What are the duties of the President of the United States when events at home and abroad are potentially disastrous? Apparently they include golf, basketball and a trip to South America to “rebalance our national security posture”, according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
I’m sure I’ll be accused of racism, bias, or some other negative personal trait because of how I feel however, since this is my blog, I’m going to say it anyway. In the wake of the ongoing tragedy in Japan, the battles in Libya and the requests for help from the Libyan people, and the ongoing budget crisis here in the U.S., the President has much to focus on. Yet he continues to play golf and basketball, has time to appear on ESPN to pick his top four college teams for March Madness, and is still planning to take a 5 day trip to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador “because he is committed to growing the economy and rebalancing our national security posture.” Really? Brazil, Chile and El Salvador are going to fix our economy and help our national security posture? Someone please explain that one to me?
Of course you’ll have the Bush haters saying that George Bush used to play golf and “go to his ranch all the time.” They tend to ignore the fact that Bush quit playing golf after the Iraq war started and didn’t play again while in office. His trips to the ranch were minimally costly to the taxpayers since Bush stayed at his own home and only transportation and security details were necessary. And George Bush would have been in the White House working on how to solve or assist with all of these problems if he was still in office, rather than carrying on with his re-election campaign.
Even if the President is worried about the various crises around the world and at home, he fails to show it. Some supporters call that being “Presidential”. I call it being detached and seemingly out of touch. Andrew Gordon, director of Harvard’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, said Obama’s handling of the Japan crisis so far was appropriate, but it would be wise now for him to make a greater overture to one of his country’s most important allies and trading partners.
“Even compared to what people were thinking Friday or Saturday, by Tuesday this is a considerably graver event, so for Obama to do something - in public and visibly - probably wouldn’t be a bad idea, whether that’s Obama going to visit the Japanese Embassy or inviting the ambassador to the White House …to sort of lay out some ongoing commitment,” he said.
The people of Libya have asked President Obama for help yet he seems to be doing very little. He may be working in Washington to determine the best course of action but publicly it appears he’s doing nothing, which sends the wrong message to the people of Libya and, more importantly, to Mohamar Ghadaffi, who is slowly and deliberately crushing the rebel resistance. Where is the compassion from the White House for the Libyan people?
The budget issue here at home continues to drag out. The President says the 60 billion dollar cuts proposed by Republicans are too much and the 7 billion dollar cuts proposed by the Democrats are “equally painful.” The budget for 2011 was supposed to be completed by September of 2010 and implemented on October 1st. It’s almost 6 months overdue. At this rate 2011 will be over before Congress gets a budget put together. Then they’ll have to start on the one for 2012. What is the President doing to fix this problem?
Once again I’d be more impressed by President Obama if he’d stay home and take care of business rather than travel around the world (to places completely unrelated to the problems) or polishing his golf skills. The United States and the world need a leader right now. That leader used to be the President of the United States. I’m not sure who it is now.