On Monday, Andrew Malcolm penned a column here discussing former President Barack Obama’s current jaunt with his family to Indonesia. He’s taken along a number of family members and they are seeing the sights and meeting with local dignitaries (along with his Secret Service detail, of course). Andrew covers some of Obama’s early years and the ties he has to that nation and puts it all in historical perspective, but that’s not what everyone was focusing on. As Fox News reports, there’s still some growing backlash against the President, even from those on the Left, for living so high on the hog.
The Democratic base is growing increasingly frustrated with former President Barack Obama’s actions after leaving office, including a seemingly endless tour of millionaire and billionaire luxury retreats, according to Democrats and activists contacted by Fox News.
Ex-presidents, understandably and un-controversially, go on vacations immediately after leaving office. But the level of luxury the Obamas enjoy on their vacations is unprecedented for a modern-day president, say travel experts…
“These trips are like the lifestyles of the rich and famous,” said Democratic strategist Pat Caddell. The former adviser to ex-President Jimmy Carter believes that President Obama’s vacations are unprecedented, and a far cry from how Carter spent his first few months out of office.
“I think the Bernie Sanders wing of the party, when they see President Obama, whom they instinctively want to defend being the corporatist president, I think it makes the base uneasy,” said Caddell.
It “makes the base uneasy” you say? If you don’t mind my asking, precisely what business is it of the base as to how the man spends his money? Yes, the taxpayers have to foot the bill for the Secret Service coverage, but that’s something that we, as a nation, agreed to some time ago. They go where he goes and if he’s on vacation in Indonesia then that’s where they’ll have to be.
I’m not shutting down the entire idea of presidential pension reform, as I’ve written about here before. If you want to decrease the numbers or impose some sort of means test I’m sure we could discuss that as well. But at the moment the rules quite simply are what they are and the Obama clan is playing under them.
This all goes back to the rather irritating subject I tackled here before about the fruits of capitalism and how they should be embraced by conservatives in particular no matter which party’s retiree is on a spending spree. You can level all of the charges of hypocrisy against Obama you like and I won’t deny your right to do so, but the man is retired. His only “job” at the moment is to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars for giving 30 minute speeches and cash those royalty checks for his upcoming book. And despite the fact that some of his friends seem to find it unseemly, as I said before, that’s capitalism in all its glory.
I agreed with Barack Obama on almost precisely zero items during his entire time in office so it’s not as if I’m sitting in front of my Hope and Change shrine and weeping in worry over whether or not he and Michelle will be okay. But I’m not going to deny the guy the chance to earn for all he’s worth before he fully retires. This is still America. Let the man eat.
This trip to Bali certainly looks luxurious, I’ll grant you. And few of us will ever have the resources to take such a vacation in that level of lavish style. But let’s keep in mind that Obama came upon all of that money legally. He’s got a product to sell (that being basically his time and sharing his thoughts) and there are customers lining up to pay handsomely for it. He’d be a fool not to capitalize on that opportunity and we would be hypocrites ourselves to cast stones at him for it.