"The country looks to the President on occasions like this to be reassuring to the nation. Some Presidents do it well, some Presidents don't."
That's how ABC's Peter Jennings assessed President George W. Bush's performance on Sept. 11, 2001. The criticism was superficial, shortsighted and unfair, given that President Bush's finest moments came in rallying the country after 9/11 - not scapegoating the previous administration.
Bush didn't spend the next few months claiming that he "inherited" a national security mess, nor did he complain about the economy which faltered in two of the final three quarters under President Clinton before contracting again in Bush's first year.
Likewise, President Reagan didn't whine about the soaring unemployment and burgeoning inflation that awaited him after President Carter's tenure.
These men understood that they campaigned for the opportunity to serve as President and to lead by making difficult, sometimes unpopular decisions.
That's why President Obama's transformation from a candidate of hope and change to a president of gloom, blame and opportunism is so disappointing - even for those who didn't buy what he was selling as a candidate. His ability to truly inspire 53% of the voters seemed, at least, refreshing.
Now, the Obama team takes every opportunity to complain that they "inherited" a deficit, an "economic crisis," and "a big mess."
No hope, just bellyaching.
Despite his messianic aura, Obama didn't mysteriously appear on planet earth a few months ago, whereupon he was thrust into office. He spent four years in the U.S. Senate (between campaign appearances), including two years when his party was in the majority with power to block policies it deemed destructive.
If he and his Democrat allies accept no responsibility for the current mess, it's fair to ask:
Did you see it coming but chose to do nothing, calculating that the ensuing catastrophe would be more beneficial to your political ambitions?
Or were you just as complicit in or oblivious to the financial implosion as those who came before you?
Either Obama put his political agenda ahead of the country's economic wellbeing or he, like those before him, is severely over-matched. Now he has reverted to the form that made him The Most Liberal Member of the U.S. Senate - exploiting economic turmoil to advance an agenda that rapidly expands the size, scope and debt of the federal government.