The latest thing that the right-wing has its knickers in a twist about is President Obama's trip to South America. How could he take a "Rio vacation", they scream, when the world is in turmoil? Never mind that the diplomatic trip - which is actually part of the job description of being president - has been planned for months. No, these bozos want him to drop everything and hole up in the White House to handle the Japanese earthquake, the tsunami, the nuclear power plant leaks, and now, the military action against Libya. Apparently they assume that he is out of contact with his administration and with the world when he's in Brazil. But then they never did really understand the way technology works.
Earlier this week, these same people got all hot and bothered because President Obama took time to fill out his brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament. And, of course, the idea of him actually taking time to play golf just about sends them over the edge. Funny, I don't remember them getting this concerned when George W. Bush spent most of his presidency clearing brush and mountain biking in Texas. Context is everything, I guess. Actually, party affiliation is everything as far as these guys are concerned.
Personally, I'm not really interested in college basketball, but I'm glad that President Obama gets some enjoyment and relaxation from it. Same thing with golf. It's not my thing, but it's okay with me if he plays a few rounds occasionally.
This president works at being president about as hard as anyone ever has, I think, and he came to the presidency at a time when the country was in one of the deepest holes it has ever been in. The problems and worries that are on his shoulders are just about unimaginable to the average citizen and most certainly to the pundits on Fox News. He needs and deserves some occasional "down time".
But the trip to South America is not "down time". It is a working trip designed to build our relationships with some of the powerhouses of that region. That is a region that this country ignores to its peril and it is important for us to strengthen our ties there. If the right-wingers were not so blinded by their prejudice, even they would be able to see that.