Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So What? Obama Played Golf

By Jon E. Easter

The latest volley in the confusing, contradictory, and convoluted Republican talking points war on the BP Oil Spill and President Obama is this web ad that criticizes the President for playing six rounds of golf in 58 days while the oil spill in the Gulf continued to grow.

I must admit, the ad is effective, but it’s pretty silly, honestly. The GOP is obviously picking and choosing events from the President’s schedule to fit its own agenda in painting the President as an aloof and out-of-touch leader who fiddled while the Gulf of Mexico polluted.

They continue to do this while Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the always goofy Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota), GOP Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul, conservative talkers from Rush Limbaugh to Neil Boortz, and other Republicans/conservatives continue to use a British company to make the claim that Obama's harsh stance on BP is somehow un-American, a shakedown, or even...unconstitutional.

Listen, I too criticized the President for his slow response, and I still think he woefully mishandled the flooding in Nashville, Tennessee. I think it is though extremely unfair for the GOP to criticize the President for playing a round of golf just like I think it’s incredibly unfair for people to criticize BP CEO Tony Hayward from attending a yacht race. Yes, I know it's a yacht race, but, for Tony Hayward's ilk, that's like us going to the powerboat races on the Ohio River.

These folks are people. These are leisure activities. I have no problem with either of them attending these events or playing golf. Not one problem. I didn’t have a problem with President George W. Bush playing golf while soldiers died in Iraq or Afghanistan, and I certainly didn’t have a problem with Bill Clinton playing golf through the craziness of what happened while he was in the White House.

It’s a nice ad, but it rings so hollow. To expect a President, a CEO, or anyone for that matter to coop themselves up inside an office and dedicate themselves to just one issue…no matter how pressing the issue…is foolish and misguided.

That said, if the President had played 40 rounds of golf or Hayward had attended 25 yacht races, I could understand the criticisms. Frankly, though, this is just silly to take a President’s or a CEO’s leisure activities and somehow extrapolate that out into them not paying attention or caring about what’s happening in the Gulf.

I mean we could do this to really anyone in government. How many tanning appointments has John Boehner missed? What has Mitch McConnell been up to everyday since the oil spill? Nancy Pelosi? Harry Reid? Come on. This is silly.

Let’s get back to the issues and worry less about what Tony Hayward or Barack Obama decide to do in their leisure time. I give them a pass because it’s absolutely ridiculous to somehow think a leisure activity here or there is going to prevent a solution from happening in the Gulf.


Anonymous said...

You can tell that John Boehner has NOT a tanning bed appointment in years.

Marycatherine Barton said...

As far as the criticisms of our presidents as of late seeming nonchalance about solving major domestic disasters, Glen Ford angrily addresses this at www.blackagendareport.com this date, "America Can't Solve Crisis Because It's a Company-Owned Town". It is a great article, and website, and I invite you to read there, Jon.