Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Larger Implications of Michelle Obama in Spain

Honestly, I could care less about where First Lady Michelle Obama vacations.

So when I clicked on the Drudge Report headline this morning, which read, “Michelle Obama ‘modern-day Marie Antoinette’… Strolls Marbella after State Dept. ‘racist’ Spaniards gaffe…” I was much more interested in Marie than Michelle.

The article itself, written by Andrea Tantaros for the New York Daily News, does offer accurate criticism of our First Lady’s holiday abroad. She notes how the president has lectured the American people about making sacrifices but then ignore “their own advice.”

Tantaros writes:

“While many of us are struggling, the First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her ‘closest friends.’ According to CNN, the group is expected to occupy 60 to 70 rooms, more than a third of the lodgings at the 160-room resort. Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times.”

As usual, there are multiple ways I could criticize the Obama’s actions. But that would take far too long to write about and I know that neither of us has that kind of time. So for now, with all due respect to Ms. Tantaros’ insights and commentary, let’s forget about the hypocrisy of lecturing everybody about frugality while living anything but.

And for the sake of this post, let’s not even entertain thoughts of the tax-payer dollars needed to room, board and transportation for “the estimated 70 Secret Service agents who will flank the material girl.”

Instead, what really struck me as I read the article was the differences in how the American public and press treated Tony Hayward, BP’s disgraced former CEO and how we’re treating the Obamas.

There are actually some very good reasons to compare the two. After all…

Tony Hayward didn’t personally cause the BP oil spill, though he may very well have ignored warning signs that the machinery used on the Deepwater Horizon well wasn’t as stable as it should be. But as CEO, he was in charge of it nonetheless and it was his responsibility to fix the problem to the best of his abilities.

Barack Obama didn’t personally cause the U.S. economy to sink; that was a mix of three things:

· Idiot government members that encouraged people to buy large expenditures – such
as houses – when they had no business doing so, all in the name of fairness

· Idiot businesses – such as banks – that allowed the idiot government to bully them
into doing very stupid and shady things (Yes, those loans were pushed heavily by
the government’s strong attachment to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which
are broke and getting broker.)

· Idiot consumers who literally bought into the whole scam instead of reading the
fine print and actually using their brains before they acted

Of course, you can argue that Obama’s recorded opinions of “spreading the wealth” directly contributed to the whole mess. But there were far too many people who plunged the U.S. and western economies into recession to just blame one man.

Nevertheless, our current president does still hold the reigns on the man-made disaster now, and it’s his responsibility to fix the problem to the best of his abilities… preferably by actually taking note of what the Constitution says (i.e. Stop meddling where he has no businesses meddling and let the economy right itself, which it can if just given the chance).

Tony Hayward complied with government demands at every turn. Yes, he went off on his yacht to watch boat races with his family. But he also set aside $32.2 billion of company funds to make restitution, clean up the mess and do whatever else he was told needed to be done. It isn’t as if he balked at taking responsibility in any way that I read about.

And what did he get? Fired. Albeit with a very generous settlement. Think he can use that money to buy a new reputation? Probably not anytime soon, if ever.

(Incidentally, they’re now having difficulty finding any oil in the Gulf.)

Barack Obama abused the crisis at every turn. In between golfing trips, dates in New York City, and jaunts up to Maine, he used it to promise the American people that employment would not go above 8.0% if we only allowed him to pass $787 worth of pork in the 2009 stimulus bill… which doled out taxpayer money to pet liberal projects such as the National Endowment for the Arts and wildlife conservation in Nancy Pelosi-controlled areas of California.

He promised the American people that our federal debt would skyrocket even higher if we only allowed him to have his way on the healthcare bill… yet now it seems as if the whole kit and caboodle will cost us far more than we can afford.

And he promised the American people that he wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class… but is about to let the Bush tax cuts expire – and mark my words, those will affect the middle class – and slips in tanning and other taxes into our lives on the side.

(Incidentally, they’re having difficulty finding any economic recovery in the U.S.)

Maybe we should fire him too.

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