Hypocrisy Never Takes a Vacation

The Washington press corps hated George Bush, but they loathed his Texas ranch even more. His visits during the Bush White House years, especially the annual relocation of the working White House every August, were derided as proof that he was a lazy leader who preferred the complete detachment of a dusty, remote family compound, even while ordinary Americans suffered through more modest vacations.

That’s all in their past now, all but forgotten, I suppose, during these past eight months of starry-eyed, tongue-tied “coverage” of the Kingdom of Barack Hussein Obama, the Great and (did we mention?) Black POTUS.

Bush was just some obnoxious rich (did we mention?) White guy who exploited the levers of evil capitalism to buy his own ranch. (To think, if he’d just erected an elaborate swing set they might have softened their criticism a bit). And no member of the liberal media cared that Bush ran one of the most buttoned-up administrations in many years. Meetings began on time. They were run effectively and efficiently. The work got done. Bush did not do the Washington social scene. He lived a disciplined life. He was physically fit. He did not smoke or drink. He went to church on Sunday. He showed up in Iraq when he was “on vacation”. But none of it mattered. What mattered was that they hated him.

Ah, but then there is BHO. Obama is a self-made former community organizer with only a modest multi-million dollar Chicago home (that he didn’t overpay for, or maybe didn’t pay one dime for), but with no “ranch” as a refuge from the angry mobs who reject his Socialist vision for America.

The Washington Kool-Aid Corps has fallen over itself to point out that the Obamas are paying for the $35,000-a-week private home they are using as vacation HQ this week on Martha’s Vineyard. No one will dig into the facts to learn who is actually underwriting the vacation. Someone or some group of someones is. They did it for Bill Clinton back in the day. It doesn’t matter. Poor Barack needs a break. He has been working so hard to jam change down our throats. He won the Presidency but the campaigning has not stopped. So many speeches. So many teleprompters. Leave him alone. Leave those beautiful children alone. Leave First Lady Michelle alone.

Forgotten (or simply ignored) of course is that Obama transforms the “demands of the office” into an endless procession of family trips across Europe and Africa, and, more recently, to the Grand Canyon. And how can we forget “date night” to Manhattan? Or Michelle’s shopping spree in London with the girls? And the Obama family’s post-election trip to a private enclave on the island of Oahu last Christmas. Bush did not pull this kind of crap.

The Washington press — the gang of impostors who last week feigned sadness upon the death of legendary reporter Bob Novak, a man with whom it has nothing in common — would be utterly shocked to go back and review the list of world leaders and dignitaries hosted by President Bush in Crawford, Texas. It is staggering. Yet, Obama comes under zero criticism in recent days for his failure to pick up the phone to 10 Downing or Edinburgh to express America’s outrage that the government of Scotland has released the Lockerbie Pan Am bomber to Libya.

If you doubt the hypocrisy that attends Obama’s first “official” vacation as 44th President, please compare and contrast between the here and now and four short years ago.

Associated Press, Aug. 24, 2009: Close Obama friends — including White House senior adviser (and former Chicago slumlord) Valerie Jarrett and Chicago physician Eric Whitaker — planned to join the family for what White House officials described as a long-overdue break from the daily jostling of Washington.

“There are no official events scheduled in the week ahead. I anticipate that he’ll play golf a number of times,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Friday.

Ahead for the first family: likely trips for ice cream and salt water taffy, possibly a bike ride and plenty of quiet time at a secluded 28-acre private estate that rents for $35,000 a week.#

USA Today, Aug. 3, 2005: Except for last year when he was campaigning for re-election, Bush has spent every August at his ranch since becoming president. With this trip, he has made 51 ranch visits.#

Huffington Post, July 22, 2009: When Barack Obama kicks off his flip-flops on the Martha’s Vineyard sand next month, he’ll be adding a modern note to the island’s black history that stretches back three centuries. Decades ago, the island was a summer sanctuary for middle-class black families unwelcome elsewhere. Martin Luther King Jr. swam and wrote there.#

The Washington Post, Aug. 3, 2005: President Bush is getting the kind of break most Americans can only dream of — nearly five weeks away from the office, loaded with vacation time. The president departed Tuesday for his longest stretch yet away from the White House, arriving at his Crawford ranch in the evening to clear brush, visit with family and friends, and tend to some outside-the-Beltway politics. By historical standards, it is the longest presidential retreat in at least 36 years.

The more vociferous among Bush’s foes have noted that he spent a month at the ranch shortly before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, when critics assert he should have been more attentive to warning signs. To Bush and his advisers, that criticism fundamentally misunderstands his Texas sojourns. Those who think he does not remain in command, aides say, do not understand the modern presidency or Bush’s own work habits.#

Finally, there are few — maybe zero — high profile comedians who will poke fun at Barack Hussein Obama, and certainly there will be no comedy bits about the fact that Obama delayed his arrival onto Martha’s Vineyard to await the passage of Hurricane Bill. Hillary Clinton, the diminished Secretary of State, was probably howling by contrast.

But, as for President Bush, the late night comedy writers were not similarly restrained. To wit:

“Hurricane Katrina has been particularly hard on President Bush, who was forced to end his vacation two days early. He was supposed to be clearing brush in Texas until Friday. Now he’s going to get back to the White House tomorrow. You know, if he doesn’t use his vacation days, he loses them, so this is hard on everybody.” — Jimmy Kimmel

“President Bush is going on his annual vacation. The White House says he goes to his Texas Ranch to unwind. I’m thinking, when does he wind?” — David Letterman

“As you know, President Bush is taking five weeks off. It’s like he’s still in the National Guard.” — Jay Leno

What do you suppose the writers will propose when Obama visits Hyannis this week to meet with a dying Ted Kennedy? What one-liners will be generated as Obama luxuriates on 28 private acres while the war in Afghanistan deteriorates, even as the deficit builds and the outlook for Democrats up for re-election in 2010 worsens?

I can only assume they will suffer an enormous case of writers’ block.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How did Bush exploit the levers of "evil capitalism"?

He was part of a group that bought the Texas Rangers. He had a 1% stake in the company, paid for with borrowed money. His coowners gave him a 10% stake as compensation for taking advantage of his name and family connections.

Then he and his partners got Texas taxpayers to build a new stadium for the team, and eventually to sell it to the team for far less than its value.

So it looks like in this case, it is 'crony capitalism' and 'sucking at the public trough.'

I think you are a little sensitive about the comedians treatment of Bush and supposedly going easy on Barack. Check this out:

Monday, August 24, 2009
Top Ten Signs President Obama Needs a Vacation

10.Last week's radio address was ten minutes of snoring
9.Switched from beer summits to tequila summits
8.Asked CIA director what we're doing about terrorist organization "Al-Pacino"
7.Staffers often find him on White House roof meowing like a kitty
6.Announced he's sending an elite military unit to kill Hitler
5.Lately, he's been fist-bumping staffers in the face
4.Asked for the number of Rush Limbaugh's OxyContin guy
3.Called Bush for advice on sneaking naps during intelligence briefings
2.Been babbling nonsense about government death panels -- wait, that's a sign Sarah Palin needs a vacation
1.Barely has the energy to smoke