How to tell if you are a hopeless partisan

Do you complain about the vacations of presidents of the opposite party?  Than you are a hopeless partisan.  How frustrating to see a front page NYT story on this total non-issue.  Apparently, even some Democrats, though, did not like President Obama playing golf after giving a speech about James Foley.   Of course, that partisan cover lets journalists pretend this is a real issue (it’s not) and not just partisan sniping.

After playing a substantial role in enabling this current “controversy” with a tweet, Ezra doubles down and makes an extended argument that presidents should take real vacations where they put all their presidential responsibilities aside..  Sorry, that’s just not going to happen and it’s just not realistic.  The idea that Obama is supposed to just go be sad in private somewhere because of Foley is absurd.  Surely, as president he is privy to absolutely horrible information every day that would completely paralyze a person if they took it to heart.  The man is on his vacation– let him give a speech and then go play golf.  It’s called compartmentalizing and it’s healthy.  Ezra insists it was “insensitive.”  I disagree.  What he does with his official time as president and what he says in a speech is what matters.  What he does after that whether it’s watching a movie, reading sad poetry, crying in his room, or hitting the links is his business.  Maybe it is bad politics to play golf because people will write stupid stories like the above, but the problem is that people complain about the presidents’ working vacations.  Not that they take them.



About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

6 Responses to How to tell if you are a hopeless partisan

  1. rgbact says:

    I’m confused…you note “hopeless partisan”….then you mention Obama is even hearing complaints from Democrats about vacation optics. You’re all over the map.

    Yeah, its silly, but alot of politics is. Usually “optics” are only bad when they feed into a predisposed notion people have….ie detached/disengaged/cold Obama. Generally though. I’d be happy if Obama (and Reid and Pelosi) spent the next 2 years on a golf course, so I can never figure out why righties complain about it.

    • Steve Greene says:

      The Democrats were complaining about the optics of it, rather than the idea that a president shouldn’t be able to have a working vacation when things are going on. I think that even admitting the optics are an issue is to let the people who think presidents of the opposite party shouldn’t have vacations win.

  2. Mike from Canada says:

    Just about every person who dies has people around them who care. Foley was no more important than anyone else. In fact, Foley was a deliberate attempt at theatre and propaganda and the Republicans and Faux News did exactly what ISIS wanted them too. Make a huge deal about it. The terrorists wanted a show, and Faux News gave it to them.

    Way to support the terrorists, Republicans.

    Americans are killed all over the world all the time. They are murdered at a ferocious rate in the USA itself. Expecting women, children and babies are shot just about every week. If Obama had to talk about each one, he’d never get anything done.

    This is a case of politics creating poor outcomes. It’s no different then the drug war or long incarceration terms, or government shutdown. Some party started screaming for no reason other then political purpose, and the next thing you know the President has to drop what he’s doing to make a speech or do a flyover, when instead he could actually be doing something to solve the problem. It’s a time waster.
    Now every president has to take time out of his schedule to tell the US people that he doesn’t like it when US soldiers are captured and executed by terrorists. Just in case the American people were unclear about that.

    Well DUH.

    To be fair, there are more then a few Republicans and teabaggers who aren’t at all clear about that. Not because there is uncertainty, but because these folk are mindless idiots who can’t think for themselves.

    And yes, the Democrats were just as bad when chuckles the monkey was in office, although to be fair, the first attack on mainland USA since WWII and the massive screw up that was Katrina were not entirely ordinary. Plus George wasn’t actually the president. We all know Cheney was the arm up George’s ass, controlling his mouth.


    George Bush: “Hey Laura, guess what”

    Laura Bush: Sigh. “What, George?”

    George: “Now Laura, you know I don’t like that.”

    Laura: Sigh. “What, Mr. President?”

    George: “Mission Accomplished!” “heh heh heh”

    Laura: “Not this time either, George. Go to sleep.”

  3. R. Jenrette says:

    Ezra’s image is that of a very rational, not much emotion thinker. His reaction to the President’s actions after the Foley speech shows that those pesky old emotions will just pop out without warning every once in a while. Ezra’s human after all!

  4. rgbact says:

    “Way to support the terrorists, Republicans”

    Speaking of how to tell when you’re a hopeless partisan. Yikes…

    • Mike from Canada says:

      Oh, but you don’t want to actually address the point. You never do.

      Partisan? Do you know what the word means? I don’t think you do.

      I don’t really care about Democrats. Or Obama. They’re not my politicians. But Republicans and teabaggers are dangerous freakin lunatic know nothing morons. They have people on the science committee who think the world is 6000 years old. 13% of Republicans believe Obama is the actual anti Christ. Birthers. Supporters of Bundy. Ted Nugent. They can’t even pass their own bills. They said they would block Obama no matter what when he was elected, and they have done their best to keep that promise, even when it means hurting the American people. They shut down government without a plan or a goal. Then they blamed Democrats and Obama. Then they denied shutting down government. Teapartiers are in a “grass roots” movement started by the Koch brothers. Their budget guy makes a budget with massive tax cuts that he says is covered by equal budget cuts. But it wasn’t. He lied.
      It goes on and on and on.

      I’m not partisan. I’m a normal person who lives outside of the United States of America. Most of whom are looking in and thinking the inmates have taken over. Evangelical Christians who are looking forward to the end of the world, being elected to high positions with the possibility of being in charge of the largest armed forces in the world, and the most powerful technological nuclear weapons force in the world. And they think they earth is 6000 years old, and Noah’s ark was real and there is a massive conspiracy of scientists on evolution and climate change.
      The last one I talked to said the UN is getting ready to take over the USA, which is why Obama ordered FEMA to build concentration camps. Yes, elected US officials have said this. As does their supporters.
      And he wasn’t a democrat. But that doesn’t matter. I care about results. I care about policy and programs and I care about what gets done.

      What exactly have the Republicans accomplished? The worst do nothing congress in the history of the United States of America.

      noun: partisan; plural noun: partisans; noun: partizan; plural noun: partizans
      a strong supporter of a party, cause, or person.

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