Poland’s late president Lech Kaczynski and his wife were buried on Sunday, and numerous world leaders were unable to attend the state funeral for reasons that continue to baffle secretly-gay Matt Drudge. Some hearty souls, however, took to the roads, the rails and the skies, and after hours of travel paid their respects.
Slovenian President Danilo Turk decided to drive the 500 miles to Krakow. Romanian President Traian Basescu traveled to northwestern Romania by helicopter and then continue by car through Hungary and Slovakia.
Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip made the 18-hour drive to the funeral, while Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus made the trip by car and train. Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko left Kiev with his wife at 7 a.m. Saturday for the long road trip.
So why all the extreme travel measures? Is there any huge story in the news these days that would explain every single world leader’s refusal to fly on airplanes? Oh right! Volcanic ash billowing across all of Europe, wreaking havoc with travelers everywhere, losing airlines billions of dollars and stranding passengers around the world. That’s it!
So when Barack Obama joined French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel as a last-minute cancellation, he had a good excuse, right? Not if you’re Matt Drudge or the Washington Times, he didn’t!
Beneath a huge picture of an exploding volcano and 13 headlines about how said volcano was stifling travel worldwide, Drudge splashed these headlines about Obama:
That second link goes to a Washington Times story with the headline: “Obama skips Polish funeral, heads to golf course.”
Now we don’t work at a web-only newspaper (Washington Times), but we do have a website with a better production value than the Drudge Report, so we feel like we have some authority to speak on this matter. Is it really fair to say Obama “skpped” the funeral? Doesn’t that imply that he blew off the thing? That he could have gone, but chose not to? Is being incapable of going because the conditions are too dangerous for flying the same thing as choosing to not go? Of course not.
But that doesn’t stop the teabaggers and wingnuts from coming out in force to criticize the move. Here’s a sampling culled from just the first 15 comments on the Times’ story.
From someone called munchkin: “I think Obama should have tested the volcanic air on Air Force One. Would have been the best thing he could have done for his country. JFK used to say “It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. For Obama, his mantra is :” It’s not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you”. Obama should have volunteered to take Air Force One to Poland and done us all a favor.”
And from a Dashriprock: “Where is a storm and a bolt of lighting,,, when you need one. Keep playing Obama I hear you need work on your short game,,,,try walking from shot, too shot with your club in the air. I hear that helps.”
And finally, from a bighead227: “Shameless, yes. Impossibly rude and unaware, definitely. But this is not a moral man. He is faithless and Godless. He surrounds himself with like-minded Marxists who have no God either. He for third trimester abortions on demand- what more do you need to know about a person? He is for the rationing of health care. His Czars call for forced abortion and sterilization and assisted suicide and you expect him to care about a human life or 548 American heroes who gave their lives so he can play his golf in peace? He also knows he won’t be held accountable by a Godless media. So why should he care?”
Yes, so two wishes that Obama would die, and one irrational comment about religion, Marxism and czars. People wonder who the teabaggers are and how they ended up so angry. The media wonder why they’re riled up (but it’s not racism!), but the easiest answer is in these people’s own news sources. When your news source willfully ignores a volcano, and says the president “skipped” a funeral to play golf, what are you supposed to do? That kind of lazy, politically-motivated story colors your world. It’s a world where playing golf is somehow related to the war in Iraq because George W. Bush gave up the former because of the latter. In reality, those two things have no relation to each other. None whatsoever. Yes, George W. Bush gave up golf, but it’s also a known fact that he never liked the game. If he wanted to make a sacrifice similar to the one the troops made, he could have done it in Vietnam.