Barack Obama continues his nonstop campaigning, despite the fact that he has actually been president since January, doing countless TV specials, radio addresses, tweets, and Jerry Lewis-style telethons. In seemingly all of these addresses, Obama does exactly what he did to get elected: speak in vague terms and blame Bush.
Though his “stimulus bill,” which was so important to pass right away that there was no time for Congress to read it (though there was time for it to sit on Obama’s desk over the weekend), has been an abysmal failure, Obama is quick to point out that he “inherited this economy.” Never before has a person in a position of such power and authority been so unprofessional when it comes to taking responsibility. Obama’s philosophy seems to be that “the buck stops over there.”
Passing off responsibility to avoid looking bad is a sign of poor leadership. Anyone who has taken a management trainee course for Wal-Mart learned that. You don’t hear first-year coaches who struggle saying, “Look, I inherited a bad team from the previous coach. It’s not my fault. I mean, I didn’t sign Vince Carter to a long-term contract.” Obama and Vice President Biden, however, seem to never speak in public without taking the opportunity to blame the current situation on Bush. This is not only unprofessional; it is also dishonest.
Anyone who has ever had American government classes in high school knows that in our system, the two chambers of Congress actually have a lot more power than the president. During the events that shaped this recession, both Obama and Biden were in the Senate (and both houses were controlled by Democrats). In Obama’s defense, his poor attendance record may have caused him to miss some important information. Hopefully, he had someone taking notes for him.
It was congressmen like Barney Frank standing behind the toxic business practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, despite the risks, because Fannie and Freddie were large contributors to their campaigns. Frank, however, seemed to have graduated from Obama’s same School of Blame Shifting. Instead of taking the heat for the economic downturn, Frank was successfully reelected on the campaign promise of finding out what caused the recession and doing what it takes to fix things. This is like when Matt Damon’s character in The Departed was put on a special task force to find the police department’s mole when he, himself, was the mole. “I gotta find myself,” he laughed.
The blame for the recession, of course, goes well beyond Capital Hill. ACORN’s group of fine young “community organizers” intimidated banks into giving out sub-prime loans, on the grounds that not giving a loan to a black person who couldn’t afford the house was a racist decision, rather than a decision based on the fact that they couldn’t afford the house. Yet Obama has never blamed ACORN for this mess.
For Obama, everything is the fault of President Bush, from the recession to the national debt to the fictional global warming. In truth, President Bush, who was fiscally very liberal, is partly to blame for the deficit, since he spent money like a character in a hip hop video, including the bad decision of passing the $700 billion TARP. However, Obama blaming Bush for his spending policies is like Quentin Tarantino criticizing Michael Bay for making violent movies. Consider that under Obama, in only 6 months we have spent more than our country has spent on the Iraq War, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Interstate Highway System and the race to the moon combined. Obama used to say that “we can’t afford the Iraq War,” but has racked up an obligated debt that will be more than the world’s GDP.
But to hear Obama tell it, this mess is all Bush’s fault. He should have seen the housing market collapse coming. Well, he did, as early as 2001. In 2008 alone, President Bush warned Congress 17 times that the practice of sub-prime lending would lead to a market collapse. Frank laughed it off as Republican fear-mongering. Joe Biden probably wondered if he could save Delaware by dividing the country into three independent regions. Obama may have actually been absent all 17 times. It’s hard to tell. But if someone was taking notes for him, it likely would have read, “Bush again warned of coming market crash. If he’s right, it’s a good opportunity to campaign on fixing the economy and blame W for everything.”