Representative Steve King (R-Batshit) is joining the fight against Sasha and Malia Obama by shaming them for going on a trip for Spring break. Why? Because as the caller who questioned King said, everyone needs to tighten their belts.
First of all, the selfish entitlement of the caller drips from every word as she expresses her regret that she won’t be able to attend a party for her son because it’s being canceled as a result of sequestration. And with this in mind, how dare those Obama girls go on Spring break trip? Nevermind the people who will go hungry, be denied housing assistance, or kids who will be kicked off head-start, or federal employees who will be furloughed. She’s concerned about a party and the president’s daughters. She usually holds her tongue but the president’s daughters going on a trip while her son’s party is canceled was the last straw.
The irony is apparently lost on her that she’s speaking to Steve King. A man who supports the kind of austerity that leads to the cancellation of her son’s party, and a man who supports the Paul Ryan budget which would cut much deeper than sequestration.
With that said, Steve King responded by agreeing with everything the woman said and asserted that President Obama “needs to show some austerity himself,” and lamented that he “sent the daughters to spring break in Mexico a year ago” and that it was also “at our expense” (here’s a hint: that’s not true).
There is a creepy obsession on the Right with the idea that the first family is unduly receiving the benefit of Secret Service protection. From the NRA griping that the president’s daughters are afforded protection at school while regular children are not, to the frat boys at Breitbart.com and Representative Steve King concern trolling about the cost to taxpayers. The narrative is clear — they don’t believe the Obamas should be protected as unquestioningly as previous presidents’ families were.
If you’re looking for a substantive story about the cost of accommodating presidential families, you could discuss how George W. Bush is the costliest ex-president ever, but as New York Magazine points out, it still doesn’t amount to one iota of the federal budget. And, by the way, the location the first daughters are vacationing at is hardly one of the “most expensive places” as Steve King asserts. You could easily spend far more at Disney.
The concern about the cost of protecting President Obama’s daughters is more than just a passion for belt-tightening. It also includes a toxic mixture of jealousy and prejudice.
Steve King is currently considering running for a Senate seat.