We all need a vacation, perhaps no one more than President Obama. It's been a rough summer for Mr. Obama, and it's getting rougher. Let us count the ways.
The economy continues to wobble, ObamaCare is still a mess, Benghazi hearings are set for September, the IRS looks more and more like a rogue agency, and tens of thousands of poor children are flooding across our southern border.
But for the really bad news, take a look overseas. Vladimir Putin seems determined to humiliate the president by violating treaties, attacking Ukraine, and interfering with the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines flight shot down by pro-Russian separatists. Apparently eager to reconstitute the old Soviet empire, Putin is also restoring close relations with the tyrants in Cuba.
In Gaza, Israel is pounding the terrorists and their tunnels, and Secretary of State John Kerry's effort to broker a truce was widely ridiculed as the height of diplomatic bungling. Meanwhile, many in Europe are taking to the streets for protests that are openly anti-Semitic. Jew-hatred has a long pedigree in the salons of Europe, and it is again rearing its ugly head.
In Iraq, the terrorist ISIS army, an offshoot of Al Qaeda, is conquering land and slaughtering Christians. Remember President Obama's campaign assertion, "Al Qaeda is on the run?" Well, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn of the Defense Intelligence Agency just said this about Al Qaeda's murderous ideology: "It's not on the run ... it feels like it's exponentially growing." Al Qaeda "on the run" ranks right up there on the veracity scale with "you can keep your plan."
In Libya, the State Department has been forced to close the U.S. embassy in Tripoli and evacuate all our people. And in Afghanistan, where the administration can not account for hundreds of thousands of weapons that were supplied to Afghan forces, the Taliban grows bolder and stronger.
Surveying the globe, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright put forth this pithy summary: "The world is a mess!" President Obama's defenders, including our own Kirsten Powers, insist that the world has always been messy. She points to the Reagan years, when a Soviet fighter shot down a Korean Airlines passenger plane. But Reagan called the incident "monstrous," and denounced the Soviet Union as "a society which wantonly disregards individual rights and the value of human life." Have you heard anything remotely similar from our current commander-in-chief?
Considering all the woes of the world, President Obama deserves some time to relax, and he will again be hanging out on the island of Martha's Vineyard. He has vacationed there every summer of his presidency, except for 2012, which just happened to be an election year. It was deemed unsuitable to pal around with the swells while campaign aides were painting Mitt Romney as an evil and out-of-touch plutocrat.
As for this year's two-week stay, one publication laid out the details: "President Obama and his family will vacation at the $12 million, 8,100-square foot, beachfront home of a Democratic donor that includes a pool, hot tub, basketball and tennis court." If it weren't for liberal one-percenters and their beachfront mansions, who knows what the president would do.
In addition to the luxurious digs, Martha's Vineyard offers another pleasant advantage. The president will be among friends and supporters on the island, where conservatives are considered a rare and exotic breed. And he'll be following in a rich tradition, pardon the expression. The first president to spend time on the Vineyard was Ulysses S. Grant in 1874, who was dealing with a financial panic and various scandals. There was no intrusive White House press corps, so Ulysses could sip cocktails all day long, which apparently was his primary vacation goal.
President Obama will be far more active - he'll bike and shoot hoops and, of course, hit the golf course a few times. Perhaps he should also emulate President Grant and settle back with a beverage or two. He might contemplate how everything got so chaotic on his watch, what he had to do with it, and what he can do in the remainder of his term. Our country, and the world, are in dire need of strong leadership right now. If only they sold it on Martha's Vineyard.