Give Obama a Break About Vacations: Presidenting is Hard
People are starting to wonder if maybe -- just maybe -- President Obama takes too many vacations. This is his work week lately:
Monday: Get home from vacation.
Tuesday: Readjust after being gone for so long.
Thursday: Pack for next vacation.
Friday: Tee time!
And if you've ever been by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, you know that the mailbox out front is constantly stuffed, because no one is ever there to collect the mail.
Meanwhile, wars are being fought in Iraq, Israel, Ukraine, Syria... maybe it's just easier to list the countries where there isn't a military conflict or huge unrest. And things are just falling apart domestically. Like why in the world were all the police in military gear in Ferguson? It's like there's a commotion in Mayberry, and suddenly Andy Griffith rolls downtown in a tank and body armor. And we thought that we in America had solved the whole racial tension thing, but it turns out, no. We have not. That one is still a problem.
Where is the president during all this? He's at Martha's Vineyard. Researching class warfare, I guess. His area of expertise: how the one percent live. He did take a break from his vacation to attend some high-level briefings in Washington since, you know, basically the whole world is on fire, but you can tell he did so pretty begrudgingly. If we ever had an Independence Day-type scenario, this is not a president who would personally fly an F-15 against the alien mothership. Instead, he'd be wishing Earth the best of luck from the nearest golf green.
But should we be mad about all of the president's vacations? I argue no. Here's why.
Reason 1: Presidenting is hard.
Being president of the United States of America, the most powerful country in the world, is not easy. I mean, way back when George Washington started, it wasn't that bad. At the time, the country’s population consisted of only a dozen families living in mud huts or something. And the Middle East was merely a rumored place no one was actually sure existed. I assume President Washington had a conversation with his Secretary of State -- named "Bob", I guess (if you really care what his actual name was, look it up on Wikipedia yourself; don't be lazy) -- that went something like this:
"We hear there’s lots of violence going on in the Middle East, Mr. President."
"And where is that, Bob, or whatever your name is?"
"Well, it's to the east. It's past the beginning of the east but before you get to the end of the east."
"And is there anything there we need?"
"No, Mr. President. They only have oil, which our top scientists have determined is completely useless."
"Let's ignore the Middle East, then. Instead, we’ll work on my legacy. I don't want to just be known as America's first white president, so I'm working on a universal health care plan called 'Leeches for All'."
But things are much tougher for America today. There are like a billion people in America now, and we all hate each other. Plus America is now the world's police force -- a very militarized one (though people in other countries like that, for all I know or care to know). If something happens in any country, the U.S. president is supposed to do something about it. And scientists estimate there are something like 200 countries on this planet. So hundreds of countries, plus all of the U.S.'s problems like jobs, the border crisis, and fat kids constantly weigh on the president, and if he doesn't take vacations to relieve this stress, then he ends up spending his nights staring at The Button.
The big red button that will bring peace to the world through fire and death. The thing that will end it all. And as the stress grows, The Button talks to him. "Yes, Mr. President. Let's bring about change. Horrible, horrible change. All you have to do is push me. Push me, and it all finally stops. Come on. There's nothing good left to watch on Netflix. You're bored. But I will bring you excitement. I'll bring the whole world excitement. You'll be remembered throughout history -- what little will be left of it. Yes, that's right. Your hand is hovering above me now. Just press me. Do it. DO IT NOW!"
So the president needs vacations.