Wednesday, September 14, 2022

A Reasonable Trip Only in Context

This comment, of course, proved extremely satisfying to left Twitter:


Of course, the newspaper reporter(s) did no such thing. The article is behind Bloomberg's paywall but nowhere did Jacobs or her colleagues criticize Joe Biden for voting. In an extremely favorable account of Biden's action, The New York Times reports

On Tuesday evening, President Biden voted. The process involved a hasty announcement to the press, multiple motorcades and two jet flights.

In a last-minute move that demonstrated how the presidency complicates even the most mundane of tasks....

Uh, no. The President of the United States of America snaps his finger and its done, as when "President Trump set up a magic button in the Oval Office that summons a butler carrying a refreshing, ice-cold Coca-Cola."

Picking it up at that point

... Mr. Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden, flew home from the White House to Wilmington, Del., arriving at the polls less than an hour before voting in the state’s primary contests ended at 8 p.m. About an hour after they landed, they climbed back aboard Air Force One and jetted back to Washington.

The trip had not been on the president’s publicly released schedule. But the pilgrimage back to his home state to cast a vote is a familiar one for sitting presidents, and typically affords an opportunity to connect with voters.

Former President Barack Obama traveled to Illinois to vote in the 2014 midterm races while helping campaign for Gov. Pat Quinn. Mr. Biden also voted early from Wilmington during the 2020 presidential election, while his rival, former President Donald J. Trump, cast an early vote from West Palm Beach, Fla.

Good point, except that President Biden campaigned for no one on his quick trip to Wilmington, as it left him "little chance to do anything but travel to and from the polling place, in a performing arts center at a school, answer a few questions from reporters and make a quick stop at his Wilmington residence. "

Mr. Biden chose not to cast an early vote when he was home on Saturday, nor to cast an absentee ballot, opting instead for the royal treatment to which a USA President is entitled for better or for worse (the latter).

For that matter, we have learned over the pat five-and-a-half years, the President is entitled to whatever he wishes to be entitled to.  Instead of defending Biden- at convenient times, a supporter of energy conservation- for doing as he did, O'Brien and other Twitter acolytes of the President might have demanded that Bloomberg News put the matter into context. That would mean noting (Washington Post here, Seattle Times here) something like

President Trump’s company charges the Secret Service for the rooms agents use while protecting him at his luxury properties — billing U.S. taxpayers at rates as high as $650 per night, according to federal records and people who have seen receipts.

Those charges, compiled here for the first time, show that Trump has an unprecedented — and largely hidden — business relationship with his own government. When Trump visits his clubs in Palm Beach, Fla., and Bedminster, N.J., the service needs space to post guards and store equipment.

Trump’s company says it charges only minimal fees. But Secret Service records do not show that.

At Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, the Secret Service was charged the $650 rate dozens of times in 2017, and a different rate, $396.15, dozens more times in 2018, according to documents from Trump’s visits.

And at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, the Secret Service was charged $17,000 a month to use a three-bedroom cottage on the property, an unusually high rent for homes in that area, according to receipts from 2017. Trump’s company billed the government even for days when Trump wasn’t there.

Whataboutism is often unattractive. However, in this case "what about Trump?" would be on target because of the unprecedented perversion of the presidency in the last Administration. Biden's supporters could have used this relatively minor abuse of the office not only to remind voters of President Trump's corruption, but that the presidency has taken on a far greater imperial air than it ever has. They did not. As even he probably is not aware, Donald Trump has triumphed again. 


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