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.
Wednesday: Work.
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.

Reason 2: The president can work while on the road.

I’m sure the president brought a laptop with him on vacation in case he really needs to get work done. And how much does he do during a regular workday anyway? He probably spends a little time in his cubicle working on spreadsheets but wastes most of the day drinking coffee and gabbing with coworkers. So he can probably do whatever he needs to do while away from the office. He can even get quick briefings over Skype each morning so he stays up on the current state of affairs. “Locally, rich people hate the poor, and poor people hate the rich. In foreign countries, people are killing each other. So, it’s a day that ends in ‘y’.”


And if he needs to nuke somebody, I’m guessing there’s some webpage where he can log in to do that remotely. Edward Snowden has probably published the URL, so we can all go check it out if we want to and stare at the virtual Button that will doom us all as it begs us to click it. I’m so scared of it, yet I can’t look away. I’ll just hover my mouse over it. I won’t click, though…

Reason 3: We don’t need the president to pretend to care.

What seems to bug people so much about the president being on vacation while everything is exploding is that it makes it seem like he doesn’t care.

And he doesn’t. During his time in office, President Obama has expressed as best he can through his body language that all our cares and worries are so far beneath his concern it’s laughable. We constantly elect complete sociopaths to office, yet we keep expecting them to pretend to care, which almost seems mean to them. I mean, Obama did bring this on himself by being a progressive — someone who has made it the highest virtue to pretend to care about other people while pathologically ignoring the harm his policies cause — but no one honestly thinks he cares anymore, right? Can’t we all give up the charade? In a way, his lack of concern about Ferguson should help with race relations, as we now know that a black president can care just as little about black people as a white president would. It’s probably a different kind of apathy, as Obama better understands what black people are going through, having experienced racism himself, but at least he is ignoring everyone equally.


Yet we all want Obama to drop his vacation and give a speech and pretend to be concerned. I guess because of all those previous times his giving a speech totally fixed everything.

Reason 4: Really, the best way President Obama can help the country is to spend all his time playing golf.

Things we don’t worry about when Obama is playing golf: He’s not raising taxes, not signing new unconstitutional laws, and not fiddling around with our health care plans. And if he takes Michelle with him on vacation, our kids can finally sneak candy bars into their school lunches.

I guess he should react to some of this foreign affairs stuff, but Obama has never really seemed to care about any of that and can just leave it to the military to figure it all out. They might lead us into a new war or two, but at this point we almost don’t notice that anymore.

And in a way, wouldn’t the perfect president be one who, after inauguration, headed off to the Bahamas, never to be seen again? Because that president isn’t going to get in our way. And he’ll also teach us to be resourceful and learn to solve our own problems.

So let’s use Obama’s vacation time to finally solve things ourselves. For starters, I say we take on the issue of race, as it really seems like we should have licked that one by now. Here’s my idea: We all pick some group all races can come together and hate. Like hipsters, maybe.


Well, that’s enough working on social issues.  I’m off to Hawaii.


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