"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, August 19, 2011

President Arnold Palmer

Drudge and Ace are both beating up on President Obama for playing golf on his vacation on Martha's Vineyard.   Paradoxically, people who don't play golf (which is still most Americans) might not really get why it's so bad that he's playing so much golf.   After all, they might say, isn't a guy allowed to relax?  

It's not because golf gives off an aristocratic vibe while working people are hurting.   I don't care about symbolism.  And it's not because he should always be working and should never play golf... that's too absolute.  

But golf, unlike some other sporting activities like jogging or biking or even playing a set or two of tennis, takes a hell of a long time to play.   Once you go to a course and take some practice swings and hit the putting green for a few minutes, a round of golf at most clubs is going to be a minimum of five hours.    A beer afterwards might push that closer to six.   Five or six hours times the number of rounds Obama's alleged to have played is something like 400-500 hours over the last three years.   That's 10-12 full work weeks spent on the course! 

Meanwhile, I assume he's working pretty hard as a default as President, which means that he doesn't spend much time with his children to begin with.   If he has free time, he ought to be spending that time with his family, not playing golf. 

I know in my own circumstances over the past decade, if I had told my wife after a long week of work that I was going to take off on Saturday and play golf for 5-6 hours with my friends and leave her to tend to the three kids... she'd have my ass in a sling!   So I play only very occasionally in outings or with my brothers-in-law.  

(Both of my brothers-in-law on my wife's side, and one of my brothers-in-law on my side are scratch or near scratch golfers, or have been in the past.   But all of them have cut way back on the amount of golf they play -- or the amount they might like to play -- because of the pressures of work and family.   One brother-in-law who at one point had a -1 handicap has five daughters, and I guarantee he's spent ten times as much time with them at volleyball tournaments over the past ten years than he has on the golf course.)

What kind of guy chooses to use the majority of the very little amount of free time he has (or at least so I assume given he's President) playing golf rather than playing with his daughters or doing something with his wife?  

I think we know the answer to that one.   A narcissist like Obama.

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