I wasn’t going to write about the latest manufactured scandal that has the Far Right all in a tizzy. After all, these people are always in a tizzy. After a while you just don’t know which of their loony objections to write about. I figured the Conservative Far Right would be gearing up to block the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and might be focusing mostly on that. But they’re busy little bees over there in La La Land, desperately looking for other things to be outraged about, and apparently they’ve hit upon something.
Following closely on the heels of the Obama Dijon mustard scare is news that President Obama made good on a promise that he made to the First Lady during the presidential campaign, and took her to NYC to see a Broadway show. The President and the First Lady jetted to New York Saturday afternoon, rode a government helicopter into Manhattan, and had dinner at the critically acclaimed Blue Hill restaurant. Then they went north to Times Square, where they saw “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.” After the show, the Obamas took a motorcade down Sixth Avenue. Thousands of onlookers waved and cheered as the couple headed home to the White House.
Needless to say, the Right Wingers’ heads started spinning. The mustered up all the righteous outrage that they could find and set forth to point out how out of touch this president is.
As word got out of the president’s plans Saturday, the Republican National Committee issued this statement: “As President Obama prepares to wing into Manhattan’s theater district on Air Force One to take in a Broadway show, GM is preparing to file bankruptcy and families across America continue to struggle to pay their bills…. Have a great Saturday evening—even if you’re not jetting off somewhere at taxpayer expense.”
A White House official responded to Republican criticism that the trip was extravagant. “The president would have been happy to take the shuttle to New York City if they’d been permitted to do so,” he said, indicating that the Secret Service insisted on government planes. The official said he couldn’t immediately provide an estimate of the cost, but it seemed likely to run into tens of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars.
Oddly enough, the Republicans never objected to George W. Bush traveling so frequently to his Texas ranch for vacations and R&R that it became something of a joke that he spent more time in Texas than Washington, and all this during a time when gas prices were crippling the American public and the cost of jet fuel was at historic highs. They also didn’t complain about President Bush jetting off for Texas when Wall Street was suffering through its meltdown. They also didn’t complain about President Bush jetting off to Texas for some R&R while Americans were wading through the water in New Orleans after the flooding.
All I’m really saying is that this is yet another manufactured scandal. Not one Republican complained when George W. Bush was jetting off to Texas every month or so, in spite of the problems that the average American was facing then. Therefore, they have no credibility where this issue is concerned. It’s politics as usual. In all actuality, the fact that this is all the Republicans have to bitch about says volumes about the absence of ideas from the Far Right. They certainly have no idea how to fix the country (they’re the ones who broke it in the first place, remember?). So it’s rather sad that the only thing they can do is criticize President Obama for flying to New York instead of staying in Washington and trying to fix the mess the Republicans put us all in.
Maybe instead of taking the First Lady to New York, President Obama should have taken her to Dallas, Texas instead. Somehow the Republicans never minded when a president flew in that direction for a little R&R. And as far as I’m concerned, if Barack Obama can fix the tragic mess that the Republicans made of this country, he can go to New York as often as he wants to with my blessing.