Some people don’t realize that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard vacation falls into the can-but-shouldn’t category. Yes, yes, presidents deserve a vacation, but sometimes low-key commiseration with the misfortune of others goes a whole lot further than a Martha’s Vineyard jaunt wearing a dorky-looking bicycle helmet.
The issue at hand is the Obama family going on vacation while America is on life support, and transporting themselves to that vacation spot on not one but two taxpayer-funded aircraft.
Presently, most Americans are crawling around in a desert of misery, begging for a drop of water. Unfortunately, the parched will have to endure until Barack Obama finishes relaxing, reading and recreating for 10 days, holed up in a $50,000-per-week tony Chilmark rental.
Besides being tactless and insensitive, the Obamas’ blatant in-your-face vacation is a perfect example of a “tone-deaf” president disregarding the despair of others and justifying a right to luxuries that few Americans presently have the finances to enjoy.
Granted, the President of the United States and his wife are entitled to eat, but eating shouldn’t include the moral equivalent of enjoying an elaborate buffet in famine-ravaged Kenya while starving refugees nearby consume bowls of cold cornmeal and sip warm muddy water.
If the Obamas insist on spending two weeks in an enclave noted for the rich and famous, especially while the nation’s unemployment rate hovers at just over 9%, then the least they could do is exhibit a modicum of restraint, and try to be as modest and discreet as possible. Instead, Michelle Obama, renowned for her impatience when it comes to reaching her desired destination, put thousands of additional dollars on the taxpayers’ tab, “so she could have just a bit of extra vacation” – all of four hours’ worth.
Unwilling to wait for Barry to gather his Speedo, snorkeling gear and golfing shoes, professional vacationer Mrs. Obama, accompanied by daughters Sasha and Malia, boarded a US government jet just four hours ahead of the President, who flew into a local airport later that evening accompanied by Bo the family dog.
Mrs. Obama’s early arrival incurred an additional expense that included “the flight on a specially designed military aircraft she took instead of Air Force One, as well as … extra staff and Secret Service that had to be enlisted to go with her.” In addition, she also had “her own motorcade from the airport to her vacation residence.”
Notorious for being unable to exhibit patience when Mad Martha’s “Lotsa Dough” ice cream beckons, last Christmas Michelle was so anxious to hit the beach in Oahu that she launched the family’s vacation to Hawaii well in advance of Barry’s arrival. Christmas-gifting herself with extra downtime, the first lady didn’t think twice about spending the equivalent of what two unemployed Americans would be happy to earn in a year.
Many believe that “Mrs. Obama’s separate jet travel sends the wrong message on a host of issues, from global warming to the budget deficit to the economy – in which currently so many people can’t afford to take a vacation at all.” One thing’s for sure – although Michelle Obama began her vacation early, it’s unlikely she’ll compensate for the head start by ending it ahead of time.
Why didn’t the President Obama tell Michelle to exercise some discretion and save a few dollars for America by waiting a couple of hours and traveling on one plane with him? Because even the President knows that what Shelley wants, Shelley gets. In fact, just recently in Minnesota, Obama gave America an intimate glimpse into the dynamics of his marriage when he revealed:
In my house if I said, ‘You know, Michelle, honey, we got to cut back, so we’re going to have you stop shopping completely. You can’t buy shoes; you can’t buy dresses; but I’m keeping my golf clubs.’ You know, that wouldn’t go over so well.
In Decorah, Iowa he expounded on that point, saying:
Everybody cannot get 100 percent of what they want. Now, for those of you who are married, there is an analogy here. I basically let Michelle have 90 percent of what she wants. But, at a certain point, I have to draw the line and say, ‘Give me my little 10 percent.’
Truth be told, Michelle Obama’s continued attitude of insensitive indifference, with her haute couture and epicurean tastes, indicates the first lady is either extremely dense or could care less about a nation enduring an unending season of unprecedented pain.
So, from sea-to-shining-sea, as Americans experience a modern day Grapes of Wrath, Barry – who plans to disclose economy-changing news, but not until after he returns from vacation – began his furlough by shopping and ironically paying for reading material at the Bunch of Grapes bookstore with a credit card.
Moreover, because they can even though they shouldn’t, while en route to enjoy their annual well-deserved gourmet dinner at the Sweet Life Café, an insensitive President and oblivious First Lady will likely further depress economic solvency by closing down struggling small businesses on Circuit Avenue to make way for their motorcade. By doing so, the vacationing Barack and Michelle will confirm for any remaining doubters that it’s America that deserves a vacation from the Obamas – not the other way around.