Friday, January 4, 2013

Vacations are Good Things, Even for Democrats

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

What is it about the fact that the President of the United States feels the need to take an occasional vacation that drives the right-wing loonies so nuts?  Surely it isn’t simply the fact that he absents himself from the Oval Office a couple of times a year.  Our current President vacations far less often than his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush, and certainly much less than Ronald Reagan did while he was in the White House.  

Some of the angst seems to originate with the Presidential vacation destination.    George Bush clearing brush and driving his big pick-up truck around the Texas countryside was perfectly acceptable.  It was manly.  It was Texas.    But when the Obama’s go to his home state of Hawaii, well, hell, it might as well be Kenya.  Hawaii, it would seem, is too exotic for a vacation funded on the public’s dime.  It is far, far away from red meat America.

Every conservative politician and pundit in the country seems obligated to figure out a way to slip a dig into their talking points about the President’s expensive and totally unnecessary overseas vacations, while implying that if he were a true American he would limit himself to one two-week vacation a year, someplace in the continental United States, and he would travel there by Greyhound.

Barack Obama has a tough job – possibly the toughest job in the world - with unbelievable responsibilities.  He deserves some time off, and our country will be much better served if he gets occasional respite from the rigors and craziness of Washington, DC.   His job never stops, whether he is in the White House or strolling the beach on Maui, Hawaii, USA.  The President must be ready at a moment’s notice to switch into work mode and step before a battery of microphones and cameras - or get another world leader on the phone – or head back to Washington.

(Interestingly, some of the President’s harshest vacation critics are members of Congress.  Congress basically works three days a week – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday – and grants itself numerous vacations.  The Senate, in fact, left for vacation yesterday immediately after the new senators were sworn in.)

The presidency is a demanding job, and Hawaii is indeed part of the United States.    Conservatives need to recognize those facts – and they need to deal with them – just like they do when there is a Republican in the White House.

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