Next Time, Go Fishing

Where were the media critics when the nation was spending millions to swear in a politician?
by Jim Fair | Source:

When George W. Bush was inaugurated President for the second time, estimates are that the various Washington celebrations cost around $40 million.

That’s a lot of cocktails and canapés.  But it is estimated that Barack Obama’s inauguration events cost upwards of $140 million.  For that, you get lots of cocktails and canapés – and the largest squadron of port-a-potties in American history.

Apparently, there is some disagreement over what you have to spend to swear a person into the highest office of the land.  But to paraphrase the late Sen. Everett Dirksen, a million here and a million there and pretty soon you have a real party.

Frankly, I don’t know how much is appropriate to spend to throw a Washington party.  But I do know that there was a heap of media criticism of Bush for spending $40 million – and there is precious little criticism of Obama for spending more than three times as much. 

Four years ago, there were whining media reports about how many poor could be fed or housed with $40 million.  Well…with $140 million you could buy a small town and stock everyone’s fridge with steak and lobster.  So…why not a little criticism?

I know that some will say that it was appropriate to have the bash of the century because Obama is the first African American president.  And yes, that is quite a milestone.  But are we going to have to have a super-party everyone time there is some sort of comparable first? 

After all, there will be more firsts:

·        First female president.

·        First African American female president.

·        First president who has a twin sister.

·        First Native American president with a twin sister.

Frankly, I think we’ll have reached sanity (and equality) when none of these is an issue.  And for many Americans, that time already has arrived.  That’s the story the media missed.

By the way, should I ever be elected President, there won’t be any big parties.  First of all, if I were elected it obviously would signal a state of total desperation in the nation, so nobody would be in the mood for a party. 

And my idea of celebrating would be a small gathering of close family and friends in the morning – then taking the afternoon off to go fishing.  It is my solemn belief that the nation would be better off if the President spent more time fishing and less time spending our money.

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