EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

May 19, 2013

Column: Obama out to pass the blame once again

One big reason President Obama has had such a tough week is that, for once, nobody – not even members of his own party and his usually adoring press corps – is going to buy his standard line that anything wrong is due to “the mess I inherited.”

For once, he knows he can’t get away with pointing at George W. Bush. This mess – a collection of three of them, actually – belongs to him.

Don’t think for a minute, though, that his huffing and puffing about holding people accountable for misconduct is going to extend to himself. No, he is as “shocked” and outraged about the various scandals as Captain Renault was to find gambling going on in a casino in “Casablanca.”

Or, taking a page from “Hogan’s Heroes,” he invokes the Sgt. Shultz defense: “I know nothing. I see nothing. I was not here. I did not even get up this morning.”

More than one sardonic political observer has quipped that apparently the only federal employees who work for the president are the members of Seal Team 6 – the soldiers who killed Osama Bin Laden.

Whenever something the president can brag about happens, he is right there to take the credit. But when there is a scandal, the poor president is the last to know. He read about it in the newspaper just like the rest of us. Nobody told him. It was low-level functionaries. He had nothing to do with it.

Sure.

Sadly, he will probably get away with it. Oh, he’ll be bruised a bit, but it is doubtful he will be bloodied. As the Patriot Post noted this past week, the president’s political handlers, “are smart enough to use ‘cutouts’ between their office and the bureaucrats committing the offense.

“Cutouts are bureaucratic managers who act as surrogates to do the political bidding of elected officials. They are blamed and sacrificed for the ‘good of the cause,’ in order to protect (read: provide plausible deniability for) elected officials who feign outrage and indignation at the violation of law in support of their political agenda.”

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