Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Some vacation!

With all the whining about President Bush's month-long vacation in Texas, Gannett political reporter Richard Benedetto takes a look at the tradition of presidential vacations in a recent column.

Worth reading the whole thing but his two main conclusions are:

-- Lengthy presidential vacations are long-standing tradition and;

-- They're not vacations.

"If there is any lesson here, it is that presidents — all presidents — are never on vacation. We just call them that, and pretend,." writes Benedetto.

Presidents continue to perform all the duties of office during these so-called vacations -- it's virtually impossible to escape those responsibilities.

And contrary to current carping, the longest-vacationing president was not Mr. Bush. It was Lyndon Johnson, who spent 484 days at HIS Texas ranch during his five years in office.

Yet I don't recall anyone shrieking about Johnson's audacity for taking a "vacation" during wartime -- that's right, that was during Vietnam. You know, when Liberals invented the "quaqmire."

"Instead of cutting brush on his ranch, Johnson should grab an M-16 and wade out into a Mekong Delta rice paddy to provide covering fire for a platoon of pinned-down Marines," no one said at the time.

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