Sunday, August 24, 2014

Friendly advice for the POTUS

Back in 2008, Maureen Dowd wrote an opinion piece in which she compared Barack Obama to Jane Austen’s famous hero of Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy.  I wrote about the absurdity of it all here.

Fast forward to 2014, and Maureen Dowd is again making a comparison between President Obama and a figure from of the past--a real person, not a literary character this time.  This time, it’s Abraham Lincoln she’s comparing to the current president--and amazingly enough, the comparison is not at all flattering.

Not at all.

In fact, in her column which uses the Gettysburg Address to skewer President Obama’s recent behavior, it’s pretty clear that Maureen Dowd has had enough.  Example:
FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible — even when it seems totally inappropriate, like moments after making a solemn statement condemning the grisly murder of a 40-year-old American journalist beheaded by ISIL.
I know reporters didn’t get a chance to ask questions, but I had to bounce. I had a 1 p.m. tee time at Vineyard Golf Club with Alonzo Mourning and a part-owner of the Boston Celtics. Hillary and I agreed when we partied with Vernon Jordan up here, hanging out with celebrities and rich folks is fun.
Now we are engaged in a great civil divide in Ferguson, which does not even have a golf course, and that’s why I had a “logistical” issue with going there. We are testing whether that community, or any community so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure when the nation’s leader wants nothing more than to sink a birdie putt.
I can’t believe I’m saying this about a Maureen Dowd column, but read the whole thing.  Seriously.  Dave Barry could hardly have done a better job (and trust me--that’s a compliment).

It’s as though Dowd suddenly realized that Mr. Obama is not Mr. Darcy at all, but Mr. Collins.

Which is why I have some unwontedly friendly advice for our POTUS: if even Maureen Dowd has given up on you, it might be time for some serious thought.

After you finish playing the last nine holes, of course.


Lady Jane said...

Oh my gosh, what?! I am so glad I missed the comparison to Mr. Darcy! Obama is NOT Mr. Darcy. He is, as you say, very much a Mr. Collins (with some Mr. Wickham and Willoughby and John Thorpe tossed in). I feel slightly ill.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I have despised Maureen Dowd ever since she threw a public temper tantrum in November 2004, sobbing uncontrollably in print about "those two little pools of blue" on the electoral map. Apparently she had convinced herself that the world was coming to and end. All that had really happened was that the electorate had to hold their nose and decide between the joyfully juvenile George W. Bush and the ponderously idiotic John Kerry.

I have read nothing by Dowd since that inclined me to change my opinion of her, and the column referenced here is no exception.

I have no use for golf. I can't imagine how any human being but a confirmed masochist could indulge in the game. I often wonder why perfectly good farm land is reconfigured to resemble the moonscape of the Scottish highlands in order to accommodate a game designed to be played nowhere else in the world. But, I know that millions of my fellow persons enjoy the game, and its none of my business that they do. Its really none of my business what the President of the United States does to relax either, as long as he's faithful to his wife and not chasing interns.

Now if Dowd, or anyone else who has been chortling about Barack Obama's golf game, could provide an agenda of exactly what they think he should have been spending the time doing, we might have something serious to discuss. No, we don't have a strategy for dealing with ISIS, and nobody, left, right, or center, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist or Pagan, north, south east, west or Texan, has offered one.

After the sheer waste of blundering into Iraq because "Afghanistan doesn't have enough good targets," which is what opened up the vacuum for ISIS in the first place, after overstaying our welcome in Afghanistan, the American population most certainly is NOT going to countenance sending in ground troops, not ours anyway. A little judicious bombing where it will do the most good seems to be about all that we can contemplate right now, and that's underway. Most of those with troops on the ground aren't on speaking terms with us, even if they do have reason to hate ISIS, and most Americans would be enraged if we were trying to get on speaking terms with them.

So what's the big deal about a golf game, anyway? Maureen Dowd is a banal airhead, so this is nothing new for her. Apparently she decided Obama is not a fit object for her idolatry anymore, and I could have told her that the day he was inaugurated. There have been some whispers about how he wasn't at certain funerals. Since the families of the dead have earnestly requested privacy, it is probably a mark of respect that the president has NOT barged in with the disruptive retinue of secret service and journalists that his presence always brings with it. I hardly think it would have done much good for him to maintain an ostentatious hour of silence at the White House while the bells were tolling.

I have many criticisms of President Obama. None of them would be assuaged by his playing less golf. I simply think differently than he does, and have different priorities than he does. But then, I don't have the responsibilities of his job either. Some people just don't like him, and will take any opportunity to have a good laugh at his expense. This isn't so much a low blow, as it is an airy nothing, which in no way points us to a better direction for our country.