World’s most powerful man takes responsibility like a 5-year-old
As expected, President Obama strode purposefully to the lectern at the University of Miami late last week and, solemnly surveying the crowd, took responsibility for skyrocketing gasoline prices that threaten our struggling recovery.
Of course, that is not quite the way it went down. Shortly before the Florida speech, the Hill newspaper reported that the president was planning to “move aggressively this week to deflect blame for rising gas prices.”
Mr. Obama deflecting blame? You don’t say.
This must be the most blame-deflecting White House in our nation’s history. This is truly the Eddie Haskell presidency, so named after the bratty “Leave It to Beaver” character who always made a mess when adults’ backs were turned and then blamed Wally and the Beav.
For a while, President Blameless could shirk responsibility by pointing fingers at his predecessor. That got old, though I can’t say in a hurry. As late as last July, the White House sought to prove that Dallas resident George W. Bush was still responsible for all the nation’s budget troubles. Atlantic magazine blogger Megan Mcardle deliciously characterized this lame attempt at evading responsibility as “The duck starts here.”
Mr. Obama’s roster of the blameworthy is quite eclectic: The Japanese tsunami, the Arab Spring uprisings, the European debt crisis and “bad luck” were fingered as causes of the bad economy in a speech last summer. Of course, Mr. Obama was responsible solely for fanciful successes. “We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again,” the president remarked before ceding the stage to the tooth fairy.
When the president, in a sop to his environmental base, killed the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have created thousands of jobs for U.S. citizens and brought us fuel from a friendly nation, that, too, was cast as the fault of the Republicans: They had had the audacity to try to force the president to make a timely decision.
In announcing that he was scrapping the pipeline, the president said the decision