Michelle Obama’s Tone-Deaf Trip To Spain

I don’t begrudge anyone a good vacation, including the President and First lady.  I also don’t really begrudge them international adventures, even though they come at great cost to taxpayers.  The government protects the President and First Lady at great expense as much for our benefit as a country than directly for theirs.

But I am enjoying the flap over the First Lady’s trip to Spain.  Kirsten Powers puts it well in the New York Post:

After all, we’re in the middle of a major recession, with many Americans suffering terribly. President Obama himself, in discussing American economic woes with George Stephanopolous in January, said, “Everybody’s going to have to [sacrifice]. Everybody’s going to have to have some skin in the game.”

“Sacrifice for thee but not for me” is not a great campaign slogan.

Certain events have outsized importance due to the narrative that they reinforce.  For John Kerry, the guy who managed to marry into great wealth and who positively exudes East Coast monied snobbery, it is best not to be caught on tape windsurfing.  For G.W. Bush, not our most glib president ever, it is best not to be caught talking about people misunderestimating yourself. 

A more recent example is Sarah Palin.  She posted a twitter message mis-spelling the word repudiate as refudiate.  I don’t know if Twitter has spell-check, and she may have written the brief post on a cell phone without a full keyboard.  No matter, the media has decided she is a dim-witted lightweight, and the story reinforces that pre-existing narrative.  Therefore, even though a typo should not matter, it does. 

Obama, meanwhile, talked about having visited 57 states campaigning, with a couple more to go to bag them all, and the media couldn’t be bothered to notice.  The media narrative is that our current President is nothing short of brilliant, whether or not that is true, so a simple misstatement is meaningless.

The narrative that is forming about our First Couple is that they are incredibly out of touch and hypocritical.  Barack Obama attends Rev. Wright’s hate-fest church for twenty years, but it is the rest of us who need a speech from Obama about race relations.  Obama jumps to conclusion about a Boston Police Officer in a fracas with a black professor, but it is we who need to be shown how the event presents a teachable moment. 

President Obama wants us all to sacrifice in this time of great economic difficulty (now caused by Obama’s agenda) by sending his government ever more money, while Michelle cavorts in Spain and Barack gets in his daily round of golf.  And Obama highlights the suffering Gulf communities in his speeches, while vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard. 

Maybe this is all part of the master plan.   Out of touch and hypocritical is a better narrative than incompetent.  And incompetent is the only other narrative that seems to fit these days.

Published in: on August 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

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