Via Bride of Rove, this news caught my eye this morning:
"This holiday season more than 50,000 people will visit the White
House's 17 holiday parties and 11 open houses. Social Office staff will
be present to continue to assist guests and the United States Secret
Service should any confusion arise. As always, the United States Secret
Service will provide security and will control who has access to the
White House grounds."
Doesn't that sound rather excessive? We are in a heavy recession, after all, and unemployment is in double digits. Many Americans are hurting right now - broke, jobless, worried, and scared. And the White House is livin' large. Partying it up.
I can't help but wonder what the backlash would be if it were George Bush?
Actually, the Bushes did party hearty last year with sixty thousand visitors, 25 lavish receptions, seven dinners and White House tours, but unemployment was 7.2%, still high, but not as bad as what we're facing today.
Bush was regularly criticized for playing golf and going to Crawford, Texas.
It seems to me that no matter who is in the White House, we're going to analyze and criticize them. I certainly don't agree with everything Bush did. I don't agree with most of what Obama is doing.
I'm not advocating a joyless White House Christmas. I don't think Christmas should be canceled just because people are unemployed and having a hard time paying for it. But I do think, whether it is the Bushes or the Obamas, or whoever comes next, that some sensitivity is a good thing. Garish excess, like building a heated pavilion for a State Dinner, is poor taste.
All I'm saying is just scale it back a little. The Bushes probably should have, even with lower unemployment figures, and the Obamas should as well.
That's just my two cents.
Here is a nifty little site on how previous administrations have celebrated Christmas, including photos of the yearly Christmas cards (Regan's 1981 card is pictured above).