By Tim Wildmon
With the economy tinkering on collapse, unemployment going above 9 percent, gas prices hovering at record highs, and the Middle East on fire, the one thing you can say about President Barack Obama is the guy is going to get his golf game in come hell or high water.
This weekend marks the 12th consecutive weekend Obama has shut down a Washington area golf course so he could play. All I can say as a fellow golfer is: I am jealous!
An average round of golf takes five hours to warm up and play 18 holes. Obama has now played 72 rounds of golf in his two years in the White House. President George W. Bush, an avid golfer himself, played 24 times in the same period but quit in 2003 because he didn’t feel it looked right.
“I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal,” he said in an interview for Politico magazine. “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander-in-chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them.”
I don’t necessarily agree that playing golf while we are at war makes a president look bad, but I respect Bush’s sensitivity on the perception. But that doesn’t bother the Golfer in Chief, Obama, at all.
If you multiply 72 rounds of golf by five hours an outing, you come up with 360 hours of golf time.
If eight hours is an average work day then our president has put in 45 days, or 1.5 months of his presidency, on the golf course. Remember, also, the expense to taxpayers every time a golf course is shut down for a day so the president can play and add to that the security costs for the Secret Service. If this were Bush,l I’ll guarantee you the liberal media and liberal politicians would have been all over him. On almost every issue there is a complete double standard for Obama compared to Bush.
For example, in July, 2008, when gas prices spiked under Bush, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had this to say: “The price of oil is … is attributed to two oil men in the White House and their protectors in the United States Senate,” she said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. A few days earlier she had made the claim, “This is a scam of the greatest magnitude.”
With gas prices having doubled on Obama’s watch Pelosi has this to say: (insert sounds of crickets here.)
Now, who knew that he and Vice President Joe Biden were secret “oil men”? Guess they are running the same “scam” Bush and Dick Cheney ran.
I have stated many times in this column that any president’s effect on the U.S. economy is often overstated. A president cannot directly control the price of gasoline, for instance.
However, if the political party of a particular president has total control of both houses of Congress and a powerful governmental body like the Environmental Protection Agency at his disposal, as Obama did from 2009 – 2011, then I believe it is fair to look at the results of their agenda and hold them accountable for the results.
With all that going for you, a president can, in fact, have much to say about the price of gasoline at the pump.
In a 2008 interview with the Wall Street Journal, then-future Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, said, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”
Chu, like almost all liberals, is averse to fossil fuels, believing that they pollute and destroy the planet and cause global warming. So it is his belief in order to push Americans away from petroleum the price of gas must become too painful to bear. Only then will we begin to plug in our cars at night.
Can you imagine if a cabinet member of Bush’s would have said such a thing?
If there is one person many in the liberal media hate worse than Bush, it would be former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. You may have seen that her e-mails while governor were released last week, about which the New York Times wrote: “The news media have descended here en masse to sift through the trove, with many organizations sending teams of reporters and database specialists to comb the documents and post them online.”
Hoping to find a few bombshells in those thousands of e-mails, they found nothing of controversy. No scandals she tried to hide or cover up. Agree with her politics or not, Americans are now seeing that Palin is not the idiot – or the devil – many have made her out to be.
Community columnist Tim Wildmon is a Lee County resident. He is president of the American Family Association, but the column represents his personal opinion unless otherwise noted. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.