The nerve of some people!
This weekend, our president had the unmitigated gall to take his wife . . . on a date. That heartless bastard took his wife to New York City for dinner and a Broadway play. Sickening!
Sarcasm setting off . . . . now.
Yes, this weekend, Barack kept a campaign promise he reportedly made to his wife -- that when the campaign and life had settled down, he would take her to see a Broadway play. So he and his wife, after attending their daughter's soccer game that morning, boarded a White House plane to New York where they had dinner at Blue Hill, a "low-key" restaurant that the New York Times reports "specializes in cuisine from the Hudson Valley," and then went to see the revival of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone.
"So what's the problem, Mel?" you may be asking. Well, for me, there is no problem. For Obama's detractors, though, apparently there is a huge problem. Obama was taken to task by his Republican opponents for lacking tact when so many people are suffering economically, that the date was "inappropriate" the same weekend when GM was about to declare bankruptcy.
So basically, the argument is that people who have a job should just hide in a hole and not enjoy your hard earned salary? That it's tacky for a couple to go support the arts and enjoy a nice dinner out? As a taxpayer, I feel that it's totally acceptable for my employee to spend his salary however he sees fit. If he wants to take that presidential salary and go invest in a warehouse full of Skittles, so be it. His rent is paid. His utilities are covered. He has what I assume is a kick ass per diem for food. His bills are paid, so I think that my president has a right to take his wife out on a date.
And as an artist, how wonderful is it to see our president and his wife supporting the theatre? How much do I love that Barack and Michelle did NOT select some splashy musical like Shrek or 9 to 5 and instead chose an amazing straight show like Joe Turner? If their choice of a straight show like Joe Turner maybe helps encourage more people to go see amazing plays like that, even better!
And before I get accused of a double standard ("You would have gone crazy if George and Laura had gone out on a date like this!"), I call shenanigans to THAT assertion. Had George and Laura done the same thing, I would have been pleasantly surprised perhaps but I would have applauded their humanity and their quest for some semblance of normalcy in their lives. Because that's really what Saturday showed me -- the drive that the Obamas have to preserve some feeling of normal lives. They did what countless couples across America did Saturday night: they spent time supporting their children and then took some precious (and rare) time for each other. They were probably joined in the theatre by many other couples just like them outside of the fact that you know, the other couples aren't president and first lady.
I, for one, am glad to have my president strive for those moments of normalcy. I mean, didn't people supposedly vote for Bush because he was the guy they'd want to have a beer with? Isn't that supposed to be the epitome of "normalcy"? So why is is suddenly inappropriate to have a president who takes his wife out on a date? Is it because they went to a Broadway play instead of a movie? Is it because they probably had wine with dinner instead of a beer? The reverse snobbery at play here (that a play is "elitist") continues to turn my stomach, and I wish that we as a country could find a way to overcome these sorts of "cultural divides" and just celebrate Saturday for what it was -- a lovely date for two people who probably don't get to have evenings like that very often.