Where Does Maureen Dowd Vacation

Spent the better part of the morning putting my house together, weeding the garden, and picking tomatoes, so I can’t tell you how delighted I am to turn my computer on and see that once again, the hot topic among our pundit classes is where the President and his wife vacations.

I find all of this exceedingly depressing. It was stupid when we counted the Bush days off, it is stupid when we wonder where Obama is, and it takes things to a new level of stupid when we worry about where the First Lady is spending her free time. It’s just a special degree of pettiness from the village harlots.

The idea that these guys are doing nothing but vacationing is idiotic. They are never truly on vacation, and there is a reason they all come into office looking like McCaulay Culkin and leave office just a few years later looking like Keith Richards. Just make it stop.






36 replies
  1. 1
    demo woman says:

    Michelle Obama’s approval ratings have been high. The right has been trying to knock her down a few pegs since the campaign. Last year she took her daughters to France and England and there was nary a peep.
    It’s an election year and since the repubs got nothing else to do they might as well bitch about the first lady.

  2. 2
    beltane says:

    Let’s see. Hawaii was too exotic, Maine was a no-no, and Spain is so terrible it will bring about the apocalypse. Maybe the Village idiots would be mollified if the First Family rented an RV, and then used it to camp out at a suburban Wal-Mart parking lot. Nah, they’d just claim that the Obamas were “trying too hard” to connect with Realamerica.

  3. 3
    JC says:

    God you are retarded.

    You want to compare Bush taking an entire year out of 8 off with the type of vapid discussion about where President’s vacation?

    I agree that where they vacation is irrelevant.

    But, if you want to compare that to a solid year of vacation George Bush took, it explains why you think the first George Bush, his dad, was honorable. You know by Pardoning Casper Weinberg to cover up his own crimes.

    He was the definition of honor, huh?

    You are truly fucking ignorant.

  4. 4
    shortstop says:

    there is a reason they all come into office looking like McCaulay Culkin and leave office just a few years later looking like Keith Richards.

    Sooooooooo good.

    And I don’t endorse JC’s level of venom on this, but I do agree that there’s a difference between where presidents go on vacation and how much time they spend on holiday. I get that they’re never really “off,” but neither are they running on all cylinders when they’re vacationing.

  5. 5
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I like you when you rant :-) And great image pairing of McCaulay Culkin and Keith Richards, LOL.

    Yeah, it’s so often overlooked that even though the POTUS — *any* POTUS — may not be actually sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office 24/7, he is *always* (24/7) on duty. There may be some relocation of venue, but there’s no such thing as “being on vacation” for the duration of the term. Something like parenthood, I would imagine . . . .

  6. 6
    blogbytom says:

    I think Maureen Dowd is always on vacation. That’s why she phones in her column Every. Fucking. Time.

  7. 7
    Bnut says:

    I see “Klingon” is the new term for Michelle Obama, at least according to the obvious Mensa candidates that posted it in the Atlantic comments section. Such lovely people.

  8. 8
    azlib says:

    Personally, I do not care where the Obamas vacation. With that said, the optics of the First lady going to Spain are bad politically. That in itself is more of an indictment of how low our political discourse has sunk. Why MoDo for example can write columns like she does and get away with it it is beyond comprehension. And all the gossips in DC will eat this stuff up and repeat it endlessly.

    We have more important things to deal with than this. DougJ said it well – our elites are either incompetent or sociopaths. As a result this is the kind of drivel we end up with in our paper of record.

  9. 9
    FoxinSocks says:

    What gets me is that these are the same people who are supporting hundreds of billions of dollars of tax cuts for the wealthy while refusing to budge on extending unemployment benefits.

    It’s all a distraction so that the Republicans and media elite can continue to screw over the middle class.

  10. 10
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Who or what is a Maureen Dowd?

  11. 11
    Nom de Plume says:

    I think what’s bugging a lot of us about this latest retardation is that it is yet another example of New Rules for the Obamas. I saw a report on one of the nightly newscasts which made a big deal out of all the vehicles in her motorcade. We are talking about the White House press here, keep in mind, which basically does nothing but stake out motorcades, and suddenly they’re noticing that there’s, like, lots of cars in them?

    Sooner or later during Obama’s presidency, mark my words, we will see a story about “Air Force One: Too Fancy?”.

  12. 12

    Yes but here’s the most important thing about stories on first family vacations — they’re easy to write!
    Reporters and columnists don’t need to do any research whatsoever, they don’t even need to know anything about the destination at all, they can just sit down at the computer or pull up a chair on the talk show, and spout off. Simplicity itself!
    Soooo much easier than the economy or wars or other stories where a person (sometimes) actually needs to find out stuff first …

  13. 13
    Josie says:

    I was happy to see that Cristiane Amanpour and Fareed Zakaria actually committed journalism by having people on who could speak intelligently about a variety of important subjects. Then I made the mistake of leaving CNN on a moment too long and heard that Howard Kurtz would be interviewing Hugh Hefner – wtf! There is so much stupid punditry and reporting, just as FoxinSocks says, that is designed to take our mind off of how badly we are being screwed by the great corporatocracy. The problem is that I have no idea how to change any of it or to have any impact at all.

  14. 14
    David in NY says:

    there is a reason they all come into office looking like McCaulay Culkin and leave office just a few years later looking like Keith Richards. Just make it stop.

    John has a nice way of putting stuff in words-of-one-syllable without using words that the FCC would cringe at.

  15. 15
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    they all come into office looking like McCaulay Culkin and leave office just a few years later looking like Keith Richards.

    That’s why they take vacations, because spending all of their time home alone gives no satisfaction.

    I don’t know, I thought George W Bush going off to clear brush every ten minutes was probably a win for the country, all things considered.

    He did seem to do it a lot though. To paraphrase a satirical letter of recommendation I saw once, “If you can get Mr Bush to work for you, you’ll be very lucky indeed”.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @Josie: People still want to see a Hugh Hefner interview on TV? I didn’t know America’s Favorite Dirty Old Man was still alive.

  18. 18
    Steve says:

    I didn’t get the sense that Bush was doing a whole lot on those pre-9/11 vacations. At that point it seemed like he was basically enjoying the awesomeness of being President and letting the country run itself.

  19. 19
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Well I wouldn’t let Bush off so lightly. Weren’t we engaged in an EXISTENTIAL WAR OF CIVILIZATION going on? World War 3, apparently, requires clearing lots of brush.

  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @roshan #16: Thanks for the link to the Roald Dahl bio. Gripping stuff, and well-written. I’ll be getting that book.

  21. 21
    Mike in NC says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    George W Bush going off to clear brush every ten minutes was probably a win for the country, all things considered.

    There’s no brush in my driveway, so it must have worked!

    Dubya modeled his every public move on the Gipper, of course, and definitely not Poppy. So “relaxing” on your “ranch” (the one without horses or cattle) in front of the cameras was the correctly macho thing to do, as was driving your bigass pickup truck while wearing a big cowboy hat.

  22. 22
    Mike in NC says:

    Teabaggers have launched a new franchise: the South Carolina Black Conservative Movement.

    Their first meeting was held yesterday in the state capital of Columbia, so there must still be a few street corner phone booths out there.

  23. 23
    Brachiator says:

    @Josie:

    I was happy to see that Cristiane Amanpour and Fareed Zakaria actually committed journalism by having people on who could speak intelligently about a variety of important subjects. Then I made the mistake of leaving CNN on a moment too long and heard that Howard Kurtz would be interviewing Hugh Hefner – wtf!

    Actually, Hefner is probably one of the most important men in contemporary American cultural history.

    And I certainly prefer an interview with Hef to any drivel about First Lady vacations.

  24. 24
    shortstop says:

    @Brachiator:

    Actually, Hefner is probably one of the most important men in contemporary American cultural history.

    And god knows Howard is up to an incisive and in-depth exploration of that.

  25. 25
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Mike in NC:

    There’s no brush in my driveway, so it must have worked!

    Oh I meant because at least it kept him from screwing things up even more from the oval office.

    But maybe you knew that.

    This is why the “one solid year of vacation” figure for him never bothered me that much. If that ratio were pushed up to one year of work per seven years of vacation, we’d have been even better off.

    Invade Iraq? Well, yeah but I really gotta get this ravine out back cleared, then fix that fence where the cows keep getting out, place needs painting…

    Win-win.

  26. 26
    gnomedad says:

    Maybe the Secret Service prefers it when they vacation outside the U.S. where there are not so many crazies.

  27. 27
    Indie Tarheel says:

    Well, nothing new under the sun, again.
    __
    Anyone paying attention to all this must realize by now that these people are not going to stop. They’ve not only turned up to 11, they’ve broken the knob off the dial completely.
    __
    What I wonder from day to day is this: have enough people figured this out yet?

  28. 28
    Tokyokie says:

    Well, at least Keith Richards still has a career.

  29. 29
    scarshapedstar says:

    It was stupid when we counted the Bush days off

    As I recall, we really counted the fuck out of them during the first 7 months of his “Presidency”*, which was pretty much one big long vacation until the World Trade Center was destroyed. Perversely, this taught us that vacations are awesome and we should never again criticize Dear Leader for being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to hack at desert scrubs with a chainsaw.

    *On the other hand, if I had stolen an election, I probably wouldn’t want to do my fucking job either. In that light, I suppose a vacation was more like temporary justice, except he never called on Al Gore to be his substitute.

  30. 30
    LindaS says:

    Posting to try and get right margins correct. I recall it worked another time.

  31. 31
    Larkspur says:

    I don’t have a problem with Michelle Obama vacationing in Spain. Does anyone really think that improving relations with European countries, even informally, is such an outrageous idea? Spain took some big post 9-11 terrorist hits, and while we didn’t commit the acts, our policies made them far more likely.

    And frankly, for all of my criticism of George W. Bush, I’d have found it refreshing to have watched Laura Bush on a non-diplomatic vacation with some girlfriends (she does not get to drive), having genuine fun, and not looking sedated.

  32. 32
    Mr Sippi says:

    I have it on good authority from a friend, who has a cousin, who knows the driver of the limo that takes MoDo to a nice little sanitarium up in the hills. Her editor knows when to call for the limo because she submits the same over the top (even for her) column when she is ready for a vacation.

  33. 33
    Allison W. says:

    yeah I never cared when and how much bush went on vacation and I don’t care now. If it were president palin,
    I’d be overjoyed every time she was on vacation.

    Has anyone ever asked about bush’s mental health since he was taking so much time off? I’m serious here. no retard jokes.

  34. 34
    Resident Firebagger says:

    Um, it wasn’t stupid counting Bush’s vacation time. He was away for like a third of his administration.

    OK, I’m plucking that figure out of my ass, but Bush took more brush-clearing time than any president by a wide margin.

    And yes, as others have noted, Bush not being around probably wasn’t all bad. But still, it was completely justified to discuss his chronic absences.

  35. 35
    Librarian says:

    I just had to laugh yesterday when Christiane said, “George Will is on vacation.” I instantly thought, “George Will’s entire life is a vacation.”

  36. 36
    brantl says:

    I’m sorry, no matter where GWB was on any given day, he was on vacation; he phoned in his fucking presidency, each and every god-damned day. When he was actually at the ranch or fucking off somewhere else, those were the only times that there was any truth-in-advertising, and that’s my objection to GWB in a nutshell.

    He sucked up the place, day after day.

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