Maas Media - Travel & Political Musings

Congress can’t multi-task?

It’s astounding to me that many members of U.S. congress have criticized President Obama for going to Latin America while the earthquake/tsunami disaster unfolded in Japan, the crisis in Libya erupted and the U.S. economy continues to be sluggish at best.

President Obama and President Dilma Rousseff

Pundits were very critical of the President that he left the White House at all.  “How dare he leave Washington D.C. on a trip to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador, while 15+ million Americans are out of a job, the bombs are dropping in Libya and a potential nuclear crisis is going on in Japan?”  The best part of the critique is that not only was he being criticized from the right (GOP), but also by members from his own party.

Let’s get a few things straight:

1) 21st Century Communication – The President doesn’t leave his laptop or Blackberry at home on Pennsylvania Avenue.  I mean, does it really matter if he calls President Sarkozy from the White House or from a secure room in Rio de Janeiro?  They have satellite connections in Latin America and state of the art communication equipment on Air Force One so he can be up-to-date 24/7 from any place in the world.  For crying out loud, George W. Bush pretty much governed from the West House (his ranch in Texas) during his 8 years as U.S. President.

2) It’s the Economy Stupid – Pundits wanted the President to go to Michigan or Ohio instead.  They argued that there is where the jobs are needed the most since so many manufacturing jobs have been lost over there in the past few years.  Aren’t we forgetting something?  It’s a global economy in 2011.  In order to create jobs at home you will need to trade with other nations; hence the trip to Brazil, which is rapidly becoming an economic powerhouse in the world.  No trade agreements, no jobs in Michigan or Ohio.

3) Multi-Task – Since when can’t a President multi-task on the job?  Isn’t just everyone with a white collar job these days multi-tasking at work?  I mean, he’s the President of the United States!  He has a support staff that will give him a daily rundown of what’s going on in the world and at home.  The President can make multiple decisions in one day and thanks to modern communication (see above) he can relay his message to anyone in the world within seconds from any place on earth.

If you’re going to criticize the American President do it because of his policies, but don’t do it because he decided to take an important trip to allies in Latin America that could help the U.S. economy and certainly don’t criticize him for being a multi-tasker.  If only congress were able to multi-task then we wouldn’t be bogged down in ‘waste-of-time’ conversations about cutting funding to NPR, Planned Parenthood, Obama Care, etc.  Instead they should be multi-tasking and discussing solutions to Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, defense spending and the national debt/deficit.  Those are topics worth discussing for the future growth of America!

The President could play a round of golf every day of his presidency for all I care, provided he is able to do his job in between the rounds of golf then who cares?

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