August 7, 2010

ROGER SIMON: Michelle’s “Excellent Adventure”: Another sign Obama doesn’t really want to be President.

Michelle’s $375,000 Spanish vacation — with the Daily Mail dubbing her a “modern-day Marie Antoinette” — is further proof of my thesis. What man who wanted to be re-elected (or see his party do well in November) would let his wife go off on such an “excellent adventure” in these economic times? Of course no one denies the right of people to have vacations – I’m coming to the end of one myself on my beloved Bainbridge Island — but closing Mediterranean beaches while booking 60-plus rooms in a five star Marbella hotel for her entourage? It is beyond tone deaf, perhaps to the level of subconscious (or even deliberate) self-sabotage.

At the very least, something most peculiar is going on. The first lady goes off on a jaunt worthy of 18th Century aristocracy at the very moment of her husband’s birthday. Is somebody trying to tell us something? . . . If I were still a member of the Democratic Party, I would be most concerned. What is going on in the White House seems to be so disconnected from the reality of our country — with some indicating real unemployment at a staggering 22% — as to be teetering on the brink of a pyschological disorder.

It does play oddly. As the political handlers say, the optics are bad:

UPDATE: John Hinderaker: “I think the Obamas’ tone-deafness, which was on exhibit long before Michelle’s Spanish vacation, more likely results from their inexperience and the fact that if you are a factor in Democratic Party politics, you spend a great deal of time with rich people. That can skew one’s perspective.”

MUCH LATER: And now — over a year later — the L.A. Times’ Christopher Knight, dutifully parroting a Media Matters press release, suggests that it’s somehow racist to lampoon Michelle Obama as Marie Antoinette while mocking her for profligate travel on the taxpayers’ dime. (Was the Daily Mail racist too?) But it’s Knight who was moved to thoughts of an “uppity negro” instead of an overspending First Lady. So who’s the racist? Why are the so-called progressives so stuck in, and clearly still infused with, mid-20th Century racial attitudes when the rest of us have moved on?

Hey, at least I didn’t call Obama a “magic Negro.” For that, you need the L.A. Times. But really, the effort of Obama’s remaining defenders to cast all criticism as racist is pathetic. The good news is, it’s so obviously pathetic that the race card has been, in Jon Stewart’s words, maxed out.