Something Rears Its Ugly Head

I love reading the Letters to the Editor in the local newspaper. Aside from the fact that it’s fun to occasionally recognize the names of people who write in, I’m always interested to see what other people come up with when they feel they have something to say. Often their insights are profound. Sometimes they’re profoundly puzzling. Other times they reveal things about the writer that he probably wouldn’t like to have known by the newspaper-reading public…if, that is, he would even admit to them.
This morning, for instance, a letter-writer was spit-spraying mad over what he considered President Obama’s “jet-setting family” and the President’s “preoccupation” with playing golf in this troubled time. He was quite displeased, too, with Michelle Obama’s recent trip to Africa, railing about “spending tens of thousands of dollars to read “The Cat in the Hat” to South Africans” and pointed out that she’d had her picture taken with “somebody whom many of us consider a terrorist.” He did not identify the supposed terrorist, and Mrs. Obama gets her picture taken with so many different people that I don’t have the energy to figure out which one he objected too. Surely not Nelson Mandela?
It’s funny to hear President Obama criticized for playing too much golf in this time of economic crisis. Funny because for the last sixty years or so, just about every US president has been an avid golfer, crisis or no crisis. And none was more golf-crazy than Dwight D. Eisenhower, that much-loved and respected war hero and Republican. It’s even been suggested, only partially in jest, that a fondness for golf is a prerequisite for holding the office.
It’salso funny to hear Obama’s family derided as jet-setters, as if, ever since Air Force One took it’s maiden flight, every other president hasn’t been busy jetting off to all kinds of exotic locales, often with his family and friends in tow.
There are plenty of things to criticize Obama about, but doing the same thing as every other president in living memory should not be one of them.
Why, then, do you suppose there’s suddenly all this venom for this current President?
Three guesses, and the first two don’t count.

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