RNC Chair: 17 Dead, 1 Big Obama Joke What, too soon? In a rather desperate attempt to deflect attention from overt infighting within his party to the covert infidel running the country, the chairman of the Republican National Committee on Sunday compared the president of the United States to the cowardly captain of the Costa Concordia. CBS’ “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer asked Reince Priebus to comment on the intra-squad swiping and sniping, to which Priebus replied, “In a few months, this is all going to be ancient history and we’re going to talk about our own little Captain Schettino, which is President Obama who’s abandoning the ship here in the United States and is more interested in campaigning than doing his job as president.” A befuddled Schieffer either genuinely didn’t catch the reference or needed a follow-up to confirm his suspicions, so he asked Priebus, “What did you just say? What did you call President Obama?” Priebus, with a glib laugh over the death of 17 people, told Schieffer: “I called him Captain Schettino, you know the captain that fled the ship in Italy,” Priebus said. “That’s our own president who’s fleeing the American people and not doing his job and running around the country and campaigning.” Before watching this, remember that 15 people remain missing, 17 are confirmed dead, and Captain Francisco Schettino is under house arrest for his role in the shipwreck and his abandoning the ship. Is it disrespectful to those who died and those who lost loved ones? Sure. Would someone like Priebus go apeshit if an Italian politician mocked an American tragedy for Sunday morning sport? Absolutely. But the big problem here isn’t the disrespect or the hypocrisy — it’s the awful joke itself. Is literally doesn’t make any sense. Priebus laughed at his own joke like he were Uncle Miltie spitting out hot comedy, but it’s built on a totally flawed premise. It’s an election year. Every president in recent political history has juggled campaigning and governing in an election year. The president of the United States is a mobile command center; where he or she goes, the ability to make important decisions goes with. Does Priebus think all the president’s advisers and staffers in the West Wing just pack up and go home? Does the brain trust mail it in? “That’s it, folks, Obama’s got a speech in Iowa, stay home and watch a Downton Abbey marathon today. No, that’s right, no need to come in and crunch those poverty numbers — if you didn’t hear, Barack’s in Sheboygan, we’re all gonna go scissor each other.” Either way, Priebus, for joking bout the deaths of 17 people for political gain, this one’s for you: PREVIOUSLY ON THE COSTA CONCORDIA WRECK: • Um, Thanks? Costa Concordia Survivors Offered 30% Discount • What the Costa Concordia Looks Like Under Water • 4 Unfortunate Cruise Ad Placements • Night Vision Video of Costa Concordia Evacuation Slade Sohmer Slade Sohmer is editor-in-chef of HyperVocal and co-host of SiriusXM's daily "Politics Powered By Twitter" program. Tweet him at @SladeHV.