Presidential Priorities

During his recent visit to China, President Obama spent 30 minutes after his official business was concluded touring China’s most well-known attraction, the Great Wall. 30 minutes isn’t that much time to spend on the Great Wall: it was built almost five hundred years before Christ and stretches on for roughly 6,000 miles. It is visible from the moon and from a low Earth orbit, reputedly the only man-made object to claim such distinction.

China welcomes President Obama.

President Obama’s Great Wall tour is understandable, and since it isn’t something anybody can see without travelling to China, it’s perfectly reasonable that most visits to China, Presidential or otherwise, include a stop along it. The opportunity is just too much to pass up.

Media-hounds may recall that, weeks ago, President Obama also toured an historic American destination: Arlington National Cemetary. In remembrance of Veterans’ Day, President Obama silently toured the graves of America’s fallen service-men and -women, thinking and paying his respects. For 15 minutes.

President Obama spent half as much time touring the graves of fallen American soldiers, on a day set aside in their honor while we are again engaged in violent military conflict, than he did touring the Great Wall of China. Most likely, extenuating circumstances dictated the time alotted to each tour: scheduling constraints, travel arrangements, etc. Surely, there were reasons for the disparity in times.

And yet, the fact remains.


6 Responses to Presidential Priorities

  1. Noah Goldkamp says:

    Seriously! Seriously!!

    This post would fit right in the book of essays written by the humorist Steve Martin, entitled “Pure Drivel”. Of course, his title was ironic. Your post would ruin the irony.

    You have no idea, let me repeat, no idea what the situation was in either case. For you to make these mindless statements makes you worse than Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’ Reilly combined, on their worst days.

    Truly, I overestimated your intelligience, maybe all that “Gossip Girl” is reducing your brain to mush. I want the two minutes I wasted reading that back. I demand reperations.

  2. Andrew Eastman says:

    Noah, thanks for your time and comments.

    Please see paragraph 4: “Most likely, extenuating circumstances dictated the time alotted to each tour: scheduling constraints, travel arrangements, etc.”

  3. Noah Goldkamp says:

    And yet you throw the stone anyway. It is similar to the popular lead in to an insult “no offense”. The lead in does little to lessen the blow.

    Allow me to paraphrase what you wrote for you. “Most likely there could have been some reason for this disparity of time. But it did happen and that is just wrong.” (The “that is just wrong” part is obviously what you want the reader to insinuate.)

  4. Andrew Eastman says:

    Noah, thanks for reading, and for your comments.

    Per those comments about throwing stones and insults, no argument here; if you don’t have a point of view, why bother writing?

    You note “the lead in does little to soften the blow.” Would you remind me where you read that this site is in the business of softening blows? It’s a web log, not Prozac.

    We all work with the same facts and we all draw our own inferences from them. Then we apply our own experience and common sense and filter out those inferences drawn by others which we think miss the mark.

    Remember, you’re reading a web log here, not listening to the BBC news. If you and I draw such opposite inferences from the same sets of facts, you should write something yourself. Every productive dialogue needs at least two sides.

  5. Noah says:

    That is the thing, sometimes there are two sides to an issue. But, sometimes there is only one logical thought to have after being given a set of facts. For instance, take the following set of facts:

    You have no oranges.
    I give you ten oranges.
    I take one of the oranges that I gave you and eat it and do absolutely nothing with the other oranges.
    You eat one of the oranges I gave you and do nothing with any of the other oranges I gave you.

    You have eight oranges left. There aren’t opposite inferences to draw (and by the way, I am writing something by responding to your blog so please quit using this as a subtle put down to my responses).

    But hey, if you want to waste your time whining over fifteen minutes of the President’s time when unemployment and crime are at all time highs, be my guest. Posts like that don’t seem petty at all. Your next post can be how about fifteen years ago Obama kissed some girl, and (GASP) was not married to her.

  6. Andrew Eastman says:


    Politics isn’t math, or oranges.

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