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Commentary

Benghazi Didn't Bother Democrats, But These Special Trump Golf Tees Sure Do

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The left has found a new reason to attack President Trump: Golf courses.

Liberals who shrugged off the Benghazi scandal and had no problem with Democrats making backroom deals to hand uranium to Russia have finally found their voice, and are sounding the alarm on golf tee markers that have been ordered for Trump International golf courses.

According to ProPublica, the controversy centers on the presidential seal, the familiar blue and gold circle emblem that is often seen on podiums and presidential stationery.

“In recent weeks, the Trump Organization has ordered the manufacture of new tee markers for golf courses that are emblazoned with the seal of the president of the United States. Under federal law, the seal’s use is permitted only for official government business,” reported ProPublica.

“Eagle Sign and Design, a metalworking and sign company with offices in New Albany, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky, said it had received an order to manufacture dozens of round, 12-inch replicas of the presidential seal to be placed next to the tee boxes at Trump golf course holes,” continued the investigative news source.

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Presidents have used the seal for less-than-official purposes before. Democrat darling John F. Kennedy had cigarettes and matchbooks made with the presidential seal available on Air Force One, which the left apparently had no problem with.

Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama placed the seals on golf balls which are sometimes available for sale. Even candy has gotten the presidential treatment, with packs of M&M’s, chocolate bars, and jelly beans made with the seal over the years.

Despite decades of the seal being used in promotional ways, it’s only now a problem under Trump, at least if the reaction of liberal pundits is any sign.

Do these presidential golf seals actually violate the law?

“The kleptocracy never ends. Trump’s Organization has ordered tee markers for his golf courses featuring the presidential seal,” scolded Brian Klaas, a Washington Post columnist. “Deeply unethical abuse of public office for private gain—and it is likely illegal.”

Other liberals echoed that sentiment online. The basis of their selective outrage is an obscure law that regulates the use of the presidential seal.

18 U.S. Code § 713 (a) makes it illegal to use the seal “for the purpose of conveying, or in a manner reasonably calculated to convey, a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States.”

That law is intended to stop people who have no connection to the White House from pretending that they’re approved by the government.

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Here’s the major problem with the liberal objection: The moment the president of the United States authorizes the use of the seal, the usage would arguably be approved by the U.S. government. In other words, that law becomes null if the actual occupant of the Oval Office decides to use the seal.

Liberals are also making the broad assumption that the tee markers will be permanent fixtures of Trump golf courses, when they may in fact only be kept on hand for times when the POTUS is actually at the resort. Having the presidential seal ready for when the president arrives is a very different matter than actively using it in unrelated advertising.

To be clear, creating official presidential seals to mark tee locations on a golf course is a bit silly. Then again, so is having presidential matchbooks or chocolate bars, yet everyone from Kennedy to Clinton did this. Sometimes being president simply has its odd perks.

The real outrage, however, is the hypocrisy and two-facedness of liberals. They seem to have no problem with presidential power being abused in ways that deeply harm the country, but stay silent until — gasp! — Donald Trump wants special golf tee markers.

How many millions of dollars did the Obama family spend on countless unnecessary vacations, with trips to the most expensive destinations in the world all paid for by the taxpayers?

Or for a more greivous example, take Benghazi. The Obama administration and Clinton state department had no problem using executive privilege to cover up the incompetence which cost American lives, and to lie about the sequence of events to look good for an election.

How about the Uranium One scandal? If the left is upset about the alleged misuse of a presidential symbol, why did they have no qualms about the misuse of American nuclear material?

You would think that the latter is much more serious, but liberals in government and the media just looked the other way as Obama, along with Bill and Hillary Clinton, bent every rule in the book to sell control of key uranium to a front company of the Russian government.

But how dare Donald Trump want a presidential seal at a golf course! The selective outrage is wearing thin.

Press “Share on Facebook” if you think this latest “scandal” is an exaggerated leftist tantrum.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.




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