Thursday, July 29, 2010


Thanks Obama (Not)

Commentary by Reb Akiva

When US presidents act presidential, we (generally) appreciate the leadership and accept some level of inconvenience when impacted.  (Those who live in New York City find themselves impacted several times a year as the city sets “security freeze zones” as the president moves through the city to the UN or other important meetings – often delaying people going to or from work, businesses accepting deliveries, etc.)  Visits to the United Nations, meeting with foreign leaders, a political visit with local politicians, it’s par for the course.


But when a US president acts royal and inconveniences the public for the (direct and obvious) sake of his political polling status, well then even the average support will turn against him and his disregard for the little people.

Yesterday my teenage daughter was trapped in an airport in Florida.  Her flight and all flights to Newark, New Jersey (one of the busiest airports in the United States) were cancelled yesterday afternoon.  Why???

Because President Obama had to fly in to New York during prime time busy flying hours…to attend a television talk show.  (Oh, he also visited a sub shop in Edison, New Jersey…to visit with the common man.)

Frankly if the Big O was spending some time traveling around visiting the common man (and maybe ask why some stores on the street with the sub shop had their doors shuttered) I’d applaud him.  But when a hundred flights are cancelled because he’s got to make a prime time talk show…. my daughter’s response is “I hate this guy.”

Some consideration for the little guy is in order.

(Cost to my daughter – 1 day of vacation lost, 4 hours waiting in line in the airport, lots of frustration.  Cost to the airline - $220 for a hotel room plus meal vouchers till they could get her on a replacement flight 24 hours later.  Multiply by 100 flights with an average of 150 people…cost to the little people, 15,000 vacation days or work days lost, cost to the airlines $3,300,000.)


Dan Schwarz said...

Sorry that your daughter had her plans disrupted. It's always miserable to have a flight cancelled, especially when the weather is fine and it's just for security reasons.

But you really can't fault the president for this. Presidents have been doing this kind of thing since the dawn of the TV era. Was it any different when GWB went on the Dr. Phil show?

For what it's worth, here is the president's schedule from last Wednesday. The View taping is not listed, but I'm sure it occurred during the afternoon gap in times.

If it makes you feel better, he also spent time in New York at private DNC fundraisers. No, I bet that doesn't make you feel any better about it.

Shabbat shalom.

Crazy Smade said...

Inconvenient? Yes. Costly? Yes. Tiresome? Yes. But why hate the man? Instead, thank HaShem! :)

Hey, don't get me wrong. Obama wasn't my choice for president, but like Rabbi Carlebach says ... HaShem gave me one heart. Had He given me two hearts, then I could use one to hate with and the other to love with, but since He only gave me one heart, then why fill it with hate?

Better to do as Hillel suggested and love one's fellow creatures, right?

But it goes deeper than this, no? Wasn't this really just another test in emunah?

Isn't everything in the Multiverse orchestrated by HaShem ... from the cosmic right down to the microscopic and atomic and even the sub-atomic level?

Isn't HaShem the ALL that's in the ALL of creation? Is there really anything other than HaShem? If, as Rabbi Lazer Brody says, HaShem decides whether or not a spider in China gets a meal today, then certainly HaShem is in control of a president's itinerary.

If everything is ordered and orchestrated by HaShem and everything works toward the ultimate good - even the seemingly bad - then why not just roll with the punches and thank HaShem?

No, I'm not correcting anyone and I'm in no position to lecture anyone about emunah, because I struggle with this 24/7 and constantly fall short of the mark.

Do I like not having a job? Do I like not having any money of my own? Do I like where I live? Am I content with my lot in life? NOPE!

But at the end of the day, I have to acknowledge that this is HaShem's will and for whatever reason my being stuck in the belly of this stinking fish is where HaShem has placed me. His ways are above my ways....

If there's a key to my being disgorged it won't be found in anger or hatred or kvetching. The key is to accept with complete emunah and genuine thanksgiving the cards that HaShem has dealt to me.

Until I get that through my thick skull, I'll be repeating life's little tests in emunah over and over again. :(

Emunah is a very difficult pill to swallow, but it's the only one that'll correct the human condition and bring us to the realization of a higher Oneness. At least, that's what my Jewish teachers keep telling me.

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