Back in the olden days of this blog, I used to present some of the more ridiculous or offensive letters sent to the Voices page of the statewide newspaper, the current incarnation of the oldest continually-operated newspaper west of the Mississippi, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Once every year or two, a letter is so ridiculous or offensive that I can't let it go unanswered. A couple of weeks ago, one of those letters was printed. I sat down after dinner and dashed off a response via the paper's website. A week later, I got a call asking if I would give permission for my letter to be printed; a week after that, it appeared -- just a few days after one making the very same point at a bit shorter length, I thought.
Here's what appeared in the paper on Saturday. Unfortunately the letter that prompted mine is no longer available on the website, even for subscribers; it has vanished into the archives beyond a paywall.
Questions get in way
Letter writer Louis Burgess bemoans the 500 staff members, 200 Secret Service agents, six doctors and 12 TelePrompTers that accompanied President Obama to the 2009 G20 summit in London. He finds the scale and expense to be evidence of the disconnect and entitlement of “Emperor Obama.”
Aside from wondering why a 2-year-old trip is suddenly newsworthy again to Burgess, I encourage him to ask the simplest question that should occur to anyone with critical thinking skills at this news: Is this unusual for a president making an overseas trip?
A simple Internet search for the entourage size and composition of the president’s predecessor reveals that it is simply standard operating procedure. As reported by the New Zealand Herald, George W. Bush’s 2007 trip to Australia featured 700 agents, aides and others, as well as three jumbo jets, two helicopters, and a bulletproof limo.
But why ask basic questions when they might get in the way of an ideological point?