After doing last nights show, I set out on the road and drove all night listening to the radio and thinking about the points I made about President Obama's leisure activities. It seriously drives me nuts when my fellow conservatives attack the guy for playing golf. Understand that the President's job is beyond a full time job, it is an all the time job. There is no real vacation or free time for the man at the helm of the nation. What we call a Presidential vacation is more like one of those packages you win when you buy a vacuum cleaner from a door to door salesman, and have to sit in on 5 hours worth of sales pitches at a resort in exchange for an overnight trip. The man needs to be able to relax, and I frankly don't care about the style of it, the substance is just that. It is a moment that the President can only hope won't be interrupted by a meltdown in Japan or a bomb in Libya. When that is your day job, see if you don't take a round of golf where you can squeeze it in.
Furthermore, the President may be the Commander in Chief, but he isn't exactly on the front lines, nor do we want him there. Yet even the few and the proud find some time to relax to some stick baseball in Iraq (see video below) and I will take to task anyone who dares try and begrudge them of that. The earned this moment to forget the gravity of their situation, and I love watching this video and seeing them enjoy it. Semper Fi, Devil Dog's, and thank you for your heroic service.
That is where this article was supposed to end, however my thought process continued and this is where things got a bit complicated. It is also the moment where I thanked my lucky stars that I have the integrity to avoid the bottom-feeder purely political cheap shots that pop up along the way. It gives me a leg to stand on as I make this point that followed in my thoughts.
Yesterday, we started military action against Libya. We could debate the issue of taking such action, but I'm the kind of guy who believes once that ball starts rolling, you get behind it for the troops, no matter whom the President may be. Yet some are taking Obama to task for going to Brazil on the heels of announcing such action. Is there a legitimate case to be made there?
I personally have no beef with a business related trip at such a point, but I feel that much thought and consideration should be given to postponing a trip or even canceling it based on the gravity of the situation. However, if a President has established himself as a guy who likes to "work from the road" and keep the business of the nation going no matter what challenge may present itself at the moment, I would typically support his staying the course on his schedule.
The problem here is that I think back to the Health Care Reform law, and a trip President Obama had scheduled as that situation neared it's conclusion. A trip to Indonesia and Australia was postponed then, and this is what then Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated to be the reason.
"The president greatly regrets the delay," Gibbs said. "But passage of health insurance reform is of paramount importance, and the president is determined to see this battle through."
Putting aside the "battle" reference that has lead to members of the right being accused of spurring lunatics into violent action, today we face a real battle. Is the President determined to see this one through? If his rescheduling of a trip signifies that determination for a health care bill that wouldn't be implemented even if passed for four years, what more noble cause for such a show of will than the treasure and lives that are carrying out this military action today?
If the President feels he can handle this situation from Brazil, I have little choice but to trust his judgment on this one. But I can't help but question the priorities of a President who feels more compelled to show his commitment to his domestic agenda than to the troops he moved into harms way.