Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Buck Actually Stops Here!

Yes, the whole Daschle thing has been a mess, and as many have already reported, he finally withdrew his name from consideration today.

So, what did President Obama do? He had an interview with Anderson Cooper and said he "screwed up." Yes, he said that. And he also said:

"'And, I take responsibility for it and we're going to make sure we fix it so it doesn't happen again.'"

And he was even more specific than that -

"'Ultimately, I campaigned on changing Washington and bottom-up politics,' Obama said. 'And I don't want to send a message to the American people that there are two sets of standards -- one for powerful people and one for ordinary folks who are working every day and paying their taxes.'"

What a refreshing change - a President who admits he made a mistake, and even explains why it was a mistake and shows that he understands why it looked bad. I find this very encouraging. Here is the interview:

In eight years, W never admitted anything he did was a mistake. Oh yes, at the very end he said he shouldn't have done the "Mission Accomplished" thing. Made him look bad, you see. And that flyover thing during Katrina - bad PR move, but what else could he do? Not really his fault. Sending thousands of our soldiers to die in Iraq when it turned out there were no WMDs? Nope, that wasn't a mistake either.

Now we have a president who takes responsibility. What a concept. It doesn't mean that he won't make another mistake; but at least it probably won't be the same mistake. (I'll bet no new nominees will have any back tax issues).

And it may also mean that if he realizes a position he has taken is wrong - like, I don't know, say, on gay marriage? - he would admit it and try to rectify it.

So far, anyway, it looks as if this is how President Obama operates. That is my hope, at least. And since it's only been two weeks since the inauguration, I think we can continue to hope!

And this certainly is an improvement over what we had for the past eight years.


themom said...

Now, I ask you...is this not the most down-to-earth President? He calls 'em like he sees 'em. It also amazes me that the public soon forgets the "nominees" of the past, who had TAX issues in their past (repubs) - but that was then. short term memory loss I guess. I'm quite satisfied with the first 13 days of this administration.

Suzi Riot said...

That was exactly what I was thinking watching President Obama today. What a change all of this has been from BushCo. Rather than deny and lie, we're getting reality and honesty. Unfortunately, I don't know if many people will see it that way.

Christopher said...

I don't watch CNN so I'm delighted to hear of this.

Gee, the adults really are in charge.

Good for Obama!

Annette said...

He said the same thing on NBC.. just watched it on video on another blog.. and it was refreshing.. the blogger said it was disappointing.. I questioned that in the comments by saying how.. in 8 years we had 2 wars..and so on and never once did he ever admit a mistake...this really wasn't Pres. Obama's fault other than someone didn't do the vetting properly... slap them.. but as Harry used to say.. the Buck stops here....lol and Prez sayz it too..

Fran said...

So glad the Daschle debacle is over. But this little foray makes me think we should have a whole tax scrutiny program in high places of the government.
We may have inadvertently hit a gold mine of finance.
Look how much we raked in with just 2 nominations?

I am glad Obama admits this was a bad mistake.
I was becoming quite disenchanted with the whole new & improved ethics schpeal.

Anonymous said...

Indeed it was refreshing, though I would have preferred that the statement come in response to our government's continued support for CIA rendition.

giggles said...

Yes, you know...he said it on all the networks and then some....
He's taking all the news away....what are all of the talking heads gonna have left to bloviate about??!! (More power to him. It takes a very secure man to admit his mistakes.... I love this guy!!)

Anonymous said...

Yep, yep, said the same thing myself. This guy gets it. He is real. I love it. The wingnuts will be confounded that we don't punish him for it.

Comrade Kevin said...

Yes, considering we had a president before who according to him never made a mistake and was never wrong about anything.

Randal Graves said...

In eight years, W never admitted anything he did was a mistake.

All that communist indoctrination really does kill brain cells, doesn't it. Have we forgotten about his admission of failure in trading Sammy Sosa?

kvatch, they want to put food on your family!

Mary Ellen said...

What I see every time Obama screws up is the same line, "This is certainly an improvement over Bush."

Isn't that setting the bar kind of low? The fact is, I've seen Dem after Dem take a fall because they're embroiled in some investigation, tax fraud, or whatever. Obama can stand there and say he takes the blame, but the fact is that the blame BELONGS to him and he knows he can't pass it off to anyone else.

He's already shown that his word about not hiring lobbyists for his administration was a lie, because he makes "special exceptions" for the ones he hired. He's already shown that he can and will smack down the GLBT Community at every turn, delaying DADT until the military leaders can "work something out" (as if they will, ha!), and not supporting gay marriage...I'm not sure how much this guy has to do to make it clear that the Gays are NOT on his agenda!

And what's with the forgive and forget when it came to his vote on FISA? Have you or anyone else seen any movement on his part to make sure that we are given our rights NOT to have the government listen in on our calls? I haven't seen any executive orders regarding that issue.

What about the renditions? Does he continue to get a pass on that, nothing more than a few, "gee I'm disappointed in him" and that's it? What happened to the rage from the Progressives when Bush was doing it?

Just the fact that Obama continues to support his choice of the tax cheat Timothy Geithner to head the Treasury Department shows that he isnt' taking responsibility unless he's backed up against the wall. That shouldn't be good enough, IMO.

I'm not trying to rub this stuff in anyones face, I'm trying to figure out when you will wake up and how much damage needs to be done to our party before you do? The Democrats are looking just as corrupt as the Republicans and that's saying a lot!

Tom Harper said...

I didn't know about that Obama interview. Thanks for posting it.

It sure is a refreshing change to have a president who levels with the people. What a concept.

I think Dumbya expressed "disappointment" over Iraqmire and Katrinagate. Disappointment, LOL. Disappointment is what parents feel when Junior's report card has too many Cs and Ds. I would have chosen a different word for the thousands of deaths in Iraq.

Dorothy said...

I feel the way you do that there will be mistakes however he will face them and try until he gets it right. I'm hopeful and so glad Mr Bush is out of our lives...I ended up not respecting or liking him at all.

President Obama seems to be a good man trying to restore what has been lost for years...credibility...in the United States...

Dorothy from grammology

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I end up feeling that it's very hard to find anyone in public life who's totally ethical. There is so much on President Obama's plate that he is going to make mistakes. I hope he continues to keep trying to clean up his own messes promptly.

Christopher said...

No one comes to the presidency infallible.

The only infallible people in American politics are George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton.

As to Bush, he was as arrogant as any sociopath. Refusing to admit any error in judgment or shortcoming until the last two weeks of his 8 years in office.

As to Hillary, all I can say is thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster she wasn't elected. Hillary couldn't even tell the truth about her cattle futures and she lied about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia.

Obama isn't perfect but he's smart and he listens and he's wise enough to admit it when and if he screws up. Now, that is sane, adult behavior we need in these difficult times.

Anonymous said...

I agree, although it would be nice if he would vet his nominees better so he doesn't repeatedly make the same mistake.

But that's a quibble.

The Young Swell said...

I also worry about the vetting, but possibly Obama made the mistake of believing in the integrity of their statements.

I mean, surely the nominees must have realized, when approached, that these tax problems would be dug up. By not mentioning these problems to Obama's team, they set themselves up for later embarrassment.

Still, I agree, it's nice to have a grown up in the White House.

Anonymous said...

Yeah.. it is a refreshing change to admit that he screwed up with the Daschle, but I won't go into some of his other appointments. That he nominated a Republican like Gregg for Commerce leave is highly questionable. That said, he needs to grab the economic bull(shit) by the horns and exert the leverage he received from the Democrat's November victories and take the tax-cut, trickle-down provisions of the stimulus package off the table. He's said it himself, they don't work. Yet, Obama is slow to act on those words. Feet to the fire, MG, if he won't forcefully exert the will of the electorate that voted him, then we the electorate must.

Mauigirl said...

Hi everybody - I don't have time to respond to each of you individually today (another hectic work day!) but I do hear what some of you are saying re: rendition, FISA, the hedging on the appointments of lobbyists, don't ask don't tell, and more.

I know he is not perfect by any means and that we have to keep the pressure on to make sure that these important issues are addressed.

I'm sure there will be things that disillusion us, because this president is a pragmatist, not an idealist. He has goals he wants to achieve but he believes the perfect is the enemy of the good. He will compromise, and we'll be mad. But if it also gets some stuff done that wasn't able to be done before, it will move us in a positive direction.

Mary Ellen, while I do agree that we should certainly not set the bar low, we are still in a better position than we would have been if Obama had not won, and I am happy about it. It's not as if Dennis Kucinich, whose views more closely mimic many of ours, could have ever been elected in this climate - and probably couldn't have gotten his agenda through Congress, either. So yes, we want to be able to say more than "he's sure better than Bush" but that doesn't mean we can't be thankful for that fact anyway!

Christopher said...


You know the game.

If Obama single-handedly cured cancer, AIDS, and MS, and paid off every credit card holder's balance, there's still a tiny percentage of Hillbots who would find fault with him.

They -- like Rush Limbaugh, would rather see Obama fail and the nation go down the toilet than see Obama succeed and the nation saved.

What are you going to do?

Mauigirl said...

I hear you - it always makes me amazed when people - especially the GOP - don't put the good of the country first.

I don't think it's all that way, though - some Obama critics are just holding him to such a high standard that he couldn't possibly meet it.

For one thing, he never said he was going to be a left wing savior, he has always said he wanted bipartisanship and would be willing to compromise. Now that we elected him, some people are realizing that he really meant what he said.

It will be interesting to see how his administration evolves as the time goes on and he comes to realize that he can't compromise with the Republicans after all because they are never satisfied and all it does is water down his own policies to be more like theirs.

I was one of those who idealistically thought he'd be able to succeed at bipartisanship, while many said it would never work. Sadly they were right. Apparently the Republicans really don't put the country first and will never be willing to work with the other side of the aisle.