Umbrella-Gate: Yeah, That’s A Thing

During an outdoor press conference on Thursday, President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan were protected from the rain by umbrellas held by two Marines. It definitely created a silly looking photo-op, which of course the mainstream media could not resist. And as soon as I heard about this, I also knew there would be plenty of right-wing nonsense to follow.

President Obama, Marine, umbrella

President Obama and the umbrella. (Reuters/Jason Reed)


Because this week has been full-time scandal week and because some conservatives are full-time bat shit crazy, what was a kind gesture to a visiting foreign prime minister turned into yet another scandal: Umbrella-gate. Yeah, apparently that’s a thing now.

“Mr. President, when it rains it pours, but most Americans hold their own umbrellas,” tweeted former half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin. Alright, at least she addressed him as “Mr. President.” That was nice. And I’m thinking this tweet doesn’t live up to the usual conservative hyperbole I’m used to. I’m sure there must be more…

The Daily Caller — Obama breaches Marine umbrella protocol

OK, that got my attention. Much better. And it sounds really serious! Go on…

The commander in chief of the American armed forces today forced a violation of Marine Corps regulations, so he wouldn’t get wet.

Actually, I think it had more to do with his guest, but continue…

According to Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F of the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations chapter 3, a male Marine is not allowed to carry an umbrella while in uniform. There is no provision in the Marine Corps uniform regulation guidelines that allows a male Marine to carry an umbrella.

Well shit. It looks like we have a scandal after all. This sounds like a severe breach of the uniform code of conduct. I mean, there aren’t thousands of women in the military facing sexual discrimination and physical violations each year, right? So let’s focus on the umbrella.

Not even the President of the United States can request a Marine to carry an umbrella without the express consent of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, according to the Marine Corps Manual.

You know, I seem to recall Presidents taking us to war without the “express consent” of congress. But go ahead, keep talking about the umbrella. Let’s make this a full-fledged scandal with sideshow congressional hearings and all. It’s still over three years until the next presidential election. That’s a lot of 24-hour news cycles to fill.


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