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The Buck Stopped Way Back There

December 23rd, 2012 No comments

link Review board raps State Department for poor security in Benghazi – Washington Times.

Boy have times changed.  Used to be (and not that long ago) that the guy occupying the White House had enormous influence in many and varied areas of western society.  It was in fact an American President, Harry Truman who famously coined the phrase, “the buck stops here”.  In any organization, the ultimate responsibility for success or failure resides with the guy at the top.  That’s why they pay him so much versus the line worker.  He has control and he has responsibility.  In a few nations, they take this very seriously.  In Japan for instance, if the Prime Minister fails in his promises, he resigns.  Luckily for him, this is a lesser penalty for failure than his samurai ancestors would have demanded.  Sadly, this custom is not observed in most modern political arenas.  Standard operating procedure now requires that scapegoats and excuses are found for any failures and to prevent the buck from ever reaching the top.

As an example, the most recent ex President, George W. Bush, is still given credit/responsibility/blame for a looseleaf binder full of things, even though he’s been out of office now for over 4 years.

In no particular order, the most publicized ones were:

The Economy

Climate change

911 attacks on the world trade center

Katrina Hurricane

high gas prices

border security and illegal immigration

woes of the car industry

the war in Iraq

troop casualties

poverty in the world

aids

gun violence

woeful state of education

racism

It’s amazing the guy had time to do all of these things during the few waking hours of every day.  He must have really been a remarkable guy. It’s a pity they only allow 2 terms in office.  Compare this to the present incumbent who seems to be a non factor in almost everything that he’s supposed to be in charge of.

Not high gas prices

Not the economy

Not the conflicts in the middle east

Not the Fast and Furious gun scandal

Not ballooning bureaucracy

Not global warming, because he calms the oceans

Not racism

Not border security and illegal immigration

Not troop casualties

On this last item, an on-going review of the tragedy that befell the four Americans at the embassy in Benghazi recently concluded that it was the State Department that was to blame for the deaths at that compound.  In response to these findings, about 4 staffers were recently fired from their jobs.  It’s not clear what these 4 individuals did specifically that merited them being axed, but apparently this absolves their boss, Hilary Clinton and her boss, the Prez, of culpability in the tragedy.  Again, the President was apparently of no influence in this event and he never even saw the buck, much less stop it.

What is now obvious is that the White House has incompetent staff.  They are like the New York Jets.  Like the Jets, the present administration has fumbled on virtually every major play.  It’s always easy to lay the blame at the feet of player A or player B, but when the ongoing disasters keep piling up, eventually the blame has to find its way to coaching and management.

Like the New York Jets, the Democrats have no bench.  They have Hilary, Joe and now possibly John Kerry, all well past their intellectual and effective sell-by dates.  Their records on handling policy are about as stellar as Mark Sanchez handling a snap from center, which is to say fumbly.  These are people who may have been relevant 20 years ago, but they are hardly the voices of new ideas and in most cases, even rational thinking.  In the last election, they even dusted off Bill Clinton to rev up the base as if he was a circus act.  The Jets tried the same thing with Tim Tebow. The Democrats’ version of this of course was Susan Rice.  It’s amusing how the narrative has been that the conservatives are the old guy party.  On the contrary, they have a pretty solid, young and vibrant bench.  They’ve been building their team from the ground up with younger people such as Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley and Paul Ryan.

So with the ongoing disasters that are befalling the Jets over the past few seasons, even loyal Jets fans are booing their home-team.  They may think that what they need are new players, but what they really need is new competent management.  Like their political counterparts in D.C., eventually even the die-hards will need the proverbial buck to reach the top.