Today, the FLOTUS tweeted a photo of the First Dogs, Bo and Sunny, all decked out to enjoy the festivities planned for tonight’s state dinner with French President Francois Hollande. It is clear that the First Dogs enjoy a luxurious lifestyle as the First Lady and her husband, as witnessed in her various pricey vacations to the Hawaii islands, Europe, and other exotic locales around the world. Not to mention the large number of aides at taxpayer expense.
In the face of a tough economy with over 10 million unemployed Americans and over 46 percent living in poverty, one has to wonder about the effect of the First Lady’s Marie Antoinette take on the photo. With America still facing a still-high foreclosure rate, high fuel costs and a still-weakened economy, it is clear that the First Lady and her husband remain out of touch of the concerns of ordinary Americans. After all, the median household income in America is $51k whereas the President’s salary exceeds that by more than eight times that amount, and his net worth exceeds over $3 million dollars.
Let’s not also forget that the First Children attend one of the most exclusive schools in the DC metro area, where tuition is $35k per annum. Yet, one of Obama’s first acts as President was to stop the successful school voucher program enacted by House Republicans, which allowed low-income students to attend private and parochial schools of their choice and escape the lackluster DC Public Schools. Some of those students even attended the same schools as the First Children, yet Obama has been outspoken about his opposition to school choice, aligning himself instead with powerful teachers’ unions and ignoring the needs of thousands of poor DC children, who otherwise could not afford the opportunity to attend a selective school.
Is it necessarily wrong for the Obamas to enjoy the perks of occupying the most powerful position in the nation? Probably not; however, mainstream media are seemingly overlooking the smugness that radiates from the First Dogs’ photo. As Peter Schweizer concludes in his book, Do as I Say, Not As I Do (Anchor, 2005), “How can we explain the fact that so many prominent individuals who are so passionate about their beliefs don’t act accordingly? That seems to be the great paradox of liberalism as practiced by those we have profiled [in the book]. They are deeply committed to certain values and beliefs, but rather than embrace these ideas and live by them in the small universe they control, they instead focus on faraway or abstract matters”.