Republicans are piling the criticism on President Barack Obama for returning to his long-planned vacation this week while the world reels from one crisis to another.
Republicans complain about Obama's vacation, while they take all of August off?
Obama has been under intense snarky criticism for returning to his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard and playing golf after the video surfaced last week, which showed the barbaric beheading of journalist James Foley.
Some critics implied that Obama’s return to his vacation just hours after an emotional phone call to Foley’s parents somehow negated the genuine empathy he displayed or his vow to be “relentless” against Islamic perpetrators of such evil acts.
But Peter Baker said it best in his New York Time’s piece regarding presidential vacations:
Presidents learn to wall off their feelings and compartmentalize their lives. They deal in death one moment and seek mental and physical relief the next. To make coldhearted decisions in the best interest of the country and manage the burdens of perhaps the most stressful job on the planet, current and former White House officials said, a president must guard against becoming consumed by the emotions of the situations they confront. And few presidents have been known more for cool, emotional detachment than Mr. Obama.
Some liberals called the vacation timing unfortunate, but others defended Obama’s need to take in some fresh air and clear his head. They point out that House Republicans are currently on August break and scheduled to hold congressional sessions for only 124 days in all of 2014, while Obama has taken 129 days of vacation during his entire term.
Conservative blogs like forAmerica.org praised British Prime Minister David Cameron for returning to his London office early to “hold vital meetings on the current threat posed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria.” But it lambasted Obama, saying he “whacks golf balls and dances the night away,” while allowing the US to “sit on the sidelines and watch the world burn.”
However, Obama knows the world is watching and that symbols do matter, but it was his choice to let the leaders of ISIS know they aren’t going to manipulate his schedule or cause him to pull back on the bombing campaign already in progress, even under the threat of more killings.