19
Aug
11

Gone fishin’

Apparently the conserv-o-sphere is up in arms about the President taking a vacation.  For example:

No sooner had President Obama left for a 10-day vacation to Martha’s Vineyard on Thursday night than Republicans began a fresh series of attacks on his handling of the economy, including a new website mocking him for vacationing while the economy worsens.

So, uh, guys.  Sit down and think this through for a minute.  For the past two and a half years, you’ve been complaining about the degree to which the Obama 44 administration has been “wrecking the country” with those shiny executive powers you gave Bush 43.  Let’s suppose that’s actually true.

Why is it a bad thing for him to take ten days off from “wrecking the country”?

You might not have noticed, but up here above the 49th we had a deadlocked minority government that couldn’t get much of anything done for, oh, about six years.  It was pretty great, actually.  You should try it some time.

How does it figure that all y’all rattle your sabres about government shutdowns as if they’re a good thing — and I’m loath to disagree, at least in principle — but when the Executive branch takes a week off it’s zOMG he’s letting the economy crumble?  Last I checked, every time the Obama administration floated some idea about fixing the economy — which is what everyone’s castigating him for not trying to do this week — you worked yourselves up into a horrible frothing rage and insisted that government interference was wrecking the economy (and again, I’m sympathetic to this point).  Shouldn’t you be cheering him for keeping his meddlesome technocratic hands off of a delicate and ineffable system that’s understood best from the bottom up?  Weren’t you reading Hayek a few months ago?

Myself, I think we’d be a lot better off if the US House, Senate, and Presidency had been turned into taxpayer-funded vacation programmes in, say, 1890.  Elected officials would legislate for two weeks out of the year and spend the rest of their time fucking around in Martha’s Vineyard or Aspen or wherever elected officials go to fuck around.  If we spent a million bucks a year — 2011 bucks, that is, not 1890 bucks — on just shy of six hundred families’ extended vacations, it’d hardly make a dent in the budget, and we’d attract a much better class of people to office.  I’d rather be governed by self-interested lazy parasitic slackers than earnest intelligent energetic do-gooders any day of the week.

Come to think of it, you guys are sounding awfully stressed yourselves.  Maybe you should take a few weeks off; I think the country can survive without your leadership for at least that long.

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3 Responses to “Gone fishin’”


  1. August 19, 2011 at 14:32

    For that matter, some statements thanking the President for helping the nation recover by staying away from Washington would probably do a lot more to promote the Republicans’ brand and undermine the President’s than any amount of public denunciation.

    Marketing fail.

    • August 19, 2011 at 15:38

      I wonder about that. For all their small-government rhetoric, most Republican shitbags are statist thugs when they can get away with it (see, for example, 2002-2008). So far their smaller-government message has been pretty abstract, with the notable exception of Paul Ryan’s budget plan. Perhaps they’re worried that if they started to argue that the country’s better off without Presidential intervention, people might listen… and the next President with an (R) after s/h/its name would find the power and prestige of the office uncomfortably curtailed.

      Were I to put money on it, I’d go with “stupid”, following precisely your reasoning. But I’m not willing to rule out “evil” entirely.

  2. August 20, 2011 at 08:23

    Marketing themselves as the party of small government while increasing its power in “conservative” realms has been the SOP of the Republican party for as long as I’ve been alive. Witness Ronald Reagan’s insistence that “the nine scariest words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help'”, while wildly expending the military and War on Some Drugs. The American elephants have always been very comfy pushing anti-government rhetoric when the asses are in charge, and assuming they’ll find a suitable excuse for expanding their own power when the time comes. I assume they’d have no trouble applying the same principle to executive power in particular.

    The GOP is obviously both stupid and evil, but I’m inclined to think this particular marketing fail seems much more consistent with their traditional pattern of stupid.


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