Bashing presidential vacations is partisanship at its worst
First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrated her 50th birthday last week. Her White House soiree caused quite the media circus who wore what, what did they eat, the First Lady was even criticized for lacking etiquette because her save the date cards asked guests to eat before they came. But thats not what Im talking about. Pundits on the right immediately latched on to the Presidents birthday gift to his wife a few extra days in Hawaii. It seems like a nice enough present, a few days away from your two children and the hustle and bustle of being the presidents wife. But the President was immediately slammed by the right for wasting taxpayer money.
An article in BreitBart also criticizing the presidents gift to his wife claims it could cost the public at least $200,000. That takes into account the added cost of sending a separate plane instead of having her travel with the President.
White House press secretary Jay Carney was quoted by Breitbart answering reporters as to whether or not the president would be paying for his wifes own travel expenses. He said, In line with travel of past Presidents and First Ladies, the First Lady will travel via government aircraft. The quote goes on to say that Carney insisted as with all personal travel, the First Family will appropriately fund personal expenses.
ABC White House correspondent Jon Karl asked Carney during a press conference who was footing the bill not for the extended stay in Hawaii, but for the party itself at the White House. Carney referred Karl to a release.
But in the weeks preceding and following the First Ladys birthday, there is no mention of who paid for the party on the White Houses statements and releases page. The only mention of the Flotus celebration is a statement on her birthday titled our 15 favorite flotus moments for the first ladys 50th birthday.
When George W. Bush was in office, his ranch in Texas was nicknamed the Western White House. MSNBC contributor Al Sharpton defended Obamas vacation-taking habits by slamming Bushs. He said that during the same amount of time, Obama took 92 vacation days, while Bush had racked up about a years worth. Politifact rated the claim mostly true adding that its not really a fair statement because Bushs ranch was a family retreat where he would often work. Obama doesnt have anything like that. But, I remember during the eight years of George W. hearing over and over, and sometimes even thinking is that guy ever in Washington?
So, heres the bottom line something as simple as a vacation, something even the president, hell, maybe especially the president has the right to can spark political backhanding and make the ones doing it look like a bunch of babies. Take this for example.
Another liberal blog called Politicus USA wrote about criticism over a trip the Obamas made last June to Africa. Their defense of the millions of dollars critics claimed it would cost taxpayers included such rhetoric as anytime the nations first black president spends more than a dollar, the right wing freaks out about Barack Obama wasting taxpayer dollars; and the, well, but the Bushs did it too! argument. According to their article, Laura Bush made five trips to Africa in her husbands second term alone.
I guess what Im trying to get at is that partisanship is turning into down right bullying. When presidents cant go on vacation without it being a scandal, when a husband cant throw a birthday party for his wife or the first lady cant go on a good will mission to Africa without it raising a fuss among every critic looking for a reason to criticize doesnt that mean that weve taken party politics a little too far. Seems to me that any shred of willingness to play nice has all but evaporated.comments powered by Disqus