One thing is for sure: It's not in Barack Obama to accept personal responsibility for the consequences of his actions and policies. He still won't own this economy and the exploding spending spiral, reminding us at every turn that our problems are a result of what he "inherited" from President Bush.
Instead of seeking to soothe the nation on word of the downgrade by Standard & Poor's, Obama played golf, prepared for more campaign fundraisers and avoided the cameras -- for a change. But there can be little doubt he was strategizing about whom to blame for this unfolding catastrophe.
The first and most obvious choice would probably have been his treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner -- except that to blame Geithner would have been tantamount to blaming himself; Geithner is Obama's guy. Nix that.
So why not blame Europe and the global markets? Well, there was some of that, but that's a bit too far from home, so to speak. An Alinsky-model target is usually more accessible and less sympathetic -- you know, someone or some entity against whom one can gin up white-hot hate.
So he settled on blaming S&P itself -- the proverbial messenger -- and who else? The evil tea party for the debt ceiling impasse. Pathetic. Oh, yes, and for good measure, his liberal colleague Rep. Barney Frank threw in the military and said he hopes the downgrade will force large military spending cuts.
An unrepentant Geithner immediately took the offense and insultingly attacked S&P for its decision to downgrade our credit rating. "I think S&P's shown really terrible judgment. And they've handled themselves very poorly, and they've shown a stunning lack of knowledge about basic U.S. fiscal budget math."
S&P's managing director, David Beers, didn't receive the slander sitting down. He said he had "absolutely" no second thoughts about the decision. He also said it was a gross exaggeration to suggest that the downgrade was mainly responsible for the market sell-off, pointing to the extreme volatility of the market in the period preceding the downgrade.
Consider also the arrogance of this administration for lecturing anyone else about his budgetary acumen. We've not experienced a financial train wreck in our national history so directly traceable to the White House.
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