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Posts published in “Day: February 21, 2023”

Blame game

Remember Joe Btfsplk? The little fella in the "Li'l Abner" comic strip? Joe was the epitome of bad luck with a little gray cloud hovering near him wherever he went. Joe just couldn't get a break.

Another Joe we know - Joe Namath - once opined "Quarterbacks get too much credit when things are going good and too much blame when they aren't."

Sounds a lot like another Joe we know. Our President. Joe Biden.

At the moment - with things going badly - Biden is getting too much blame. Covid's not his fault. Climate change is not his fault. Floods, deadly storms and other natural occurrences can't be helped. Maybe ending the war in Afghanistan didn't come off as smoothly as hoped. But, he ended the damned "no win" drain of lives and treasure that no other president had the courage to attempt.

No, Joe's getting some bad raps for a lot of things not under his control.

And, there's something else going on that no other recent president has had to deal with. This outpouring of anger in the citizenry. In-your-face anger. School boards threatened. City councils and county authorities being openly challenged. Governors, Secretaries of State, legislators, members of congress and others connected with creating laws or conducting elections being under public attack - in their offices and, often, in their homes.

The millions of Americans who won't get their Covid shots are not Joe's fault, either. He, and other public officials, have done about all they can do to persuade those miscreants to protect themselves - and us - from the ravages and death of this pandemic. They won't budge until they're in the hospital begging for the vaccine. Too late.

Another thing that isn't Joe's fault - the wrong-headed Republicans in both houses of Congress who've created phoney, vindictive and angry barriers to much of what he's tried to do.

No, this Joe – in the words of Namath - doesn't deserve the blame and anger for much of what's troubling this country at the moment. In fact, he deserves a lot of credit for the things he's been able to accomplish, given the negative Congress, a war and the natural occurrences of nature he's had to deal with.

As for Afghanistan, there's enough blame for Joe and many other folk. The pullout was messy, bloody and, in some cases, deadly. It obviously didn't go as planned - if planning there was.

But, when you lose a war - our third military defeat in a row - how do you get out without some bloody, loose ends? We couldn't just quit and go home - cut and run. We had - and still have - responsibilities for our citizens there, to the Afghans who helped us and to the other nations involved. And, my guess is we've still got operatives "on the ground" who're working to get more Americans and Afghans out.

But, Joe is the guy in the "hot seat." "The buck stops here" sort of thing. He's in the Oval Office, behind the Resolute desk. His fault or not, he gets the negative reviews and whatever blame there is - rightfully or over blown. Like his predecessors. And, sometimes, a win, for which there is often too much singular credit. As Namath said.

If there is "fault" or "blame" for Biden to shoulder, it may be he's a man who often leads with his heart. An accomplished politician with years of experience, he's also "grounded." Whatever fame he carries with him, as someone in the spotlight for more than 40 years, he's fully aware of the weight of responsibility he's charged with. But, he's also a devout human being who's suffered multiple losses. Bill Clinton said to victims of tragedy, "I feel your pain." Biden, more than any recent President, does, too.

Through no fault of Biden's, we're going to live with Covid from now on, just as we do with other diseases. We'll also have to deal with the tragedies caused by storms, floods, fires, climate change and other acts of nature, regardless of who sits behind that desk. There will be wars and acts of violence in our future for other presidents to deal with. And be blamed for. It just goes with the job.

Biden is human. He makes mistakes. He'll continue to be faced with large problems requiring decisions. Some right. Some wrong. Like the rest of us. He'll continue to be blamed. Rightly. Or wrongly.

But, I think even some of his critics have to believe Biden is a decent, caring human being. Not perfect. Not always right. But, caring and, in all respects, an admirable human being.

There are enough things in the world to blame someone - anyone - for. Certainly, enough blame for all of us. It's our personal responsibility to make sure we cast blame at the right source.