…then Michael Rubin at Commentary has a great idea for someone better suited to relocation than the old folks on Lake Mead being rendered homeless by #ShutdownTheater…
The news is full of stories of private residences on public land being shut down because of the government shutdown. Here, for example, is a story regarding an elderly couple temporarily evicted form a cabin they own on federal land. And it is alsoturning people away from privately-run inns on federal land.
And yet, at the height of hypocrisy, Marian Robinson, President Obama’s mother-in-law, apparently continues to reside in the White House, a federally-owned business on federal land.
Michelle Obama has referred to her mom in a stump speech, talking about her residence in the South Side of Chicago. Perhaps it’s time to head back. Maybe it would be asking too much for the president and his immediate family to vacate his federally-provided residence for the duration of the shutdown, but if Obama is willing to interpret the law to evict the aging and elderly from private buildings and businesses which may sit on federal land but which do not require federal services, then it’s well past time to end the hypocrisy and send Robinson to a nearby hotel. Presumably Obama can afford it, far more than those he seems intent on having the government harass under a tendentious and mendacious reading of the law.
It has long been a source of amazement to us that the GOP hasn’t made an issue out of Miz Robinson taking up residence in the White House. Not as a matter of politics; if Barack Obama wants his mother-in-law living under his roof while serving as the most powerful man in the world, there is nothing Congress should do to put a stop to it.
But as a cultural matter, we’ve always marveled at the failure to capitalize on the idea that we’re led by a man who has such minimal stroke in his own household that his mother-in-law gets to move in with him in the White House. When you’re elected president, you’re supposed to be about as alpha male as it’s possible to be; how many Alpha Males live with their mothers-in-law?
Nobody will seriously suggest that the president’s mother-in-law suffer the same #ShutdownTheater fate as the octogenarians on Lake Mead or the innkeepers in the Blue Ridge Mountains. But by pointing out her rent-free existence on federal property in the midst of a shutdown, two purposes can be served. First, the vast majority of the country isn’t aware that we have a president who allowed his wife to move her mother into his house at taxpayer expense, and that’s information the public should have been well aware of years ago. And second, the fact that Miz Robinson has federal housing privileges which are more irrevocable than the homeowners on Lake Mead who actually paid for their property rights because she’s better-connected than the Lake Mead people is something which won’t go over well with the American public.
Which might well help to back Obama down from his #SpiteHouse campaign amid this shutdown.