Growing up, my father has always had the kind of work ethic that you can’t help but admire. But as a child, I quickly learned that he was not big on excuses. He could spot a flimsy excuse from a mile away and, just to shame you, would take up the task himself to show it could be done. These days I can see how he felt. The Obama Campaign is so quick to offer up tired, lame excuses and the media is all-too-happy to sell these lies, the political manure is getting waist deep and I’m channeling my father more and more with each eye-roll and head shake.
What has my eyes doing laps around my socket today is the latest excuse to come from the Obamaniacs at The Washington Post. Sensing that the public may need a brief respite from their favorite excuse- “It’s all Bush’s fault”, the folks at The Washington Post have provided another dodge for the Obama Campaign. They question whether or not it is possible for any president to succeed in this political world and, by extension, question whether or not we should be so critical of the man whom we hired to do what he said he would. Go ahead, scoff. I did.
Citing the face of modern journalism, Chris Cillizza, the writer of this piece, discusses the burden a president feels of actually being accountable for the things he says and does. Cillizza writes:
“The last week in politics is illustrative of the massive communications challenges a president faces. The week began for President Obama with news from the West Coast that his Commerce secretary, John Bryson, had been involved in a series of car accidents reportedly due to a medical condition. Elections in Egypt and Greece as well as increased violence in Syria drew worldwide attention. Then came Obama’s economy speech on Thursday and his administration’s shift in deportation policy for young illegal immigrants on Friday. And then there was the showdown with the Daily Caller’s Neil Munro in the Rose Garden.”
So, we are expected to cut Obama slack because it’s tough to explain the decisions of his administration? Oh, okay…
Cillizza at no point recognizes that if President Obama wishes to keep his job, with a string of failures under his administration, he has to be able to explain why he deserves another term and he must be willing to discuss the issues of the day. If all Obama is willing to do is offer excuses, then Romney is proposing what my father often did: “If you’re not going to do the job right, step aside and I’ll show you how it’s done”. It seems fair.
The media seems to forget that President Obama is accountable to us. We elected him. Now that he is up for re-election, the natural time to voice our discontent, we are hearing calls from the media to not be so critical.
While we are minutely critical now, it is beyond debate that Obama was granted a sort of latitude at the beginning of his presidency- at the pinnacle of Obama hysteria- that has not been granted to any president ever. For crying out loud, he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize within 12 days of ascending to our highest office without ever having done anything to promote peace… but hey, he has the potential to promote peace. Now that the either has worn off, we want more results and less excuses.
Cillizza’s argument is hardly a new argument. In 2010, Newsweek, a rag that makes Pravda look like The National Review, discussed with awe the glorious ways in which Obama dealt with his impossible job. It stated,
“Obama projects a demeanor of unruffled cool: he can handle the pressures and demands of the job just fine (how could he suggest otherwise?), and he didn’t run for office ‘to pass on our problems to the next president or the next generation.’ But the issue is not Obama, it’s the office.”
But this is an old excuse. I mean, 30 years old. In the January 13th, 1980, edition of The Washington Post, the same excuse was offered for Jimmy Carter, another failed president:
“Voters have lowered their expectations of what any president can accomplish; they have accepted the notion that this country may never again have heroic, larger-than-life leadership in the White House.”
“In the same years when presidential politics changed so greatly, governing did, too. It got harder… The rise of single-interest politics and independent legislators has made it more difficult to put together a governing coalition; sophisticated new lobbying techniques wielded on behalf of virtually every interest group further complicate the task. And a strong argument could be made that the major issues-energy and the economy, for instance-are more complex than they were.”
Just like the previous excuses, I’m not buying this one either. We ousted Carter because he took us from bad to worse. An elderly Reagan then proceeded to handle our nation’s business for eight years and did a fantastic job. If playing hooky in the Senate for three years didn’t prepare Obama for the difficulties of the job, which I claim it didn’t, then step aside and let someone else have a crack at it. As luck would have it, we have an election coming up…