Benjamin Reeves | February 2 2013 4:45 EST
It's become basically impossible for President Obama to say anything without some flavor of far-right pundit or politician trying to spin it into a scandal. The most recent could be call “Skeetgate” if it wasn't such an essentially pointless argument to begin with. In case you missed it, President Obama said in an interview with The New Republic that he goes “skeet shooting all the time” at Camp David. Now, the White House has released a photo of President Obama skeet shooting.
Of course, in an alternate reality where actual political discourse takes place, the country would accept that the President was not trying to hoodwink the American people with some kind of massive socialist conspiracy by fabricating skeet shooting. But this is the real world, and the wing-nuts of the Republican party quickly piled on, calling the President's word into question because they had never seen pictures of him skeet shooting. Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn went so far as to challenge the President to a one-on-one, mano y mano skeet shooting competition.
“I think it is a relevant point of conversation. If he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this? Why have we not seen photos?” Rep. Blackburn said on CNN Monday. “I'll tell you what I do think, I think he should invite me to Camp David and I'll go skeet shooting with him, and I bet I'll beat him.”
Set aside, for a moment, the pressing question of whether or not the President skeet shoots. Why do the American people need photographic evidence of it? The White House has never released a photo of the President (any president) taking a shower, but no one doubts that the leader of the free world bathes. Or clips his toenails. Or plays Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja (or something). Not only is it unnecessary to have photographic evidence of something so inconsequential, it is supremely disrespectful. The demand for photographic evidence of how the President spends his free time is basically an accusation of lying directed at the President. If it were a matter of national security, or policy, or lawfulness it might be a reasonable question. But it's not. It's a question of how the President spends his afternoon free time from time to time.
Regardless of the fact that Rep. Blackburn in no way deserves to spend a moment one-on-one with the President, the White House did humor her and the rest of the peanut gallery by releasing a photo of him skeet shooting on. Aug. 4, 2012. Hopefully Skeet-gate will be the last inane, manufactured scandal the administration will have to deal with. Maybe elected officials like Rep. Blackburn will actually go back to governing. Probably not, though. It's only a matter of time before there's a new conspiracy about the picture being photoshopped. Or not actually at Camp David. Or whatever. The White House even sees it coming.
Attn skeet birthers. Make our day - let the photoshop conspiracies begin! m.flickr.com/photos/whiteho…
— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) February 2, 2013