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Portrait of a Blameless President

Passing the Buck - Biden Style

March 28, 2022


One-time Vice President Hubert Humphrey learned a thing or two about politics during his long political career. He once quipped, “To err is human…To blame someone else is politics.” A young Joe Biden must have been taking notes. 

Today, Biden clearly sees his administration as the most successful in history, unblemished by the miscalculations and mistakes that scarred so many other past presidencies. He reached that conclusion through wishful thinking…and his carefully honed ability to blame others for his blunders. That ability has become a compulsion for this lifelong politician. 

We saw it early on with the issue of illegal immigration. Donald Trump’s policies had effectively eliminated the problem of illegal immigration. During the month of April 2020, for example, during President Trump’s final months in office, Customs and Border Protection reported 17,106 encounters at our southern border. It was a minuscule number by today’s standards. After Biden reversed Trump’s policies and issued his own executive actions, utter chaos erupted on our southern border. In April 2021, during Biden’s first year in office, the number of border encounters had exploded to 178,795.   

And as the surge in illegal border crossings, illegal drugs, and human trafficking began to impact his approval ratings, Biden did what he does best. He blamed someone else. In that case, incredibly enough, he blamed Trump. During a friendly interview on the “TODAY” show, Biden whined that his administration inherited “one god-awful mess at the border.” 

Then there’s the crime rate, now skyrocketing across the country - the direct result of the insane efforts by Democrats to defund police departments. Incredibly enough, the Biden administration has tried to pin that on Republicans, as well. The twisted logic Biden used went like this: Republicans opposed the inflationary $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP). The plan included $350 billion to help states and cities impacted by the pandemic. So while Democrats were still demanding that police departments be defunded, the Biden Administration was trying to convince the country that Republicans were responsible for the increase in crime because they opposed the ARP.

Now, the country is facing another crisis – soaring gas prices and inflation, and Biden is putting the blame entirely on Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine. While it’s clear that the invasion accelerated the increase in gas prices, it’s just as apparent that the prices began a meteoric rise long before the invasion, before there was any inkling of an invasion.

The proof is indisputable and readily available. Gasbuddy.com, for example, charts the average price of gasoline in America. In this chart, it’s clear that gas prices rose from $2.09 per gallon, when Biden was elected, to $3.40 per gallon, before Americans even became aware of the imminent invasion of Ukraine in November 2021.

The chart confirms what most rational Americans already knew. It was Biden’s self-declared war on fossil fuels and the drastic measures he took against the oil industry via Presidential Executive Action that actually sparked the surge in prices. 

Admittedly, Joe Biden is not the first president to blame others for his failures. But the audacity he’s shown in deflecting blame is breathtaking. What he and his administration lack in honesty, they make up for in unadulterated moxie.   

There are obvious reasons why people in power rarely accept blame for their failures. Most of them have mammoth egos that simply won’t allow them to take responsibility. Besides that, they believe, and rightly so, that repeated failures can make them look weak or ineffective. So, like the Wizard of OZ, they try to create and maintain the illusion that they can be trusted to lead, and that they have all the answers. 

But that approach to leadership creates one major problem: No president can solve the problems facing our country if he refuses to believe they exist, and that he bears responsibility for them.

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Peter Lemiska has spent more than 28 years in government service. He is a former Senior Special Agent of the U.S. Secret Service and an Air Force veteran. His political commentaries have been widely published online and in print.