Avoiding Responsibility at the Presidential Level


Right From the Start

Right From the Start

In 1945, a serial killer, subsequently identified as William Heirens, left a message in the home of one of his victims – scrawled across the mirror in lipstick was the following:

“For heavens sake catch me before I kill more.   I cannot control myself.”

For some this represented a sociopath’s cry for help against an irresistible urge.  Others have suggested that it was a sociopath’s attempt to avoid responsibility for his own acts.

Whichever rationale you choose it appears to have become the mantra for President Barack Obama’s second term.  During his first term every failure was blamed on his predecessor, President George W. Bush.  It became so frequent that even the late-night comedians – after fawning over Mr. Obama for several years – began to make jokes about it.

When the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups was exposed, Mr. Obama denied his administration’s knowledge and then quickly retreated to his declaration that he would “work with Congress” to put in place laws and standards to ensure that this would never happen again.  (Please, stop with the “progressive groups were targeted too” baloney.  There is a difference between having a “political descriptor” on a list and actually having punitive action taken.  There is not a single instance in which a progressive organization was delayed.  And please don’t reference a Catholic charity organization as “progressive” given the Obama administration’s battle with the Catholic Church over government mandated abortion coverage.)  It was bad enough that the process was delayed in order to frustrate the organization of these groups, but the subsequent sharing of the information required of the applicants with third party news outlets in anticipation of negative media coverage and the tax audits of those who contributed were outrages if not patently illegal.  In point of fact, no new rules or laws were required, only an administration that would act ethically – that would not use the organs of government to attack and punish those with whom they disagree.  In essence Mr. Obama was declaring that they needed more laws to restrict him from unethical violation of existing laws and standards.

When Attorney General Eric Holder lied to the federal court about Fox journalist, James Rosen, and other AP journalists being targets of a criminal investigation relating to release of classified documents to third parties, Mr. Obama and his administration first lied about any knowledge and then resorted to the now standard refrain.  As reported by the Washington Times:

Mr. Obama said he has ordered Mr. Holder to review administration policy and convene a meeting with media representatives, with the goal of making sure reporters don’t face legal troubles for doing their jobs.”

How bizarre.  You order the very person who violated the rights of journalists to investigate and propose standards to ensure that they won’t violate those rights again.  Again, no review is necessary – only an attorney general and a Department of Justice that acts ethically within the constraints of the existing law.  But again, in essence, Mr. Obama was declaring that they needed more laws to restrict him from unethical violations of existing laws and standards.

When Islamic terrorists raided the United States embassy in Benghazi, Mr. Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conspired to shift the blame from their own actions and inactions to some poor schmuck who directed a cheesy video critical of the prophet Mohammed.  When it all fell apart, Mrs. Clinton was sent out to respond to demands for information by declaring, “What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.”  Again a demand for new restrictions on their own aberrant behavior.  (Some would argue that this internally contradictory statement coupled with Ms. Clinton’s prism eyeglasses are indication of a serious stroke – cerebral venous thrombosis.)  And while demands continue to “figure out what happened” Mr. Obama continues to stonewall by embargoing those actually present at Benghazi from testifying before Congress. These actions again, in essence, have Mr. Obama declaring that they needed more laws to restrict him from unethical violations of existing laws and standards.

And when day after day revelations of the extent of domestic eavesdropping and surveillance of American citizens by the National Security Administration under the direction of Mr. Obama and his administration was revealed Mr. Obama first denied the extent of the abuse, then the knowledge of the abuse and finally reverted to form by declaring:

“I’ve asked the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to review where our counterterrorism efforts and our values come into tension, and I directed my national security team to be more transparent and to pursue reforms of our laws and practices.”

No new laws were needed, only a President and an administration that acts ethically and within the confines of existing law.

Mr. Bush was widely criticized from ever acknowledging a mistake.  Mr. Obama has become widely known for never acknowledging responsibility.

A “sociopath” is often defined as one who thinks that the rules of society do not apply to him.  And when caught violating those rules, the sociopath routinely blames others for his actions, including blaming others for not stopping him from engaging in the aberrant behavior.

Some sociopaths become career criminals, including serial killers; others become politicians and even presidents.