Talking Like Mme Defarge, Living like Marie Antoinette

Posted: Dec 04, 2012 8:42 AM

With the election safelly over, the Obamas are sparing no expense as they enjoy life in The White House.

Look, no one detested it more than I when the Carters sought to downplay the magnificence of The White House, serving hot dogs to visiting dignitaries and the like.  It's also completely understandable that, as the nation's first African American First Lady, Mrs. Obama would be invested in demonstrating what should be clear to all -- namely, that skin color has nothing to do with one's ability to be tasteful and elegant.

But in an era of tight budgets and economic suffering for so many, it seems callous to carry on this Christmas with 54 Christmas trees in The White House, as even the left-wing UK Guardian notes (British papers seem not to have muzzled themselves with regard to the Obamas like the American papers have).  This is 50% more than they enjoyed last year -- and the country wasn't teetering on the verge of the fiscal cliff back then (although the President's reeelection likewise wasn't assured).

This sort of behavior has been endemic since Michelle Obama came to Washington.  We all know about the Spanish vacation, the lavish clothes and (in a story widely overlooked by the sympathetic press before the election), the unprecedented public spending on state dinners .  And the Obama administration recently demoted a general for having, ahem, enjoyed the perks of his office a little too much.  Yet at 1600 the spending spree continues.

The extravagance would be noteworthy in any event.  In a struggling economy where many are suffering, it is unbecoming.  But as part of an administration dedicated to class warfare and demonizing the rich, it is entirely inappropriate. The Obamas show a decided taste for living like those they regularly denounce -- without ever themselves having earned the money that enables the rich to enjoy a lifestyle of which most of us can only dream.

Observers have noted for some time a certain "let them eat cake" quality to the Obama presidency.  But that's only half the equation.  The Obamas like to live like Marie Antoinette in private, while talking like Madame Defarge in public.