Responsibility seems these days to be a term describing more of a conservative point of view—especially if we hark back to the era of Reagan or turn towards our Tea Party compatriots whose mission is to show government’s culpability and demand its trustworthiness. Taking responsibility for one’s actions is not always easy, but it is the right thing to do. Most of us are probably guilty of telling white lies to protect someone; it seems to be accepted albeit not altruistic, but telling lies or “half-truths” to protect oneself, for the most part, is still considered despicable in our mostly Christian society. We couldn’t say we’re innocent of side-stepping responsibility once in awhile but most of us, when guilty, will usually ‘fess up and feel some remorse. So I suppose you could say that we have no leg to stand on when it comes to being disgusted by our president who seems to avoid responsibility like a cat avoids water. (At least the cat comes by it honestly.) Wrong as any of us might be when we shirk blame, our error in judgment rarely causes catastrophe.
Not so Obama.
Mr. Obama likes to use the expression “hard choices,” but he has yet to make any when it comes to federal spending…It is hardly a hard choice to treat the government budget like an unlimited checkbook, funding targeted programs seeking political advantage. That part is easy. Paying for it is difficult, but that is not Mr. Obama’s problem. When he introduced his 2011 budget proposal on Feb. 1, the president said, “We can no longer afford to leave the hard choices for the next budget, the next administration or the next generation.” But the next generation is exactly who will suffer from his astronomical budget deficits.
As powerful Obama Administration “advisors” continue to make headlines, concerns are intensifying both in Congress and among the American public. Under the Obama Administration there are numerous powerful and unconfirmed czars who are enacting major policy decisions….The Administration’s Czars are invested with massive amounts of power and lack any level of congressional oversight. Without oversight, many of the czars are shrouded in a veil of secrecy, threatening the government transparency required for an effective democracy.
And then, most certainly, Obama has looked askance at their actions implying he had nothing to do with it.
Responsibility for mistakes:
Like many of the President’s actions during the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, this speech may be a day late and a dollar short. President Obama will have to explain why he has not taken responsibility for his slow and distracted response to the crisis and avoid his natural urge to blame to others for his own shortcomings. As Mitt Romney wrote in USA Today, this President needs to take responsibility for his mistakes and perceived distracted response. Obama seems incapable of being a strong leader who is confident enough in his abilities to admit errors.
And now we enter an arena of global proportions: Obama’s public words toward the Egyptian crisis:
…what has happened in the Middle East in the first two years of his term?
–The Iranians have continued full speed ahead toward getting nuclear weapons. Though the administration deserves credit for getting higher sanctions through the UN, these have not actually affected the problem.
–The Israel-Palestinian peace process, partly through Obama’s mismanagement, has fallen completely apart.
–Lebanon has been taken over by a Hezb’allah-dominated government with Syrian and Iranian tutelage.
–Hamas’s control over the Gaza Strip has been stabilized and entrenched due to U.S. policy mistakes.
–Turkey has continued to drift toward the Iran-Syria bloc and disregarded U.S. interests without costs.
–The policy to moderate Syria has failed completely while Damascus is both confident and more aggressive.
–Pakistan seems more and more unstable while not being particularly helpful toward U.S. counterterrorist efforts.
–Obama’s charm offensive toward Islamism has yielded no material benefit for U.S. interests.
–The Obama Administration’s rush to push out Mubarak’s regime has created a very dangerous situation that might spread to other countries.
–Generally, U.S. friends in the region are distressed, doubting they can trust in America’s protection; U.S. enemies are encouraged, believing America is weak and in retreat.
And yet Obama acts as if he is not responsible for his words to Mubarak and the Egyptian people.
From The Washington Post:
As the administration struggled to move ahead of the situation, its efforts seemed still to leave it one step behind. The shift in message had no visible effect in Cairo and other Egyptian cities, where massive anti-government protests continued for a sixth straight day and demonstrators were still reacting to Obama’s earlier call for Mubarak to adopt reforms.
That advice, pro-democracy activist and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei said, had landed “like lead” in the Egyptian capital.
“To ask a dictator to implement democratic measures after 30 years in power is an oxymoron,” ElBaradei said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “It will not end until Mubarak leaves.”
The administration “has been way behind the curve,” said former Jordanian foreign minister Marwan Muasher, a vice president at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “So far, they’re just reacting….”
Does Obama take responsibility for his impulsive, ill-advised actions? No. But as soon as there is any perceived motion which could lead to a seemingly favorable conclusion–it’s ALL about our “fearless” leader… From Rush Limbaugh:
I was right. Mubarak announces he’s stepping down, and within literally five minutes the news in this country is: Obama convinces Mubarak to step down! The first reports from over there said nothing about Obama convincing anybody to step down. Only after it is known he’s stepping down does the US media say, “Our guy did it! Our guy did iiiiiiiit! Obama did it! He convinced Mubarak to step down! Yaaay! (clapping)” How long has Mubarak been in power in Egypt? Quick question, Snerdley. How many years has Hosni Mubarak been…? That’s exactly right: 30 years. How many years has Obama been running the show here? “It seems like 30” is the correct answer. Obama has been running the show here for two years. It seems like 30.
Ah! So we see that Obama does take responsibility–when things seem to be going well. It’s just when it really counts to be a man and stand up for your actions where he misses the mark.
From “Ten Leadership Lessons from Ronald Reagan.”
Upon facing a devastating blow to his policy of intervention in Lebanon with the attack on the barracks that killed 240 American soldiers, Reagan quickly realized the futility of his policy, ordered the withdrawal of troops from Lebanon, and abandoned his policy of intervention there.Leaders understand that strength requires restraint. A great leader is one who knows how to manage both his weaknesses and his strengths, and those of the country, or the organization, he is leading.
As we celebrate Ronald Reagan’s 100 birthday, we are reminded what it is like to have a leader who leads rather than a man-child who runs a sidelines presidency.