Everyone knows that Trump will never stop golfing. He just has too many beautiful golf courses — the best in the world, I’m told — to consider even slowing down. And outside of the “Winter White House” course at Mar-a-Lago in Florida and his Bedminster, New Jersey course, Trump’s favorite place to play is about 30 miles up the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. There, in Sterling, Virginia, lies the Trump National Golf Club.
Anywhere a president goes, of course, their safety must be guaranteed. But the new proposal from the Coast Guard has a few Democrats up in arms over the callous disregard for the public it shows. Less than two weeks ago, the Coast Guard published their plan to close about two miles of the historic river “from shoreline to shoreline” where it runs past the Trump National. In order to pass the area during a closure, it would entail either an armed escort or simply getting out of the water, going two miles on land, and continuing whatever fun you’re hopefully still having.
Reps Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and John Garamendi (D-CA) tore the proposal apart. Speaking to The Hill last Thursday, DeFazio said:
That’s a very heavily utilized part of the Potomac. Closing the entire river randomly — because the president’s schedule isn’t announced in advance — would be incredibly disruptive. It’ll hurt commercial outfitters; it’s going to ruin people’s vacations. And I think it’s unnecessary.
The most polite alternative would be for Trump to recognize that he’s screwing up other people’s vacations and lives.”
Of course, if Donald Trump cared about screwing up people’s lives, he would resign.
The worst part is, it may not be just the president’s visits that occasion a shutdown of the busy waterway. Because the rule cites the need to “protect high-ranking United States officials and the public,” it’s not clear just how often the river would be closed. Who, exactly, is a “high-ranking official” in this scenario?
The two Democrats sent a letter to Coast Guard Admiral Paul F. Zukunft asking him to find another way:
Time and again President Trump, with the aid of the Secret Service, has disregarded the needs of the general public for his own personal benefit and convenience. We implore you not to allow the President’s frequent leisure activities to take away access to the river regularly enjoyed by wounded veterans, and other kayakers, boaters, jet skiers, and anglers.”
Zukunft is scheduled to appear before Congress on Tuesday for a budget hearing, and the pair plans to question him at that point. DeFazio and Garamendi were not alone in voicing their concerns, however. Already, hundreds of public comments on the proposal, nearly all critical, have appeared on the national register.
DeFazio, tongue firmly in cheek, suggested that perhaps the river could be closed on just the Virginia side, where the golf course is. The Coast Guard could then station a Zodiac with a machine gun attachment “in case they see a threatening paddle boarder.”
Let’s hope the Admiral has something for DeFazio and Garamendi by Tuesday, or us regular non-high-ranking river goers may be up Sh*t Creek.
Featured image via Rob Carr/Getty Images