Let me add my voice in harmony with Doug Mataconis and Stephen Green: conservatives gain nothing by criticizing Barack and Michelle Obama going out on date nights. It’s kind of baffling to me that there are people who dislike Obama so much that they begrudge him spending a few hours with his wife and want to make a political issue out of the security expenses involved with this.
He’s President, but he also has a family. Seems to me that particularly “family values” conservatives ought to like that he makes time to be with his family. And being President is kind of a stressful job. And everyone needs to blow off a little steam and have a little fun every once in a while — all work and no play makes Barack a dull boy.
Now, it’s true that he can’t just hop on the Delta Shuttle for a half-hour flight to New York and grab a cab to Times Square to take his wife out for dinner and a show. They have to travel by secure transportation because he is, after all, President. And yes, that’s a taxpayer expense. There is no time that the President is not in functionally instant contact with the government — not when he sleeps, not when he’s in the restroom, when he plays golf, not when he’s out on a date with his wife. And yes, that’s a taxpayer expense. It’s an expense that we Americans should be glad to pay because that’s what it takes to have a stable government in today’s world.
So back off “date night.” There are ample opportunities to take issue with the policies President Obama is following.