etc.
But leaving aside how annoying is Buchanan’s unctuous concern for Keith’s family, and the equally annoying prejudice against larger families to which she appeals, the matter can be framed another way. If you were the father of six whose family had just been presented as an impediment to serving as a Congressman, you might ask other questions. Like:
Don’t we want a congressman who is not a full-time politician, who has a family that reminds him of what the real world is like? Isn’t a demonstrated ability to guide and govern the small society that is a family that size a qualification for office? Doesn’t a man who has to pay for six children have a better idea how other people struggle than someone who has to pay for none and has a husband who rakes in the money too? Shouldn’t parents of larger families have an advocate in Congress? Isn’t it good that the candidate has such hope in the future that he’d bring six children into the world? Don’t we want a congressman who can (or has to) leave the political world behind when he goes home, thereby to see it more clearly?
You would think a politician might want to avoid giving her opponent the chance to make these arguments. And is it really wise for a politician to use such arguments anyway?
According to her Wikipedia entry , Buchanan divorced her first husband. Would she want her opponent married to the wife of his youth ( Proverbs 5:18) to talk about the need to elect someone who keeps his vows, who demonstrates commitment, etc.? (Not that he would.) It might be a low blow, but having started it, she couldn’t complain.