Clint Eastwood's empty chair "comedy routine" may not have been the "clintastrophe" that everyone originally thought. Whether its an example of turning lemons into lemonade or being dumb like a fox, the empty chair has come to symbolize more than just a comedy routine. Today has been unofficially declared National Empty Chair Day. In fact, Breitbart has asked that people submit their empty chair photos to Twitter using the hashtag #EmptyChairDay.
The visual of the empty chair seems to have tapped into something larger in the American psyche – a sense that President Obama hasn't done the job that he promised struggling Americans nearly four years ago. Perhaps even a sense that, as our leader, he shouldn't be playing golf more than we do. Because that's not leadership. Take this excerpt from White House Dossier:
"Obama has already played golf eight times this year. He actually is a little off his normal pace – perhaps campaigning is intruding on golf. The president golfed 28 times in 2009, 30 times in 2010, and an incredible 34 times in 2011.
Obama’s golfing takes about five hours, including the motorcades back and forth from the fairways. If one thinks of this as taking up much of the day – include getting ready to go and cooling off afterward – it’s fair to say that Obama has spent more than three months of his presidency golfing."
This, of course, is the most superficial way to view the broken promises and disappointment that Obama has delivered. Looking just at the numbers, here is how it breaks down:
- Nationally and in Colorado, we're at 8.3% unemployment. He promised us that if we passed the massive stimulus package, unemployment wouldn't rise above 8%. We're now at 42 consecutive months of employment above 8%.
- The median income has fallen approximately $4,000 per year since Obama took office. While maybe to some that's not a lot, that could be the difference between sending a child to a failing school district or sending a child to a private school.
- The retail price of gas has more than doubled from a national average of $1.85 when he took office to $3.83 as of August 31.
- Since President Obama has taken office, our national debt has increased FIFTY PERCENT from $10.6 trillion to $15.9 trillion.
Just these four substantive issues (and, yes, there are many, many more), have prolonged the uncertainty our families feel. We have to ask ourselves whether we're better off than we were four years ago. For many of us, the answer is no.
And, that's why the empty chair resonates so deeply with middle class Americans. It's not just that he's not doing a good job, but it's that we're suffering because he's not doing a good job. And, all the while, he's playing golf.