It Must Be Time To Complain About Obama Golfing Again

It's springtime in Washington, when the buds start to grow on the Japanese Cherry trees, and political hacks come out of their holes to criticize the President for golfing.

With warm weekends returning to the D.C. area, President Obama was out on the golf course at Andrews Air Force Base again this past Saturday, leading Nancy Morgan to write at The American Thinker that it made her embarrassed to be an American:

For the first time in my life, I’m embarrassed to be an American.

Last weekend, as tens of thousands of Japanese were fighting for their lives after an 8.9 earthquake devastated their nation, our President, after giving a generic “We’re with you” statement, remained noticeably absent.

Not really absent — Obama could be found on the golf course Saturday afternoon.

As a Japanese nuclear reactor melted down and threatened a catastrophe of biblical proportions, Obama was otherwise engaged Saturday night, having a rollicking good time at Washington D.C.’s annual Gridiron Dinner. Joking with journalists.

This is supreme silliness but, we’ve seen it before and both James Joyner and Steven Taylor addressed the idiocy of the “Obama golfs too much” meme last year.

The idea that there’s something wrong with a President taking time for leisure activities, even when there’s some “crisis” going on in the world (and, honestly, is there ever really a time when there isn’t some kind of “crisis” somewhere?) is ridiculous regardless of which side of the political aisle it comes from.

For one thing, the fact of the matter is that the President is never really “off duty.” If something were to have happened while the President was golfing at Andrews, he would have been instantaneously reachable and would have been in the car back to the White House if necessary. If it were the crisis were of such a magnitude that he needed to be evacuated, well Air Force One is on the same base where he plays golf. For another, what exactly is it that Morgan would have had the President do on Saturday? Most of what the President can do involves delegating power to others, who then report back to him when a decision needs to be made. There’s really no point in any President spending his entire Presidency sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office twiddling his thumbs just because something is happening somewhere in the world.

One can argue about the President’s performance in office in that regard, but to criticize him for golfing for a few hours on the weekend is stupid and petty. Moreover, spending your time criticizing the President’s leisure activities isn’t solid political analysis, it’s the same sort of political hackery that Michael Moore and others on the left engaged in when they made the same criticisms of President Bush, and it tells the world that you have nothing of substance to say other than I hate that guy because he’s a Democrat/Republican.

So let the President go to a ball game and just keep your mouth shut, please.

 

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. reid says:

    Nice drive, Doug.

  2. Jeff says:

    “just keep your mouth shut”

    why bother to write the entire post … you could have summed it up nicely and it would have been what you wanted to say from the start …

    it must suck that your man Obama plays more golf than anyone besides a PGA pro …

    with all the budget negotiations he is sitting in on who can blame the man for needing a way to relax …

    go ahead, keep defending his management style … says more about you than him at this point …

  3. Axel Edgren says:

    Hey Jeff, what is it about you passive-aggressive trolls and filling your posts with ellipses and small caps? Are those to show us how thoughtful you are? I see it from neurologically programmed anti-left trolls outside of the English-speaking sphere as well. So weird.

    Either way, I would probably rather cut off one of my toes than have a fifteen-minute conversation with you about anything. To hear your views on abortion or the war in Iraq must be effing excruciating.

  4. Wiley Stoner says:

    Well, let us see what Obama has done. The national debt has increased by nearly 4 trillion dollars, The cost of a gallon of gasoline has increased from around $2.65 a gallon to around $4.00 a gallon. Unemployment his high with no end in sight, The middle East is on fire, we are on the brink of devastating inflation, Chevrolet has sold about 200 volts and Obama still cannot play scratich golf. Obama is an ideolog who does not have a clue how to govern. His policies suck, he let the party he controls end without a budget and he has time to give a super bowl interview to the other big ego. Doug, you boy is going to be a failed President. He is failing as I type this.

  5. G.A.the Friendly Troll says:

    LEAVE OBAMA ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Wiley Stoner says:

    Axel why is it you attack the messenger and not the message? I’ll bet it is not just your arguement that is limp.

  7. Wiley,

    First, Obama is not “my man.” I didn’t vote for him and I don’t support most of his policies.

    Second, the message ss, as I noted, in the post, ridiculous. Criticizing a President for playing golf for a few horus on a Saturday is not political analysis, it’s partisan hackery

  8. Wiley Stoner says:

    Michael Barone seems to disagree with Doug. I just viewed an article at Ace of Spades which quotes Barone in saying this President is voting Present and that is not really an option to a chief executive. I have noticed his leadership when it comes to the budget, both past and present. How about that leadership with relations to Libya? I think Obama thinks the buck just does not stop. Doug, I do not care if he plays golf, just after he does the job we are paying him to do. That seems to be lacking. It does seem a lttle insensitive to play golf while the Japanese are experiencing such hardship. This President has led the way when it comes to sacrifice. Ours not his.

  9. wr says:

    Wiley — What did you do on Saturday? How did you help the Japanese? (And no, “turning Japanese” with a picture of Michelle Bachmann doesn’t count…)

  10. G.A.the Friendly Troll says:

    Can we attack um , take him to task for being like a crap load dumber and a crap load more extreme then say, um,ah,um,er,um, Sara Palin? How about for being a hypocrite? How about for being a union puppet?

  11. Steven Plunk says:

    There’s a time and place for everything and the President of the United States should always remember that. I don’t think the President golfs too much but I’m starting to think he has no idea when to golf. Saturday was a day he should have skipped it and shown some leadership.

    What did I do for Japan on Saturday? Nothing, I worked. Then again I’m not the President so I don’t control the assets and resources that he controls. I’m also not looked to in times of crisis for leadership and reassurance.

    Like Barone says Obama is just hanging around not doing much of anything on any issue. Leader of free world? Heh, in over his head.

  12. TG Chicago says:

    Like Barone says Obama is just hanging around not doing much of anything on any issue.

    I thought he engineered the socialist takeover of America which is going to lead us to ruin.

    This is just another example of how rightwingers will swing wildly from “Obama is a weakling who dithers and bows to our enemies!” to “Obama is a Chicago-thug Marxist Socialist who is radically reshaping our society!” without even realizing it.

  13. Drew says:

    Me, I’m thinking every moment on the golf course is a moment he can’t meddle. I’d buy him a new set of Mizuno irons if he’d just go play golf and shut up about his big ears and bullying……..

  14. Steven Plunk says:

    If you look back it was congressional democrats doing the heavy lifting on Obamacare. How long ago was that? None the less it does carry his name and is part of his plan.

    So in two years he worked to accomplish that. What did he do when the Iran protests were going on? Libya? Energy? You see, both complaints are compatible. These are not wild swings but accurate portrayals of a man not ready for a prime time presidency.

    I’m not embarrassed to be an American by a long shot but I am embarrassed by our President in so many ways.

  15. Steven Donegal says:

    That’s ok Steven, I was embarrassed by our last President for eight years. You only have six to go. You’ll live through it.

  16. Gulliver says:

    Criticizing a President for playing golf for a few horus on a Saturday is not political analysis, it’s partisan hackery

    However, being critical that he does it excessively while the world waits for US leadership regarding critical events (Libya, Iran, the slaughter of Israeli children in Palestine) is a perfectly legitimate way of noting the absurdity that defines Obama’s administration.

    In short, he’s not a driver on the world stage, he’s a putter. And American’s have a right to want someone in charge who isn’t full of puffery, fine speeches, and almost nothing of substance…

  17. Steven Plunk says:

    Steven Donegal,

    Two to go and yes I’ll live through it thanks to a Republican House of Representatives.

  18. TG Chicago says:

    So in two years he worked to accomplish that. What did he do when the Iran protests were going on? Libya? Energy? You see, both complaints are compatible.

    No, you’re entirely making the case that he’s weak, which is the rightwing meme for the moment. As soon as he does something you don’t like, you’ll go back to making the case that he’s a powermad dictator.

    When Obama does something you don’t like, he’s a ruthless autocrat. When he doesn’t do something you’d like him to do, he’s a weakling. Either one of these is consistent (if not defensible); mixing both of them together is ridiculous.

  19. Davebo says:

    Libya, Iran, the slaughter of Israeli children in Palestine

    Seriously? You see nothing wrong with this statement?

    Is this really Dodd?

  20. Steven Donegal says:

    Gulliver, remember the old saying, “Drive for show, putt for dough.”

  21. Jay Tea says:

    I’d agree with Doug’s position more if one of Obama’s favorite verbal tics was to vow “I will not rest until…”

    People who say that as much as he does really shouldn’t spend as much time as he does on the links, on vacation, throwing parties, etc. etc.

    On the other hand, when he’s not in the office, he’s not messing up the country as much, so there’s that…

    J.

  22. sam says:

    It’s springtime in Washington, when the buds start to grow on the Japanese Cherry trees, and political hacks hackoffs come out of their holes to criticize the President for golfing and visit the comments at OTB to do so.

  23. TG Chicago says:

    I’d agree with Doug’s position more if one of Obama’s favorite verbal tics was to vow “I will not rest until…”

    People who say that as much as he does really shouldn’t spend as much time as he does on the links, on vacation, throwing parties, etc. etc.

    So you’d prefer it if he didn’t say the phrase, but spent more time on vacation like GWB?

  24. Jay Tea says:

    TG, you’ve forced me to reconsider. You’re right. This country definitely needs more reminders of just how full of crap Obama is. I apologize for my earlier error.

    J.

  25. george says:

    I thought playing golf was almost a presidential requirement. Didn’t Ike almost live on the golf course – and that was during the cold war.

  26. anjin-san says:

    > However, being critical that he does it excessively while the world waits for US leadership regarding critical events (Libya, Iran, the slaughter of Israeli children in Palestine)

    Guess you were watching cartoons while Obama took down Iran’s centrifuges without killing anyone. Don’t worry though, the tea party is looking for low information voters. As for Israel and Palestine, I am willing to bet that that has been going on much longer than you have been alive.

  27. anjin-san says:

    > What did he do when the Iran protests were going on? Libya? Energy?

    What was your plan for Iran and Libya? Send in the Marines and start a war? Encourage them to go into full blow rebellion and bail while they are massacred? The GOP can provide him with the playbook for that one.

    Energy? Are we any worse off then we were when Exxon and Chevron pretty much had offices in the West Wing? Are gas prices higher then we saw under Bush? Nope We have refused to be serious about our energy problems for many decades across many administrations, so we are screwed and gradually getting more screwed as resources are consumed and competition for the dwindling supply increases. Your main beef with Obama seems to be that he does not have any magic ponies.

  28. anjin-san says:

    > I’d agree with Doug’s position more if one of Obama’s favorite verbal tics was to vow “I will not rest until…”

    People who say that as much as he does really shouldn’t spend as much time as he does on the links, on vacation, throwing parties, etc. etc.

    Ummm. Yea.

    We will not rest until every American enjoys the fullness of freedom, dignity, and opportunity as our birthright. It is our birthright as citizens of this great Republic, and we’ll meet this challenge.

    Ronald Reagan

    “The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.”
    – G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

    Yet another ironclad argument from Jay Tea. We all know Reagan never threw parties or took time off. W of course is famous for working 16 hours a day 7 days a week.

  29. Tristan says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with this. It’s easy for me to say this about Obama, but I also look forward to defending the next Republican president from overzealous liberal detractors as well.

  30. Jay Tea says:

    Congratulations, anjin. You found enough examples from two Republicans who served a total of 16 years to equal the number of times Obama vows same in a typical week. Oh, I am wounded. You cut me to the quick.

    It’s the dichotomy, stupid.

    Take that and shove it up your tu quoque.

    J.

  31. Axel Edgren says:

    Whining about gas prices is so incredibly pathetic. ADAPT, you little twerps.

  32. anjin-san says:

    Actually J it was just 10 seconds of work on google to show your argument is kind of a joke. But stick with it. That and “57 states” seem to be all you have to offer. Oh, you can alway dust of the debunked teleprompter thing too. Good luck with that.

  33. mantis says:

    I’d agree with Doug’s position more if one of Obama’s favorite verbal tics was to vow “I will not rest until…”

    Sure you would. Oh wait, no you wouldn’t. You would continue to criticize Obama no matter what he does.

    You should try to peddle bullshit a little less laughable sometime.

  34. george says:

    Congratulations, anjin. You found enough examples from two Republicans who served a total of 16 years to equal the number of times Obama vows same in a typical week. Oh, I am wounded. You cut me to the quick.

    Read up on Eisnenhower and golf. During the cold war, no less. It wasn’t a big deal then, and it shouldn’t be one now. Presidents main job is to make decisions, not to do grunt work.

  35. anjin-san says:

    George… won’t work. If tea party types have any respect for Eisenhower, I hanve yet to see evidence of it. At any rate, Eisenhowers love of golf raised the overall profile of the sport.

  36. Jay Tea says:

    anjin, your desperation is reeking. Now you’re invoking a president who presided an entirely different world, who left office over 50 years ago? When Ike handed the reins over to JFK, I was the tender age of -6.5.

    Here it is, in plain and simple language: Obama’s response to any major crisis is to give a speech on how he “will not rest” until it’s resolved, then go goof off (a form of “voting present”) until it resolves itself — and reveals to more and more people that he hasn’t the slightest interest in the DUTIES of president, but loves the PERQS.

    One of the biggest factors in Obama’s election is his ability to give a speech. Now we’re seeing that it’s pretty much the only thing he can do that comes across as presidential.

    In that sense, he’s a better actor than Reagan.

    J.

  37. anjin-san says:

    Of course J, of course. When Ike was President, it was an easy job. He really only had to work a few hours a day. There were no problems he had to worry about in those olden times.

    Look, Fox has been beating this drum pretty hard, so of naturally, this is what you are carrying on about this week. We get it.

    Rant on dude, rant on.

  38. Jay Tea says:

    So, anjin, cutting through all your epic BS, because no Republican president has been perfect, Obama can be as useless as he likes? Because the Republicans haven’t been absolutely perfect, Obama is OK by you as long as he’s not absolutely worthless?

    Here’s one final hint: We’re coming up on the 42nd anniversary of Eisenhower’s death. His relevance to the real-world problems of today is pretty slim.

    But, to be blunt, he’s got about as much of a clue and influence on them from the grave as Obama is demonstrating every single day.

    J.

  39. anjin-san says:

    Jay you are starting to sound a little irrational. I am not saying this in a partisan way. You need to take a break from this stuff.

  40. Jay Tea says:

    anjin, in another thread I commented that it was amazing how many criticisms Obama supporters level against Sarah Palin actually apply far more to Obama. I think this is related — how you’re projecting your own whackjobbery on me. You’ve spent this entire thread trying to talk about anything except how Obama seems to think that since he’s president, he can revel in all the perqs of the presidency while “voting present” on a good chunk of the essential duties. I’d scroll back up and list all the diversions you’ve tried, but quite frankly you’re not worth that kind of effort.

    J.

  41. Politically.Speaking says:

    I had no problems with W playing golf most of the time. The only time I had issues with W playing (golf, as rancher, tiddlywinks, etc) was if there was an issue he should be handling RIGHT AT THAT TIME. Case in point was his cutting a birthday cake as New Orleans was a disaster area.

    Right now, President Obama has little control nor need to do anything personally with the crisis in Japan. If we were staring an invasion of Libya (as many neocons wish), then President Obama playing golf would be inappropriate.

  42. anjin-san says:

    > You’ve spent this entire thread trying to talk about anything except how Obama seems to think that since he’s president, he can revel in all the perqs of the presidency while “voting present” on a good chunk of the essential duties.

    Probably because it is utter nonsense. But it is a Fox talking point, so you will stick with it.

  43. Jay Tea says:

    Probably because it is utter nonsense. But it is a Fox talking point, so you will stick with it.

    Interesting tell you got there, anjin. The less you say, the quicker you bring up Fox News and generally get vaguer and vaguer. But you can’t just say nothing, let alone admit you’ve got nothing to say, so you fall back on YOUR standard talking points.

    J.

  44. Jay Tea says:

    Crap.

    Make that “the less you have to say…”

    J.

  45. perlhaqr says:

    Yeah, the golf thing is a silly problem to criticize President Obama over.

    This, on the other hand: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20043421-281.html is an excellent thing to criticize him over. You want to take away the franchise, the second amendment, over downloading an mp3? Utter madness.

  46. anjin-san says:

    J have you counted the number of balls Obama has lost and figured the total lost ball cost into the deficit? If you bundle that with your “57 states” hammer, you might really be on to something.

    Perhaps your could figure the “opportunity cost” related to rounds of golf lost by other players who are bumped when Obama plays.

    You have a very rich vein to work here if only you apply yourself…

  47. george says:

    anjin, your desperation is reeking. Now you’re invoking a president who presided an entirely different world, who left office over 50 years ago? When Ike handed the reins over to JFK, I was the tender age of -6.5.

    Actually, anjin was just responding to me – I brought up the ghost of Eisenhower. And I think its fairly apt, in that though politics change, humans haven’t in the last six decades. Eisenhower, from his war time experience as well as his presidential experience, knew that to be efficient everyone needs some time to relax. This is as true for mental exertion as physical (ever read up on overtraining, and why working out 12 hours a day weakens athletes rather than strengthens them?). Whether its golf, cards, or just watching TV, everyone has to have down time to be efficient.

    And actually Eisenhower came to mind because he’s commonly used as an example in engineering efficiency seminars, where the industry (and yes, this means private companies) strongly advises engineers to make sure that in the middle of the most stressful parts of product development deadlines they take at least a couple of hours every day for exercise and relaxation.

    Unless you think our genetics has greatly changed in the two generations since Eisenhower he remains a role model for how to handle great stress and responsibility. And he was a damn good president.

  48. mannning says:

    I am envious of any man that can find 67 opportunities (or is it now 68?) to play 18 holes in two years. Why, that is over once every two weeks on average! At that rate, he won’t improve his handicap very much, but he will escape the pressures of being president for a few hours, more than likely, if he can ride ahead of the football carrier fast enough. I say more power to him; he may be setting a standard that will benefit future Republican presidents. Perhaps it should become a line in the Guiness Book of Records.

  49. george says:

    Republican or Democrat, I’d be much happier if the president had a cool, clear mind when making decisions. If golf (or tennis, or jogging, or even playing with a yo-yo) does that for them, I’m all for it.

  50. anjin-san says:

    > Eisenhower, from his war time experience as well as his presidential experience, knew that to be efficient everyone needs some time to relax.

    One of the truly great leader of the 20th century. The rocket scientist who are trying to figure out what Obama’s handicap is would be much better off reading some of the wise advice Ike left for us. But of course that wont happen. Eisenhower’s ideas are pretty much tea party kryptonite.