Paul Brandus decided he’d had enough of the innumerable lies about Obama floating through the blogosphere, so he did some research and came up with a post: “Deconstructing the 5 most ridiculous myths about Barack Obama.“ Unfortunately for him, he forgot the cardinal rule of attacking your enemy: Know your enemy. Without that knowledge, Brandus managed to construct a series of straw men, which he then heroically destroyed.
The first straw man Brandus destroyed was the myth that Obama has played more golf than any president in history. He proudly points out that Eisenhower played more than 800 rounds in eight years, while Obama has played only 100 rounds in four years.
That would be a very good deconstruction if Obama’s historic golf-playing habits were the issue. But that’s not the issue. Had Brandus had been paying attention to the opposition, instead of making up straw men, he would have known that the reason conservatives focused on obama’s golf was the fact that the MSM obsessed relentlessly about George W. Bush’s golf playing habits. Before Bush came along, I doubt anyone cared about presidential R&R. But the press just couldn’t get enough of the stereotype of the out-of-touch, stupid, rich conservative out on the links hitting balls. It was for this reason, and this reason alone that, when Obama took office, conservatives liked to point out that Obama played much more golf in four years than the media-beleaguered Bush did in eight.
Brandus’ next straw man was his challenge tp the myth that Obama has taken more vacation time than any other president in history. I’ll give Brandus this — he’s thorough. He’s tracked presidential vacation times all the way back through John Adams (who took time off to care for his sick wife, which really doesn’t constitute a vacation).
Once again, though, Brandus completely missed the point. Conservatives’ major grievance isn’t with Obama’s vacations, probably because conservatives understand, as Brandus pedantically pointed out, that president’s don’t leave the job, they just change location. What conservatives decry is Mrs. Obama’s frequent and very, very expensive vacations. She doesn’t just head off to Camp David or a family ranch in order to get a break from Washington (something that conservatives, being nice people, would understand). Instead, she jets all over the world at enormous taxpayer expense. That would be bad enough at the best of times, but it really irks people that she’s living the high life on the public dime, even as we go through the worst economic times since the Great Depression. I notice that Brandus didn’t address the history of First Lady vacations.
You’d think that, having built up and then knocked down two straw men, Brandus would have been exhausted and abandon the effort. You clearly underestimate his stamina. Straw man number three: Obama shows his true colors by not going to Arlington cemetery. Once again, Brandus dug out the statistics, showing how Eisenhower practically never went there, right through GWB, who often went there.