It's not surprising that left-liberals would feel comfortable promoting such a life, given that their ideal is an autonomous individual whose life conditions are to be made equal by a state bureaucracy. But there was less support for such a vision of life on the right. Andrew Bolt wrote:
Beyond parody. Barack Obama’s latest ad boasts how a single woman can be married to the government for life.
And from James Taranto:
The most shocking bit of the Obama story is that Julia apparently never marries. She simply “decides” to have a baby, and Obama uses other people’s money to help her take care of it.
...In 1999 Lionel Tiger coined the word “bureaugamy" to refer to the relationship between officially impoverished mothers of illegitimate children and the government. “The Life of Julia” is an insidious attack on the institution of the family, an endorsement of bureaugamy even for middle-class women.
It's interesting that the American left should be ramping up the idea of replacing family support with state welfare at exactly the moment such a model is failing in Europe. There are European countries now facing a serious debt crisis because of excessive government spending (even in Australia the average worker is now paying $5000 a year in taxes to support welfare spending).
It's interesting too that left-liberalism has continued moving left to the point that Barack Obama's advert is now more radical than the views expressed by feminist Germaine Greer back in 1991. Greer wrote back then that "Most societies have arranged matters so that a family surrounds and protects mother and child" and she complained of "our families having withered away" with relationships becoming "less durable every year".
There is no such sense of lament about a woman being supported by the state rather than by a family in the Obama adverts.
I should point out that you can find the "Julia" attitude in various places. For instance, yesterday I was reading an article in the Melbourne Herald Sun about superannuation. The gist of the article was that women are facing a bleak financial future because when they opt out of the workforce to have children they lose a few years of superannuation contributions.
The assumption is that women are not part of a family and have to support themselves. The thought never even occurs to the writer of the article that the husband's super fund will help support the family - instead, the assumption is that men's super is used for men and women's for women, therefore if women have less they are missing out:
"Countless Australian mothers are paying the ultimate sacrifice for their commitment to family, with many neglecting their financial futures in favour of other responsibilities around the home," Suncorp Life head of superannuation Vicki Doyle says...."
What do those with the Julia attitude then propose? They believe that women should get free superannuation payments:
We have argued for some time that paid parental leave should include a superannuation component and that a super 'baby bonus' or a return to work super bonus after a career break could go some way to addressing the issue.
And here we come to a serious flaw in this whole attitudinal shift. On the one hand, a society needs to keep its men motivated to work. But the Julia approach undermines this motivation, by seeking to make women financially independent of their husbands.
Let me put this another way to try to clarify it. A society needs its men to believe firmly that they are necessary to a family as providers. If that belief breaks down then that society will inevitably decline. But Western society is taking the attitude that women should be autonomous of men and rely instead on government welfare for support.
So the West is relying on individuals to hold two contradictory beliefs or values. We are supposed to believe of women that they exist as individuals without family support, but of men that they should continue to work to support women.
There are already some in the men's movement who believe that the situation should be equalised by no longer expecting men to be providers, i.e. by matching a "Julia" attitude with a corresponding "Julian" attitude.
Traditionalists would remove the contradiction the other way - by not thinking of women as autonomous Julias reliant on state welfare, but rather as wives and mothers supported within a family.