Iran Heats Up, Obama Goes for Ice Cream
On his own blog and at Hot Air, Patrick “Patterico” Frey has the surreal juxtaposition of purported Iranians Twittering the horrors of protesting an evil regime intermixed with CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller‘s account of President Obama taking his girls out for ice cream.
As fathers, we need to be involved in our children’s lives not just when it’s convenient or easy, and not just when they’re doing well—but when it’s difficult and thankless, and they’re struggling. That is when they need us most.
And it’s not enough to just be physically present. Too often, especially during tough economic times like these, we are emotionally absent: distracted, consumed by what’s happening in our own lives, worried about keeping our jobs and paying our bills, unsure if we’ll be able to give our kids the same opportunities we had.
Our children can tell. They know when we’re not fully there. And that disengagement sends a clear message—whether we mean it or not—about where among our priorities they fall.
So we need to step out of our own heads and tune in. We need to turn off the television and start talking with our kids, and listening to them, and understanding what’s going on in their lives.
The challenge for presidents’ time isn’t the TV and paying of bills but the sense that they’re indispensable. It’s not as if there’s not going to be something going on next weekend that doesn’t merit his attention more than vanilla custard in a waffle cone.
Obama issued a statement yesterday on Iran that was more direct than any he’s issued so far but still more tepid than many would like:
The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.
Beyond that, I’m not sure what it is Obama should have been doing. He’s got a team of thousands to “monitor the situation.”
He could, I suppose, reiterate that Iran’s regime is part of an “Axis of Evil.” Or, borrowing from Ronald Reagan, he could say Iran has replaced the defunct Soviet Union as the new “Evil Empire.” That might make us feel better but the benefit to the demonstrators risking their lives in the streets is unclear; it could even be harmful to their cause.
Meanwhile, the TV networks could certainly show better news judgment than giddy celebrity coverage of the president’s trip to the ice cream parlor when there’s real news to report.
Update: The sentence on Romo’s trip to Mexico has been rewritten and hyperlinked for context and clarity.