President Obama is once again in disengagement mode.
The first family has scheduled another vacation – for three weeks, beginning Dec. 17. This in and of itself doesn’t bother me. Presidents are entitled to take vacations – even presidents who spend more time on the golf course than they do in the Oval Office.
I don’t even begrudge him the disruption he’ll be causing his constituents. According to the Hawaii Reporter, the Obamas’ vacation will hugely restrict the comings and goings of the residents living in the upscale Oahu neighborhood, where they’ll be staying. Streets will be barricaded and, unlike many voting precincts, identification will be in constant demand.
In this day and age of terrorism, whether the president believes it exists or not, this, too, is understandable, although I believe he could have chosen a locale where the neighbors’ lives would be less disrupted, especially during the holidays. Have the Obamas ever heard of Camp David?
And then there’s the price tag, which while mind-bogglingly pricey, doesn’t even rate my rage meter today. The Obamas’ three-week fling will cost the taxpayers a cool $4 million. Although this bothers me somewhat, I won’t complain. I realize security costs money. It’d be nice if they could keep expenses down to a mere $1 million a week, though, wouldn’t it?
No, my real beef is with the timing of the thing.
Jan. 2 is the date the country is scheduled to take a “Thelma and Louise” nosedive off the fiscal cliff, unless Congress and the White House can reach an agreement. At this juncture, such a kumbaya moment looks doubtful. The president seems more interested in meeting with constituents friendly to his own policies than he is negotiating with Republicans.
The fact that he’s beginning his “much needed time off” two weeks before the Jan. 2 date tells me loud and clear that the fiscal cliff means nothing to him. These final two weeks are when negotiations will be at their most heated and we’ll be closest to reaching that critical accord.
As of Friday, the president hadn’t met with congressional leaders for 14 days — two weeks. And now he’s blocked out the final two weeks before Jan. 2 to cavort with his family.
The president’s skewered priorities are reminiscent of when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested a little face time with him in New York, but the president was too busy partying with Jay-Z and Beyonce. Or how about the day after the Benghazi tragedy, which resulted in the murder of four Americans, when the president jetted off to a Las Vegas fundraiser?
It’s also ironic that at the same time he’s wholly disengaged from “fiscal cliff” negotiations, our president will be busy spending $200,000 a day on his Hawaiian vacation.
I realize, of course, that after watching Obama in action the last four years, this is all nothing new. In the words of Pink Floyd, “All in all, it’s just another brick in the wall.”