Republicans in Wonderland

The Obama Presidency has endured some real hits to its credibility; the Solyndra scandal and the “Fast and Furious’ gun running by the Justice Department come to mind. It’s also faced a steady barrage of faux scandals where benignities have been transformed into points of attack by Republicans; Michelle’s uncovered shoulders, or the first couples ‘terrorist fist jab’ come to mind. The latest faux scandal to hit the White House is news that in 2009 the Obama’s threw a lavish “Alice in Wonderland” themed party. The news emerged in Jodi Kantors latest book “The Obamas.” Kantor, a heretofore respected New York Times columnist, broke the news that not only did the party occur, but Johnny Depp and Tim Burton were in attendance. And who were the recipients of this wasteful government spending? Children of wealthy Obama donors? A secret cabal of World Bankers? In fact, it was no less an undeserving group than children of military families, and Washington D.C. area public school children.

In response to the news that Mr. Depp and Mr. Burton did not appear in the White House visitor logs, Republican National Committee Spokesman Joe Pounder had this to say: “The most transparent administration somehow forgot to log Johnny Depp coming to the White House?” Apparently Obama’s promise of transparency depends on the day, the event and what they don’t want to disclose.” This so-called ‘secret party’ was hardly a secret at all, reports were filed in several sources, and even Johnny Depp’s appearance was noted on a Depp fan site.

It remains baffling to this reporter why news like this and Mrs. Obama’s fitness program are met with such consternation from Republicans. Both are met with cries denouncing big government, but it just goes to show you the misplacement of Republican priorities. Getting children to exercise and throwing them parties is a waste of government funds and an unnecessary incursion, while banning Gay marriage and abortion are necessary to uphold family values. That the children in question are the families of veterans sent to war by a Republican president with specious reasons, only underscores Republicans stunning lack of empathy. Certainly the argument could be made that the party was a waste of money, but the government is constantly throwing lavish parties and wasting money, not to mention waging unnecessary wars, so one might think that doing something nice for military families would be an justifiable one time expense. It speaks volumes about the excesses of partisanship in this country that a minor story like this one becomes a full fledged scandal in some people’s eyes.

Jonah Redel-Traub is a blogger from New York City. Recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Mr. Redel-Traub started The Redel Traub Report, which features his hard hitting, insightful, tre ...read more

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