Honestly, I tire of even discussing his juvenile preoccupation with public recreation at this juncture in the fundamental transformation, but the image of an obtuse Obama on the course this time around strikes a particularly heart wrenching nerve.
On his first full day of vacation, August 19th, as Obama golfed one of Martha Vineyard's private courses, at least five of our most elite – some of the 30 victims of the deadly Taliban attack on their Chinook helicopter August 6th – were laid to rest. Even Obama's ambitious 77 rounds of golf in as little as 31 months failed to numb to the image. . . .
No one believes Obama could have logistically attended the funerals of the thirty fallen, particularly with his busy fundraising schedule. And in all fairness, Obama did change his schedule to meet the flag-draped coffins returning to the U.S. on August 9th – at which time he posed for a photo, distributed to news outlets and posted on the White House website as the Photo of The Day – regardless of the request from at least nineteen of the bereaved families not to do so. But nine days later he was throwing humility to the wind and hitting the links, which seems to be par for the course on Obama's lavish romp through public service. Still, watching our most revered soldiers laid to rest as their Commander-in-Chief putts, seems to prove once and for all the job isn't just outside his comfort zone, it's above Obama's pay grade. . . .
On the other hand, were that soldier my child – revered, expertly trained, selfless in sacrifice, faith, and love of country – and his Commander-in-Chief was on the golf course, knowingly, on the very day his soldier was laid to rest, I would know that Obama leads not only from behind, but in the shadow of my son.
Obama’s insensitivity is not a recent phenomenon. I wrote of it last Memorial Day, off of Nile Gardiner’s aghast comments in the Daily Telegraph, and pointed out that George W Bush gave up golf entirely out of respect for the sacrifices of American servicemembers and families. There are those who insist that Obama’s vacation on Martha’s Vineyard is no different than W’s to his ranch in Crawford, but the fact is that Bush actually had a home, with a compound to turn it into an adjunct White House. Obama is fêted by major donors or has the expense account pick up the tab. Bush actually worked, at a working ranch, and hosted meetings with foreign leaders. Obama plays golf and shuts down cities for an evening of entertainment.
And now comes the announcement that, in contrast to previous statements that he will not cut his vacation short due to the impending Hurricane Irene strike on the US mainland, Obama will instead return to the White House tonight. Donald Sensing contrasts this with Bush too.
But one thing that I have not seen in the news about Obama returning to DC is the fact that Martha's Vineyard is in the path of the hurricane. Now we can know what it takes to grab his attention.