Obama does less damage when he's golfing or Madness bracketing on ESPN 

“Trump Scorches Obama for Golfing During Nuclear Catastrophe”: that was one of the headlines over at FoxNews.com yesterday.

Apparently, on Neil Cavuto’s show yesterday afternoon, the periodically bankrupt real estate mogul lit into the president for getting a few holes in when he should have been, I don’t know, hovering over northeastern Japan in his Superplane or something.

But The Donald is hardly alone. “It must be time to complain about Obama golfing again,” Doug Mataconis cracked in a sardonic post Monday at Outside the Beltway.

Mataconis linked to Nancy Morgan at the American Thinker, who gave a Michelle-Obama style confession: "I'm embarrassed to be an American."

The source of her shame? The fact that "Obama could be found on the golf course Saturday afternoon" while "tens of thousands of Japanese were fighting for their lives after an 8.9 earthquake devastated their nation."

Also at OTB, James Joyner has a useful roundup of other figures on the Right wailing about Obama filling out his NCAA bracket and golfing while Japan and Libya suffer, and the U.S. economy sputters on. But “does anyone seriously think unemployment would be lower if Obama had skipped his golf outing?” Joyner asks.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of the sport. (Is it a sport? Seems more like Tiddleywinks on an exceptionally big board. Surely there must be better excuses for drinking and driving around in little carts.) Nor am I a big fan of this particular president.

But, as I’ve noted before, you can take it as a sound political axiom that “Any and all complaints about the president golfing too much are presumptively wrong.”

As Mataconis puts it: "If, as many on the Right tell me, Obama is consciously engaged in an effort to harm America and diminish her standing in the world, then isn’t a a good thing that he’s taking up his time with golf, the Gridiron Dinner, and NCAA bracketology?"

And you don’t have to buy into a conspiratorial view of this administration to appreciate that presidential inactivity’s a good thing here.

There’s not much the President can do in Japan. There’s not much he should do in Libya. And given the screwy ideas this president has about how to spur economic growth, you should want him outside getting some fresh air, instead of in the Oval, pouring over briefing books.

Mark Twain once said that "No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session." You could say much the same about activist presidents.

One of our best presidents, the Great Calvin Coolidge, regularly napped in the afternoons. Instead of railing against Obama’s golfing habit, we’d do better to encourage a presidential siesta.



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Gene Healy

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