Read about it here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1358829/Obamas-double-standards-family-holidays-telling-Americans-to.html
First off, my comments as follows are not intended to be political ones. Let's be honest - most of the commentary on this stems less from the issue, and more if you voted for or against the President.
Again... be honest on this.
Then there is the issue itself, which is a hard line to walk... for us, and for the President.
On our end, we have to be cautious about what we see versus what actually is. I'm not a President, but as a pastor I often have people looking at my choices without context. For example, I once had a family in the church tell me that they didn't think I should have taken my family on a vacation because they "pay my salary" and weren't in a position to take a vacation themselves. (Ironically, I paid for the vacation through a writing job I took on.) It's like the old joke that says, "I don't mind what kind of car a pastor drives, as long as it's worse than mine."
We do this with politicians and celebrities all the time. There is a standard we hold them to, and in some ways... rightfully so. On the other hand, we don't realize how hard it is for someone to be a President, let alone to have their kids under the pressure of public scrutiny.
A friend of mine is in the public eye and recently made a decision to switch jobs. The online chatter about it is nothing short of viscous, which I'm hoping the family hasn't read or heard. Comments as petty as, "Who did _____ have sex with to get that job?"
On the President's end, he does need to exercise healthy judgment. The choices he makes will speak louder than the speeches he gives. Granted, no one knows what it's like to be in his shoes - even past Presidents had unique circumstances that made their jobs unique. Many got wore down fast - just look at President Bush's physical weariness after 9/11.
Yet none of that is an excuse to go off the deep end. Even splurging needs to have boundaries, whether you stretch to turn your McDonalds sandwich into an "extra value meal," or decide to upgrade your rental car experience to include satellite radio. I'm not sure we know enough about the Obama's private financial information or nutritional plan to know if their splurge is a healthy one, or completely unhealthy.
Per Michelle's choices, they are unfortunately amplified - she has taken a public stance on something, and therefore has invited the criticism. Maybe this is why people are afraid to look decisive anymore... we've become a culture that is ready to pounce instead of encourage. Ever thought how that plays out in your life?
Perhaps the Obama's have double-standards after all... or maybe their standards are just like our own that we refuse to see. Again, have you ever splurged on something... only the camera crew wasn't there to capture it? Or if someone did witness it, are you sure they understood your choice?
Granted, sometimes our splurging isn't healthy. I struggle to see people spend money on addictions, such as tobacco and liquor, instead of getting their household into a healthier place. It can even be in our entertainment choices - we may spend way too much money on cable, movies, or our cell phone features.
We're quick to defend our sense of entitlements, though. But we need to take a better look at our own inconsistencies. It's one of the reasons why our church works hard to offer financial counseling and other support so that this doesn't have to be the case.
Yet as I stated earlier, too much of this particular issue is going to be filtered through our personal politics. For every, "Yeah, but..." you may offer, I simply ask, "Do you really know the context of their choices, or merely the coverage of it?"
After all, this isn't a post about the Obama family, nor Rush Limbaugh. That would be too easy. We could criticize them all day without ever having to change ourselves.
Because this is a post about you and I. Let's do some personal growing before we cast the first stone... and let's remember that we are quick to react instead of respond. Maybe we can stop "ribbing" on each other, for it gives us one less bone to pick.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3-4)