I heard a conservative talk radio guy complaining about the president’s excessive time on the putting green. Allegedly, Obama has played a record number of holes for a first-term chief executive. A related complaint concerned his frequent vacations.
This is hardly the first time I’ve heard partisans protest the president’s golfing and holiday habits. Granted, I would have to go all the way back to. . . George W. Bush to recall similar accusations. Bush was always on the ranch or the range, where the skies were not cloudy all day. Left-liberals complained that he was neglecting his duties when he should have been more studiously presiding over the economy and the wars.
Similar things were said about Clinton and those before. Reagan supposedly slept too much when he was supposed to be leading the free world.
It seems to me that these partisan complaints miss the mark entirely. They do not reflect thoughtfully on what it is the president does on official business. The president’s job—not on paper, but in reality—is to smash individual liberties, smother the American economy, oversee mass looting, and destroy innocent foreigners by the multitudes abroad. Every minute the president spends on official business is a minute our freedoms and money slip away. I understand why left-liberals, who profess to believe in the goodness of government, do not see it my way. Yet conservatives, who claim to recognize Obama as a threat to their pocketbooks and personal rights, sometimes demand the president spend more of his time knocking the life out of the economy rather than knocking balls into holes from the fairway.
At least two arguments against what I say could arise. One is that the president often spends tax dollars on his time off, particularly on his lavish vacations, blowing tens or hundreds of millions just to unwind. Fair enough. I’d still rather he do this than sign legislation or executive orders. He would then become as harmless as royalty in the modern day. Yes, it would cost the taxpayers millions daily to keep him occupied on vacations and with recreational activities. That is a bargain. Better to bribe the president not to work than to save money in the short term while he decimates hundreds of billions worth of property sitting in the Oval Office. As I’ve pointed out here before, waste is among the very best things government does. But paying Obama to stop working wouldn’t be waste. It would be the most productive economic subsidy in American history.
The second objection I can anticipate is that the president does not actually stop working while he is golfing or relaxing. This is true, and a problem. The president needs a real vacation. Tell his subordinates to leave him alone and not to disturb him under any circumstances. Yet this complaint—that the president continues to work while he’s off the job—is in direct conflict with the thrust of the complaint as we usually hear it: that the president is “neglecting” his job on his time off. I would add that every minute he spends walking the course and every hour he spends in transit without a pen in his hand is still a break for the American people, and the world. I’d rather he spend his time drinking and sleeping in Hawaii than discussing the next war with foreign leaders.
When conservatives complain that Obama is vacationing too much, they betray a lack of conviction in their declared feelings about the president and the federal government, and a failure to grasp just how bad the presidency is in our time. With few enough exceptions per presidential term that a Disney cartoon character could enumerate them on one hand, the president spends every active official minute destroying lives, liberty, and property. I beseech Mr. Obama that he ignore his critics and that he play another round. Drive more balls into holes. It’s better than driving the country into the ground.