The limits of being ‘pro-family’

THE LIMITS OF BEING ‘PRO-FAMILY’…. The right finds the strangest things to complain about.

Rep. Michele Bachmann spoke out Tuesday against First Lady Michelle Obama’s reported support of tax breaks for breast pumps.

On Laura Ingraham’s radio show Tuesday, the Tea Party favorite criticized Mrs. Obama for reportedly endorsing steps she warned could lead to a “nanny state.”

“I’ve given birth to five babies and I breast fed every single one of these babies,” Bachmann, R-Minn., said. “To think that government has to go out and buy my breast pump for my babies. I mean, you want to talk about the nanny state? I think you just got a new definition — a new definition of the nanny.”

On Fox News last night, Tucker Carlson was whining, too. He told Sean Hannity, “It takes a lot of time to make those kinds of decisions [about raising children]. You are a busy man. Why would you want to raise your own kids when Michelle Obama will do it for you? In fact, she will do it at gunpoint.”

Given these reactions, you’d think the First Lady had done something truly outrageous. In Grown-Up Land, Michelle Obama has said breast-feeding helps combat childhood obesity, and has pointed to the fact that breast pumps and related supplies are tax-deductible as designated medical supplies. It’s hardly shocking.

This, Bachmann said, is “very consistent with where the hard left is coming from.”

Remember when the right used to talk about the need for “pro-family” policies that gave a hand to parents? I wonder whatever happened to those conservatives.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.