To be the President, a person must accept the responsibilities that come with the office. Harry Truman symbolized this best when he placed a plaque on his desk in the Oval Office engraved with the homily, “The Buck Stops Here”. Fair or not, it's true. All responsibility for the protection of the people and our sovereign territory, the enforcement of all federal laws, the provision of all federally hosted public services, and the conduct of all foreign affairs is in the hands of the President. The President also sets foreign policy and makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate. He may delegate authority, but he cannot delegate responsibility. That's a lot to put on the shoulders of just one person.
Actually, I'm not certain that “shoulders” is where that weight is borne. There was a homily that we learned in the Army that explained the difference in the degree of authority and responsibilities an officer had to bear. The question was asked, “Why do noncommissioned officers wear their rank on their sleeves and commissioned officers wear them on their shoulders?” The answer was, “Because a person can carry a greater weight on their shoulders than in their arms.” I cannot imagine where a President bears his responsibilities.
There can be no argument that President Obama has ducked and dodged his responsibilities during the past four years. He continues to blame the state of the economy on his predecessor. He blames Republicans for obstructing his plans. He brings lawsuits against governors who attempt to protect their states from the incursions of criminals while he surrenders sovereign territory to foreign drug lords. He enforces laws selectively, selecting which laws to enforce and who he will enforce them upon. He allows subordinates to throw themselves under the bus for the death of American diplomats in Benghazi.
Yes, he inherited an economic mess. However, he should have thought of that before he accepted his party's nomination let alone entered the office. Once he did, the mess became his responsibility. Now, don't tell me he needs more time. Since Barack Obama accepted stewardship of the United States, the problems have worsened. Had he accepted responsibility for his mistakes as well as the problems, he might have seen the need to make adjustments that would have corrected the situation. But, by finding fault in everyone else, he has avoided recognizing his part in exacerbating the issues. Thus, he has never seen the need to alter course. He forges ahead guided only by ideology, blind to the disasters he leaves in his wake. Millions more out of work. Economic stagnation. Destabilization in the Middle East.
I know it's disappointing. We all hoped that Barack Obama would succeed. We prayed that he would. It shouldn't have mattered that he was a person of color, but it did. We were proud that we had elevated a black man to the highest office in our land. Yes, there are still bigots. There always will be as long as there are idiots. But, bigotry is no longer the law of the land. It is no longer tolerated in polite society. We celebrated his election, even those of us who had not voted for him, because we saw it as a great stride towards social justice in our country.
I didn't vote for him in 2008 because he had no credentials to convince me that he could rise to the challenges of the Presidency. He had no executive experience. A community organizer has no experience with authority and responsibilities. His record as a legislator was very thin. He frequently avoided making decisions by voting “Present”. My decision to vote for his opponent was made without even considering his ideology. Again, his partisan politics aren't my concern. However, once elected, he was President, my President, and I hoped, and I was disappointed. Inasmuch as his campaign demonstrates unequivocally that he continues to avoid all responsibility, I see no hope of change.