Friday, November 27, 2009

All American Party Crashers


The recent revelations that an uninvited couple managed to attend a state dinner and meet President and Mrs. Obama has added fuel to the media frenzy of the scandal-du-jour. Michaele and Tareq Salahi probably did not know the enormity of the event their crashing the state dinner would become.


In fact, it may turn out that the Salahis thought they were invited, at least to the meet and greet with the President and First Lady. The New York Times article notes that they appear to be friends with a high-ranking Indian diplomat who was invited to the dinner.


Let’s put this in perspective though: the couple went through all the same security checkpoints that anyone else visiting the White House would have to go through (almost anyone, I doubt the Prime Minister of India and his wife had to endure a magnetometer wand). They were never a danger to the President and First Lady.


So far as we know, these people are U.S. citizens in good standing. Why shouldn’t they have a chance to visit the White House? Their tax dollars pay for it as much as yours or mine do. They didn’t even get to stay for dinner, which our tax dollars pay for as well.


It is really a scandal that the President had to meet some of the great unwashed who were not on the guest list—though in this instance the “great unwashed” are a couple of wealthy polo enthusiasts? Not really.


We certainly can’t have anyone who wants to arrive when important affairs of state are being conducted. And while state dinners at the White House are considered important affairs, they are little more than expensive pageants. The party crashers are the least of the Obama administration’s diplomatic gaffes, and the Secret Service is taking the fall for it.


One element that interested me is that if you look the part, you can convince people that you belong. Recently in New York, a suspect awaiting trial in a Manhattan courthouse escaped because officers mistook him for a lawyer: he was dressed in a suit for trial. He was recaptured soon after. Letting a criminal go is a scandal, letting taxpayers meet the President isn’t really.


3 comments:

Media Mentions said...

Here's a bit more info, if you're interested: http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=XKHHSMUPIVT1&preview=article&linkid=6383cb94-e10b-4a9b-b4ea-eae83b53809f&pdaffid=ZVFwBG5jk4Kvl9OaBJc5%2bg%3d%3d

Best regards,
MediaMentions

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