On Thursday, November 4, the Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Fox News, Bachman propaganda machine swung into high gear. The new misinformation? Obama’s economic policy trip to Asia will, according to these masters of fantasy, cost $200 million dollars per day. Don’t believe it? Take a look:
“Two hundred million dollars a day this nation will spend on Obama’s trip to India.” — Rush Limbaugh
“It sure sounds outrageous. On his upcoming presidential trip to India, President Barack Obama is bringing an entourage of 3,000, staying in swanky hotels, guarded by an armada of Navy ships — costing American taxpayers the staggering sum of $200 million…” — Michelle Bachman
“Details about the outrageous accommodations being made for the president are beginning to emerge, including this: All of the coconuts hanging from the palm trees around Gandhi’s memorial house were removed from the trees in advance of the president’s visit presumably so they wouldn’t fall on his head.” After stating Obama’s trip would cost “…upwards of $200 million per day.” –Sean Hannity
“Two hundred million dollars a day while in India. I don’t know. The president has blocked off 800 hotel rooms. Do we still – do even know if he’s travelling with 3,000 people? Do we know if that’s true? No one knows any of the details of this trip, the real cost of the trip. One thing we can say for certain is, it’s going to be quite expensive.” — Glenn Beck.
Sounds outrageous? Well, it is.
If these luminaries of far-right conservatism (oxymoron?) had just done a tiny little due diligence, they would have found that Clinton’s last trip to Africa, where security was also a concern, cost $3.6 million per day. By comparison, the war in Afghanistan, supporting tens of thousands of soldiers and numerous combat operations costs $190 million per day. Recent press releases from the White House have also disputed the outrageously high claims.
Along with the $200 million dollar lie, come a few others sprinkled in. And why not for good measure? This includes Beck’s statement that “800” hotel rooms were blocked off for the Presidential entourage. Unfortunately for Beck, the President’s hotel only has 540 rooms. But since you’re multiplying the cost of the President’s visit by about 50, what do a few extra hotel rooms matter?
Did these oracles neglect to do a little fact checking on their info-smear? Seems so.
Why spoil all the fun in attacking the office of the President of the United States or the need of Presidential economic policy-making altogether? Perhaps the fact that we’re still in a jobs crisis slipped their minds? Perhaps the idea that establishing beneficial economic policy with our Asian trade partners would be a good thing didn’t occur? Perhaps the idea that massive opportunities for US manufacturers exist in this region, if only we could open new markets there?
But what am I speculating? Since when has the far right ever really given even a giggle for real US economic growth? As long as their billionaire backers keep their tax cuts, then everyone’s happy, right?
Or is it darker? Do they really believe that the President isn’t acting in America’s interests at all? That he’s some kind of a spy turned US President gone to consult with his Al-Qaeda masters in Indonesia?
If so, the far-right has missed their calling in writing — science fiction.