Now my first thought upon hearing of this was “now isn’t that refreshing.” The president knows how to relax. And he and his wife appear to creatures of a cultured background. Really, I don’t remember having seen this in a president and a first lady since I was a child when Jack and Jackie Kennedy brought culture and grace to the White House.
We Americans were proud to have such a young and vibrant couple in the White House. And now we seem to have that once again.
But there is one difference between then and now. Back in the early ‘60’s I don’t recall such a vitriolic spew of bile from Republicans over how Kennedy was using American taxpayer dollars every time he went out for the evening. But they certainly came out of the woodwork with their criticism of Obama's outing even before the Broadway play ended.
The Republican National Committee issued this statement:
“As President Obama prepares to wing into
’s theater district on Air Force One to take in a Broadway show, GM is preparing to file bankruptcy and families across Manhattan continue to struggle to pay their bills. ... Have a great Saturday evening – even if you’re not jetting off somewhere at taxpayer expense.” America
All of this bile inspired Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd to defend the right of the president to treat himself and his wife with a night out on the town every once in awhile.
“As a taxpayer, I am most happy to contribute to domestic and international date nights. As Arthur Schlesinger noted in his diaries, the White House tends to drive its occupants nuts. So some respite from the pressure is clearly a healthy thing. Not as much respite as W. took, bicycling and vacationing through all the disasters that President Obama is now stuck fixing — spending a total of 490 days in the tumbleweed isolation of Crawford and rarely deigning to sightsee as he traveled the world.”
And something Maureen Dowd said, maybe something in the above paragraph, really must have teed off Karl Rove because the day after her column appeared, Karl Rove went on Fox News and complained to the news entertainers there that Dowd was “twisted” and “deranged.”
“I think Maureen Dowd is a bitter, twisted, deranged columnist for The NewTimes who misses no opportunity to show her disdain for the conservative side of the aisle. I actually went to an editorial board meeting at The New York Times and wasted a couple bucks on some flowers to give Maureen Dowd ... give her a smile on her face. And that didn't even work. This is a dour, downbeat liberal.”
And don’t forget Pulitzer Prize winning downbeat liberal.
I don’t think Karl Rove gets it. Sure she’s a little reserved in her mien, but “dour?” Is he kidding? This big, fat, bald, pasty-faced, fluffy old white guy is calling Maureen Dowd “dour?” If Karl Rove wants to see the epitome of the meaning of “dour” he need only gaze into a mirror.
And I really don’t think Karl Rove got the message when he gave Maureen Dowd those flowers. This Texan with the social skills of a Neanderthal actually thought that he would elicit a smile from Dowd when all he was really doing was offending her.
Really Rove? Flowers?
I would have offered her a cigar.