The first lady's trip riles Maureen Dowd, Mickey Kaus, Matt Drudge and plenty of other bored trolls
Mickey Kaus, Maureen Dowd and Matt Drudge agree: Attention must be paid to a vacation taken by the president’s wife and their young children.
Maureen Dowd wants to know why that terrible Michelle Obama isn’t making her husband “toast” and martinis instead of jetting around the world cavorting with “a cavalcade of Secret Service agents, friends, children and staff” while he sits around miserably solving all the world’s problems. Michelle is “
giggling” at her hardworking husband, apparently, instead of giving him foot rubs or whatever wives are supposed to do when their husbands get home. [UPDATE: Obama is "gigging" her husband, apparently, according to Maureen Dowd. I regret, and am somewhat confused by, the error.]
Moving from bizarrely retrograde to outright batshit, we turn to former Slate blogger and current failed Senate candidate Mickey Kaus, who, considering the first lady’s utterly unremarkable trip to Spain, postulates “three levels of perception.” The “Real Insider,” according to Mickey, knows that Michelle Obama’s trip (“with her daughter and an expensive posse”) means: “Jeez, they must have had some kind of fight. She’s pissed! This is a big ‘screw you.’” (Women, amirite?)
Mickey Kaus is not personally saying that Michelle Obama left Barack Obama alone on his birthday because they’re fighting! He is just saying that there are ways of perceiving her decision to do so that imply that it was a slight of some kind, due, most likely, to their fighting. (Claiming that baseless speculation is merely an analysis of how various other people will “perceive” some piece of news that had no deeper meaning until it was imbued with one by people like Mickey Kaus allows Kaus to pretend that he is not engaging in baseless speculation.)
Then, of course, Matt Drudge jumped in with, like, five headlines, calling Michelle Obama Marie Antoinette, and claiming the trip was costing taxpayers $75,000 a day. (Heavens!)
The facts are: Michelle Obama only brought along Sasha and two friends (and their kids), both of whom paid for their own lodging. The government was remimbursed for the equivalent of the airfare.
And, as Ana Marie Cox pointed out, “first lady” is not a job. Michelle Obama doesn’t have actual responsibilities, so she can just do what she wants. (Unless you are Maureen Dowd, modern woman, who seems to think it is Michelle Obama’s job to bring her husband martinis when he is done with work.)
So it’s barely costing taxpayers any more than it costs them to protect the first family when they’re at home, or anywhere else in the nation, and no one involved in the trip is slacking on their important duties back in D.C. All that leaves conservative critics (and bored late-summer cable anchors) with is outrage over the fact that Barack Obama didn’t spend his birthday with his wife. (And half of these people don’t even believe it’s his birthday!)
(What the right wing is actually doing is just getting liberals back for those jokes about Bush’s vacations that everyone so enjoyed making, back when he was on vacation more often than any other president in history. Conservatives always thought that was an unfair attack, and so therefore it is fair to lob it against Obama.)
More Related Stories
- There's no substitute for government disaster relief
- Holder signed off on search warrant for reporter
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Mike Judge: "Bowling for Columbine" made me pro-gun
- Closing Gitmo is not enough
- Murkowski: Palin too disengaged to run for Senate
- In IRS scandal, new GOP tactic is ignorance
- Code Pink activist berates Obama at national security speech
- Cuomo: "Shame on us" if New York City elects Weiner
- Coburn calls questions about tornado aid "typical Washington B.S."
- Conspiracy theorists clash over London attack
- Voting is not a right
- Destroying the planet for record profits
- Ahead of Obama's speech, U.S. acknowledges four American drone killings
- Pic of the day: Barack Obama at prom
- Anti-Islam backlash in London after machete attack
- Must-see morning clip: Bill O'Reilly visits "The Daily Show"
- Obama’s drone speech will probably be maddening
- Boehner: "Inconceivable" Obama didn't know about IRS targeting
- Obama to announce new effort to close Guantanamo Bay
- House supporters of KXL received $56m from fossil fuel industry
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11