Blame the President

  • GoodPup

    Posts: 752

    Sep 12, 2008 5:26 AM GMT
    I will be the first to admit... I didn't pay much attention in my government class in high school so should maybe know more about this before i even speak.

    But, I saw a posting where people were blaming the President for things that realisticly could not be any individual person's fault.

    So just curious... why do so many people blame the President for stuff? Isn't it the American voters that put him in office? So shoudn't the people who voted for him (which would have to be a large number of people) be at fault? And with the President's decision making... does stuff have to be approved through the Senate?

    Is the President just the scape goat for problems bigger than any man can really take blame for?

    I know plenty of Bush haters will be ready to rip my head off for this one... but I would genuinely like to hear if anyone agrees with that too.
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    Sep 12, 2008 8:56 AM GMT
    JaseinOC saidSo just curious... why do so many people blame the President for stuff?


    Blaming the president on everything is due to a negative bias that primes the individual to continue to use the president as a scape-goat. True he's a fucking idiot and one of the worst presidents ever, but not every action he takes is bad nor is every event his fault.

    To illustrate:

    If you hate someone and find out they had sex with someone you think "stupid slut." But if you like someone and find out they had sex with someone you think "my boy got laid ahhh yehhh!"

    If you dislike someone, then ambiguous actions or ambiguous coincidences surrounding them will usually get filtered by your negative bias if you are not aware of it.
  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    Sep 12, 2008 3:20 PM GMT
    You're both right. Not everything can be blamed on GWB. However, when he first ran for Prez he repeated over and over that he was a "uniter, not a divider." Eight years later we are more divided as a country than ever. He is majorly responsible for the tenor in WDC and further across our USA, and he has increased the rancor.
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    Sep 12, 2008 3:33 PM GMT
    jc_online saidYou're both right. Not everything can be blamed on GWB. However, when he first ran for Prez he repeated over and over that he was a "uniter, not a divider." Eight years later we are more divided as a country than ever. He is majorly responsible for the tenor in WDC and further across our USA, and he has increased the rancor.


    No one will unite everyone for the simple fact we all have our beliefs and opinions. Sticking together is something that is even hard for most families to do so how does anyone expect one man to unite and entire country? It's not possible and sure as hell is not one persons fault.
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    Sep 12, 2008 3:54 PM GMT
    Chizzad said:

    "No one will unite everyone for the simple fact we all have our beliefs and opinions. Sticking together is something that is even hard for most families to do so how does anyone expect one man to unite and entire country? It's not possible and sure as hell is not one persons fault."

    This is true. Think back in history about how many presidents suffered low approval ratings toward the end of their terms. There is far too much misguided loathing regarding George Bush. Intelligent people know a president does not have a magic wand to make every problem fade away. Congress and the Senate play major parts as well. Churlishly denigrating "the president" - any president - serves no purpose.
  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    Sep 12, 2008 4:13 PM GMT
    1. Lead the country from balanced budgeting and surplusses to record and daily record-breaking national debt.
    2. Become President during a time of peace and adopt a policy of pre-emtive military strikes, resulting in the death of thousands of USA citizens and tens of thousands more world citizens.
    3. Take the reins of fiscal policy during the longest stretch of economic prosperity in the past 40 years; let corporations and the rich keep more of their money, while allowing the poor AND middle class to struggle just to afford food for their families and gas for their car to get to their 3 part time jobs.

    But I still agree. These three examples cannot be the fault of just one person. But SINCE republicans have been in charge for most of the last decade of both the executive and legislative branches while also shifting the judicial branch decidedly conservative/constructionist; I'd say it's easy to understand why we should spread the blame around.

    Why, considering just the examples above, anyone would want to vote for a candidate that is mostly in line with these policies, is beyond me.

    I'd rather see Kucinich be President, but Obama will do for now.
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    Sep 12, 2008 4:54 PM GMT
    No President has the sort of power that would warrant blaming him for every ill that plagues the US right now. That being said, he is the commander-in-chief, and like the CEO of a company will be expected to bear the brunt of the blame if things go poorly, whether it is outside his control or not.

    I personally felt that George Bush's biggest weakness was something that many consider a virtue, loyalty to friends. He should have dumped people in his cabinet long before he did. Two come to mind right away, Donald Rumsfeld, and Alberto Gonzalez. The FEMA guy (name escapes me) who was around at the time of Katrina was another error.

    Another error in judgement by Bush (if it could be called that) was not prying deeper into how to manage Iraq after the military action was finished (there was little doubt the US was going to win). I think it was a case of too many "experts" wearing rose-coloured glasses when it came to believing that the Iraqis would welcome the US with open arms and then get down to re-building their country. The US badly underestimated the kind of ethnic hatred and strife that had been suppressed over the years. I personally believe that George Bush senior or John McCain would not have made the same mistakes.
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    Sep 12, 2008 5:20 PM GMT
    It's easy to blame a leader for the situation here and now but when look back the roots to many problems lie with multiple people spread across the years.

    Is Bush responsible for the current high oil prices? No. While he has failed to do much about the situation he is just as much to blame as Clinton for laxing on FE related laws and as Reagan for starting the whole low price gas craze that led to an SUV nation. What seems good at the the time like using low prices to fight the worlds enemy now seems like yet another blame the president idea.

    It's kind of like the bomb used on Hiroshima:

    Then it seemed the best option. End the war quick, lower numbers of lives lost, and build American prestige and power in the face of an unknown and threatening Stalin's Russia.

    Now we look back and see Japan was going to surrender anyhow, that the cities targeted had already been nearly scoured of any further military production capacity. So now we blame Truman for killing thousands just to show up the Soviets.

    After the fact it's always easier to throw on the rose goggles and blame someone.
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    Sep 12, 2008 5:40 PM GMT
    I blame Congress. Nobody I voted for contributed to this mess, so my conscience is clear.
  • Barricade

    Posts: 457

    Sep 12, 2008 6:51 PM GMT
    True, but sometimes the actions or lack of action can contribute to certain situations. The candidates promise SO much to get elected, that when elected alot of people expect to see big things. Like right now, both candidates platforms are about CHANGE". People wanna see it,in everything, so it's easy to be critical.