The Buck Stops Here

The Buck Stops Here

© David Burton 2010

Obama tries to blame Bush for everything

      After a year in office, the continuing attempts by President Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership to try and blame former President George W. Bush and his Vice-President, Dick Cheney, for all the country's problems are starting to wear very thin.

      President Obama has blamed just about everyone except himself and his Democratic cohorts for all of the nation's woes. It obviously has never crossed his mind that some of the problems he is addressing are of his own making or those of the leaders of his political party. Harry Truman famously said, "The buck stops here!' referring to himself and the White House. His meaning was clear. No matter how the problem arose, it was ultimately up to the President of the United States to resolve the problem. The blame game was not part of his repertoire and indeed was not expected to be part of the game plan of any resident of the Oval Office. How things have changed in the 60 plus years since President Truman led his party and this nation.

      Obama's first scapegoats were Bush and Cheney, then the rest of the evil Republicans, then it was Fox Cable TV that was to blame, then the evil bankers, the lobbyists, the greedy people on Wall Street, the overpaid corporate CEO's and on and on and on. Never once has the President mentioned that a good part of the blame for the 2008-2009 recession which started with the housing market collapse can be laid at the feet of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac which were strongly encouraged by Democrats (like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd) to give home mortgage loans to people who could not afford the loans. Companies like Country Wide were encouraged to give loans to people who could not afford loans. The Democrats, including President Clinton and Congressman Barney Frank were big promoters of CRA (Community Recovery Act) which pushed and encouraged banks to give mortgage loans to people who had no capability of handling and affording such loans. It can legitimately be argued that a major cause of the 2008-2009 recession was the "housing for everyone" policy of Clinton and Barney Frank. Barney Frank was in charge of the government’s oversight of the banking industry. What was he doing to avoid the financial meltdown?

      Let's look at some of the recent problems that have faced the Obama administration and let's see if the buck stopped at the Oval Office.

      The nation slips into a recession, the unemploymnet rate goes through the roof and resists all attempts by the President and the overwhelmingly Democratic controlled congress to bring it down. The President's first steps were to blame the former president and the previous administration! Then it's all the fault of those greedy financiers on Wall Street! Let's blame "the rich"! We'll solve the problem by taking the money from these rich fat cats and giving it to the poor. Robin Hood lives again!! After blaming the financiers, we next turn to the evil CEO's of all the big corporations, with their fat salaries and undeserved bonuses, who are getting rich off the sweat of the poor workers. Finally, it's really the fault of all those conservative Republicans who have no empathy for the poor!

      The President, the Secretary of State, the Vice President, and the Administrations's Peace Envoy to the Middle East fail to get Israel, the Arabs, and the Palestinians to sit down and reach a peace accord. After Israel turns the Gaza Strip over to the Palestinians and grants autonomy to the Palestinians in the West Bank, go ahead and blame Israel for not conceding enough to the Arabs! Blame Israel for not acquiesing to all Arab demands while they are attacked with rockets from Gaza and stoned in Jerusalem because they rebuilt an ancient synagogue in the Jewish Quarter that was destroyed by Jordanian forces in 1948! Blame the Prime Minister of Israel for continuing Israel's 40 year old policy of providing additional housing in Jerusalem for its expanding population while ignoring the Palestinians naming a square in honor of a murdering terrorist who hijacked a bus in 1978 that resulted in the killing of 37 civilians, including 12 children and one American!

      The President and the leaders of the Democratic Party fail to muster enough votes in Congress to pass the President's health-care reform bill without having to resort to political bribery, backroom deals, and questionable shenanigans and maneuvers. Blame the Republicans for opposing a health-care plan that is overwhelmingly rejected by the American people! Blame the Fox Network for having a vendetta against you and your health-care plan! Blame the Republicans for not being willing to compromise and accept a budget-busting monstrosity that takes money away from Medicare and the elderly, increases the cost of medical devices, and taxes pharmaceutical companies so they will have to raise prices! Demonize the health-insurance companies that account for less than 5% of health care spending! Accuse the health-insurance companies of making obscene profits when, in fact, as an industry, they are ranked 86th in terms of profit margins - behind industries such as book publishing (38th), specialty eateries (71st) and home furnishing stores (84th)! (Ref. 1)

      Mr. President, instead of finger-pointing and blame-placing, how about taking Harry Truman's advice? Passing the buck just won't hack it! Pretty speeches are not enough. Our enemies don't respect signs of weakness, a lack of resolve and a groveling approach in an attempt to win their support. They can smell weakness. Domestically, it takes more than empty words to gain bipartisan support from Republicans, Independents and the American people. It takes thoughtful actions and not a head-long rush nor meaningless rhetoric to solve our problems. To many of us, you are "A sophisticated rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his {your} own verbosity." (Ref. 2.) Please, talk less, think more and stop trying to pass the buck!


  1. No medical emergency, Jonah Goldberg, Boston Herald, Page 15, 15 March 2010.
  2. The sickness of the West, Paul Johnson, Forbes Magazine, Page 15, 15 March 2010.

  1 April 2010 {Article 75; Politics_14}    
Go back to the top of the page