Joe Klein on Big Government Breastfeeding

Thispast Sunday’s edition of NBC‘sMeet the Press (10/10/10) featuredtwo gueststalking about the midterms, the economy and public sentiment: conservative Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan and Time magazine’s Joe Klein.

Klein has been on a road trip through the middle of the country to assess how Americans are feeling (that is, Americans who don’t live in “urban” areas or the “deep South,” as Klein explained).

Trying to explain how voters feel aboutWashington, Klein provided this anecdote:

They have no idea what the Democrats stand for, except for these big, slovenly pieces of legislation that we’ve seen which inevitably contain ridiculous provisions. One candidate in Nevada, a Republican running for Congress, said that there’s a provision in the healthcare reform bill that small businesses have to set aside areas for breastfeeding women to use their breast pumps. My dad was a small businessman. He didn’t need to be told by the government to do that…He would have just said, “Use my office.”

The idea that businesses easily accommodate working mothers will likely come as a surprise to working mothers–most of whom would probably disagree with the idea that a dedicated place to express breast milk is a “ridiculous provision” in the healthcare law.

Perhapsworking mothersshould allwork for someone likeJoe Klein’s father. Since that’s not possible,then maybelaws to protect such workers are necessary after all.

And for the record, there does not appear to be anything in the law that is directed primarily at “small businesses.” If anything, such employers (those with fewer than 50 employees) would seem to be eligible for a “undue hardship” exemption.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.