Obama Derangement Syndrome

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Bush Administration, Obama Administration

The President and Mrs. Obama went to New York City for a “date night,” dinner and a Broadway show. And the wingnuts are having a fit about it.

The Republican National Committee slammed the outing in an “RNC Research Piece”: “As President Obama prepares to wing into Manhattan’s theater district on Air Force One to take in a Broadway show, GM is preparing to file bankruptcy and families across America continue to struggle to pay their bills. … Have a great Saturday evening – even if you’re not jetting off somewhere at taxpayer expense. … PUTTING ON A SHOW: Obamas Wing Into The City For An Evening Out While Another Iconic American Company Prepares For Bankruptcy.”

Tbogg has a survey of Right Blogosphere reaction. My favorite is this one:

Obama also promised a middle class tax cut and healthcare reform, but obviously those can wait.

It wasn’t even an overnight trip, mind you. They flew back to Washington (which is a half hour trip, by air) after the show. They didn’t take Air Force One but instead flew in a smaller jet.

Let’s review:

George W. Bush took more vacations than any other President in U.S. history.

That’s 487 days at Camp David and 77 trips to Crawford, Texas, where he spent all or part of 490 days. I calculate that to be about two years and eight months.

I don’t know what the travel time is from the White House to Camp David — I assume just a few minutes — but I figure Crawford must be at least three hours one way by air, and I assume there’s no Crawford International Airport, so there’s motorcade time to figure in, also. Assuming a 6 hour two-way trip, times 77 trips, equals 462 hours, or more than 19 days days spent just flying back and forth to Crawford.

Bush was in Crawford when he blew off the memo “Bin Laden determined to attack inside the U.S.” as being too trivial for his attention. As I remember it, he was in Crawford during the great electricity blackout of 2003, and it was several hours before he addressed it. He was in Crawford while two wars were going on in the Mideast.

And need I say … Hurricane Katrina?

For a collection of outraged snark at the Endless Vacation that was the Bush Administration, see Source Watch. I think the only reason there wasn’t more outrage is that Bush was such a bad POTUS, most of the time it didn’t matter whether he was on vacation or not.

Even when he wasn’t officially on vacation, Bush wasn’t famous for staying put in the White House. Especially in his first term, when the War on Terror was still new and sparkly, as I remember he spent about half of his not-vacation time traveling to Republican Party fundraisers. The pattern was to schedule some “official” event like a ribbon-cutting or a speech in a particular city, where by some coincidence there happened to be a GOP fund-raider going on that very evening, so he could take Air Force One on Republican Party business without reimbursing taxpayers. (See, for example, “Taxpayer Mugging for Political Fundraising.”)

But that was not a problem, because, you know, IOKIYAR — It’s OK If You’re A Republican.

Update: A blogger who claims not to be a “sheeple” — I beg to differ — writes (emphasis original),

With the problems we’re facing with the recession and North Korea testing nuclear missiles you would think he would keep it a little on the down low and I don’t want to hear a peep from the loony left that Ron and Nancy Reagan were extravagant. Not a peep!

This blogger was pissed because yesterday the White House couldn’t yet provide expense account of the trip to New York. I don’t believe the Bush Administration ever presented an accounting of all the political trips George and Dick took at taxpayers’ expense. I could be wrong about that, but I googled for it and couldn’t find it. In the first Bush term they were not providing that information, and the Veep’s travel itinerary was something of a state secret at times. We don’t even know how much Dick traveled, never mind the cost.

Update:
You’ll like this one — the Broadway show the first couple saw was “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.” It’s a play about African-American life. So this blogger writes,

By the way, note that the Obamas went to a ‘black’ show.

When does he ever pay homage to his white side?

I swear, it’s something like a moth-and-flame thing; they can’t help themselves.

Update: Steve Benen

Rumor has it, Obama occasionally eats and sleeps, too. The nerve. Doesn’t the president realize he has things to do?

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Pat Pattillo  •  May 31, 2009 @7:28 am

    His escaping captivity with lovely wife might have passed muster if he’d found an empty lot near the theatre and cleared some brush.

  2. erinyes  •  May 31, 2009 @7:43 am

    I can only imagine what would happen if Obama were to go hunting and shoot his partner in the face THEN go missing for 24 hrs.
    But then, I guess that depends on who the partner was. If Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or Nancy Pelosi were the victims, the right would want a holiday to commorate the event. And a postage stamp. And a set of plates from the Franklin Mint. And a song from Toby Keith.

  3. allergictodummies  •  May 31, 2009 @9:47 am

    Ok, how about.. sorry but Obama, President or not does have a life. Or at least he’s trying to. I dont believe he necessarily has to be sitting at a desk or standing at a podium 24/7 minus sleep and eat time. Yes i think he’s allowed to be a little human. The short flight to ny and 2 tickets to a show i’m sure he can cover with him presidential income, how does that make it any different from any other rich dude who has those commodities? And I think the motorcade is going to follow them wherever they go whether they are on a “date night” or on the way to a meeting. I mean seriously people… find somethig better to B!$@& about. God forbid the president does something a little normal. And… to the dummy who mentioned him “paying homage to his white side?” Are you serious?! wow.. i wont even go there.

  4. Dan  •  May 31, 2009 @10:45 am

    Point of fact trivia: any plane on which the POTUS flies is, by designation, “Air Force 1.”

  5. Swami  •  May 31, 2009 @11:32 am

    I recently had occasion to have lunch with an air crew who fly Air Force AWACS. During the conversation one of the crew members made mention of Cheney’s fishing trips and how they dreaded them. Seems Cheney spent a lot of time fly fish in rural Colorado where conventional radar systems couldn’t cover, so AWACS was provided for security. I was told that the AWACS plane would remain airborne for 14 hours at a time so nobody would harm little Dicky’s lame ass. I was also told that Cheney’s fishing trips were a regular event and not some occasional situation. The American public spent millions upon millions of dollars on Cheny’s fishing trips.

  6. Lynne  •  May 31, 2009 @11:45 am

    Apparently the readers at the site that complained that the Obamas went to a show with a black theme feel that the President is WAY ahead of Bush in vacations already.
    Really, these folks are all like a riled up hornets nest, going off at the hint of a “problem”, like the President living and breathing, I guess.

  7. Sunny Jim  •  May 31, 2009 @12:06 pm

    Thanks for the links, Maha.

    Your blogroll also has a website named Sadly, No which chronicles the Right Blogosphere on a daily basis.

    The group there has great fun poking fun at and paraphrasing the looniest of The Loonies and photoshopping their website pictures. They do it very well, too, IMO. Good satire is not an easy thing, and they manage to hit way more than they miss.

    Cheers.

  8. Dolorous Stroke  •  May 31, 2009 @12:28 pm

    Speaking of the blogroll, I noticed that the Altercation link leads to the MediaMatters blog. Altercation is now at:

    http://www.thenation.com/blogs/altercation

  9. biggerbox  •  May 31, 2009 @12:46 pm

    It is oddly amusing that the commenter you quoted was too busy finding faults with the Obama’s to notice that Obama has already delivered on the middle class tax cut in the stimulus bill. I guess that bill never happened in Winger-land. And, of course, if Obama were to stay home feverishly working on health-care reform, the same commenter would probably be complaining about his ‘socialism’ and ‘putting a goverment bureaucrat’ between him and his doctor.

    I really applaud the Obamas for trying to maintain a highly functional, loving family while Dad has the toughest job in the world.

  10. calling all toasters  •  May 31, 2009 @12:56 pm

    Shorter wingnuts: “Get back to work, boy! Who do you think you are?”

  11. MNPundit  •  May 31, 2009 @12:59 pm

    Hey Maha, sorry to bust into a thread like this but DKos is reporting that George Tiller was shot to death this morning.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/5/31/737213/-George-Tiller-Murdered

  12. Old Catholic  •  May 31, 2009 @1:03 pm

    My favorite episode of the inappropriate Broadway show attendance was Condi Rice attending SPAMALOT while Bush vacationed, both of them ignoring the catastrophe in New Orleans as people drowned waiting for Homeland [In]Security to do anything at all.

    I’ll take the Obamas any day.

  13. Dolorous Stroke  •  May 31, 2009 @1:05 pm

    That’s tragic news. So sad.

  14. joanr16  •  May 31, 2009 @1:11 pm

    It’s true about Dr. Tiller– happened outside his Lutheran church in Wichita.

    Now, see, this is exactly the kind of thing the dregs of the Right don’t want anyone to think or talk about. Their hateful, hypocritical, murderous ways.

    I think the good news is that the majority of the American public isn’t falling for it anymore. I’d say the dimwit numbers are about the same as they were when Bush left office– 18% are complete idiots, and nothing will change that.

    Not even another assassination in the name of “pro-life.”

  15. Doug Hughes  •  May 31, 2009 @1:24 pm

    Aren’t these the same people who had kittens because Obama had mustard on his cheeseburger? What did the founding fathers have on their cheeseburgers?

    Somebody should point oout that it;s an act of bravery for any president to go to a live show after that lil’ incident at Ford Theatre’

    Bill Clinton observed that the White House is “the Crown Jewel of the Federal Penal System”. Are the wingnuts suggesting that the president is to be locked in the Oval Office until all the problems discussed in the campaing are solved (to their satisfaction)?

    We kive in serious times; I want to thank the wingnuts for comic releif.

  16. realliberal  •  May 31, 2009 @2:20 pm

    the fact that you’re even comparing him to GWB should tell you something. And the fact that so called liberals are apologizing for an obvious publicity stunt to be part of the NBC Obama “reality” show should tell your readers something. On this day, the one year anniversary of the death of the Democratic Party, I would expect nothing less.

  17. Disgusted  •  May 31, 2009 @2:24 pm

    If these 2, Mr. and Mrs. O, spent half the time they do posing for photo opts for the media and magazines maybe this country would be in a better position. It is time he helps the people not the corporations. Stop spending money. It is disgraceful. Where are the advisers? Don’t they understand how badly this looks!

  18. justme  •  May 31, 2009 @3:38 pm

    If we need to start a fund, I will chip in. I make 1000.00 per month as a maid, my rent is 700.00 and I pay my own utilities but I would be willing to pay, out of pocket, to make sure the lives of the people who are running things are as normal and stress free as possible so that they can make clear choices when need be for our country, un- distracted from worrying that things are not right in their personal lives.

    I don’t give a hoot who Obama is, the saying is still true “If momma aint happy, aint nobody gonna be happy!” He is still a husband and a father and we all knew that when we voted for him. None of us expected him to neglect his kids and his marriage. He still needs to work on their relationships despite his job, and it is bullshit to hear people complain about preserving marriage every damn day then freak out when someone actually DOES IT…I am glad he is grounded enough to do the things he and his family enjoy..and I will be glad to chip in so they can do it.

    And before the right says another friggin word …I got something for them to think about….the bush twins…..those two jetted off to fashion week, the olympics, hell, to drunken frat parties for all we know…all with secret service detail paid for by US…..those two unemployed brats thought NOTHING of how much tax payer money they spent jetting all over the globe and we didn’t even elect the little twits…they were grown kids not even living in the white house and yet they still cost us. The bush family certainly could have picked up the tab for the cost of the twins travel if they wanted them to travel,,, but NOOOOOOO…they sent us the bill….I didn’t even have kids yet I paid for someone elses kids to travel….COUGH UP THAT BILL OR SHUT UP!

    On top of that….we had a vp who made “we the people” pay his friggin electric bill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How much profit did that piece of crap human being make off of a war we will be paying for for decades(again we get the bill) and he can’t even pay his own light bill????Are you kidding me? The right has allowed spending the last 8 years that has finally put us so far in the hole we can’t deny it anymore and they said NOTHING. They stood by dear leader as he drove this country into the ground and cheered him on…They had no problem giving up their future and their kids future to appease bush…but heaven forbid Obama take his wife out for a night on the town…THAT sets them over the edge.

  19. maha  •  May 31, 2009 @4:18 pm

    realliberal + disgusted = two right-wing concern trolls.

    They are banned.

  20. joanr16  •  May 31, 2009 @4:25 pm

    Like I said,

    18% are complete idiots, and nothing will change that.

    And often they wash ashore here.

  21. Bonnie  •  May 31, 2009 @5:40 pm

    Can you imagine what they would be saying if he and Michele had gone to see “Rent?” W’s presidency cost this country much more than any country should have to pay–our good name.

  22. Neuroskeptic  •  Jun 3, 2009 @6:22 am

    ODS is a serious, progressive disorder. Early symptoms include an infatuation with bizarre food items, such as teabags and Dijon mustard. This then progresses to a generalized obsession with each and every thing that Barack Obama does, accompanied by extreme knee-jerk reflexes. Sadly, the prognosis is poor. The patient can be expected to suffer almost total brain shutdown and by 2012, vote Sarah Palin.



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