Okay, this has just gone too far. When the wing nuts first began with this, possibly the stupidest, most petty criticism of President Obama yet to emerge (and that’s saying a lot: remember mustard-gate?!), I just shook my head and rolled my eyes. But it didn’t go away. I kept seeing references to it – pictures, comments, memes – and skating over them. Though I did share the one with Sarah Palin’s Tweet and the picture of her having an umbrella held over her head by someone else. But, the other day, one of my Facebook friends posted the following:
That did it for me – straw that broke the camel’s back and all that – and I replied probably a bit too vehemently. But, dammit, I’d had enough of it! As if every other sitting president had NOT had an umbrella held over their heads by someone in their detail. Of course, a meme picturing that very thing appeared soon after that one up there, but the wing nuts cried, “But those weren’t MARINES!!!” As if that really made a difference as to the point. The Facebook friend who posted the meme above said that she was a former Marine and that holding an umbrella was against code. Now, that sounded just plain dumb to me so I did some searching. But before I could get the exact thing I was looking for, another page I follow (Mrs Facts) posted the perfect response to that.
If you can’t read the comments, here’s the main point:
“‘Marine Corps Uniform Regulations (MCO P1020.34f): UMBRELLAS. Female Marines may carry an all-black, plain standard or collapsible umbrella at their option during inclement weather with the service and dress uniforms. It will be carried in the left hand so that the hand salute can be properly rendered. Umbrellas may not be used/carried in formation nor will they be carried with he utility uniform.’
Also, you might be interested in what I found in chapter 1, section 1000, paragraph 2:
‘Commanders may interpret the provisions of this Manual to address specific concerns whenever necessary. However, authority for local interpretations does not extend to the institution of policies or practices, which are in contradiction to the provisions of this Manual. Exceptions to this Manual are only granted in writing my the Commandant of the Marine Corps (MCUB).'”
So the whole “Marines can’t carry an umbrella” thing was nonsense. The simple fact is that, while speaking with the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan, in the Rose Garden, President Obama (and his guest) were quietly and quickly shielded from the rain by very professional Marines. As they are part of the presidential security/service unit, this is their job. Let me reiterate: This. Is.Their. Job. “Commanders may interpret the provisions of this Manual to address specific concerns whenever necessary.” Apparently the Commander of this group felt that deploying rain-shielding units was necessary. And, no, Pres. Obama didn’t ask for the umbrella for himself:
“I am going to go ahead and ask folks–why don’t we get a couple of Marines. Just because I’ve got a change of suits, but I don’t know about our [visiting Turkish] prime minister.” (Source)
So he was just being a thoughtful host. But that’s not in following with the wingnut narrative. Nope, they must paint him as lazy and an elitist.
So, end of the whole thing, right? Well, no. Not until I saw that someone was trying to profit off the whole mess. Seriously. There is no name, no group indicated. But someone wants you to buy a T-shirt for $15. It’s bad enough that the right has been so damned petty and small about this umbrella thing, but to try to make a buck off of it? Ah well, when you think of the sort of mind we’re dealing with I guess this was really to be expected. Next thing you know, Ted Cruz or Michele Bachmann will be trying to fund raise on it. In the meantime, can we PLEASE stop hearing about this idiotic, petty and desperate attempt to disparage President Obama?
T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…