There’s nothing like a couple of natural cataclysms to prompt mere mortals to reexamine calcified mindsets. President Obama, who resolutely endured the slings and arrows of the political opposition to take his wretched little semi-vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, who played golf through a political upheaval in Libya, and whose putt was thrown off by the first major earthquake to hit the East Coast in almost a century, was finally driven off the island by a monster cyclone.
His people claim that he’s cutting his vacation short in order to better direct the hurricane response from Washington, but they’ve just spent the entire week telling us that the mobile White House is every bit as good as the real one for the purposes of governing. Which leads us to the real reason: The optics of not being in D.C. make him look dangerously like that photo of a detached W. staring out the window of Air Force One as he flew over New Orleans after Katrina. No way any president is going to allow himself to fall into that trap again.
Oh, and Martha’s Vineyard happens to be in the path of the storm. Given the choice, anybody would rather be in the White House War Room, deep underground.
Meanwhile, we have the prospect of tea partiers trying to explain to their constituents why it’s better for them to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps after their homes are washed away than to accept a handout from the hated federal government. Either that, or, as Rep. Eric Cantor prefers, swipe the same number of dollars from Medicare that would be dispensed in disaster aid in order to balance the books.
Yes, that ought to be a big hit with the de-homed. I’m guessing our tri-corned friends will get religion about the aid business in a hurry.
The fun part will be to listen to them as they sputter their rationalizations.