AUGUST WILSON'S allegorical drama "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" is no match for the passionate writing we've seen from the Republican National Committee on the comings and goings of the president and first lady since their weekend trip to Broadway to see Wilson's play.

"As President Obama prepares to wing into Manhattan's theater district on Air Force One to take in a Broadway show," the RNC wrote, "GM is preparing to file bankruptcy and families across America continue to struggle to pay their bills."

Makes it sound like a cross between Nero fiddling while Rome burns and Marie Antoinette ordering cake for her bread-starved minions.

The RNC estimates the cost of the date at $250,000, including the cost of the presidential jet and accompanying planes for press and security.

That's quite a sum.

But if the RNC had been as diligent in tracking the costs of President Bush's scores of vacations trips to Crawford, Texas, aboard Air Force One with a full retinue of press and security in tow, we might actually be sipping some of the RNC's whine. *