Opinion

First Lady’s Michelle-to-China moment is a hypocritical waste

An official Air Force jet landed in China on Saturday, carrying the First Lady, her two daughters, and her mother for what is being dubbed “an educational trip.” What exactly is Mrs. Obama planning to learn from China besides what we already know?

Right from the start, Mrs. Obama stated she “rarely makes foreign travel” while speaking to a group of reporters in China, but that’s not true at all. According to the National Taxpayers Union, in the past five years Mrs. Obama traveled outside the country 14 times, visiting 25 different countries, spending 72 days outside of America. That’s hardly rare.

All this expensive travel, and she doesn’t recollect making the trips? According to the Washington Examiner, “Under Obama, Air Force One cost per hour jumped 27% to $228,288.” She sounds like half of the president’s administration when they forget things while testifying before Congress.

Aren’t we a nation so in debt that our military has to be cut by hundreds of billions of dollars? Aren’t we a nation that just told our active combat veterans their benefits were being cut because we can’t afford to hold up our end of the bargain? Aren’t we a nation that threatens our senior citizens by putting their social security checks on hold every time there is a fiscal battle because we can’t afford to honor our obligatory commitments? Didn’t the president just go on television and tell the American people that we should examine our monthly expenses like cell phone bills and cable TV before declaring Obamacare too expensive and prioritize? And if we ultimately conclude that Obamacare is too expensive to include in our budget, we are fined — err, taxed?

To tell you the truth, it scares me to hear the executive branch lecture us about our expenses, as if we need to be instructed by a bloated federal government, while our First Lady makes 14 foreign trips, costing hundreds of millions of dollars, but manages to forget they ever happened.

Then there were the headlines like “Michelle Obama Begins Good-Will Tour in China” from the New York Times to USA Today’s “Michelle Obama practices ‘gentle diplomacy’ in China.” When has it become the policy of the United States to have the first lady practice diplomacy? Is this the same “gentle” diplomacy that has fundamentally transformed us into a laughingstock when we assert ourselves in foreign affairs?

Is this Michelle Obama’s gentle foreign diplomacy going to make China stop manipulating their currency which makes it all the more difficult to competitively price American made products? Will she stop the human rights violations committed by the Chinese? Will it stop their forced abortion policies? Will it stop them from using harmful chemicals in toys sold worldwide? Will she stop China from using arrests and harassment to silence human rights activists? Why are we respecting China by sending our first lady for a visit?

Perhaps Mrs. Obama can ask China how Fisker Automotive is doing. After all, China just bought the failed electric car company for $150 million from an American company that President Obama directed a $529 million taxpayer loan to.

In truth, the trip seems to be a glorified vacation. When Nixon traveled China, it was to open a dialogue and create a friendly relationship with China during the Cold War. The detente policy against the Soviet Union was in full effect, and the decision to forge ahead with opening up to communist China was well calculated. The president announced his decision to the American people by stating “There can be no stable and enduring peace without the participation of the peoples’ republic of China and its 750 million people” and went ahead and sent his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger. He did not send Pat Nixon or her mother, Katherine.

Aside from the politics, we are constantly reminded how here in America, the rich don’t pay their fair share, and how the middle class is dying and more people are on food stamps now than ever before. Will someone explain why was Ann Romney eviscerated for wearing a $900 blouse on a morning TV show but absolutely no one is remarking on Mrs. Obama’s $3500 Derek Lam suede dress or Philip Lim pieces worn as she exited the Air Force plane in China yesterday? Needless to say, neither were manufactured in America, nor are the garments from GAP, which the president applauded for raising their wages to $10 per hour. A simple business class would teach the president that it’s very easy for Gap Inc to pay their workers $10 an hour when they are getting their garments from countries that pay wages the president would declare inhumane and evil in this country.

No doubt we are dropping a small fortune in the country to house and protect the First Lady and her entourage, but why are we glorifying China of all countries with an official visit by the first family, and mother-in law-in-chief? I have absolutely no idea. Our president insists on reminding struggling Americans that they are having a difficult time because others are not. This all seems like such a terrible waste of money, and we are paying for it, tooth and nail. The hypocrisy is so stunning that the only thing more baffling is that not everyone in America sees it.