Posted by | August 8, 2010 12:40 | Filed under: Top Stories

By James Frye

The rightwingers are going nuts over Michelle Obama and the kids taking a summer vacation in Spain while Dad has to stay at work.  Oh, the gnashing of teeth over this!  How DARE the Obamas do this with so many unemployed and hurting!  You remember those unemployed – they’re the ones, according to the same righties, who are lazy and only wanting more unemployment insurance so they don’t have to go to work.  Yeah, cons – your sudden concern over the people that you’ve been smearing is very touching indeed.

It’d be easy to dismiss this as more ravings from the sufferers of Obama Derangement Syndrome but it goes beyond that to a long running  rightwing meme:  It’s bad for Democrats to be rich.

Apparently it’s difficult to impossible for the right to understand that someone can be wealthy and be concerned about people less fortunate than they are.  The right idolizes the wealthy when they are greedhead a-holes.  It fits with their authoritarian view of the world:  being wealthy means that one is better and “more good” than those who have less cash in the bank and they got there because they are more disciplined than the lazy middle class and poor.  As now-Senator Al Franken once put it, “There are no more productive members of society than the sons and daughters of rich parents who’ve inherited their wealth.”  Since Democrats are by definition to them even lazier and wanting everyone else to pay for them, they can’t possibly be wealthy themselves so they must take vows of poverty to live up to their policies.

Examples abound.  Who can forget the charges against John Kerry in 2004 of being a “gigolo” and how “awful” it was that he and his wife own several expensive houses?  Then there’s Al Gore’s expensive home, as well as John Edwards’ (a bad example as he is now, but the cons went after him for his wealth more than any position he took running for President).  Let’s not forget the recent flap over John Kerry allegedly arranging not to pay taxes on a yacht!  Scandalous!  Of course, when John McCain couldn’t even remember how many houses he and his wife owned, the silence from the right was deafening.  Oh, and that “gigolo” thing – both McCain and Kerry married wealthy women but only one gets called names for it.

Now the right is going after the Obamas for the cost of their family vacation as well as the Clintons for what they paid for their daughter’s wedding.  Here’s the real bottom line:  both Democratic families are doing nothing different than other wealthy families do.  Outside of Secret Service protection the First Lady would get no matter where she went, the Obamas are paying for the vacation with their own money.  Same goes for the Clintons and Chelsea’s wedding:  they have the coin to spend as much as they did and chose to do so.    Do a quick search and you’ll find there is nothing unusual about any of this among the well-to-do.  Heck, “Man of the People” Rush Limbaugh dropped some heavy cash for his own wedding and even got Elton John to perform at it.    I don’t begrudge any of them doing it either – it’s not my money or my concern.

Note to rightwingers:  The fact that some Democrats are wealthy does not mean they are hypocrites, even if other rightwingers tell you so….from their limousines and private jets.  Enough.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: James Frye

Long time progressive activist in the Pacific Northwest and self-studying student of politics