Responsibility is a tricky thing to handle when you don’t want it, but oh so simple when you need to have it. Presidents serve as the leader of our nation, and accept a great responsibility once they take their oath. Yes, their power is derived from the consent of the governed, but we loan them our power with great responsibility attached to it. As the President Himself has said, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” That goes for the President more than any other person in America.
So what is responsibility? The dictionary puts it like this:
1: the quality or state of being responsible: as
a: moral, legal, or mental accountability
b: reliability, trustworthiness
The president has had a lot of difficulty accepting the responsibilities of his office, regardless of which definition you choose to employ.
Remember this Mr. President? You’ve said it twice. It’s supposed to MEAN something when you utter these words…
The President’s Oath of Office:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Just for reference, let’s take a look at what the President’s job is, according to the Constitution…
Excerpts from Article II of the U.S. Constitution (The Presidency):
“The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”
“He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.”
“…he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.”
It’s not complicated to understand what is expected of the President. The President has a lot of responsibility placed upon him when he (or she) assumes that role. If you enter the race, you better know what you’re running for. You can’t campaign for two years hoping to become the president, and then get upset when the people hold you accountable to the responsibilities of your office.
When you run for President, just as when you apply for any job, you are asking to bear all of the responsibilities that come with that office. You, of course, want the benefits of that job, but if you don’t understand the responsibilities you will undertake, then you shouldn’t ask to hold the position. The fact is, more often than not the President is not directly responsible for failures within his administration. However, as the elected leader of the free world, we expect the President to be a true leader, and a true leader accepts responsibility for the failures of those to whom they have delegated power, even when they have no direct involvement in the situation (It would be different if we forced people to be President instead of electing them from a pool of volunteers, but obviously that’s not the case). A true leader says to him/herself, “While I was not the one to create the problem, it happened on my watch, and involved people that I am charged with overseeing. This failure may not have been my fault directly, but it is wholly my responsibility to right the wrong, and restore confidence and trust in my people/my company/my administration/my family/my country/myself.”
Failures happen, every day. We do our best to prevent and prepare for turmoil and tragedy, but despite our best efforts things go wrong. We are human beings, and part of being human is making mistakes. Mistakes in general are unavoidable, but specific mistakes can be stopped before they ever happen if we pay attention, and consider the individual situations at hand. The key to minimizing failure is amassing as much information as possible, weighing options, and making what we perceive to be the best choice at that moment in time for ALL of those whom that decision will affect. A good leader does this by nature, and stands by all of his/her decisions because of it. If you know you made a valid, honest judgment call, and that you considered all of the information and all of the options, you should have no problem sticking to your guns and standing by your decision. On the flip side, if you know you made an uninformed, partisan decision based on what you WANT to see happen rather than what is actually true, then you’re gonna have a tough time defending your decision. When a good leader makes a decision the right way, they stick to it whether it ends well or not. When any poor leader makes what the public perceives to be a good decision, they will stand by it. But when a poor leader makes a choice that ends badly and makes the people look upon him unfavorably, they deflect blame and refuse to take responsibility. The same scenario takes place when subordinates make decisions. Good leaders who believe in the integrity of their people will defend them and still take responsibility for their decisions, regardless of outcomes. When failures happen due to negligence or ignorance, the people involved are held accountable, and when necessary they are relieved of their duties. At the same time, when the best possible solution is honestly pursued and something still goes awry, a good leader stands by the decisions of his people, takes responsibility for fixing the problem, and follows up to find out what went wrong, why, and how to prevent the same mistakes from being repeated in the future. A true leader wants the best opportunities for everyone, wants to see real solutions when problems arise, and employs people who reflect those same sentiments. That is why a true leader will take responsibility when someone under them does something stupid. They put that person there, so they most certainly bear at least some responsibility for their decisions. The key in all of these situations is the same: A true leader looks for the best solution, rather than the best looking or most popular one, and will always stand by their decisions, and the decisions of those who work/serve under them, regardless of the consequences. Poor leaders will do none of these. If you can't stand by your own choices and those of your own surrogates, why should the American people trust you?
It is my firm belief that the job of President of the United States is a privilege for all who are elected to the office, but it is also the most important job on Earth. As such, I believe that it bears the greatest amount of power AND responsibility of any job that a human being could hold in the world today. Furthermore, any person who decides that they are 1) capable of serving as President and 2) willing to do the job, MUST accept the immense responsibility that comes with serving in that office. In simple terms, if you run for President, you must be willing to accept responsibility for everything that goes wrong on your watch, just as you will certainly take credit for all of the good things that happen. If you’re not willing to take responsibility for things that you had no direct involvement in, and if you’re going to take offense when people question your leadership after failures happen, and if you refuse to stand by your own decisions or those of your administration’s officials, then you have no business asking the American people to vote for you. If you feel you have to hide a decision you’ve made or an action that you’ve taken (excluding matters of security that would put lives at risk if publicly discussed), then you’ve obviously made an indefensible mistake. If you can’t take responsibility for that mistake, you shouldn’t be President. If you can’t take the heat, then get the hell out of the seat. That goes for Congressional leaders, party leaders and every single politician who volunteers to run for office, and asks you and me to trust them with our vote. Asking for my vote is to ask to bear responsibility for every political event that affects me. Giving you my faith and confidence is fully dependent upon what happens to me on your watch. Local events land in the lap of local politicians. State events fall on State politicians. National events are the responsibility of Congress and, most of all, the President. That's just the way it is. Washington is not a Kindergarten classroom, and the “It wasn’t me” argument doesn’t cut it with the American people. It didn't cut it when Bush was president, the media made sure of that. It wouldn't have mattered anyway, because President Bush was never the "I have no clue" President. He and his administration made mistakes throughout the course of his presidency, and only a blind partisan would argue that point. But George W. Bush never once stood in front of the American people and said "Don't look at me, 9/11 wasn't MY fault" or "It wasn't MY decision to go into Iraq and look for WMD’s" or “I didn’t tell anyone to put that ‘Mission Accomplished’ sign up there” or "You'll have to ask Health and Human Services about Medicare Part D, that's got nothing to do with me." (FYI, these are just examples. I’m not saying all of these were or were not mistakes, but they were all events that Bush was challenged heavily on). Bush never would have tried to convince us that if he didn't utter the words, sign the document or push the button, then he bore no responsibility for the consequences. That's not the kind of leader he was. If he ever did deflect the blame for something, he would have been vilified instantly and vehemently, by every media outlet, and for good reason.
The press exists for the purpose of holding people accountable to the truth. But with the exception of a few commentators, the mainstream media has all but given up on truth, opting instead to be an extension of the government’s power, rather than a restriction of it. The press has allowed Obama and his administration to take advantage of their positions. It has made the American people blind to the corruption taking place behind the media curtain. They’ve praised Obama for the “good” things he’s done, and blamed Republicans in Congress for all of the bad (the true failures, as well as things that are good for the country but the media and the President happen to disagree with). The White House waves its hand in front of the cameras saying “We’re not the ones you’re looking for” and the media jumps right to their defense. Somehow now, amid a week long bout with 3 different scandals, people are shocked that the President has the stones to tell us he knew nothing, and bears no responsibility for anything going on with Benghazi, the IRS, or the Justice Department? Well duh! That’s what he’s done for the better part of 5 years, because he had the media at his side to back him up on it. However, there may be a clearing in the fog ahead, and we’ve seen that some in the media may be starting to remember why they are actually here.
The American media has been fawning over Barack Obama since the day he stepped out onto the stage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. As a candidate in 2008, they refused to vet him, or his associates, and attacked anyone who dared to do so. As President, they've never held him accountable for anything his administration has done, let alone things he is directly responsible for. The only reason Obama feels he can get away with playing ignorant is because he has come to rely on the media backing him up on whatever he does. They've shown us this past week that they will ask some tough questions when they are threatened, which is exactly what happened once the AP phone records story broke. A hundred people’s phone records were seized by the Justice Department, in what they are saying was part of an investigation of a national security leak. The press is pushing back now, because they see these actions as a direct blow to their first amendment rights, perpetrated by their idol Obama, and his administration. It comes as quite a shock to them, because they've protected these guys to the point that they've given up on the ideal of pursuing the truth, wherever it may lead them. They sold their souls-what was left of them- to this administration. Now that they know their absolute protection of the President and his people does not guaranty them the same absolute protection in return, they've started asking a few tough questions. They're calling the IRS debacle a scandal like the rest of us, even calling out administration officials who are dismissing the whole thing as a rogue occurrence of "inappropriate but legal" behavior. They’re even calling foul on the claim that the actions of the IRS were not based in politics. Let me be blunt folks: anyone that will look you in the eye and admit that conservative groups were targeted for more aggressive scrutiny, but argue that it was not politically motivated, is either in on it, or just plain stupid. I'd like to believe the latter, but unfortunately we know these people are actually quite intelligent and methodical. But I digress…
Some members of the media are even changing their tone on Benghazi, admitting that the State Department did in fact lie to the American people about what happened during the attack on our diplomatic mission there on the night of September 11, 2012. Let's not kid ourselves, not everyone is convinced. Many never will be. But testimonies and emails clearly show that the State Department edited the talking points that they relayed to the American people, in order to take heat away from the administration for the lack of security at that facility, which they knew had been requested and denied. They didn’t want the attack to hurt the State Department or the President’s reelection bid, so they changed the facts and pushed the narrative that the attack was a response to an internet video about Mohammad, having nothing to do with terrorists or terrorism. We know, of course, that this was far from the truth. It's not speculation or Republican conspiracy theory folks, it's irrefutable fact. The only viable justification for lying to us might have been national security, but the FBI stated in its emails that they had no problem with the original version, and that the original talking points, which asserted that terrorists linked to al Qaeda were involved in the attack, would not have hindered their investigation, nor threatened national security. The administration is still claiming no wrong was done, we on the right are still hammering hard, and now some of the mainstream press is waking up too. If it continues, then Obama and his surrogates are living on borrowed time, and their deceptions of the American people will eventually be their undoing. If the scrutiny we’ve seen this past week continues, with some of the press having removed their heads from the collective rear end of the Obama administration, then it's only a matter of time before the lies, the intimidation and the corruption come crashing down on the White House. As I said, we don't play "it wasn't me" in America. As more information is revealed about the scandal trifecta that's unfolding in Washington, we will come closer and closer to the inevitable day when- Jeremiah Wright should love this -when Barack Obama's chickens come home to roost. When that day finally comes, Obama will brazenly tell us that it wasn't his fault, and that he's not responsible, because that's the kind of "leader" he is. He's a man concerned with his own reputation, his own legacy and his own twisted view of what America is, and should be. He couldn’t care less about truth or the way things actually are. His mind sees only what he WANTS his job to be: a means to an end, the end being the downfall of America as we know her. It's not about BEING a good leader for him, it's about being PERCEIVED as one, because that perception is vital to achieving his goals. And THAT, my friends, is why President Obama refuses to take responsibility for any of the corruption that goes on around him. He believes that if he takes responsibility for his administration's failures and wrongdoings, he will not be seen as a good leader, and he will tarnish his presidency, and his legacy, ruining all the work he’s done to undermine America and her values. The irony of the situation is that if he would just come out and admit that these things have happened, declare that the buck stops with him and start sending people packing (who haven't already decided to leave), then there would be little to no ground for his opponents to stand on- unless of course it came to light that he was actively involved in these scandals, and sanctioned each of the decisions in question...there's some food for thought... But again, I digress...
The "illumination" that has taken place in the last 10 days is only illumination to some. To others of us, it’s more confirmation that President Obama is wrong for America. Many of us have questioned Obama's leadership from the beginning, and now, suddenly, more people actually want to see the truth. It's a shame that it takes a direct hit to the media's liberty for them to choose to bring light to the truth. They should be defending EVERYONE’S liberty, at all times. Their behavior thus far has been inexcusable. "Better late than never" and "I told you so" just don't quite seem to cover it. I can only say that I hope this slight revitalization of American journalism finds a way to last, and grows stronger.
We know now that the IRS scandal was deliberately hidden until after the election, which shows that the administration was more concerned with preserving Obama’s presidency than it was with actually doing its job, and being honest with the American people. The same is true of the State Department’s actions concerning the truth of what happened in Benghazi. And I believe the seizures executed by the Justice Department concerning AP were held over until now in an effort to keep the media from turning on the administration until a time when they felt they could afford the backlash. But why all of the delay and deception? Simple: they wanted a two term Obama, and they hoped that letting the truth about these events come out in the first year of his second term, rather than before the 2012 election, the people would have forgotten about it by the end of Obama’s 8th year. Their sole concern has been the president’s “legacy”. Hell, we know now that the question that sparked the IRS "apology" was actually a planted question. It doesn't get more obvious than that folks. We know that the IRS targeted enemies of the administration and then hid that fact during the election. We know they lied to us bout Benghazi to shield themselves from blame and scrutiny. And we know AP cooperated with the government concerning this "national security leak," only releasing their story to the public after the Obama administration cleared it for public viewing. So, why should we believe a word Obama says about not knowing what's going on around him? His administration has been built upon lies, and his word can't be trusted. They’ve all proven that they can’t be trusted. I'll tell you this, if you believe there's anything that goes on in Washington that President Obama isn't privy to, I've got some ocean front property in Illinois to sell you. Obama came from the Chicago political machine, and he's as narcissistic as they come- micromanagement is in his blood, folks.
The bottom line of the past week is this: Barack Obama is not a real leader, never has been, and never will be. A real leader doesn’t hide the truth from the American people to avoid harm to his agenda, his reputation, or his legacy, a coward with an agenda does. A real leader comes clean, lets us know what has happened, vows to make it right with the American people, and then keeps his word to that end. Unlike Ronald Reagan during the Iran Contra scandal, Obama will never admit to the American people that he’s responsible for his administration. It’s pathetic, and it shows his complete lack of any leadership ability. I’ve got news for the White House- we’re not going to let this go quietly into the night, and we won’t soon let Obama or his Cabinet, or anyone else working within this administration, forget what they have done to the American people, and what little “trust” in government we had left. With some luck, this just may lead to a happy November 2014...but I digress...
Stay Strong, and Keep Fighting for the Truth