Delayed outrage

DELAYED OUTRAGE…. This seems to happen with increasing frequency lately. Something rather mundane relating to President Obama will occur late in the week; the weekend will go by with minimal excitement; and the president’s Republican opponents erupt on Monday with rage and disgust.

This flap over the president shaking hands with the president of Venezuela at the Summit of the Americas follows the pattern. The picture of the two heads of state was taken and distributed on Friday. On Saturday, some newspapers ran it, but it didn’t generate much in the way of excitement. On Sunday, it drew some limited discussion on the Sunday shows, but it hardly qualified as a legitimate political “controversy.”

But today, it’s all the rage. If the handshake was such a damaging development, one that undermines U.S. prestige and interests, why did it take a few days for Republicans to get so upset?

The same thing happened a couple of weeks ago. President Obama spoke early on a Friday in Strasbourg about the United States “renewing our partnership” with Europe. Obama’s remarks, which acknowledged errors on both sides of the Atlantic, were aired live to a national television audience on a Friday morning, and weren’t considered controversial.

Seventy two hours later, on Monday morning, Republicans were outraged that the president “apologized” to France for American “arrogance.” Fox News could talk about little else.

If Obama’s comments were so insulting, why did it take nearly four days for the GOP to notice?

This probably isn’t any great mystery — Republicans are likely just delaying their manufactured outrage because they know weekends are a slow news period — but it seems like a new twist on an old game.

In the Bush years, the ol’ gang perfected the art of holding bad news until late on a Friday afternoon to generate as little attention as possible. In the Obama years, the same gang is perfecting the art of holding tantrums until early on a Monday morning to generate as much attention as possible.

These guys can’t govern, but they sure know how to work a calendar.