President Obama’s Memorial Day itinerary elicited a predictable reaction from his Republican enemies. The Obamas plan to spend the long Memorial Day weekend in Chicago. The president will interrupt the trip with a visit to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama is giving Vice President Joe Biden the honor of laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday. Right wing news pundits and politicians attacked Obama’s decision to leave Washington for the weekend, saying he “hates the military.”
Obama to visit oil spill cleanup
Obama will take a break from the Memorial Day weekend holiday trip to Chicago to make the trip to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed Tuesday. USA Today reports this this will be Obama’s second visit to the oil spill cleanup since the BP oil leak disaster began. The massive oil spill cleanup effort has been under way for 36 days and the leak has spilled up to an estimated 88 million gallons and counting. Fishermen rely on personal loans with no credit check to survive as as the gushing oil wreaks havoc on the gulf coast fishing industry and the marine the environment.
Right wing news extremists vent
Obama’s Memorial Day plans generated an overheated reaction from right wing news outlets dedicated to promoting a conservative agenda. Tuesday morning on the cable TV talk show “Fox & Friends,” pundits criticized Obama’s Memorial day plans accompanied by graphics at the bottom of the screen reading “Trampling On Tradition?” “Offensive To Soldiers?” and “Memorial Day Miss-Out?”
Obama follows in steps of Reagan, Bush and W
An objective look into Obama’s Memorial Day plans shows that Obama is not the first U.S. president not to appear at Arlington National Cemetery on the Memorial Day holiday. Media Matters reports that in 1983 President Reagan attended a summit meeting in Williamsburg, Va., on Memorial Day while Deputy Secretary of Defense W. Paul Thayer laid a wreath at Arlington Cemetery. In 1992, George H.W. Bush attended a ceremony in Kennebunkport, Maine, (where he also reportedly played a round of golf) while VP Dan Quayle laid the wreath at Arlington. In 2002, President George W. Bush commemorated Memorial Day at Normandy in France.
Right wing news exposed
During the “Fox & Friends” segment on Obama’s Memorial Day plans, pundit Andrew McCarthy said the president’s itinerary was evidence that Obama is “uncomfortable” with the military and sees the armed forces as a necessary evil. McCarthy also said Obama “doesn’t want to be associated with the traditions” of the military.” Media Matters pointed out that Obama gave the commencement speech at West Point the weekend before, and he will be at a military cemetery on Memorial Day, just not Arlington.
Obama’s Memorial Day politics
Obama’s Memorial Day visit to the site of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a political appearance intended to counter accusations from right wing conservatives that the BP oil leak is “Obama’s Katrina.” But lately even moderate voices have begun to criticize the president’s command of the oil spill situation. Democratic strategist James Carville, a reliable Obama supporter, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper last week that the administration’s response to the spill has been “lackadaisical” and that Obama was “naive” to trust BP to manage the massive cleanup effort.