Joseph Curl, a columnist for The Washington Times, published a piece today asking everyone to just chill out about all the golf that President Trump has been playing in his first few months in office because, hey, presidents like to golf:
Presidents play golf. It’s that simple. They have since George Washington hit a 3 hybrid over the Delaware River to within six feet of the pin, and they will when George Bush XII hits a virtual 6 iron into the hole on the new Mars International Links in the year 2274.
Then there was Barack Obama, who truly loves the game. He’s terrible at it (although he claimed an “honest 13” handicap), but he loves it. Just listen to the expert commentary in this video of his golf swing for an honesty take on his form.
Obama played 306 rounds as president, the most since Eisenhower. And he took endless heat for it. It seems that while everyone is allowed to take a little break from time to time (like two days off for every five days worked), the president should never have a moment to himself.
Now comes Donald Trump, perhaps the best golfer to ever inhabit the White House. Even at age 70, he’s said to play to a 2.8 handicap (that means he’s pretty close to shooting even par every time he plays). He’s known as a nifty putter and a skilled player from inside 100 yards. And he can pound some drives (listen to the oohs and ahhs when he hits one at a pro-am tournament).
But Trump, like Obama, is taking heat for playing golf as president. Some of that’s on him. He did, after all, tweet 26 times criticizing Obama for playing, so it makes sense he’s now getting grief. “Trump Has Gone to a Golf Course at Least 13 Times in Nine-Week Presidency,” wrote Slate. “Fox News Tweets That Trump Was at the White House When He Was Actually at His Golf Course,” said New York magazine.
Here’s the thing: Democrat or Republican, the president never gets a day off. The world’s biggest problems reach him no matter where he is (even faster now with the internet), so he’s never out of touch. Sure, Taft may have been unreachable on the links, but Obama wasn’t — and Trump sure isn’t.
And more: Obama supporters bristled at criticism of the commander in chief taking a couple of hours for himself on the golf course. Now they’re the ones throwing shade at Trump for doing the same thing.
So let’s all agree on these three things: 1) Presidents, Democrat or Republican, play golf; 2) Presidents of both parties never have a day off — and never will; 3) Golf is the greatest game known to man.
Curl, of course, had an entirely different view regarding the importance of this issue when Obama was in office:
On Sunday, President Obama suited up for work.
He put on his pants (most likely one leg at a time, but perhaps not), then slipped on his black windbreaker, the one with the presidential seal on one side, his name on the other (in case he forgets who he is). He put on some comfy sports socks, laced up his shoes real tight — it would be a long, hard day.
Then he grabbed his leather bag of tools, which also bears the presidential seal and the number “44” (in case he forgets which number president he is). He stomped out of the White House and boarded his presidential motorcade just before a pool of traveling reporters was ushered out (he would, again, go unseen for the day, not unlike Kim Jong-un of late).
That was at noon. And yes, you guessed it, the president was not off to “work,” but to play golf — and set a milestone in the doing. Mr. Obama was heading out for his 200th round since taking office. Two hundredth! Tiger Woods, perhaps the most famous professional golfer in the world, has played just 269 rounds since Jan. 20, 2009 — and that’s his day job. Go figure.
So maybe Mr. Obama really has nothing to do. How else to explain a guy with an important job and two young daughters being able to pull off 200 rounds of golf in less than six years?
Curl also endlessly tweeted about Obama’s penchant for golf:
Obama’s golf round today brought his totals to 54 this year and 214 since taking office. I’m not president and I can’t play once a WEEK!
— Joseph Curl (@josephcurl) January 1, 2015
So perfect that Obama’s busy playing golf. He couldn’t care less about governing. And so, he’ll throw down in his hyper-partisan way. Duh.
— Joseph Curl (@josephcurl) February 14, 2016
Obama just played his 200th round of golf since taking office. I’ve got a friend with a big job, two kids, he hasn’t played golf since 2003.
— Joseph Curl (@josephcurl) October 12, 2014
Good thing about SecState Kerry giving Assad one week to turn in chemical weapons: The deadline won’t affect Obama’s weekend round of golf.
— Joseph Curl (@josephcurl) September 9, 2013
Turns out Obama IS working. And Phase 1 is complete – he’s made sure there are no ISIS terrorists on any of Martha’s Vineyard golf courses.
— Joseph Curl (@josephcurl) August 21, 2014
It’s oddly convenient that after spending years blasting Obama for golfing too much, Curl has now decided that everyone should calm down and accept that fact that Trump likes to play a little golf.