It used to drive me absolutely crazy when the liberals and the liberal media in this country would carp about Bush 43 playing golf during his administration. We have 2 wars going on, they would say, and in addition to making him seem disengaged it sends a terrible signal to our troops. I thought to myself that a President is entitled to his downtime, and in fact needs such in order to be effective in their role, and it is unhealthy to him and the country for a President not to have some measure of leisure. Famously the carping got so loud and hateful that the President gave up golf in 2003 for the remaining 5 years of his administration.
With that and fairness in mind, I am writing to roundly condemn President Obama for playing golf on Saturday (this is where the liberals, and therefore I, am going to point out that it was his 61st round of golf since being elected 2 years ago). I’ve heard conservatives condemning the President on the first 60 rounds, but I never once begrudged him that opportunity because as I say I think a President deserves and needs his rest. But let me put this round of golf in context.
A tsunami beyond our wildest imaginations destroyed an entire city and likely killed 10’s of thousands of Japanese citizens on Friday, the day before this round of golf. Japan, one of our closest allies in the world and for whom we have a forever bond with in regards to mass death and tragedy, was experiencing one of the worst disasters of our lifetimes. Surely many thousands of men, women, and children (including some Americans) were still alive and suffering in the rubble in Sendai, hoping for a rescue, and likely not going to experience one. Japanese nuclear plants showed signs of a breach of integrity. Figuratively and literally a huge, ominous cloud hung over one of our best friends in the world.
The President’s response? First and foremost, our military was deployed to assist. Kudos to him on that, but as I’ve pointed out previously this is what America does, and what we stand for, and what any President would have done. But his next moves are nothing short of perplexing. First, his rhetoric and demeanor in regards to the tragedy showed signs of some emotional but seemed out of touch with the scope of what unfolded, with the magnitude of the event. Then on Saturday morning in the Presidential Weekly Radio Address he mentions not a word about Japan. Instead the entire broadcast is about women’s rights and equality in America. Not one word about Sendai, about Japan!!
Some may argue that he taped the address earlier in the week, but is this an acceptable explanation? Surely given what was unfolding in Japan deserved a scrapping of any other script, any other tape, and should have prompted the President to speak about Japan, and to speak of the suffering that was taking place, the aid we were providing, a plea for Americans to provide more support, and words of consolation and support for our friends the Japanese. But no, the President went with women’s rights and equality (an important subject, but certainly for another time).
And then, the President hits the links. Imagine you are someone in Sendai, stranded on top of a building that still has satellite television reception (of course no one did) and you saw the equal rights speech, and then the President on the golf course, while you desperately wonder where your wife and children are and if help is on the way. And likely while you thought your best hope was probably the Americans in your time of desperation. It is an unforgivable disconnect.
Maybe this coming Saturday, or the following Saturday, the President could have resumed his golf game. But the day after the Tsunami, it’s effects still living and breathing and killing?
The President should have been, and should continue to be, far more visible and connected to this still-unfolding tragedy.
I will write more of this in the coming days, but we have a President who is detached from his role, from his people, and from the events in the world. For now just accept the evidence above, and I’ll write more of this later.
God bless the people of Sendai and the citizens of Japan.