The Air Force One photo-op that struck fear throughout New Yorkers this morning was yet another byproduct of an administration that refuses to think things through before acting. A few words come to mind:
IGNORANT. Did nobody think of how residents and workers in lower Manhattan would perceive the sight of a low-flying commercial airliner being followed by a pair of fighter jets? Are they really so ignorant so as not to do more than simply warn the FAA and some law enforcement officials? Why did nobody think to announce, to the people of New York City, the planned photo shoot? After all, the White House seems to have a red “bat-phone” connecting right into the New York Times’ editorial board room — surely Obama could have batted his eyes and asked for a sentence on Page A-1 on Friday and throughout the weekend.
EXPENSIVE. Exactly how much money did our government have to borrow from the Chinese or from the American people in order to fund an unnecessary excursion for two fighter jets and one presidential Boeing 747? Where are the people who were so incensed that the GM, Ford and Chrysler executives spent so much money flying in private jets to testify before Congress? Was there something wrong with the prior file photos for Air Force One? I wonder if Obama was preparing photographs for another gift for a head of state — instead of a $15 White House Gift Shop model of Marine One, perhaps he’ll give some prime minister’s kid a poster showing the presidential airplane.
HYPOCRITICAL. Last week, on Earth Day, the president burned through 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to fly 900 miles and talk about inefficient renewable energy. Today, assuming that carbon really is the bane of our existence, how much of it was coughed into the atmosphere by Air Force One and its fighter jet escorts? Why are so-called environmentalists so concerned with our SUVs and light bulbs, yet silent about such unnecessary pollution? Unless, of course, it’s more about the transfer of wealth and not so much about the environment. Nah . . . that would be crazy.
It might have been a small detail, especially when compared with the health care program that will be pushed in through the back door this week, or with the continued erosion of common sense with regard to the Global War on Terror, and by no means do I believe that this should be a focus for more than a single evening (and a secondary or tertiary focus at that), but even details like this show how oblivious this White House is to matters foreign and domestic, and how disconnected they are with the reality of global terrorism.
(Other than that, in this photo, Thomas Jefferson isn’t yet crying.)