MIND YOUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS!
I heard NBC’s crack political reporter, Chuck Todd, make yet another reference recently to the uproar over President Obama’s recent vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. Obama was playing golf after an American citizen was brutally murdered by terrorists, He needed to bomb Syria, the Ukraine was falling into the hand of those dastardly Russians, and Ferguson, Missouri was disintegrating before our very eyes—yada, yada, yada. Todd did make the point that George W. Bush had the same criticism leveled at him after his remarks about something or other when he too was out playing a round of golf (although it was safer to have George W. on the links than in the Oval Office). In fact, accusations have been leveled against all of our presidents whenever they had the audacity to take time off from the job. Horrors!
Do these presidential vacations rankle the public, or is it the news media and the opposing party spreading this insidious crap? The real question we should be asking is, do we have the right to be informed of every little detail of what a president and his family might or might not be doing while on vacation? Are we so juvenile, so insecure that we need to be informed of every move a president makes while he’s simply trying to recharge his batteries? For me, the answer is a big no. For the news media, it seems, the answer is a big yes in lieu of actually reporting worthwhile news. Often the media spends more time on the president’s recreational comings and goings than actually reporting a domestic or world event that the president might be engaged in while doing something recreational. Cable news is guilty of trotting out an endless stream of paid know-it-all talking heads to be sure we get that message.
And here’s a news flash for the uniformed: the Oval Office is wherever the president happens to be, so he’s never really off the job. All this for a meager $400,000 a year. There’s many a corporate CEO’s and hedge fund managers who wouldn’t roll out of bed for that kind of money.
We can solve this foolish time-wasting hoopla with a simple new rule; ban the media from ever again showing the president or his family at leisure. Frankly, it’s none of our snooping business how a president chooses to spend his down time. We don’t own him or his family; we just hire him to run things for a while, which doesn’t give us the right to follow him around every minute of his vacation, even though many believe that to be our God-given right. And just because there is something going on in the world that concerns us, it doesn’t necessary mean presidents are required to sit in a darkened room, worry beads in hand, doing penance on behalf of all American’s until the crisis, big or small, has passed.
On the other hand, if we really insist on being jerks about this, we could have Congress pass a bill (if only we could get them to work) allowing presidents only two weeks a year paid vacation just like the rest of us. And those two weeks would have to be recorded on an I-phone by his Secret Service agents and posted on social media.
Consider how silly—dare I say stupid—that sounds.
Consider what presidents have to put up with every single day while serving the paranoid American masses: a barrage of criticism from the opposing party, the daily Chinese water torture from a clueless press, foreign enemies—you get the picture. Sadly, it has all been reduced to social media hype; an MTV formatted reality program aimed at acne challenged teenagers!
I’m willing to bet a dollar to a Dunkin’ donut that every president ever to occupy the Oval Office has been tempted at some point to call a press conference and suggest in no uncertain terms—in a very loud and angry voice—that the news media and his critics take a flying you-know-what.
I honestly wish a president would do just that so the media, critics and the gossip-loving public would finally grow up and find another way to validate their lives.