I... worry that what we are really witnessing is how people who can get away with it act when they know a collapse is coming (another example relating to Nancy Pelosi is here). That is, have fun and spend wildly while you can, because a few years from now all of this will be a distant memory. I hope I’m wrong.
Most liberals are simply too ignorant of history and too caught up in the pursuit of their own gratification to ever believe the merry-go-round can grind, quite suddenly, to a halt.
Exhibit A: A helpful chart and timeline explaining Michelle Obama's super-important job at the University of Chicago Hospital (UCH), a position coincidentally created just after her husband's election to the Senate... and dissolved moments after she resigned to move into the White House.
Sandwiched, of course, by Sen. Obama's $1M earmark to UCH.
In 2002, Michelle Obama was hired by the University of Chicago Hospital as its "Executive Director for Community Affairs" at a salary of approximately $120,000.
In January of 2005, Barack Obama was sworn in as a United States Senator.
In March of 2005, Michelle Obama was promoted to "Vice President for Community and External Affairs" and her salary bumped nearly $200,000 (from $121,910 to $316,962). This position was "newly created" for Mrs. Obama.
In February of 2006, Barack Obama requested a $1 million earmark for a new hospital pavilion at the University of Chicago. It's unclear whether additional favors were granted to those connected to UC. And days after she formally became the First Lady, effective 9 January 2009, Michelle Obama resigned her position at UCH.
Effective 14 January 2009, Michelle Obama's VP position was eliminated, its functions absorbed into another executive's position. This prompted writer Don Rose to ask "[If] that work can be folded into another guy’s, why was it separate in the first place?"
Excellent question. Some roguish wags might speculate that a quid pro quo arrangement was in effect; pay-to-play as it were. But that seems highly unlikely given Barack Obama's high ethical standards*.
The moral of the story is that the Obamas appear to be without moral or ethical underpinnings. The lessons of right vs. wrong, history vs. ideology, rationality vs. random action are lost on Michelle and Barack Obama.
Exhibit B: No one begrudges a Spanish holiday when Bill Gates blows a million of his own money on it. When Michelle "Marie Antoinette" Obama abuses the taxpayers' largess, however, it's another story completely. Patterns, it's all in the patterns.
• 26-Jul-2010: Obama Birthday Dinner Has $30K Price Tag
• 22-May-2010: As economic worries worsen, White House puts on the glitz
• 03-May-2010: NYMag: Michelle Obama Wears Prabal Gurung and Big, Expensive Jewelry to Correspondents’ Dinner
• 06-Apr-2010: Robert Amsterdam: Obama's Expensive Dinner at Prague Castle
• 11-Jun-2009: Obama girls fly to Paris: Another expensive private date, and this time it's a family affair
• 31-May-2009: Althouse: Obama takes his wife on a very expensive date
There is no right versus wrong, there are no ethical norms. There is no moral foundation. And that simple fact could very well be at the root of our problem.
* Ignoring, of course, Auchi, Ayers, Blagojevich, Jarrett, Jones, Rezko, etc.