Harry Truman, our 33rd President, had a sign sitting on his desk that simply stated: “The Buck Stops Here” (http://www.trumanlibrary.org/buckstop.htm). In other words, it was up to him as the a president to make the final decision; there was no one else to whom he could “pass the buck”.
And of course, when things didn’t work out, he got the blame.
These days, it is our President who gets blamed when things go wrong. And even, it seems, when they don’t.
Perhaps it is the unofficial job of a sitting president to also be the scapegoat-im-chief. Certainly it’s a very tough job and it’s hard to please everyone.
Perhaps the president is a convenient fall guy in a country that treasures free speech.
In a country whose political system is composed of two major parties with very different ideologies, part of gaining control is making the other party look bad. When the other party owns the highest office in the land, denigrating his-or-her-accomplishments will filter down to other politicians and therefore make your party look better.
So is our current president getting more than his fair share of abuse?
For example, a poll released in early August, 2013 had 29% of Louisiana Republicans blaming President Obama for Hurricane Katrina. Katrina, of course, happened in 2005, three years before President Obama was elected (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-08-30/opinion/ct-oped-0829-blame…).
More scrutiny of the poll and participants reveals that many knew the truth, but they didnt want to pass up an opportunity to demean a president of the other party.
Consider too, that this is a political strategy to gain power. If the opposing party does nothing and blames the President for an “obstructionist” attitude (http://www.salon.com/2014/07/31/the_not_so_secret_gop_strategy_for_every…), then they win by default.
Americans are angry. This country is recovering from one of the worst economic disasters in its history. People have lost good-paying jobs and are either unemployed or underemployed. The people responsible are still employed and making money.
We have been at war for over ten years and we have nothing to show for it except dead and broken bodies of our brave young soldiers. Never mind that the current president inherited this situation; people have a lot of anger and resentment and he is the commander-in-chief.
So while people are focusing blame, many people, including memberw of his own party, are ignoring some very significant accomplishments. They aere afraid of being part of that blame and losing their political standing.
When all is said and done, however, his list of accomplishments is long (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/march_april_2012/features/obam…). President Obama has spearheaded universal health legislation; got the man who orchestrated the murder of 3000 Americans on 9/11; got the economy recoverinf again wirh his Recovery and Reinvestment Act; and got Wall Street Reform.
Still, many people will find fault in all of this, choosing negativity. They will choose to ignore facts.
Never underestimate the power of gossip and blaming. They are powerful forces with which to be reckoned.