Last week, the Obama campaign debuted a slideshow illustrating how its policies would affect one woman throughout her life, unleashing a barrage of gleeful sarcasm from Republicans. Meanwhile, it's been "liked" more than 40,000 times on Facebook. Douthat finds it condescending at best:
The liberalism of "the Life of Julia" doesn’t envision government spending the way an older liberalism did — as a backstop for otherwise self-sufficient working families, providing insurance against job loss, decrepitude and catastrophic illness. It offers a more sweeping vision of government’s place in society, in which the individual depends on the state at every stage of life, and no decision — personal, educational, entrepreneurial, sexual — can be contemplated without the promise that it will be somehow subsidized by Washington.
"The Life of Julia” also portrays government in a positive way because this is its contrast with Romney, who has tied himself to a sweeping anti-government agenda. It’s not an embrace of unlimited government, it’s an attack on the extremely truncated vision of government proposed by the Republicans. … And this is the policy contrast of the election. It’s not Obama’s government-centric society against Romney’s market-centric society. It’s Obama keeping something resembling the status quo intact — a relatively small government that partially offsets some of the worst imperfections of the market — against the Republican plan to rewrite the social compact.