President Obama likes to speak in metaphors.
Just as any good public speaker does, the President knows how to use word-pictures and relatable stories to make a point. And he’d like for us to believe that Republicans, alone, are to blame for our nation’s weak economy.
Speaking at a fundraising event for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in May, the President stated: “After they (Republicans) drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back. No! You can’t drive. We don’t want to have to go back into the ditch. We just got the car out.”
That’s very clever, and it’s an illustration that likely resonates with many Americans.
But if Republicans were responsible for driving our economic “car” into a “ditch” last decade (I’ll examine the veracity of that claim in a moment), then here’s a metaphor for this new decade: Barack And Michelle Obama have been entrusted to handle a family credit card at a time when we all need to be restrained and sober-minded with our finances. And instead of emulating the discipline and self-restraint and “care for others” that they lecture us about, they have chosen instead to max-out the credit cards on their own self-gratifying expenditures, and leave the rest of us – mom and dad, adult siblings, and the grandchildren – to find a way to somehow make the minimum monthly payments.
What else can you say about a First Couple who takes 8 vacations during their first 18 months in the White House? This, of course, is the President who spent his first year in office repeatedly reminding us that the economic conditions he “inherited” were the “worst since the Great Depression,” all the while logging over 200 hours playing golf. And last month the Obama’s spent our scarce tax dollars providing a “separate flight” on a Gulfstream jet to transport their dog “Bo” to the family vacation destination in Maine-apparently Air Force One could not comfortably transport both Bo, AND the Obama family, all at the same time.
And now, America and the world have been treated to Michelle’s “vacation” in Spain (this is not a “state visit,” but indeed a personal trip) with forty of her best friends along for the ride, and her husband left at home. Even the New York Times has had to acknowledge the “hefty bill” that American taxpayers will end up paying, which may approach half a million dollars or more by the time “Michelle and friends” return home.
Such blatant disregard for the perceptions and sensibilities of the American people are often very politically costly for a President. But what we are seeing from Barack and Michelle is not merely a matter of being “tone deaf” or “out-of-touch,” as many in the media are claiming these days.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.