The right wing site QPolitical decided that it was time to take another shot at President Obama going on vacation, and you won’t believe how they chose to try and make him look bad for doing so. They’re comparing what he is doing to what George W. Bush has recently been called to do.
It seems that former president Bush has been called for jury duty. According to QPolitical, that somehow makes him a better person than President Obama. “While Obama Vacations, George W. Bush Shows Us What A REAL Leader Looks Like,” bellows the headline.
So, doing your civic duty and reporting for jury duty is now somehow a quality of leadership? I guess it is, when one of the people in the jury pool is a former president, and you want to use that as a way to attack the current president, who you hate. For the record, Bush wasn’t selected to serve on the jury. But he showed up, and Brandon Stewart at QPolitical thinks that makes him a real mensch. Stewart says,
[I]t says a lot about the man that George Bush really is. He could have just used his clout to have the juror summons dismissed and we never would have known. Instead he shows up and performs his civic duty just like you or I would have to do.
Okay, giving credit where credit is due, we’ll give it to Bush that he showed up, rather than trying to get out of it. Although, there’s nothing in the rules about serving on a jury that says that former presidents are automatically exempt. They are citizens, after all. But here’s where the article totally collapses into nonsense: QPolitical ridiculed President Obama for going on vacation. In August. Let’s hop in the wayback machine…
August 3, 2001, ABC News:
[Note: It was during this vacation that Bush received, and brushed off, the Presidential Daily Briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S.]
For the next 30 days, it will be home on the ranch for President Bush.
With his administration 6 months old, Bush is set to shed the confines of the White House and head to his sprawling ranch in Crawford, Texas, to begin a monthlong, outside-the-Beltway retreat.
August 3, 2005, The Washington Post:
“Vacationing Bush Poised To set A Record”
President Bush is getting the kind of break most Americans can only dream of — nearly five weeks away from the office, loaded with vacation time.
The president departed Tuesday for his longest stretch yet away from the White House, arriving at his Crawford ranch in the evening to clear brush, visit with family and friends, and tend to some outside-the-Beltway politics. By historical standards, it is the longest presidential retreat in at least 36 years.
August 6, 2006, The New York Times:
“With Eye On Political Reality, A Shorter Vacation For Bush”[T]his year reality — in the form of the November midterm elections, the peace activist Cindy Sheehan and the legacy of Hurricane Katrina — has intruded on the president’s summer vacation, cutting short his time at his 1,600-acre ranch.
Instead of parking here for the whole month, Mr. Bush, who arrived Thursday night, will spend just 10 nights before returning to the White House.
Wow. Only 10 nights! Yes, President Obama’s current vacation is planned for 15 days, but keep in mind that Bush’s 10 day vacation in 2006 was the exception. He was normally at his ranch in Texas for the entire month, as the New York Times story mentions.
Let’s set the record straight about a few things. First of all, no matter where he is, a president is never truly on vacation. The job follows him. Whether it is Bush in Texas, or Obama at Martha’s Vineyard, whatever the president needs to lead the country is at his disposal. But it is incredibly silly, no, make that incredibly stupid, for the right to criticize President Obama for leaving Washington for a vacation, when they never said a word about the vacations taken by Bush.
But for those keeping score, here’s how Politifact totaled up the Bush vs. Obama vacations, a year ago.
As of August, 2014, President Obama had been on 19 vacations for a total of 125 days. At the same point in his presidency, Bush had taken 65 trips to either Texas, or to his parents’ home in Maine, totaling 407 days. Those numbers don’t include visits to the presidential retreat at Camp David, which was used by Bush far more than it has been used by Obama. Bush spent 341 days at Camp David. Obama, so far, has spent 84 days there.
It’s crazy enough that the right has to make President Obama’s vacations an issue, every time he takes one. But it’s even crazier that they decided it would be a good idea to criticize President Obama for taking a vacation in August, the month when, between 2001 and 2008, the “vacancy” sign was lit outside the White House.
Just for fun, here’s a great “Bush playing golf” moment for everyone to remember, via YouTube:
Featured image via Twitter