The First Golfer

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A few days ago, I ran across news that former Vice President Dan Quayle defended President Obama from attacks leveled by his political opponents over his enthusiasm for golf. (The RNC has done this in the past.) Quayle counters two aspects of such criticism with a much-needed dose of reality:

"I'm glad he's out playing golf. I happen to be a golfer," Quayle said on the Fox Business Network. "I think presidents deserve down time. And believe me, he is in constant communication with what's going on."


[W]hat do you want him to do, stay in his house and be on the phone with the ambassador to Japan all the time?" [link omitted]
Yes. We all need recreation, and yes, the President is easy to reach if he's needed. Those are excellent points, but perhaps more excellent than Quayle himself realizes: They reveal such attacks to be ill-informed at best, raising the question of why they are leveled at all. This opponent of Obama's, for one, regards his policies as so bad for America, I'd frankly rather he spent much more time on the links!

This complaint is a sleazy attempt to portray the Chief Executive as derelict, and reminds me of other, similar complaints about his competence in that it raises entirely the wrong issue at the expense of failing to take his agenda or policies to task. Indeed, the attacks themselves are incompetent, for they implicitly concede the premise that what Obama wants to accomplish would be just fine, if only it were more ruthlessly and efficiently executed. In other words, when such attacks are leveled by the likes of the RNC, whose members know better, they are also derelict, and reveal intellectual bankruptcy.

-- CAV

----- In Other News -----

John Cook discusses radiation units and links to a graphic comparison of the relative safety levels of various energy sources in "deaths per Terawatt hour."

XKCD posts a great graphic on radiation doses.

Mark your calendars! Edison Hour is at 8:30 p.m. this Saturday. This is the opposite of "Earth Hour," and is called "Human Achievement Hour" by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.


Jason said...

This is a good point on recreation, and the importance of taking time and energy to relax and reflect; it's an idea that is alien to the "Do! Do! Do! Brag to your friends about how much you've been doing!" culture today. I was listening to Sean Hannity on the radio maybe a week ago, and he was chastising President Obama for not rabidly injecting America headfirst into Japan's crisis.

He was saying that Obama is awful for not sending tons--"as many as they need" I think were his words--of American scientists and engineers to Japan; that Obama is betraying Japan by not "doing more." Hannity did not get into much detail about what "more" the American government should be doing, but his main theme during the segment on Japan was that President Obama is not doing enough.

It was a sad example of the rushing mentality that doesn't recognize the importance of recreation, relaxation, and reflection.

Gus Van Horn said...

It's also a good example of the pervasiveness of altruism in our culture.

Hannity's remarks are, and many times, ostentatiousness (insofar as it is a symptom of being too focused on what others think) such as you describe often is, as well.